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VonPeterhof’s log - 旅立ち’14, Yürükler’15+

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vonPeterhof
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Joined 2184 days ago

715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 17 of 158
08 January 2014 at 9:28pm | IP Logged 
Okay, here goes my belated self-introduction:

皆さん、はじめまして。 ヴァディム(Вадим/Vadim)と申します。 ネットで「vonPeterhof」 というハンドルを使います。 24歳のロシア人です。 実家はサンクトペテルブルクですが、 モスクワに住んでいます。 ロシアで生まれて、 カザフスタンで育ちました。 イギリス、 アメリカとノルウェーにも住んだことありま す。

日本語を勉強し始めた理由は、 二つあります。 一つは、 アニメオタクとしてアニメや アニメ絡みのネタに 直接アクセスを得たかったのです。 もう一つは、 言語学オタクとして日本語そのものに 興味津々だったのです。 2010年に漢字や文法を勉強し始めて、 2011年に漫画、 アニメと「Anki」 というプログラムを使って 語彙を増やし読解・聴解を磨きました。 2012年の12月に日本語能力試験の N3レベルに合格しました。 翌年の6月にN2を同じく合格しましたが、 12月のN1に失敗したそうです。 今年はまたN1をめざし、 書く能力と会話力を高めたいです。

どうぞよろしくお願いします。

The second paragraph is basically an abridged version post 3 of this log, so I'll just translate the first one: "Everyone, nice to meet you. My name is Vadim. I go by the handle "vonPeterhof" online. I'm a 24-year-old Russian. My (parents') home is in Saint Petersburg, but I live in Moscow. I was born in Russia and grew up in Kazakhstan. I have also lived in the UK, the US and Norway."

In anime news, the good stuff has started trickling in again with a second season of 中二病でも恋がしたい!, an intriguing looking fantasy series named とある飛空士への恋歌 and yet another high school club comedy named ディーふらぐ! Yet again I've ended up with 20 current series to follow, and the new shows haven't even all premiered yet. I guess I have to start dropping shows more ruthlessly, since work starts tomorrow. Anyway, gotta do some Korean before heading off to bed.

Edited by vonPeterhof on 08 January 2014 at 9:29pm



vonPeterhof
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 18 of 158
11 January 2014 at 10:33pm | IP Logged 
So my last post on lang-8 only had one sentence corrected (a sentence in which I admittedly got kinda lazy with the phrasing) with the corrector saying it was almost perfect. My confidence in my writing ability has been restored, I guess all that massive input did leave a positive result. I think I'm gonna take a break from lang-8 until at least the next weekend (from writing, that is; I should probably do some corrections in the meantime). Editorializing about anime turned out to be both fun and challenging, so I'm definitely gonna keep doing it. Next week all the season premieres should come to an end, so I'll try to put together some sort of "first impressions" post.

It's probably also a good idea to start practising writing on topics related to my line of work. As much as the thought of one day becoming a token gaijin anime reporter for a Japanese entertainment news website appeals to me, I should probably also prepare for more realistic options :) I think writing a brief job description would be a good way to start.

Speaking of work, today I tried to get back to my studies of business Japanese by doing a couple of exercises from that textbook I mentioned earlier (にほんごで働く! ビジネス日本語30時間). The book consists of eight units, all of which follow the same basic structure: starting quiz, vocabulary list (even including pitch patterns), several dialogues for reading and listening, a couple of dialogues for retelling, a couple situation descriptions for conversational practice, fill-in-the-blanks/multiple choice final quiz, cultural notes. It's a pretty good resource for set phrases to be used in various situations at work. Right now I'm on unit 5, titled 頼む・断る.

Okay now, back to Anki and anime!

