Learning Through Lyrics: Part 6

Line Six

何度も伝えたい        君はひとりじゃない

Translation

I want to tell you over and over              you’re not alone

Vocabulary & Grammar Notes

Nando mo

Japanese: なんども、何度も。 The first kanji is the “nan” as in “nani,” for “what?”. The “do” part is for degree, but is also used as a counter for “X number of times.” One time would be “ichido,” two would be “nido,” three would be “sando,” and so forth.

Here, “nando” is a kind of “how many times?” sort of question. Adding “mo” to the end… well, it turns this into a statement, not a question.

“Nani mo nai,” by the way, means “nothing at all.” (People will often cut the “nai” part but it is strongly implied.)

So, “nando mo” here means, not a fixed number of times, but any number of times, or rather, an undefined number of times over. As many times as it takes, in essence.

Tsutae

This comes from tsutaeru, To Tell/ To Convey. (Japanese: つたえる、伝える) In English, we can use “to tell” idiomatically, but at any rate, it’s all about conveying a message, whether it is through words or not.

Suffix: Tai

As a suffix, “tai” (Japanese: たい, never kanji) is a plain/ informal modifier indicating “I want to do X.”

Here, the speaker wants to convey (many times over/ over and over/ often) what follows in the second phrase.

Kimi

Covered previously, a “familiar” 2nd person pronoun. Not strangers, not darlings either (yet, at least).

Particle: Wa

Covered previously, the topic indicator. Japanese: は (that reads like “ha” on the character chart, but as a particle, is always spoken as “wa”).

Hitori

Long story short, this means, here, “by yourself/ alone.” Japanese: ひとり、ヒトリ、独り。The writer used hiragana, not kanji, to not make an important part seem remote. (Again, it’s being cute to some degree…)

Ja Nai

Let’s go over this in context.

Polite “is” affirmation: desu (です)

Plain “is” affirmation: da (だ)

Polite “is not” negative: de wa nai (でわない)

Plain “isn’t” negative: ja nai (じゃない)

So, since the subject is “kimi” (2nd person “you”), we change this to:

“You’re not alone.”

Stay Tuned For Next Time!

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: [email protected]
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