Friday, August 28, 2009

ペルソナ4 - Persona 4

This scene taken from the Playstation 2 game "Persona 4".

Background: Set in a small town where a murder has occurred. Among the students of the high school, there is a rumour going around saying that if you look at a TV with the power off at midnight on a rainy day, you will see an image of your soul mate on the screen. The protagonist and his friends decided to try it out for themselves.

( list)

- Japanese text (original)
- Japanese text (in kana)
- English breakdown
- English translation (*taken from the English version of the game, except one part)
- Notes


「逆さにぶら下がってたって何なの? ヤバくない?」

「さかさにぶらさがってたってなんなの? ヤバくない?」

「逆さに・ぶら下がってた・って・何なの? ヤバくない?」
Female student with short hair: “Upside-down – was hanging – [the thing] – what? Is it not freaky?”
(SHORT GIRL: What's up with the body being hung upside-down? That's so freaky!)

ショート refers to a short hair style (ショートカット).

ヤ バい can be used in various situations. Originally it’s used in a negative sense (‘bad, dangerous, scary’). But younger people also use it in a positive way, meaning ‘cool,
good (so good/cool that you’re surprised by how good it is)’. But in this scene, it’s the former usage.

~くない? is used to see if the other person agrees with you. You might also see this as ~くね? (やばい → やばくない? → やばくね?)


「処刑とか、そういうアピール? 怖すぎ~。」

「しょけいとか、そういうアピール? こわすぎ~。」

「処刑・とか・そういう・アピール? 怖すぎ~」
Sitting girl student: “Execution – or such – that kind of – appeal? Too scary~”
(SITTING GIRL: Is it supposed to be like, mimicking an execution? It's messed up...)

ア ピール means to show off something, such as the good points of something. In this case, the girl is asking if the killing was showing off that this was an execution (as opposed to just a murder) by doing that to the body.

Using とか and そういう like this shows she’s uncertain and just guessing.

す ぎ comes from 過ぎる(すぎる), meaning ‘to go beyond, to pass’. Adjective~すぎる means ‘too [adjective]’. In casual situations, the る is dropped. Used for emphasis.




”[Dead] Body – found – the one who – [of the] 3rd year – Konishi – [called] – person – apparently. [A/my] senior – say [it]...”
(My senpai told me it was a third-year named Saki who found the body.)

Written without leaving out anything:

の is ‘the person’ (who found the body) here.

Trailing off like this line and leaving it unfinished (言っていて…) is a casual way of speaking. Lengthening the sound at the end of the word (in this case 言ってて~) is more of a feminine way of speaking.




「よ、よう。あのさ… や・その・大した事・じゃない・んだけど…」
Yousuke Hanamura: “H-hey. Umm... No – well – important thing – isn’t – but...”
(YOSUKE: Y-yo. Um...  It's uh, it's not really that important, but...)

よう is a casual way of greeting or calling out to people used by men.

さ here is being used to delay and draw out what’s been said, and to get or keep the listener’s attention. Used in casual situations.

や=いや(=いいえ), a contracted way of saying ‘no’.




“The truth [is] – I – yesterday – on TV...”
“Oh – I guess [after all] – that... at another time – is fine. Ahaha...”
(Well, yesterday on TV, I... Oh, uhh... Never mind. Look, I'll tell you later. Ahaha...)

やっ ぱ is a contracted form of やっぱり(which is a casual form of やはり). It implies that he thought about saying it, but when make to an earlier decision (not to say).

や (in いいや) expresses the feeling of being said in a carefree/casual manner.




Chie Satonaka
“Yousuke – rumour – heard?”
“[The] case/incident – [of] – first discoverer – [quoting] – [senior] Konishi – [I] heard.”
(CHIE: Yosuke, did you hear the rumor? Saki-senpai's supposedly the one who discovered that body.)

Written out in full, this would be:

ら しい shows that the speaker believes what they had said to be very certain. These are objective views based on information from other sources or their own observations, and not what they suppose or guess.

