April 18, 2007

Time to shake off some rust.

Steven is working on a little translation, and I thought I'd put in my two cents.


Sekai wo ooini moriageru tame no Suzumiya Haruhi no dan

He's mostly right. This ties back into one of my old threads about relative clauses.

The most basic form of this sentence fragment is...

涼宮ハルヒの団 - Suzumiya Haruhi no dan - Suzumiya Haruhi's group/brigade. In this case, the no is possessive. (another useful way of think about the no, it that it allows "Suzumiya Haruhi" to modify "group" similar to the way an adjective would in an English sentence)

The beginning of the fragment...

世界を大いに盛り上げる - sekai wo ooini moriageru - is a complete sentence that says "to completely/greatly stir up the world."

The definition of "function" or "reason" for tame is basically accurate, but I don't think it conveys the full meaning. Think of tame as a way of saying "for the purpose of", "for...", or "in order to."

The other no between tame and Suzumiya is not a possissive, but definitely a noun modifier. Combining the complete sentence with the tame and the no gives you a relative clause that modifies "Suzumiya Haruhi's group."

Putting that into an English fragment...

Haruhi Suzumiya's group for (the purpose of) completely stirring up the world

The reason tame doesn't show up in a lot of dictionaries is that it's not really a free-standing word.

It has come to my attention that tame is in fact a word in and of itself, but I would like to add, in my defense, that it is rarely if ever used without a particle of some sort. Ni mostly, but in this case no.

Posted in Japanese Language by: Will at 04:58 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 I posted a comment on wonderduck's thread on the same topic, so sorry if I'm being repetitive. You do a good job of explaining this, but I have a caveat and a note.

As I said in the wonderduck thread, "stir up" seems like a clunker of a definition for moriageru. It's not actually incorrect, in the sense that moriageru could certainly be translated that way in some circumstances, but it seems really off to me. "Liven up", "enliven", and "brighten [up]" would all be better, I think, if you are looking to get the word across. Even "Overload with fun" is closer than "stir up", which is usually attached to the word "trouble" in English.

As for tame.. I would be very suspicious of a J-E dictionary that didn't have tame in it. It has to be among the several hundred most used words in Japanese, and you're unlikely to get through an arbitrary episode of anime without hearing it a few times.

Tame is actually a fine freestanding word, meaning something like "benefit". This is really clear in the common set phrase "tame ni naru" which means something like "beneficial". This actually explains the more common use "in order to" pretty well- ultra literally it would be something like "for the benefit of this purpose".

From there it's not hard to see how it might also mean "because" (I am hesitant to say that it evolved into that meaning as I am not sure of the chronology) though there isn't a satisfying ultra-literal explanation of that (one of the example sentences in my dictionary involves getting diarrhea "because" of contaminated water, and it is hard to see who that benefits, except  maybe the bacteria involved). Still, I think this way of looking at tame can help in understanding its usage.

Anyway, sorry to geek out on you- your explanation is definitely good.

Posted by: Tagore Smith at April 21, 2007 05:50 PM (RHuBz)

2 I certainly don't mind. It's been a couple years since I had any real practice with the language. I am quite rusty, and I have no doubts that some of the professional instruction I got in school may be wrong in places.

Posted by: Will at April 21, 2007 10:32 PM (olS40)

3 Well, having seen your comments in other threads you don't seem rusty to me. But I do see a lot of  cavilling based partly on the Monash definition of moriageru. As I said, I think it is a very bad definition.

Mainly I think it is very dangerous to evaluate a translation on the basis of one dictionary entry (or one dictionary's entries), particularly for people who don't speak any Japanese. Of course I wouldn't include you in that camp.

Anyway, I do know which forum Jim Breen reads and I will post something about moriageru there. It won't help with sites using older versions of the Monash JDICT, but...

Anyway, as I said, I think you did a very good job explaining the phrase.

Posted by: Tagore Smith at April 22, 2007 12:15 AM (RHuBz)



What I really need to find is my Kodansha Furigana dictionary. Nelson's great if you're looking up a kanji compund like 世界, but the furigana dictionary is so much better for finding phrases like 盛り上げる.

The Nelson does have an entry for 盛り上げる, but it only says "pile up" or "heap up."

Those definitions are clunkers as well. I think the problem lies in the addition of "save" and "fun" to the fansub translation. Those words simply aren't in the original Japanese text. Not even by implication, as far as I can tell. Looking at this complete title out of context (as we both know, a big no-no with Japanese), I'd be lost trying to figure out how one could "pile up the world completely."

That's why I want my furigana dictionary. It contains a lot of colloquialisms and implied meaning. It's too bad I seem to have lost it in my last move.

Posted by: Will at April 22, 2007 09:36 AM (olS40)


I guess you could take liberties with the definition of 大いに to mean "to bursting" and 盛り上げる to mean "to fill up." Combine that with the implication that everything Haruhi ever says or does is about having more fun, and you get...

Haruhi Suzumiya's group for (the purpose of) filling the world to bursting with fun.

The "saving" is the only part really left out, and that comes from the original SOS abbreviation.

Well, now that that's settled. *cough*

Posted by: Will at April 22, 2007 10:50 AM (olS40)

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