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Lesson Transcript

Naomi: ジャパニーズポッド101でございます
Naomi: Welcome to the Japanese Children Song Series at JapanesePod101.com. In this series, you’ll learn Japanese language and culture through Japanese Children Songs. Go to our site to hear full versions of the songs, sung by professional singer Kana Mizushima. Visit JapanesePod101.com and claim your free lifetime account now.
Naomi: ナオミです。
Peter: Peter here.
Naomi: ジャパニーズポッド101.comの童謡のレッスン7へようこそ。
Peter: Welcome to Lesson number seven of our Japanese Children Song Series. Naomi 先生, can you tell us the name of the song we’ll be focusing on this time?
Naomi: しゃぼん玉
Peter: Which means “soap bubbles”.
Naomi: Right. It’s a well known kids song about soap bubbles.
Peter: Naomi 先生, what can you tell us about the background of the song?
Naomi: Well, it was written by a poet called 野口雨情 or 雨情野口 and was released in 1922.
Peter: Now, I did some research.
Naomi: おお、えらいえらい。
Peter: でしょう、 Right? This song sounds really cute. You know, being about bubbles and all. But actually, it’s quite sad.
Naomi: ああ、そうそう。そうなんだよね。 Right. Actually, it’s said that the song writer was mourning the death of his daughter when he wrote the song.
Peter: So he was thinking about his daughter as the soap bubbles portrayed in the song.
Naomi: そう。
Peter: I think when you hear the song and listen to the lyrics, you’ll understand why it sounds so sad.
Naomi: Yes. Even if it’s a kid’s song, it has a very sad feeling to it.
Peter: And before we listen to the song, actually the background that we just explained it’s not really well known in Japan.
Naomi: No, not at all.
Peter: So, if you had the chance to explain about this to your Japanese friend or family member, I think they would be very impressed.
Naomi: そうですね。 Definitively.
Peter: Let’s take a listen to this song and take a look to the lyrics.