Edited by vonPeterhof on 11 January 2014 at 10:33pm



vonPeterhof
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715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 19 of 158
12 January 2014 at 7:21pm | IP Logged 
Today, in order to temporarily escape from all the stress of keeping up with nearly thirty ongoing anime series (yes, yes, I'm trying to be merciless in dropping them for not living up to my standards - I'm evidently failing...), I decided to do an exercise I haven't done in a while - lyrical analysis! It just so happens that today I can't stop listening to one song - 掌の海 ("A sea in the palm"). Written by Kazufumi Miyazawa of 島唄 fame and sung (at least in the version I have) by Rimi Natsukawa of 涙そうそう fame, this song appears to have less to do with Okinawa than its parentage (or having 海 in the title) would imply. Fair warning - I don't think I've ever been very good at analysing poetry even in my native language, so feel free to point out any brainfarts on my part. Since the version I have is sung by a woman, I will refer to the singer's character as "she", even though there are no direct indications of any of the characters' genders, and there's probably a version of the song sung by Miyazawa himself out there.

サヨナラと言われた朝に この世界 色褪せていた
いつの日か届けてくれた 花だけが赤く染まるよ

サヨナラと言われた朝に この世界 音が薄れた
いつの日か聴かせてくれた 歌だけがかすかに響く

Okay, the first four lines seem straightforward enough:

"On the morning when you said 'Goodbye' to me (lit. "when I was said 'Goodbye' to"), this world grew dull in colour. Only the flowers you sent to me one day are dyed red. On the morning when you said 'Goodbye' to me, this world's sounds faded. Only the songs I heard from you (lit. "song(s) you let me listen to") one day resound faintly."

教えてよ雨は川になり どこまで流れてゆくの
人の波に流されながら 溢れ出す この涙
掌の中で海になる

"Please tell me, when rain turns into rivers, how far does it flow? Being washed away by human waves(?), these tears (of mine) pour out and turn into a sea in my palm."

人の波 is the hardest image for me to interpret here. Does it refer to being in a large crowd (or, by extension, in an uncaring society, surrounded by others and being dragged in the same direction as everybody else), or does it refer to something internal, one's humanity that is giving rise to emotion and pushing the tears out of one's eyes? The latter interpretation seems to go well with equating crying to a phenomenon of nature, but having the first interpretation in mind seems to explain why the singer is crying into her palm in the first place - it seems to me that this would only happen if you were trying to cover your eyes, not wanting those "floating" around you to see you in your moment of weakness.

Now here's where it gets interesting from a linguistic point of view, at least to me. Unfortunately, this also means that it's pretty hard for me to come up with a naturalistic translation, so please bear with me for a moment:

もう一度生まれ直して 温かいあなたの胸で
夢を見るその人よりも いつの日か輝いてみせる

"When I am born again, one day I will shine even brighter than the one dreaming at your warm chest." There are two linguistic points that I find particularly interesting in these two lines (both of those points also get reprised in the final two lines). The first one is the choice of the phrase 生まれ直す for being reborn. The default word/phrase for this concept would be 生まれ変わる (or 蘇る/甦る, but that one would have been harder to fit into the rhythmic pattern). 直す, meaning "to correct", as an auxiliary verb carries the meaning of "to do over again", "to retry after a failed attempt". The singer isn't just musing about the prospect of reincarnation, she is actually viewing her "current" life as a failure, now that her lover is with someone else ("the one dreaming..."). The second point, also a verbal phrase, is 輝いてみせる. 輝く means "to shine", "to sparkle", while 見せる means "to show", "to display". Showing usually implies an audience, so it's not just that she wants to be reborn as a more radiant person than the one she was dumped for, she wants to "show them" (either her ex-lover or their new crush, or maybe them both). All of this betrays great resentment, combined with extreme insecurity about the singer's present self.

想いではいつか砂になり 風にさらわれてゆくよ
人の波に流されながら 止まらない この涙
掌の海が溢れ出す

"Memories will someday turn into sand and get swept away by the wind. Being washed away by human waves, these tears (of mine) don't stop and the sea in my palm begins to overflow." The first line seems seems somewhat ambiguous to me. Maybe the singer isn't as desperate as the previous lines suggested and on some level she does recognize that what she has gone through will be in the past (as a bonus, sand is what you're left with when a sea dries up). Alternatively, she could be implying that the memories of the happy times they had together will fade away, while the pain will stay forever. The next line shows that, at least for now, the pain isn't going away.

