I strongly encourage you to post any feedback, corrections or suggestions you may have about the guide in this forum, or talk to me directly via IRC (#[email protected]) or MSN/WLM (j-pop_addict[at]hotmail.com) if you have any other questions about Japanese.

 

Contents

 

Introduction
Grammar Guide Guide Supplements Dissected Source Material
Alphabets
Grammar Part 1: Particles
Essential Vocabulary
Grammar Part 2: Conjugation
Grammar Part 3: Clauses
Grammar Terminology
Confusing Vocabulary
Additional Grammar Topics
Old Japanese
Downloadable Version

E-manga from J-comi

 

Dissected Excerpts

 

The purpose of this document is to take some excerpts from genuine source material (not just stuff I made up to help teach you), then give you my translations and dissections, so you can get a bit of a head start on parsing the grammar before studying on your own.  However, if you have not finished all of the documents yet (actually, even if you have), do not expect to be able to understand all of these examples.  Since they're from real sources, they assume the reader is fluent and use all the tricks in the book, just like any native speaker in his right mind.  On the other hand, I've gone out of my way to pick excerpts without any strong style, plot or characterization so that they can accurately represent the language in general and require no context or prior knowledge on your part.

 

The sources I've picked are, go figure, visual novels I've personally translated.  If you don't read visual novels, do not expect to have heard of any of them.

 

The format is blocks of: original Japanese line, dissection, hyperliteral translation, then literal translation (dissection and hyperliteral are in tiny font).  Be aware that the literal will convey accurate connotations, tones of voice, etc, but the hyperliteral often will not.

 

Dissections are written with particles and grammatical words in brackets [], verb forms in parentheses (), and noun phrases which end clauses in curly brackets {}.  That should help you ignore the parts you aren't ready for yet.

 

Excerpt 1: Entry from Sumika's Picture Diary from MuvLuv Extra Opening Scene

 

6月10日(雨)

six month ten day (rain)

month six, day ten (rain)

June 10th (rainy)

 

大変なことしちゃったよ。

serious/terrible [adjective] thing/matter/incident to do(-chau(past)) [emphasis].

I regrettably did a terrible thing.

I did something terrible.

 

アンモナイトの化石をこわしちゃった。

ammonite [of] fossil [object] to break/destroy(-chau(past)).

I regrettably broke an ammonite fossil.

I broke an ammonite fossil.

 

すごく高そうで、どうしたらいいのかわからなかった。

amazing/incredible(adverb) high/expensive(apparent) [adjective] fossil [describes verb], what to do(-tara) good [question] to know(negative(past)).

It appears incredibly expensive, so I did not know “if I did what it'd be good?”

It looked really expensive, and I didn't know what to do.

 

そしたらタケルちゃんが来て、助けてくれると思ったのに、先生に言いふらした。ひどいよ............

and then(-tara) Takeru-chan [subject] to come(-te form), to help/save(-te kureru) [quote as object] to think(past) [even though], teacher [location] to say harmful things(past). mean/cruel [emphasis]............

When/after that happened Takeru-chan came and, even though I thought he would help me, told the teacher bad things.  So mean............

Then Takeru-chan came, and I thought he was going to help me, but he tattled to the teacher instead.  That was so mean............

 

たんにんの先生やさしいから、だいじょうぶって言ってたけど、高いからベンショーだよ。

I [of] assigned [of] teacher [subject] kind/gentle [because], alright [quote] to say(-teru(past)) but, expensive [because] compensation [emphasis].

Because my assigned teacher is kind, he said 'It's alright,' but it's expensive so compensation.

My teacher was nice, so he said it was alright, but I still had to pay him back for it.

 

私のおこづかいじゃ足りないよ〜。

I [of] allowance [in the case of] to suffice(negative) [emphasis]~.

With my allowance, it is insufficient~.

My allowance isn't enough to pay for that〜

 

カタツムリ(生)でごまかそうとしたけど、ムリだよ。

snail live [using] teacher [object] to trick/deceive{try to(past)} but, impossible [emphasis].