って is reporting what she has heard from elsewhere.


「だから元気無かったのかな… 今日、学校来てないっぽいし。」

「だからげんきなかったのかな… きょう、がっこうきてないっぽいし。」

「だから・元気・無かった・のかな… 今日・学校・来てない・っぽいし」
“Because [of that] – energy/spirits – did not have – [I] wonder... Today – school – has not come – [it] seems.”
(YOSUKE: I wonder if that's why she looked so down... She doesn't seem to be at school today either.)

っ ぽい here is used like みたいだ, showing the speaker’s guess based on what they’ve experienced (seen, heard, etc.) themselves rather than what others have told them or such.

かな gives a sense of talking to yourself, asking yourself a question.


「あれ? 雪子、今日も家の手伝い?」
「今、ちょっと大変だから… ごめんね」

「あれ? ゆきこ、きょうもいえのでつかい?」
「いま、ちょっとたいへんだから… ごめんね」

「あれ? 雪子・今日・も・家・の・手伝い?」
Chie: “Huh? Yukiko – today – [as well] – home – [at] – helping?”
「今・ちょっと・大変・だから… ごめんね」
Yukiko Amagi: “Now – a little – difficult – because... sorry.”
(CHIE: Huh? Hey Yukiko, are you helping out at the inn today too?
YUKIKO: Things are really out of hand right now... I'm sorry.)




“Somewhat – Amagi – today – especially – tension – is not low?”
(YOSUKE: Is it just me or does Yukiko-san seem way stressed out today?)

Here is the ~くね? construction mentioned above again.

なんか is used to say that you kind of get an impression of something, but might not be sure exactly why.

とっくべつ is the same as 特別(とくべつ).

テ ンション, in this case at least, is nothing to do with the English ‘tension’. As a word used by young people, テンション refers to spirits, mood, excitement.

テンションが低い = low spirits
テンションが高い = high spirits
テンションを上げる(下げる) = to raise (lower) spirits
ハイテンション = ‘high tension’(=テンションが高い)




Chie: “Seems busy – doesn’t she – lately....”
“By the way – yesterday[‘s] – night... saw [it]?”
(CHIE: I guess they're running her ragged... By the way, did you see... it... last night?)

さ is used here to get the listener’s attention.


「や、まあその… お前はどうだったんだよ。」

「や、まあその… おまえはどうだったんだよ。」

「や・まあ・その… おまえは・どう・だったんだよ」
“No – well – that’s... you – how – was [it].”
(YOSUKE: Huh...? Uh, well... What about you?)

や、まあその… are just filler words here, stalling for time.

Ending with んだよ is a more masculine manner of speech. Here, it makes him sound like he’s being a bit defensive and deflecting the question, trying to change the subject as to not talk about himself.


「見た! 見えたんだって! 女の子!」

「みた! みえたんだって! おんなのこ!」

Chie: “[I] saw [it]! [I could] see [it]! [A] girl!”
(CHIE: I did! I seriously saw a girl!)

んだって is being used for emphasis.

The difference between 見 and 見えた is that, while you can use 見る for something you intentionally looked at or watched as well, 見える means that something was visible without you necessarily trying to see it. Or alternatively, that she was able to see it, since she didn’t know if she would or not.




Chie: “... But – person of fate – woman – [that thing] – what [sort/kind of] – thing?”
(CHIE: But... my soul mate’s a girl? What's that supposed to mean?)

って here is an abbreviation of というのは or ということは.

どゆ事 is an abbreviation of どういう事.




“Who – as far as – didn’t know – but – clearly – [a] girl – was [and]...”
(CHIE: I couldn't quite tell who it was, but it was a girl for sure...)

分かんない is an abbreviation of 分からない.

The で at the end comes from だ, and is the conjunctive tense which shows she still has more to say.




