Learning Through Lyrics, Part 3

Third Line

Trust me 繋がっているから      ただ感じていて このぬくもり

Translation

Trust me/ for we are connected          just go on, feel this warmth

Vocabulary/ Grammar Notes

Tsunagatteiru

The original uses a non-standard kanji variation that I have not used here. It is clearly identical to the kanji 繋 as in 繋がる (つながる). I have verified this with Google. The writer of the lyrics was clearly being cute.

Often, a non-standard kanji is one that has been dropped by recent language reforms in favor of a simpler, yet just as effective kanji. If it’s visually simpler, and has the same meaning, why not? It’s a process that has been taking place in Asian languages for many centuries.

The verb tsunagaru means, “to be connected, to be linked together.” (A more literal meaning would be to be “tied together.”) To add iru (refer to Part 1 if necessary) makes this a non-past state of being that is expected to continue into the future. In plainer English, it means, “(We) are connected together.”

Now, what are we connected together with, or by? That’s back in Part 2. That is, “by an invisible thread.”

Kara

This is the same “kara” that was covered in Part 1. Similar to the first line, this leads to essentially:

We are connected by an invisible thread. Therefore, trust me.

Tada

“Tada” translates very well to “just” when used in a sentence in this manner.  “Only” would be another way to read this, if appropriate, but does not flow well here. Japanese: ただ, 只

Kanjiteite

This is a continuative tense (-te form) version of “kanjiru” (Japanese: かんじる、感じる), “To Feel,” combined with the -te form of iru right after. I’m not really sure this is “proper Japanese” at all; in fact, I’m fairly confident it is not, but it has a strong idiomatic component that I want to go over.

“The Soft Imperative”

Proper Japanese has an imperative sense which is telling, not asking the listener to do something. The imperative has two levels: plain, and ALL CAPS. Ahem; I jest. Rather, the levels are plain and abrupt (that is, quite rude and abrasive). This is the sort of tone the father takes when telling the disobedient child to eat his veggies.

Now, the continuative tense is supposed to, you know, continue into another verb. What if we just stop the verb there? What if we just leave an implication hanging in the air? This effect is what I dub “the soft imperative,” which is absolutely not a formal connotation.

In this case, “kanjite” is urging the listener to feel. It is telling, not asking, but it is “telling” in the nicest way possible. It is using idiomatic Japanese to give a linguistic nudge to the listener: do this, okay?

Adding “ite” to the end retains the tone that “kanjite” would have had if it was on its own. In other words, as a continuative verb, the “kanjite” part is correct, but the “ite” part had to be used to add the technically-incorrect-but-helpfully-idiomatic spin.

This applies the soft imperative “tense” to the verb, “kanjiteiru.” That is, don’t just feel this for one moment, but continue feeling this into the foreseeable future.

Kono

“Kono” means “this, which is close, relative to me.” Japanese: この、此の (kanji rarely used except in high level language tests or very formal texts)

Nukumori

The same kanji that is used for the adjective “warm,” “atatakai” (Japanese: あたかたい、温かい) is also used for native Japanese words for warmth, “nukumi” and “nukumori.” We are covering the latter here. As there are other, simpler options, we may consider this a more poetic way to refer to warmth than some other options. Japanese: ぬくもり、温もり

Stay Tuned For Part 4!

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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