He tried to deceive the teacher with a live snail, but it wasn't possible.

So Takeru-chan tried replacing it with a live snail, but it didn't work.

 

Excerpt 2: Short Conversation from MOON's Day 14 School Life Dream Sequence

 

晴香「ねぇ、今日クラスに転校してきたあの子さぁ…」
Haruka: "you [prompts attention], today [time of action] class [location] to transfer(te-kuru(past)) {subordinate clause} that guy [emphasis]...”

Haruka: “Hey, that guy who came and transferred into our class today...”

Haruka: "Hey, about that kid who transferred into our class today..."

 

郁未「なによっ!?」
Ikumi: "what [emphasis]!?”
Ikumi: "What!?”

Ikumi: "What!!?"

 

晴香「うわぁ、どうしたの、あの子となんかあったの?」
Haruka: "[expresses shock], [what] to do/be(past), that guy [with] you [subject] something to exist(past) [question]?”
Haruka: “Uwaa!  What happened?  Was there something with him/between you and him?”

Haruka: "Woah, what's wrong? Did something happen between you and him?"

 

郁未「なんにもないわよっ…」

Ikumi: "[nothing] to exist(negative) [feminine emphasis]…”
Ikumi: “There was nothing...”

Ikumi: "Nothing happened..."

 

まさか知らなかったのだ。あいつが転校生で、しかも同じクラスだったなんて…。

unthinkable to know(negative(past)).  that person [subject] transfer student [describes verb], [not only] same class [location] to be (past)

Unthinkably, I didn't know.  That guy was a transfer student, and in the same class.

I can't believe I didn't know...not only was he was a transfer student, but in my class...

 

晴香「なんか雰囲気がさぁ、変わってていいと思わない?」
Haruka: "something atmosphere [subject] [emphasis]... you [subject] to change(-teru(-te)) good [quote object] to think(negative) [question]?”

Haruka: “Something about the atmosphere...  Don't you think changing it would be good?”

Haruka: "Don't you think it'd be nice if something about this place changed?"

 

郁未「思わないっ!」
Ikumi: "to think(negative)!”

Ikumi: “I don't think so!”

Ikumi: "No I don't!!"

 

私は乱暴に弁当のフタを開け、がつがつと食べ始める。
I [subject] violent [adverb] lunch box [of] lid [object] to open(-i form) greedily [with] to eat(compound verb)to start.
I violently take the lid off/open my lunch box and begin to eat greedily.

I violently opened my lunch box and began eating.

 

郁未「大体晴香はいつもそうじゃないっ」
Ikumi: "besides, Haruka [subject] always [like that] [rhetorical negative question]”
Ikumi: “Besides, Haruka, aren't you always like that?”

Ikumi: "Besides, aren't you always like that Haruka?"

 

晴香「なにが?」
Haruka: "What [subject] [like that]?”
Haruka: “What's like that?”

Haruka: "Like what?"

 

郁未「なんか変わってると、あの子イイ、あの子イイって」
Ikumi: "you [of] something to change(-teru) [quote object], that guy/girl good [quote], that guy/girl good [quote] {aspect}
Ikumi: “Your way of saying 'Something's changing,' 'that guy's nice,' 'that girl's nice'...”

Ikumi: "Saying things like 'something's changing' or 'that guy's nice' or 'that girl's nice'."

 

晴香「だって普通の男の子なんかおもしろくないじゃない」
Haruka: "[previous line as topic] normal [of] boy somehow interesting(not) [rhetorical negative question]”
Haruka: “In that case, aren't normal boys somehow uninteresting?

Haruka: "But aren't normal boys uninteresting?"

 

郁未「男の子なんてねぇ、面白くなくていいのよ」
Ikumi: "boy [that which is] [emphatic prompting attention], interesting(not) good [emphatic].”
Ikumi: “Boys are fine uninteresting.”

Ikumi: "Boys don't have to be interesting."

