Things I’ve learned from Yotsubato!

I had plans tonight to come home and have a crack at my graded readers, which have sat gathering dust on my bookshelves since sometime around Christmas, but lo and behold, what was waiting on the doorstep when I got home? よつばと!(Pretty fast delivery, too – thanks JList!). So it seems that dust will accumulate a little more. I’ve been itching to try よつば for a while now, as the general consensus among j-learners is that it’s a good ‘starter’ manga – the language is pretty simple, the storylines are fairly basic, and it’ll reinforce a lot of basic grammar. After struggling through the first volume of 花ざかりの君たちへ (which I love, but don’t have the ability – yet – to comprehend more than 10% of), something a bit closer to the Krashen-esque i+1 sounded brilliant.

And it is. Where the first frame of 花君 stopped me in my tracks, I got through the first two pages of よつば before encountering something I didn’t explicitly know. Even with that, because the story was easy to follow, I could correctly infer the meaning of the words I didn’t understand. For the record, these were のり出す, as in 「あんまりのり出すと危ないぞ」and 振る, as in 「おねーちゃんが手ぇふった!とーちゃんもふれ!」.

Useful Phrases

因みに(ちなみに)is like ところで – “by the way”, “bye the bye”, “incidentally”. Useful, that. Totally something I use in English, too.

Things I Haven’t Quite Figured Out Yet, But Have A Hunch

ぞ – seems to work like よ as a gobi, but really casual. [A Google search after the fact turned up the assertion that ぞ is the ultra-casual equivalent of よ, and ぜ/ゼ is the ね equivalent. Accuracy?]

ダンボール as in 「このダンボールゴミに出す分ですか?」seems to refer to cardboard boxes…? I did a Google image search on this hunch and turned up heaps of cardboard boxes, but also a cardboard (?) robot and a cardboard car, the latter of which was titled 「「ダンボールアート作品集 」. So maybe it just means cardboard. Hmmm.

電柱「でんちゅう」is a telegraph pole, though I’m probably missing a nuance or something.

資源ゴミ is suggested by my Google image search to be a council tip or recylcling centre. More like the latter, I think. There were a few pictures of the recycling triangle.

燃えるゴミ is flammable rubbish? I know that in Japan they separate rubbish into flammable and inflammable. And hence, 燃えないゴミ is the inflammable stuff…?

月木 as in 「燃えるゴミは月木」is either 月曜日 and 木曜日 or 月曜日 to 木曜日. Not living in Japan (yet), I don’t know the frequency of rubbish collections, so I can’t figure the nuance out.

ブランコ is a swing…? Google image search threw up a lot of swing sets, but also some pictures of people with baseball bats (soooo… the noun/verb couple translate directly?).

長女 is the eldest daughter. Can I use this to describe myself?

お隣さん is your (next door?) neighbour. Seems to be used to introduce them to someone else, like “[name] is my neighbour”.

Chapter One finished! よし!

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