I haven’t posted anything in a while, but that isn’t because I have stopped studying. Life has just had me swamped. But this is what I”m reading right now, and I have a few things to say about it, because…Japanese.
That, by the way, often the answer to a grammar question that beings, “Why…”
“Because…Japanese. That’s why.”
So, check this out:
通信技術の進歩に伴って、マスメディアは目覚しい発展を遂げてきた。中でもテレビは新聞に代わり。。。 and more Japanese stuff after that.
So, here’s what threw me for a loop. First of all, the sentence starts with 通.
信技術 – Communication technology. Really? I am going to read something in Japanese that starts with communication technology?! Somehow, I have the idea that this might be difficult. Still, let’s press on.
通信技術の進歩 is something like advances in communication technology or progress in communication technology while に伴って gives us something like accompanied by.
Accompanied by what? Well, you have to read the next part of the sentence to find that out. Japanese likes to keep information hidden. In fact, sometimes it hides it all the way at the end of the sentence. That’s part of what makes it fun, right?
Just for fun, let’s do a nice literal, in order translation.
mass media (topic particle) spectacular development (direct object particle) accomplished.
Now let’s cram it together with the first part of the sentence and come up with something like accompanied by advances in communication technology, mass media has grown very rapidly or maybe has shown amazing growth. Something like that, anyway.
Now, 中でも gives us something like within with the implication that it is within whatever we were just talking about, so in English we might render it as within that arena or any similar sort of phrase, television has supplanted newspapers.
And what got me started on all this was the structural difference between
テレビは新聞に取って代わり and television has supplanted newspapers.
Television (topic marker) newspapers (direction particle) has supplanted.
Why is it that way? Because..Japanese. That’s why.
How about this one:
Now, rugby has supplanted soccer in popularity. (It really works out to be more like now, soccer is supplanted, rugby is very popular but that doesn’t exactly flow in English, which is why translation is something of an art form.)
A は B 取って代わり。。。 or B は 取って代わり、A が。。。both are okay.
Why? Oh, you know why!
And, by the way, I like the work 目覚しい, which can be translated as remarkable, splendid, brilliant, but, if we look at the kanji we get
目 – eye
覚 as in 覚ます – to wake up
Which gives up something that wakes up the eye when it sees it.
or 覚える – to remember
Which gives something so striking that, when you see it, you will remember it.
Either way, I find the choice of kanji interesting.
Anyway, I’ve got a complicated article to read, so, back to work.