 

晴香「郁未の考え方のほうが絶対オカシイわよ」
Haruka: "Ikumi [possession] to think(-i form) {way of} [subject] absolutely strange.”
Haruka: “Ikumi's way of thinking is definitely stranger.”

Haruka: "Ikumi, your reasoning is definitely stranger than mine."

 

郁未「私もそのお言葉、晴香にそのまま返してあげる」
Ikumi: "I [additional subject] that word/phrase, Haruka [location] that {state of being} to return(-te ageru).”

Ikumi: “I return those words to Haruka as they are.”

Ikumi: "I'd say the exact same thing to you, Haruka."

 

そうやって弁当を挟んで言い合いしていると…
[like that] to do(conjunctive -te) lunch box [object] us [location] to hold between(conjunctive -te) to say(compound verb)each other(-te iru) [when]…
As we're acting/behaving/talking like that, holding lunch boxes between us, and talking to each other...

As we argued while eating our lunches...

 

「ねぇ」
“[prompts attention]”
“Hey.”

"Hey."

 

横から声。
side [from] voice [subject] to exist
There is a voice from the side.

I hear a voice to my side.

 

郁未「来たわ、一番オカシイのが」
Ikumi: "to come(past), most strange [thing] [subject].”
Ikumi: “The strangest one came/has come/arrived.”

Ikumi: "He's here; the strangest one of all."

 

顔を見ずともわかった。
he [of] face [object] to see(-zu form) to know/understand(past).
I knew without even seeing his face.

I could tell without seeing his face.

 

晴香「わっ、転校生君じゃないっ! なにか用っ!?」
Haruka: "[expresses shock]!  transfer student-kun to be [rhetorical negative question]!  us [location] something business/need/errand to exist!?”
Haruka: “Wah!  Aren't you the transfer student!?  Do you need something from/have business with us?”

Haruka: "Wah! Aren't you the transfer student!? What do you want!!?"

 

少年「いやべつに用はないんだけど、ご一緒してもいいかなぁーって」
Boy: “no particularly business/need/errand [subject] to exist(negative) however, together lunch to do(-temo) good [wonder if] [quote] to think(past).”
Boy: “I have no particular need/business, however I thought 'I wonder if having lunch together would be okay.' ”

Boy: "No, I don't really want anything, but I wondered if it'd be okay to eat together."

 

郁未「いいわけ…」 (she's interrupted, but the full line is almost certainly いいわけない)
Ikumi: "good {interpretation} to exist(negative)…”
Ikumi: “No way that would be good.”

Ikumi: "Not in a-..."

 

晴香「どうぞ、どうぞっ! あ、椅子コレ使ってね」
Haruka: "[ritual phrase] [ritual phrase]!  Ah, chair this to use(-te form).”
Haruka: “Go ahead, go ahead!  Ah, use this chair.”

Haruka: "Go ahead, go ahead!!  Ah, use this chair."

 

もう、晴香は…。
[expresses dislike] Haruka [subject]…
Come on, Haruka...

Don't do that, Haruka...

 

少年「いやぁ、まだ友達いなくてさぁ」
Boy: “Weeell, [not yet] friend to be(negative) [emphasis].”
Boy: “Weeell, I don't have friends yet.”

Boy: "Well...I don't have any friends here yet..."

 

だからって女子のとこ、くるか、ふつー。

therefore [quote] girl [of] {place} to come [question] normal [question]

You say that's why  you come to where girls are? Is that normal?

So you come talk to the girls first?

 

 

The last excerpt below is from a more difficult and stylish source, so it's harder to link literal meaning with intent.  Hence, I've used my actual translations for it instead of stiff literal, and the hyperliteral translations are closer to acceptable literal.  So in addition to figuring out what the lines mean, you'll now get to see a lot of basic adaptation.

 

Excerpt 3: The “Brightest Flames” scene in Sekien no Inganock or Inganock of the Brightest Flame

 

赤い世界。 空から溢れる赫炎の。

red world.  sky [from] to overflow {sekien} [of].

A red world of brilliant flames overflowing from the sky.

A red world.  A sky overflowing with the brightest of flames.