もう一度生まれ直して 温かいその掌を
握ってるその人よりも いつの日か輝いてみせる

"When I am born again, one day I will shine even brighter than the one clutching your warm palm." A reprise of the rather extreme sentiment, with a slight change. The mention of the ex-lover's palm contrasts with the singer's own "sea in the palm". What could this imply? A tinge of envy? Growing self-pity? Dunno, I'm already exhausted from this exercise. Back to my anime binge :)

Edited by vonPeterhof on 12 January 2014 at 7:22pm

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vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2184 days ago

715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 20 of 158
18 January 2014 at 11:01am | IP Logged 
Okay, the season premiers are over (except for the new instalment of PreCure, which I'm not gonna be watching). From what I've heard, winter seasons tend to be "throwaway" seasons in anime, but this time around the amount of genuinely watchable shows turned out to be surprisingly large. I'll probably start on that lang-8 first impressions post later today or tomorrow, but now I'll talk my impressions language-wise.

- In contrast to the previous season, the number of shows with J-subs is meagre: in addition to フューチャーカード バディファイト and 銀の匙 Silver Spoon 2 mentioned in a previous post we have 桜Trick and 中二病でも恋がしたい!戀, and the subs for the latter apparently don't appear on kitsunekko until a few days after the initial broadcast [Edit: as I just found out, the situation is the same with ニセコイ].

- The prize for the most eclectic vocabulary goes to ウィザード・バリスターズ 弁魔士セシル. It's basically a law procedural/courtroom drama... with wizards! Talks about spells and familiars are interspersed with discussions of capital punishment and legitimate self-defence. I don't have much experience with legal vocabulary in Japanese, so this should be informative.

- The prize for cultural impenetrability goes to 鬼灯の冷徹. As a lot of the early reviewers pointed out, in order to fully enjoy the first episode of this rather intelligent comedy you had to know a thing or two about both folk hero 桃太郎 and Softbank's mascot お父さん. Well, I knew a bit about both, but I still found myself lost most of the time. The show is heavily grounded in Japanese mythology relating to the afterlife, while also featuring contemporary references, so the barriers to entry are pretty high. I could pick up the manga just to improve my understanding, but this would probably just be time-consuming without much real reward. I'll consider it.

- Dialect warnings: the biggest one goes for いなり、こんこん、恋いろは。, which takes place in Kyoto and has most of its characters conversing in Kansai-ben (so far I haven't noticed any Kyoto-specific features). Additional warnings for ウィザード・バリスターズ and のうりん (each with one Kansai dialect-speaking character), 世界征服〜謀略のズヴィズダー〜 (one Hiroshima dialect-speaking character), 咲-Saki- 全国編 (a Hiroshima dialect-speaker in the main cast; several Kansai dialect-speaking supporting characters; lots of other characters with noticeable speech quirks that are harder to identify with a particular region), 銀の匙 (sporadically occurring features of a Hokkaido dialect), ノブナガ・ザ・フール and ノブナガン ("movie samurai-speak"; not sure if there's a proper term for this). Not implying that you shouldn't learn about dialects, just that if you don't want your Standard Japanese to be muddled you might wanna be careful about what patterns you pick up from the aforementioned shows and characters. For some reason I have no problems in resisting Kansai-ben, but Hiroshima-ben tends to creep into my speech after prolonged exposure. Probably has something to do with the former having a wildly different pitch pattern.

- Also speaking of dialects, I was a bit surprised that Wake Up, Girls! doesn't feature any Touhoku dialect, considering that the show makes no secret out of the fact that it takes place in Sendai. But then, I've never been to Sendai and therefore can't tell how well the dialect has been preserved there. Maybe a later episode will feature the cast touring outside their home region, with producers forcing them to speak with stereotypical Touhoku brogues to increase their appeal?

