Arrows PreviousNext

Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



Yesterday, at a bookstore not far from Suidobashi Station in Tokyo, I bought a dictionary titled "A Students' Japanese-English Dictionary" (實用和英新辭典). It was published in Tokyo in 1906. In the long tradition of criticizing previous dictionaries, the introduction begins:
Title page
是まで世に行はるる和英辭書は、その編纂の目的、主として日本語を研究せんとする外國人に便せんとするにあり。偶一二我邦の學生用として編纂せられたるものなきにあらざれども、或はその引用する所の作例徒らに高尚に走せ、或は語例文例を擧ぐること極めて乏しく、我英語讀書界全般の實用に適切ならざるの憾あり。
Some example sentences:
Chian
政府は治安維持の打合を為す為各地方長官に上京を命ぜり The Government has ordered all the prefectural governors to come up to the capital with the view of conferring on the maintenance of order in the provinces.

Deru
善事をすれば福の神はござらんでも貧乏神は出テゆくに違ゐない If we practice right, though Fuku-no-Kami may not come, Bimbô-Gami will doubtless take his leave.

Hakkô
十四日に停止を解かれたる大阪朝日は再び發行を停止されたり The Osaka Asahi, the suspension of which was withdrawn on the 14th, has again been placed under the ban.

Jinshu
米國のヒリツピンに於ける失敗は重に治者被治者間の人種ノ差異に因る America's failure in the Philippines is due mainly to the racial difference between the ruler and the ruled.

Shidai ni
目下理想團に於て北部凶作地窮民救助の為に募集しつヽある同情袋の寄贈次第ニ増加す The dôjô-bukuro (bags of sympathy) now being collected by the Risôdan for the relief of the famine-stricken people in the north, are coming in ever-increasing numbers.

Uchi
人に野心がある間は人間の中ニ戰争の絶ゆることなし There will always be wars among men, as long as they are ambitious.

Uten
雨天順延ニテ戰捷の祝として観兵式を青山練兵場に擧行せらるヽ由官報に掲載せられたり It has been announced in the Official Gazette that the weather permitting, a military review in celebration of our victory in the late war would be held at the Aoyama parade ground.

Warau
露國は日本を非難する宣言を發してもの笑となつた Russia made herself ridiculous by the issue of the remarkable manifesto accusing Japan.

Zen
彼は死して居つた、彼は二週間前に死んだ I found him dead. He had died a fortnight since.
(May 17, 2003)