Lesson focus

Peter: The lines in the song are very short and they’re fairly easy to understand. Well, I think.
Naomi: そうですね。 Yes. And there’s a little repetition.
Peter: Can we hear the first line, Naomi 先生?
Naomi: Sure. しゃぼん玉飛んだ、屋根まで飛んだ
Peter: Let’s break this sentence down.
Naomi: しゃぼん玉, as you know, it’s a “soap bubble”. 飛んだ is the informal past form of the verb 飛ぶ, which means to “to fly”, or in this case, “to float”.
Peter: So?
Naomi: しゃぼん玉飛んだ
Peter: “The soap bubble floated away.” Naomi 先生, how high did they go?
Naomi: The next part says 屋根まで飛んだ. 屋根 is?
Peter: “Roof”.
Naomi: And まで means?
Peter: “Until”. But, in this case “to” as in “to the roof”.
Naomi: Right. So, this line means “It floated up to the roof.”
Peter: Can we hear the line again?
Naomi: Sure しゃぼん玉飛んだ、屋根まで飛んだ
Peter: “My little soap bubble floated away, its [sword] up to the roof.” And, what happens next?
Naomi: 屋根まで飛んで壊れて消えた
Peter: The first part is almost the same as the line before it.
Naomi: Right. In the last line we had 飛んだ, which was the past tense. In this line, it’s in the te-form. 屋根まで飛んで
Peter: The te-form is used to connect multiple actions. So, first 屋根まで飛んで “its [sword] up to the roof” and then what?
Naomi: 壊れて消えた、壊れて is the te-form of the verb 壊れる, “to break” or “to burst”.
Peter: And then?
Naomi: 消えた the past tense of the verb 消える
Peter: “To disappear”. So, when you connect multiple verbs together, they all need to be in the te-from, except for the last one.
Naomi: はい、そうです。
Peter: The last one can be in the present tense, past tense, et cetera. And it designs the tense for all the previous verbs. In this case, it’s the past tense which tells us all the verbs [in the front] took place in the past as well.
Naomi: そうですね。 Right. So, all together it’s 屋根まで飛んで壊れて消えた
Peter: “It, the bubble, sword up to the roof, popped and disappeared.” Quite sad if you think about it in the context of the background we gave you.
Naomi: そうですね。悲しいですね。 It’s sad.
Peter: Okay, onto the next verse.
Naomi: しゃぼん玉消えた、飛ばずに消えた
Peter: We’re hearing a lot of the same words now.
Naomi: Yes. しゃぼん玉消えた
Peter: “Bubble is gone.” But of course, this is translated as “My little soap bubble is gone.”
Naomi: 飛ばずに消えた
Peter: “Gone before it could float away.” Let’s take a look at this. 飛ばずに
Naomi: This ずに means “without doing something” as in “to do an action without doing something else”. It’s formed by adding ず to the plain negative stamp.
Peter: Naomi 先生?
Naomi: はい
Peter: Let’s just quickly cover the plain negative stamp.
Naomi: Well, basically, it’s the negative form of the verb without the ない at the end. Let’s call it the negative stamp or ない form stamp.
Peter: So, the negative form of 飛ぶ is?
Naomi: 飛ばない
Peter: So you take away ない and you have?
Naomi: 飛ば
Peter: This is the negative stamp.
Naomi: Right. And then you add ずに so you have 飛ばずに
Peter: “Without floating away.”
Naomi: そうです。飛ばずに消えた
Peter: Literally, “It disappeared without floating away.” Can we hear the line again?
Naomi: しゃぼん玉消えた
Peter: In the translation becomes “My little soap bubble is gone.”
Naomi: 飛ばずに消えた
Peter: “Gone before it could float away.” And the next line?
Naomi: 生まれてすぐに壊れて消えた
Peter: 生まれて is the te-form of?
Naomi: 生まれる
Peter: “To be born.”
Naomi: そうですね。すぐに means “soon”, 生まれてすぐに means “Soon after it was born.”
Peter: “Soon after it was born.” 壊れて消えた
Naomi: はい。
Peter: It popped and disappeared.
Naomi: Right. It creates a sad image.
Peter: Very sad. The bubble didn’t have a chance to float up and popped right away. Can you read that line again?
Naomi: 生まれてすぐに壊れて消えた
Peter: “Just after it was born, it popped and disappeared.” And now, the last line of the song.
Naomi: 風、風吹くな、しゃぼん玉飛ばそ
Peter: 風 so the speaker is addressing the wind, like “Oh, wind.”
Naomi: そうですね。 Yes. 風、風、吹くな、吹く means “to blow”, and when you add な to the dictionary form, it means “don’t”.
Peter: It’s a very strong way to tell someone not to do something.
Naomi: そうですね。 It’s called imperative in grammar tone. And the last part しゃぼん玉飛ばそ, this 飛ばそ is the shortened from of 飛ばそう.
Peter: Which is the volitional form of?
Naomi: 飛ばす
Peter: “To make something fly.”
Naomi: So, 飛ばそう is something like “Let’s make it fly.” Or “Let’s make it float.”
Peter: By using the volitional, it’s like the speaker is making a request or asking the wind to “Please let the little bubble flow away.” Can we hear the line once more?
Naomi: 風、風吹くな、しゃぼん玉飛ばそ
Peter: “Oh, wind. Oh, wind. Will you stop blowing?” or “Stop blowing. Let my little soap bubbles float.”


Naomi: Well, that’s all the time we have for this lesson.
Peter: Even though it was a very sad song, we hope you learned something. We hope you enjoyed it. So, please definitively let us know what you think of it.
Naomi: Yes. Please leave us a comment.
Peter: Thanks for listening to the Japanese Children Song Series. Until the next time!
Naomi: じゃあまた。 Find more detailed explication of the lyrics at JapanesePod101. There, listen to the full version of the songs and video format completed with beautiful pictures of Japan. Go to JapanesePod101.com to get your free lifetime account.


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