“[Her] hair – fluffy [and] – shoulders – about. And – our [school’s] – uniform – [it] was [/she had] [and]...”
(CHIE: Her hair was brown, about shoulder length. She was wearing our school uniform, and...)


~(ふわっ)とする is used with adverbs to describe characteristics (in this case, her hair being fluffy/puffed up). For example:

きちんとした部屋 = a tidy [neat] room
体がほっそりとしている = [Her/his] body is slim

These adverbs can use used with verbs other than する.

ウチ is used to refer to a group the speaker belongs to (in this case, the school).


「それ… もしかしたら、俺が見たのと同じかも。」

「それ… もしかしたら、おれがみたのとおなじかも。」

「それ… もしかしたら・俺が・見た・の・と同じ・かも」
“That... perhaps – I – saw – [the one] – the same – maybe.”
(YOSUKE: Hey... I think that's the same person I saw.)

かも is short for かもしれない(かもしれません).

の here refers to ‘the thing/what [I saw]’.

もしかしたら…かも(しれない)is a set phrase for expressing the speaker’s guess (but they don’t have much certainty about their conclusion).




“[To] me – more – blurry – only – couldn’t see – but...”
(YOSUKE: I couldn't make out that much detail, though. The image I saw was much blurrier.)

し か…ない means ‘only.../nothing except... [whatever is mention]’. As in ひとつしかない, there’s only one (and no more). So here, the only way he could see it was dimly/vaguely. しか will always come with a negative verb.




“Huh – then – Hanamura – as well – after all – [was able to] see it!?”
(CHIE: Wait, so you saw it too!?)



「しかも同じ子…? 運命の相手が同じって事?」

「しかもおなじこ…? うんめいのあいてがおなじってこと?」

「しかも・同じ・子…? 運命の人が・同じ・って・事?」
“What’s more – the same – girl...? Person of fate – the same – [quoting] – thing?”
(CHIE: And we saw the same girl...? Does that mean... we have the same soul mate?)



YOSUKE: How should I know?

「知るか(よ)」is a phrase similar to “how would I know?”




“So – you – saw [it]?”
(YOSUKE: How 'bout you? Did you see it?)

で = それで

By using は here, it contrasts with what Chie has said.



“The two [people] – [to] – yesterday evening – [of] – thing/incident – talked [about].”
(NARRATION: > You told them about what happened last night.)

You can use 二人 to refer to a pair or couple of them, in addition to using it to count the number of people.




“You – saw – [the thing] – also – the same – person – seems [to be]...”
(YOSUKE: It sounds like we all saw the same person...)

見たの = 見たもの
っぽい = みたいだ、のようだ




“However – strange – voice – [that thing about] – aside – TV – [into] – was sucked into – [the thing about] – you...”
(YOSUKE: But weird voices aside, what was that about getting sucked into your TV...?)

しっかし just means the same as しかし, but written like this shows it’s spoken with more emotion or cheerfully. E.g. すっごい for すごい.

っ てのは (short for ということは・というものは) is used to bring up something that has already been mentioned and add something of your own to it.


「動揺しすぎ? じゃなきゃ、寝落ちだな。」

「どうようしすぎ? じゃなきゃ、ねおちだな」

「動揺・しすぎ? じゃなきゃ・寝落ちだな」
“[Were you] agitated/unsettled – too [much]? If not – falling asleep.”
(YOSUKE: Were you that tired last night? You must've just fallen asleep in front of your TV.)

寝落ち is a word meaning to fall asleep in the middle of doing something, or to stop doing something and go to sleep.




“But – a dream – even for – interesting – talk/story – is, isn't it – that.”
(CHIE: That'd be one interesting dream, though.)

けど is just the same as だけど.


「”テレビが小さいから入れない”ってとことか 変にリアルでさ。」

「”テレビがちいさいからはいれない”ってとことか へんにリアルでさ」

“TV – small – because – couldn’t enter – [quoting] – part – such as – strangely – real – is [and...].”
(CHIE: I like the part where you got stuck 'cause your TV was too small. That's pretty realistic.)

