909 - をつうじて (throughout)

JLPT N3: をつうじて (throughout)

The verb 通じる (つうじる) is pretty useful. Dictionaries list a vast array of meanings for this word: 
- to be open (to traffic)
- to lead to
- to communicate (with)
- to flow (liquid, current)
- to pass
- to get through to
- to be understood
- to be comprehended
- to be honored
- to be good
- to be well versed in
- to be well-informed
- to communicate clandestinely
- to keep in touch (e.g. with the enemy)
- to form a liaison
- to be intimate
- to spread widely
- to disseminate


Yikes. I like to just think of it as meaning "to get through (to)."

A particularly useful application of this verb is in the negative form in phrases like:

話が通じない
はなし が つうじない
Literally: "talk + が + doesn't get through"

...and:

言葉が通じない
ことば が つうじない
Literally: "words + が + don't get through"

...when describing an inability to "get through to someone" or an inability to "be understood."

For example, if you look up the word 通じない (つうじない) in Google, maybe alongside the word 英語 (えいご // English [language]), you'll find articles with titles like:

日本人の英語が通じない3つの理由
にほんじん の えいご が つうじない みっつ の りゆう
3 Reasons Japanese People's English Does Not Get Understood
Literally: "Japanese (person) + の + English (language) + が + doesn't get through + three (things) + の + reason."


For example, a reason that a Japanese person's English doesn't get understood could be poor pronunciation, speaking in a quiet voice, etc.

You can also describe whether or not someone "gets" a joke by using the verb 通じる (つうじる):

うちのお母さんは冗談が通じない
うち の おかあさん は じょうだん が つうじない。
My mom never gets jokes.
Literally: "(my) family + の + mother + は + joke + が + doesn't get through."


Anyway, this lesson isn't about 通じない (つうじない); it's about the grammatical usage of 通じて (つうじて), which means something like "throughout." This word will appear after a NOUN, in which case it means "throughout NOUN." Oh, and we'll stick the particle を between the two.

For example:

この国は1年を通じて雨が多い。
この くに は いちねん をつうじて あめ が おおい。
This country gets a lot of rain all year round.
Literally: “this + country + は + one year + を通じて + rain + が + many.”


1年 (いちねん // one year)

を通じて (をつうじて // throughout)

throughout the entire year // all year round


Not too complicated, hopefully?

A few more examples may help...

露天風呂からは、四季を通じて様々な景色を楽しむことができます。
ろてんぶろ から は、 しき をつうじて さまざまな けしき を たのしむ こと が できます。
From our open-air baths, you can enjoy all the different scenery throughout the seasons.
Literally: “open-air baths + から + は, + four seasons + を通じて + various + scenery + を + enjoy + thing + が + can do.”


彼は2年間の浪人生活を通じて、一度も弱音を吐かなった。
かれ は にねんかん の ろうにん せいかつ をつうじて、 いちど も よわね を はかなかった。
During the entire two years he spent as a rōnin, he didn’t complain once.
Literally: “he + は + two year (period) + の + rōnin + lifestyle + を通じて, + once + も + complaint + を + didn’t say (something unpleasant).”
Note: 浪人 (ろうにん) is not referring to a "master-less samurai," but rather to a student who didn't pass their university entrance exams and therefore has to wait to take them again at a later date.


私たち人間は、長い歴史を通じて過ちを繰り返してきました。
わたしたち にんげん は、 ながい れきし をつうじて あやまち を くりかえして きました。
Throughout history, we humans have made mistake after mistake.
Literally: “we + humans + は, + long + history + を通じて + error + を + repeat (and) + came.”

 

That's all for this one.

The N3 grammar point を通して (をとおして) is almost identical, by the way. We'll cover it in the next lesson.