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 Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



"Helps to Translation from Japanese into English" In Kanda yesterday, I bought the textbook shown on the right. As the introduction explains, the book was "intended for the fifth year boys in our middle schools, and for those preparing themselves for schools of higher grade."

The book begins with an explanation of English tense. It points out that the sentence 彼等はベースボールをして居る should be translated as "They are playing baseball," but that 僕は其事を悉皆承知して居る can be translated only as "I know all about it" (「"I am knowing all about it." にては非なり」). Later sections cover grammatical subjects, voice, and various expressions and idioms ("According to a report from...," "In spite of," "My object is + infinitive," etc.).

Most of the book consists of Japanese sentences given as exercises for translation into English, with the answers appearing in an accompanying pamphlet. Below are some examples of sentences to be translated, followed by the suggested translations:
  1. 横濱は東京を距ること僅に二十八哩、我國開港場第一にして貨物の運輸最も盛なり。
  2. 昨日の富山發電によれば同地方の養蠶は氣候不順のため稍々不良なる由。
  3. 列國いづれも進んで其不法の行爲を遮らんとするもの無きを見て露國は圓太くも滿州撤兵に關する其約を破れり。
  4. 女子教育を施すには須らく女生徒をして學校生活のために家庭生活に不適當ならしむることなきやうにせざるべからず。
  5. 吾人は英人の埃及に於て爲したる所を學ばざる可からず、何となれば埃及の英國に於けるは正しく朝鮮の日本に於けるが如くなればな り。
  1. Yokohama is only 28 miles from Tokyo. It is the foremost of all our open ports, freight traffic being most vigorously carried on there.
  2. According to yesterday's telegram from Toyama, the sericulture of the locality is in a somewhat poor condition owing to the unfavorable weather.
  3. "April 20th, 2564"(a) Finding no Power ready to interfere with her lawless acts, Russia was so audacious as to break her promise regarding the evacuation of Manchuria. (b) Seeing that no Power was ready to interfere with her lawless acts, Russia had the audacity to break her promise with regard to the evacuation of Manchuria.
  4. (a) We should conduct our female education in such a way that the school life may never disqualify the girls for their home life. (b) Female education should be conducted in such a way as never to allow the school life to disqualify the girls for their home life.
  5. We must learn what the English have done in Egypt, for it is exactly to England what Corea is to Japan.
Note the date on the book's English introduction.

(May 6, 2005)