mmmason8967 wrote:I watched Totoro again last night, and I understood much more than I did last time. There is still a lot I don't understand, though--like what does すけ mean in the word まっくろくろすけ?
「すけ」 was one of the most common "last part" of male names in old days, like samurai period.
(you can still find those names actors of kabuki, kyougen and so on)
We often add this すけ in nicknames and/or creative names. When there's no specific name to something (like this まっくろくろすけ), just by adding すけ to くろ, we ca "name" this black thing. Instead of just くろすけ, to emphasise "how black" it is, and to sound cute and commical, they even added "totally black" (まっくろ).
Well, basically the belief in Shintoism is "every little thing has little God on it", so there're hundreds of thousands of Gods everywhere
We teach children that they can't waste food because each one grain of rice has little God on it,
so if they throw rice away, it means they're throwing Gods away treating badly.
Have you heard of 神無月? It's October in (old) Japanese name. This literally means "no God month", right?
This is because, there was/is festival from 11th to 17th October in old calendar and it was supposed to be God's gathering
for their meeting (all multitudinous gods)
This is held in Izumo city (Shimane prefecture), so the rest of Japan
will have time without Gods. That's why this month is called "No Gods Month" 神無月
However, Izumo city, on the other hand, will have all the Gods there, right? So, it is said that only in Izumo (I believe
this is extended to prefecture level, though) October is 神在月 meaning "God(s) existing month".
I wonder why any of those books always focus only on Buddhism...? I know Zen and a lot of Japanese culture has
connection and history to it, but I think Shintoism really is a very typical and unique Japanese religion.
I recently went to a very interesting exhibition about antient Egypt. Their spirits and thoughts at that time were
quite much similar to our culture including this Shinto's multitudinous gods.
We might have been able to keep this Shinto BECAUSE we had quite strong connection to it already when Western
culture reached to Japan.
The subtitles are mainly for people who don't know Japanese and want to follow the plot, so they're often "wrong". That is, the subtitles say what an American might say, rather than trying to be an accurate translation of the Japanese. For me this is useful because the subtitles don't do much of the work for me.
The subtitles do not mention the crab story. The story isn't one that we know, so explaining why Mei reminds Satsuki of the crab would be extremely difficult. So the subtitles just say that Mei sits like a crab.
Right; that's how subtitle should work and I understand that. Still, I don't know why the translator decided to keep
only "crab" then. It definitely leaves "?" in people's mind. Japanese version should have said にらめっこ which means
"staring contest", right? If English says just "sit" then there's no need to keep "crab" at all.
If I were the translator, I'd probably write "Mei's been playing staring contest there".
Another place where the subtitles don't provide explanation is when everyone is searching for Mei, and Kanto sees Satsuki in the distance. He calls her, and the subtitles say "Satsuki! Satsuki!" but he actually says "サッキ！サッキ！". Satsuki calls back, the subtitles say "Kanto!" but she actually says "かちゃん". As Satsuki and Kanto have had an awkward relationship up to this point, their use of affectionate nicknames is significant, but the subtitles ignore it.
Yeah...their relationship was really typical kids....
I think the reason it sounded like サッキ is because we usually drop "u" in "tsu" to facilitate the pronunciation.
Same applies to my Name; it's rather "Natsko" when we pronounce naturally.
The boy's name should be Kanta, so Satsuki could have called him by かんちゃん
Thank you for the explanation!! I did not know the words saru, kani or gassen, so I didn't understand what Satsuki was saying. I found the story online and read it. When I watched the film again, I could understand Satsuki easily--and you can also read in her letter: まるご猿カニがっせんのカニになったみたい (marugo saru-kani-gassen no kani ni natta mitai).
It's one of the very famous story in Japan, and everyone knows it. Oh, by the way, it's まるで (marude), not まるご
This is kind of corresponding phrase: まるで～みたい, meaning "as if".
The な, に, ぬ, ね and のsounds are like ん, so that she says あんた instead of あなた. Another old lady does a similar thing: she says that Satsuki is a かわいいかんじょ.
Well, あんた is still used quite commonly now, by any generation. As far as I'm concerned, this おばあちゃん has
certain dialect too. She doesn't say any specific dialect word, but her intonation is not quite "standard".
Her way is ...for us, "typical いなか language"
[quate] I also find Satsuki's father difficult to understand. He's academic, so maybe he speaks an intellectual kind of Japanese. In the opening scenes, Satsuko's father asks Kanto a question, and Kanto just stares and then points without saying anything. I think that Kanto is surprised by the way that Satsuki's father phrases the question. But at least Kanto understands the question, which is more than I do! [/quote]
Well, that's new
I thought Satsuki's father speaks a bit more like "textbook", not too colloquial. You might be right; he's academic,
so his way of speaking was supposed to be "sophisticated". If everyone in any anime speaks like him, anime would be
a very good educational material for Japanese learners
You don't have any problem understanding Mei-chan?
"Her pronunciation" is, of course, "childish". So I wouldn't surpise if you do.