 

──高度があるからだろうか。 ──ここの夕刻の空だけは、どことも違う。

──height [subject] to exist [because] [likelihood] [question].  ──here [of] evening [of] sky [only] [subject] where [from] [also] to be different.

──Is it because there's a height?  ──The evening sky here is different from anywhere else.

──It must be because of our altitude.  ──The evening sky looks nothing like this anywhere else.

 

──上層階段公園。 ──現在のギーにとっての始まりの場所。

──upper stratum stairs park.  ──present [of] Gii [to/for someone] [of] to begin(-i form) [of] place.

──Upper tier staircase park.  ──A place of beginning of/for the present Gii.

──The Upper Tier Staircase Parks.  ──Gii was reborn here a long time ago.

 

あの日、あの時、10年前。 その瞬間をギーはこの近くで迎えた。

that day, that time, ten year before.  that moment [object] Gii [subject] this vicinity [situation] to go and meet(past).

On that day, that time, ten years before.  Gii met that moment at this area.

On that day, at that time, ten years ago.  Gii was near here when it happened.

 

ここよりも上の層プレートだ。 上層階段第3公園。

here [more] [also] up [of] stratum plate.  upper stratum stairs number three park.

A tier plate even more up than this place.  Upper Tier Staircase Number 3 Park.

A higher Tier Plate than this.  The Third Upper Tier Staircase Park.

 

無数の瓦礫の中で。 崩落の轟音が生み出す無音の世界に。

countless [of] rubble [of] inside [situation].  collapse [of] roaring noise [subject] to bring about {silence} [of] world [location].

At the inside of endless rubble.  In a world of silence which roars of collapse bring about.

A soundless world brought about by the roars of collapse.  He'd been within the infinite rubble.

 

【ギー】(......思い出す、か。今も)

【Gii】(......to remember, [question].  now [also])

【Gii】(......I remember it?  Even now?)

【Gii】(......I can still remember that?)

 

その時のことを明確には思い出せない。 既に断片化されてしまった10年前の記憶。

that time [of] facts [object] clear [adverb] [emphasis] to remember(potential(negative)).  already [adverb] fragments to change(passive(-te shimau(past)) {ten year before [of] memory}.

He cannot clearly remember facts of that time.  A memory of ten years before which already changed into fragments.

He couldn't remember that time very well.  His memories of ten years ago were already fragmentary.

 

第3公園。 そこにはひとつの医院があって──

number three park.  there [location] [subject] one [of] hospital [subject] to exist(-te form)──

Number 3 Park.  One hospital exists in that place──

The Third Park.  There was a hospital there──

 

【キーア】......ギー?

【Kia】......Gii?

【Kia】......Gii?

【Kia】......Gii?

 

【キーア】この音、何かしら......。 とてもきれいで、とても......。

【Kia】this sound, what [formal question]......  very pretty [transition], very......

【Kia】This sound, what is it......?  It's very pretty, and very......

【Kia】What's this sound......?  It's so pretty, but so......

 

【キーア】どこか、悲しげな......。

【Kia】somewhere, sad [adjective] part/aspect [subject] to exist......

【Kia】Somewhere, there's a sad part of it......

【Kia】Sad, somehow......

 

【キーア】......オルガンの音......?

【Kia】......organ [of] sound......?

【Kia】......organ sounds......?

【Kia】......the sound of an organ......?

 

音がするの、と少女は言った。 ギーは耳を澄ませる。

sound [intuitive subject] to detect [feminine emphasis], [quote as object] girl [subject] to say(past).  Gii [subject] ear [object] to clear(causative).

The girl said, “I hear a sound.”  Gii makes his ears clear.

She spoke of a sound.  Gii cleared his ears.

 

音──

sound──

A sound──

A sound──

 

旋律──

melody──

A melody──

A melody──

 

周囲に満ちる日暮れの赤色の中から、 確かにひとつの旋律が聞こえていた。

surroundings [location] to fill {sun to set(-i form) [of] red} [of] inside [from], certain [adverb] one [of] melody [intuitive subject] to hear(-te iru(past))

He certainly was hearing one melody from inside the red of the setting sun which fills the surroundings.

