Wednesday, 27 March 2013

English vs 日本語 #1: 黒柳徹子の「窓ぎわのトットちゃん」(Totto-chan by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi)

Just before I moved, I wanted to do a line by line comparison of various books for people learning Japanese.  But I moved so....

Please remember, you need to know at least hiragana and katakana, plus have the ability to look up kanji to make the most of this. I'm definitely not putting romaji in here.

Last bit before I start: I'm doing a line by line because I want you all to be able to check the Japanese version against the English translation. Try to understand why each sentence was written like that.

Alright, without further ado (suddenly I hear applause), the first three paragraphs of Totto-chan!

-Start-

The Railroad Station
はじめての駅

They got off the Oimachi train at Jiyugaoka Station, and Mother took Totto-chan by the hand to lead her through the gate.
自由が丘の駅で、大井町線から降りると、ママは、トットちゃんの手をひっぱって、改札口を出ようとした。

She had hardly ever been on a train before and was reluctant to give up the precious ticket she was clutching.
トットちゃんは、それまで、あまり電車に乗ったことがなかったから、大切に握って切符をあげちゃうのはもったいないなと思った。

"May I keep it" Totto-chan asked the ticket collector.
そこで、改札口のおじさんに
「この切符、もらっちゃいけない?」
と聞いた。

"No you can't," he replied, taking it from her.
おじさんは、
「ダメだよ」
というと、トットちゃんの手から、切符を取りあげた。

-End-

If you have any suggestions on how to improve the format, feel free to tell me. The next book will probably be Lola Rose (unless I find T.A. Barron's Merlin series in English in time).

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