This is a rather long post. Proceed at your own risk.
My homework now involves lots of really loooooooooooooong sentences, and I have a tendency to get lost somewhere in the middle of them.
For example, take the one that I ran in to today:
What a sentence, right? I started out okay, but I quickly found myself wandering aimlessly around totally confused. In order to make sense of this, I am going to have to break it apart, like this:
So, why did I break it apart in these particular locations?
Part 2 beings with そして which is something like “and then” or “thus”, so it seems like a natural break point. I ignored the commas in part one because that is clearly a list.
I did use the comma at the end of Part 2 as a break point, especially since part 3 beings with 万一 meaning “by any chance and then I broke it apart again at the next comma.
So…is there any part of this sentence I can decipher quickly? Yes.
4: それこそ恐ろしいことである。 – that really is a terrible thing.
それこそ – that with emphasis, or that precisely or that exaclty
恐ろしい – terrible, regrettable
こと – thing (used for insubstantial things such as ideas)
である – exists
Okay. That gives me an obvious starting point. So..what would be a really terrible thing? And, is there any other part of this monstrosity that I can readily deciper?
3: 万一それが悪用されたら – if, by any chance, it should be abused
万一 – by any chance
それが – that followed by the subject marker
悪用されたら – if abused
Which obviously makes the second half of this sentence: if, by any chance, it is abused, that really is a terrible thing. So far so good.
I am actually going to go ahead and hit part 2, since it looks pretty straightforward.
そして – and
遺伝子情報 – genetic information (Yeah, I had to look the first part of that word up)
のようなものまで – even that type of thing
他人に – by others
知られて – known
管理され – managed
(知られて is ending in て because it is the first in a list of verbs, and 管理され is missing it’s ending because there is more sentence to follow)
And even things like genetic information is known and managed by others
Which only leaves us the first part of the sentence:
個人の情報が – individual information followed by the subject marker. I might actually translate this as personal information which, although not a literal translation still works and sounds better in English.
金もうけに – to make money
使われる – is used
くらいならまだ – you know, I’m still kind of working on this part…this makes the sentence conditional and gives it a sense of “if…”
許せるが – is acceptable
財産 – property, assets
戸籍 – family register, census (I had to look that one up, too!)
思想 – ideas, thought
宗教 – religion
So, we start with if something is acceptable
If what is acceptable? The use of personal information to make money, that’s what.
If the use of personal information to make money is acceptable, assets, who is in the family, ideas, religion and even things like genetic information is known and managed by others, if, by any chance, it should be abused, that really would be a terrible thing.
Well, that is obviously not quite right, so let’s consider and redo it a little bit. How about:
The use of personal information to make money is acceptable, but if assets, who is in the family, ideas, religion and even things like genetic information are known and managed by others, if, by any chance, it should be abused, that would really be a terrible thing.
And, yes, it would.
Well, I don’t know that I hit the bullseye, but I think I at least got pretty close to sorting this one out. It is the next to last sentence in the article I’m reading, but the last sentence isn’t bad at all, so that’s a relief.
Now, I can tackle that newspaper article a friend in Japan sent me about the new Japanese currency. Being from a newspaper written in Japanese for Japanese people, it has no helpful furigana, and I’m quite sure that some of the kanji are going to be totally unfamiliar to me, so wish me luck.