Learning Through Lyrics: Part 7

We’re already up to part #7! Yes, it’s a long work in progress, but explaining things the right way takes time.

Line Seven

変わることのない       愛はきっとここにある

Translation

That’s not something that’ll change          surely there is love here

Vocabulary & Grammar Notes

Kawaru

Once again, a non-standard kanji is being used ( but in this case, it’s still in my first resort electronic dictionary). This is “kawaru,” the verb “To Be Changed.” It is very important to understand exactly how I wrote that definition: “To Be Changed.” Grammatically speaking, this isn’t like changing your hairstyle; it is to be fundamentally different. As in the cliche, to “be a new man” would apply. Japanese: かわる、変わる

Koto

Let’s get this out of the way.

Both koto and mono refer to what we call, in English, things. However, there is a fundamental difference.

Koto refers to intangible things.

Mono refers to tangible, physical things.

In other words, love is a koto and an apple is a mono. This is a very, very important distinction to make. Japanese: こと、事

Here, I added “That” to the sentence because this is a reference to the end of Line 6: the fact that “you’re not alone.”

No Nai

This is simply a more profound-sounding version of ja nai, covered previously. Unless you’re writing poetry, best to lay off this one. Japanese: のない

Ai

“Ai” is the Japanese word for the koto (intangible thing) we call love. Though, to be really technical, it’s affection. There is a more specific word for romantic affection, but we won’t get into that right now. This kind of love can apply to parents and children (between each other), to family pets, and so on. It is stronger than the idiomatic suki (Like) and its emphatic cousin daisuki (Like A Lot), which are used as “love” while trying not to sound too corny. Japanese: あい、愛

Wa

Topic particle again. Refer to past articles.

Kitto

OK, this is a new one. “Kitto” means surely, undoubtedly, etc. In other words, it says colloquially that there is certainty in something. It is not “absolute” certainty – there’s another word for that – but it’s very high probability, and is usually used idiomatically to imply complete certainty, even if “literally” it is not. Japanese: きっと

Koko

This stands for “here, which is near to me.” Japanese: ここ (I won’t list the kanji, it’s too rare and for advanced students, and tests, only)

Ni

This particle, once again, indicates that what preceded it (in this case, “koko”) modifies what follows. Japanese:

Aru

This is the Japanese existence verb for inanimate objects (i.e. not people, not animals). Here, the subject of the verb is “ai” (love). Japanese: ある、有る

Putting It Together

So, this is telling us that the fact the listener isn’t alone isn’t something that will change. In addition, the speaker is very certain that there is love here.

The fact we’re talking about the same speaker isn’t explicit in the grammar, but it doesn’t have to be. So, we can do something like this:

That’s not something that’ll change            I’m sure there’s love, right here

This is more localization, but hey, it’s not that bad, is it?

Stay tuned for more.

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: jeremiahbourque@gmail.com
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2 Responses to Learning Through Lyrics: Part 7

  1. blash says:

    Thanks a lot for this!

    I love the way you dissect the sentences and explain each part. By part 7, I was applying stuff I learned from the previous parts 😀

  2. J Sensei J Sensei says:

    That’s the idea! 🙂

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