ってとことか is similar to というところなど.

変に (strangely, oddly): despite being a strange dream, that part is oddly realistic.




“If – it were big...”
(CHIE: Well, if it had been bigger, the-)




“Saying that [reminds me] – us [our family] – TV – big [TV] – [how about] buying – [quoting] – have been talking [about].”
(CHIE: Ohhh, that reminds me. Our family's been talking about buying a bigger TV.)

ウチ = ‘my family’

テレビ大きいの = テレビ大きい(サイズの)もの

って話してんだ = という話をしているんだ




“Oh. Now – buying replacements – very – a lot – because.”
(YOSUKE: Oh yeah? Well, a lot of people are upgrading nowadays.)

すげー = すごい、すごく

へえ = impressed or surprised at something someone has said or done. Used kind of like そうか or なるほど.


「なんなら、帰りに見てくか? ウチの店、品揃え強化月間だし。」

「なんなら、かえりにみてくか? ウチのみせ、しなぞろえきょうかげっかんだし」

「なんなら・帰り・に・見てくか? ウチの店・品揃え・強化・月刊・だし」
“If you want – way home – [on] – go look? Our shop – product line-up – strengthening/building up – month – it is.”
(YOSUKE: Wanna go check 'em out on the way back? We're beefing up our electronics department this month.)

帰りに見てく = 帰りに見ていく
Here, ~ていく means to go something on the way to somewhere else [i.e., to do something before you go home].

ウチの店 = ‘our shop’


「見てく、見てく! 親、家電疎いし、早く大画面でカンフー映画みたい!」

「みてく、みてく! おや、かでんうといし、はやくだいがめんでカンフーえいがみたい!」

「見てく・見てく! 親・家電・疎い・し、早く・大画面・で・カンフー映画・みたい!」
“Go look – go look! [My] parents – home electronics – unfamiliar [with]/not knowledgeable [about] – [and] – quickly/soon – big screen – [on] – kung-fu films – want to see!”
(CHIE: Oh, definitely! My parents don't know anything about electronics, and I've just gotta see my kung-fu movies on the big screen!)


見てく、見てく! = Repeating something twice is a common manner of speech showing excitement and emotion.

家電疎い is a shortened version of 家電に疎い (not knowledgeable about electronics).



CHIE: Hwa-taaaa!




“Very – big – [ones] – even/up to – have. You – easily – seem able to enter – [ones] – such as – hahaha.”
(YOSUKE: We've got some pretty big ones in stock. I bet they'd be big enough for you to fit into, hehe.)

デカいの = の, here, refers to the TVs. デカい is colloquial word, meaning the same as 大きい (large, big).

まで is used to show the range of TVs they have.



“The two [people] – at all – do not believe [you] – seems....”
(NARRATION: > They don't believe you at all...)



“Everyone – [with] – Junes – [to] – stop by [and then go home] – decided [to do].”
(> You decided to go to Junes with the others.)

事にする means to decide to or be determined to do something.



Similar to a “close reading” but rather than trying to interpret the literary meaning of the text, instead looking and breaking down the language being used. Take a scene from Japanese language media (books, films, drama, anime, manga, games), and look at the language used in it. The scenes will ideally be from early on near the beginning, so it’s easier to get into if you don’t know the story and there’s less added subtext or context to hamper understanding without prior knowledge.

Some notes:

- The most basic grammar won’t be talked about ("AはBです", etc.; what you would probably learn by going through a basic textbook like Genki)

- I’m going to assume the reader can at least read the kana, so there won't be romaji versions of sentences

- Except for certain words I think might need some explaining, vocabulary won’t be individually defined

- Translations are just there to help with the understanding of the text, and so will sound strange and unnatural in English, since the goal is to look the Japanese rather than making a fluent translation

That said, if there’s anything which isn’t clear, you can leave a comment about it.


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