Edited by vonPeterhof on 18 January 2014 at 8:19pm



vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2184 days ago

715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 21 of 158
18 January 2014 at 11:23am | IP Logged 
Oh, and an additional thought about 世界征服〜謀略のズヴィズダー〜. For as of yet unexplained reasons the "evil organization" trying to take over the world in this anime is called ズヴィズダー (Звезда, Russian for "star") and all its members have Russian aliases (Венера, Пламя, Пепел, etc.). The show appears to have a strong 中二病 undercurrent, so it's highly likely that the only reason Russian words were chosen is because they sound "cool". There also appears to be a small but growing Russophile community in Japanese geekdom, judging by the rising popularity of Sumire Uesaka, or the fact that ハラショー (хорошо) is apparently now part of Japanese Internet slang (my popup dictionary recognizes it as a word). I'm a little bemused by this, but whatever floats their boat, I guess.



kujichagulia
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 Message 22 of 158
18 January 2014 at 1:19pm | IP Logged 
Kansai-ben seeps into my Japanese all the time... but of course I live in Osaka. それはアカンやねん! うっとし!



Sizen
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 Message 23 of 158
18 January 2014 at 1:56pm | IP Logged 
ぼけとんのか、われ。 But seriously, after 5 months in Osaka, Kansai-ben was a problem for me
when I finally went to a language school in Tokyo. My teachers were all over me for my
pronunciation of 雲 and 蜘蛛, and then the same went for words like 雨, 橋, 箸 which are
all backwards in Osaka. Through all the corrections I've received, it's come to the point
now that I don't know which word has which accent on it. Heck, looking at your link, I
just noticed that I do the Tokyo pronunciation of こんにちは now, but I still do the Kansai
日本... And god help me if I ever stop saying 直す when I mean "put away"... I should just
give up on Standard Japanese.
1 person has voted this message useful



vonPeterhof
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2184 days ago

715 posts - 810 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 24 of 158
18 January 2014 at 6:27pm | IP Logged 
Hehe, well if I were living in Hiroshima, or Osaka for that matter, I probably wouldn't want to resist local influences, at least in the informal register. Considering that I've never even been to Japan, if I go there and go around saying アニメを多う観て、 中途半端な広島弁でしか 喋れんくなっちもうたんじゃのう I'll just feel like a phony. Funny thing, until last summer I didn't even realize how often Hiroshima dialect was used in anime - before that I thought that all those じゃのう's and 無かろう's were just stereotypical old people speech patterns, to go with 儂. And then I watched 君のいる町, a large chunk of which takes place in rural Hiroshima prefecture. That was when I finally learned to think in Japanese for extended periods of time, and the joy of that was somewhat dulled by my inadvertent absorption of those speech patterns. I mean, the show wasn't even that good, what the heck?!

As for the Osaka pitch accent, the main article on Japanese pitch accent has this passage where it discusses some of the regular correspondences in pitch accents between Kansai-type and Tokyo-type pitches. When I was trying to learn BSCM earlier this year knowing the correspondences between Old and New Shtokavian accentuation gave me a good idea about where the pitch accents were (New Shtokavian is the basis of all standard registers of BSCM, whereas Old Shtokavian accents in a lot of cases fall in the same places as Russian stresses). Depending on how well you've internalized the Kansai-style accentuation patterns these correspondences could help you switch to Tokyo style accentuation, but it's still probably best to confirm the accents on a word-by-word basis.

Oh, and an additional thought I forgot to bring up about いなり、こんこん、恋いろは。 Turns out the こんこん (konkon) in the title is an onomatopoeia for a fox's bark. Someone needs to inform Ylvis - apparently the Japanese do know what the fox says ;)

Edited by vonPeterhof on 18 January 2014 at 6:29pm



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