Makoto and Chinatsu meet again
Chinatsu, this day?
a-long-time a-first-in, Chinatsu
I ‘self make-sense ?
older-brother ‘s woman?
Chinatsu, long time no see
Do you know who I am?
No, that’s not it!
ah, ah, ah… kitten is
ah, ah, ah… it’s a kitten
千なつ、おぼえて ない だろ
さいごに あったのは みつのとき だもんな
この 人は おまえのおかあさん だ
Chinatsu, remember doesn’t-exist probably
last met ? age-3 ‘s time is because right?
this person ? you ‘s mother is
eh! is-different ! is-different !
Chinatsu, probably you don’t remember
The reason is you were 3 the last time you met
she is your mother
eh! hold it ! hold it !
きょうから この いえに すむ ことに なった
おれたちの(また いとこ)に あたる しんせき だ
A free loader?
today-from this-house-in reside thing became
our ‘s (again cousin) kin relation is
starting today she’s going to live here
Her name is Kohata Makoto
She is family… our second cousin.
よろしく おねがい します
ああ、もしかして こないだ おかあさんが いってた 人？
ahh, by-any-chance the-other-day mom ! talked-about person?
that’s right, that’s right
direction no-sense-of the-one?
that’s right, that’s right
nice to meet you
ahh, by any chance, is she the person mom talked about the other day?
the one with no sense of direction?
To listen to a word in Japanese, highlight it and press the speaker icon.
the thing or essence that makes something what it is
something breaks apart to make itself understandable
different, wrong, incorrect
seems; I think; I guess; I wonder; I hope
the oldest; the earliest
time, moment, occasion
…もん comes from …もの, which gives a reason for something
a casual form of ‘you’
a person that is staying without payment
house (physical building), in contrast to うち, which is ‘home’
to live, to reside
second cousin (again-cousin)
to be a relative of a person
the other day; lately; recently
casual: この間 [このあいだ]; formal: 先日 [せんじつ]
it’s wrong! there’s a difference!
hello; good day; good afternoon; As for this day, how is it?
こん: this…; にち: day; は: ?, as for …? …
This is a tricky expression to translate because we use it in so many different situations for which we have a different expressions in English; in general, it means ‘I look forward to our relationship’. Hence, it is an appropriate expression to say after meeting someone for the first time (glad to meet you), after being invited into a house or interview (thank you for having me), after accepting a job or an award (I appreciate it), or when accepting a marriage proposal (I do).
よろしく: well, properly, suitably; おねがい: favor; します: to do
P&T notes – tricky language
In any langugage, there are tons of situations in which we just don’t say or pronounce words ‘correctly’, meaning in the way in which we would find them in a textbook. This might be because, for example, we are talking fast, or because mispronouncing the word is a fad, or because we speak a dialect in which we pronunce the word in a way different from the standard. What is a Japanese person to do when they find something like “whatchamacallit”, “oh, my gad”, or “let’s do lunch”? Languages are always changing because we are always changing them, and it is hard for a textbook or dictionary to keep up. Japanese works the same way.
In the course of a translation we are bound to find words or expressions that don’t seem to make sense. We should expect to find many more examples of this in a manga about young people talking casually, like “flying witch”, than in a novel or a textbook. The following are a few examples we will find in the course of this first story of “Flying Witch”.
In the first scene, Makoto steps of a bus and comments to Shito: 「四月なのにこんなにのこってますよ、ゆき」. The issue here is that 「-ってます」 is not a verb inflection. It isn’t the case that we just ‘heard’ it wrong because the people that produce an anime from a manga often use the manga itself as a guide, and if both the manga and the anime have the same pronunciation, we have to assume that that was, indeed, the intended pronunciation.
We can solve the case of 「-ってます」 quite simply, though: it is the fast way of saying 「-って います」, which often translates to the English ending “-ing”. We will often find this ‘silent’ い in「わかってます」 and many others. Hence, when we find spellings that are not in a dictionary, we might suspect that the character is not speaking entirely proper Japanese, in the same way that we are unlikely to speak entirely proper English when we talk to a friend.
Another way in which we will find strange words is when they are abbreviated or have an alternative spelling. Some of these abbreviated forms are common enough that they have their own dictionary entry or appear as alternative forms of the standard word, e.g.,
I knew it! as expected!
I’m sorry (lit. I don’t feel at ease)
I don’t know (lit. it doesn’t make sense)
Look for うっさい and とこ as alternative forms of うるさい and ところ.
slang and dialect
Clearly,「なんでもねえ」is a casual way of saying 「なんでもない」; the contex should make that clear. However, the issue here is that we are replacing the negative suffix -ない with what appears to be the sentence-ending agreement-seeker particle -ねえ so, depending on the context, this can lead to some confusion.
We should also expect fairly strange Japanese if a character speaks a dialect. Some dialects have a lot in common with standard Japanese, but some others don’t. In ‘Flying Witch” there is the extreme case of Keiji, the father of Kei and Chinatsu, who uses the tsugaru dialect; Makoto cannot understand him at all, and has to rely on translations to standard Japanese from her cousins.
the other way around
Amusingly, it is common to find in animes misspellings of English words, which might be a cause of confusion for people who are learning English and don’t realize it is a misspelling. In many cases, the misspellings are intentional to avoid copyright infringements, like writing “WcDonald’s” for “McDonald’s” [CBR]. However, some words seem to be unintentionally misspelled because they are not brand names, and appear in some unexpected places. For example, who would like to ask for information at a mall information booth that can’t spell ‘information’, or attend a university that licenses sport’s apparel that misspells ‘university’?