FACT 27 – specialization

mostly of verbs in today’s case. i’ve been avoiding the last chapter of warawanai like the plague, despite the fact that — oh! spoilers! nevermind! well, let’s just say, i’m certain you’ll be pleased with the angst quotient in chapter four and leave it at that. the problem is, i’ve been having the hardest time understanding it. i don’t know why, they’re not speaking particularly differently from the earlier chapters, and i have the added bonus of being relatively familiar with parts of the subject matter, but for some reason, i’m having the biggest mental block. i’ve been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off, all the while ashamed of myself in the deepest manner. this morning (zomg am i actually awake in the morning!?) i’m stuck at the doctor’s for five or six hours (no, i’m not deathly ill, i’m participating in some clinical research) and so i promised myself i’d figure it out. it’s just me in this nice, clean, quiet little room with my laptop and some wifi intarwebs, so i said to myself, self, sit your ass down and figure that thing out, or it’s never ever going to go away. so here i find myself at the doctor’s office, in what has got to be the most uncomfortable overstuffed recliner ever known to man (not that i’m a big fan of overstuffed anything to begin with. it’s european simplicity for me all the way, baby) with my goregeous wonderful delightful laptop and the doctor’s blisteringly fast intarwebs, and so i sat down, trying to ignore the nasty sticky silcone whatever things that they have to stick on you when they do an ECG, and pushed my way past the worst of the unintelligeble crap that this chapter seems to be turning my brain into. in the process, i discovered the following phrase:

それに こうしてると 変な人だって すぐ覚えてもらえるし

which is pronounced, roughly, sore ni koushiteru to hen na hito datte sugu oboetemoraeru shi, and means, also roughly, besides, doing it this way, even if a person changes, he can be instantly recognizable. the fancy part, the part i wish we had in english, is the verb, oboetemoraeru. it’s actually two verbs smooshed into one in the glorious fashion of the japanese gerundive. the first, oboete, comes from oboeru meaning to remember, as in “oh i’m sorry, i’d forgotten what my password was, but i remember it now.” the second verb, moraeru, is actually the potential/passive form of the verb morau, whose meaning is somewhat more difficult to explain. it’s receiving, but not like someone gave you a book or a pen. it’s like someone did you the favor of handing you a pen. morau is like receiving the fact of someone doing something nice for you. the potential form makes it something like, I am able to receive blah blah blah, or In the future at some undetermined point, I may end up being the recepient of you doing something nice for me so thanks. … yeah. so, oboete-moraeru, in it’s most literal sense, would be, At some point in the future, I may be able to receive your doing me the favor of remembering me. in the above example, it is, specifically, At some point in the future, when I meet that jerk of a guy again and we work it out at damn last, I’m hoping that this broken watch I’m wearing will cause him to do me the favor of remembering the fact that I damn well have had the hots for him since I was fourteen and he damn well knows it.

didn’t know you were going to get a japanese lesson when you started reading this post, did ya? (^_^)


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