Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 12, Page 1

This is the first really complex sentence in the manga, but it's narrative, not actual dialog. So, while it's useful to analyze, it may not really help us for daily conversations.

禁制の冷凍食品をめぐりシンジケートが暗躍する近未来。
きんせい の れいとう しょくひん を めぐり シンジケート が あんやくする きんみらい。

kinsei - prohibition or ban
no - possessive
reitou shokuhin - frozen food
wo - verb marker
meguri - preposition form of about, around
shinjikeeto - syndicate
ga - topic marker
anyaku - secret maneuvering
suru - verb for "to do"
kinmirai - near future

This gives us:

Banned (of) frozen food . around . syndicate . secret maneuvering . to do . near future

Or,

"In the near future, a syndicate that traffics in banned frozen foods."

I didn't really have to do anything with this line to make it fit. A more proper version could have been "In the near future, *there is* a syndicate that traffics in banned frozen foods", but the first version sounds better as the lead-in to a movie or story.

The only really interesting part of this sentence is "meguri", which is a form of "meguru", meaning "to go about", "to go around" or "concerning". "meguri tour" means "to take a tour around and through an area", as in "a tour of London". In the above sentence "meguri shinjikeeto" gives us "everything regarding a syndicate", or "a syndicate that is involved in all elements of the frozen food black market".

The second part of the narration is:

大金が動き、時には血なまぐさい事件へと発展
たいきん が うごき、とき には ち なまぐさい じけん へと はってん。

taikin - big money
ugoki - present tense form of ugoku, to move
toki - time
ni wa - during is
chi nama gusai - stench of raw blood
jiken - incident, case, plot
he - towards
to - and
hatten - development, growth

big money . moves , time . during . blood stench . case . towards . growth

Big money moves as time of growing case of raw blood stench

If you've ever taken formal Japanese lessons, you've probably encountered "ugoki". This is part of the process of connecting two sentences into one, as in, "I ran. I ate food." becomes "I ran, and ate food." "taikin ga ugokimasu" would be the correct polite verb form of "ugoku" as a stand-alone sentence. But, the author is connecting the two sentences together, giving us "big money moves, during the time/case of the growing smell of raw blood".

To build on the sense that this is a movie voice-over, I set the final phrasing as:

"The growing case of big money and the smell of raw blood!"

To be continued.

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