I was reading an article on News Web Easy this morning while eating breakfast when my head suddenly exploded.
This was the pair of sentences that did it:
So now I’m going to break this thing down to see if I can made sense out of it.
The article is about a new anime center in Tokyo.
このセンターでは – This center followed by the famous topic particle は
Okay, so we’re off to a good start…
アニメのキャラクター と – anime character followed by the joining particle と, so with anime character(s)
I admit that this one took a little longer than it should have. I’m fine with hiragana, but I’m kind of weak on katakana because I simply don’t see the characters often enough when I’m reading. My bad.
一緒に- together with
So, where’s the problem? This is pretty easy so far…
写真を撮る – take a photograph
ことができます – to be able to
So, you can get your photograph taken with an anime character at the anime center. Fine.
昔- old time – this is the same word that starts off a typical fairy tale in Japanese
人気が – popular followed by our old friend the subject particle
あった – past tense of ある which indicates state of being for inanimate things
アニメ – anime
And here we run into one of those things that happens in Japanese which usually means I have to deconstruct the sentence to figure it out – a phrase serving as a noun or adjective. When I first read this sentence, it just seemed to go on and on, piling words on top of words and making no sense whatsoever.
Now that I look at it, though,
昔人気があったアニメ – anime that was popular long ago
を – particle indicating a direct object
作る – to make
ときに – time when
So 作るときに – a time when making
使った – past tense of つかう- to use
絵 – picture (hand drawn or painted as opposed to a photograph, right?)
を – particle indicating direct object
見る – to see
こともできます – also to be able
Ah. You can also see drawings that were used when making anime that were popular a long time ago.
Hm. Sort of an anticlimax, really, since, as it turns out, both sentence were pretty easy, although, when I first read it, the second one looked like a monster. To be honest, when I break a sentence down like this, I almost always find out that it really isn’t that complicated after all.
See? What’s so hard about Japanese?