Within the red of the setting sun filling the surroundings, he certainly could hear a melody.

 

機関式オルガンのものだろうか。 組み合わさった幾つもの音が旋律を奏でて。 水辺に佇むギーとキーアへと、風が届ける。

engine type organ [of] thing [likelihood] [question].  to join together(past) {several [of] sound} [subject] melody [object] to play music(-te form).  water's edge [location] to stand/remain still {Gii [and] Kia} [toward], wind [subject] to deliver.

That of an engine-type organ?  Several sounds which were joined together play a melody.  The wind delivers it to Gii and Kia who stand at the water's edge.

A number of notes put together to create a melody.  Was it from an Engine-Type Organ?  The wind carried it toward Gii and Kia at the water's edge.

 

けれども、美しさを感じない。 届く音はあまりに僅かで。

however, beautiful(noun) [object] to feel(not).  to reach {sound} [subject] excessive [adverb] faint/subtle [situation].

However, they don't feel beautifulness.  The sound which reaches them is excessively faint.

However, they couldn't feel its beauty.  The sound that reached them was too faint.

 

【キーア】......聞こえない?

【Kia】......to hear(negative)?

【Kia】......you don't hear it?

【Kia】......you can't hear it?

 

【キーア】なんて、儚い......。 今にも消えそうに......。

【Kia】[such a thing], faint/ephemeral......  now [location] [also] to disappear(apparent) [adverb]......

【Kia】Such a faint melody......  Seemingly as if it will disappear even now......

【Kia】Such a faint......  As if it could disappear at any moment......

 

【キーア】きれいなのに......。 寂しくて、悲しげな......音......。

【Kia】pretty [thing which is] [despite]......  lonely(-te form), sad [adjective]......sound......

【Kia】Even though it's a pretty thing......  A lonely, and sad......sound......

【Kia】It's quite pretty......  And yet, it's also......sad, and lonely......

 

【キーア】......いや。

【Kia】......no.

【Kia】......no.

【Kia】......no.

 

 

──嫌。

──no.

──no.

──'No.'

 

【キーア】こんなにもここは美しいのに。 この音が、とても、似合ってる......。

【Kia】this much here [subject] beautiful [despite].  this sound [subject], very, to suit/be appropriate(-teru)......

【Kia】Even though this place is this beautiful.  This sound is suiting it very much......

【Kia】This place is so beautiful, and this sound suits it so well, but......

 

【キーア】......そんなの、悲しいわ。

【Kia】......that [sort of thing], sad [feminine emphasis].

【Kia】......a sound like that is just sad.

【Kia】......that's just so sad.

──ああ。 ──そうだね。

──aaaa.  ──that is so [emphasis].

──Aaah.  ──That's right.

──Aaah... ──That's true.

 

旋律が悲しみを奏でているのなら。 それは、この赤い美しさにとても似合う。

melody [subject] to be sad(-i form) [object] to play music(-te iru) {fact} [if/when].  that [subject], this red beautiful(noun) [object] very to suit.

If the fact is the melody is playing sadness/music about sadness, then that suits this red beautifulness very well.

If the melody was one of sadness, it would suit the red beauty well.

 

夜を待つ間のわずかな時間、 ほんの一時だけ姿を見せる赫炎の世界は。

night [object] to wait {period of time} [of] slight/little [adjective] time, only [of] one hour [only] form/appearance [object] to show {sekien} [of] world [subject]

The slight time which is a period of waiting for night, the world of brilliant flames which show their form only for a mere hour...

In the sliver of time before evening, in the world where the brightest flame showed itself for such a short time...

 

とても、悲しげで。 とても、儚いように思えてならない。

very, sad [transition].  very, transient/ephemeral {as if} to think(potential(-te form)) nothing but to be

One can think nothing of it but as if it were very sad and very transient.

It was very sad.  It could only be thought of as ephemeral.