Since I want to work on reading, my Cafetalk tutor gave me a short story to read. She warned me that it would be difficult, and the very first sentence proved her right. In fact, I still don’t understand it.
Here’s the sentence:
So, let’s do our thing and break it down. It still won’t make sense afterward, but let’s do it, anyway.
ストーカー – stalker
撃退 – repulse; repelling (e.g. the enemy); driving back (I had to look it up)
用に – in order to (e.g. meet goal); so that; take care (so as)
と – to be honest, I am not sure why this word is here, so, let’s just keep going, shall we?
三谷 – mitani…I’m kind of guessing that this is a name, though I don’t know if it would be male or female
が – our old friend the subject particle
So, let’s try and assemble the first part of this one…
In order to repulse the stalker Mitani…
Now, to be honest, I get that something is being done in order to repulse a stalker, but I’m not quite sure about the Mitani. Is Mitani the stalker? Is Mitani repulsing the stalker? Is Mitani the woman mentioned in the next part of the sentence? I don’t know.
So, let’s keep going.
連れてきた – brought along with
女 – woman
を – direct object particle
見て – to see. The て form of 見る is being used here because this is a compound sentence
So, this would be something like sees the woman who was brought along with
With who? With Mitani? Assuming that Mitani is a name? Or is Mitani the woman who is brought along?
葵 – aoi, according to the dictionary:
- mallow (any plant of family Malvaceae)
- Asarum caulescens (species of wild ginger)
However, given the rest of the sentence, I’m guessing this might be the name of a person…
は – the topic particle
息 – breath
を – direct object particle
呑んだ – and, I had to look this one up, too, and it is just a variant of 飲む, meaning to drink
So, Aoi drank her breath. I chose the feminine there based on something in the next sentence.
A friend clarified for me that 息を呑んだ meant that she held her breath. That is, she drank it in, but she never exhaled.
So, going with all my assumptions thus far, I end up with something like
Aoi held her breath, repulsing her stalker Mitani and seeing the woman that he brought with him or, maybe, Aoi held her breath, seeing that, to repulse her stalking, Mitani brought a woman with him/her? or…, ah, I don’t know.
Which, to be honest, I don’t like any of these as a translation. I have a strong feeling that I’m missing something vital about this sentence, though I don’t know what.
Now, for the sake of any help it might be, here is the next part:
Now, this isn’t so bad. Aoi (I guess) is speaking to herself, and she says something like, “This child is my double? She really looks just like me.” I’m guessing it may not literally be child, but something like the way Americans sometimes use “girl” for “woman”. This is why I went with “holding her breath” in the previous sentence. (I was very glad that, after that first sentence, the next one wasn’t bad, although I did have to look up 替玉.
I took this sentence to a Japanese friend, and he agreed with my breakdown of it, but he wasn’t entirely sure what it meant, either. When I asked him about the presence of the と, he said, “Ah. I was afraid you would ask that. It’s really difficult to explain…”
So, I know there are plenty of people out there who speak Japanese better than I do. What does that first sentence mean?
Oh, by the way, after wrestling with it, I finally ran it through google translate, and I got this:
Aoi got a breath when I saw a woman brought Mitani for the stalker repulsion
That wasn’t as helpful as it might have been.