887 - を込めて(をこめて)

JLPT N3: を込めて(をこめて // with

When I see 込める, the first thing I think of is the verb 込む/混む (こむ)  when it appears in the present progressive (~ている) form to mean "is crowded:"

混んでるね。
こんでる ね。
It's crowded, huh?
Literally: "is crowded + ね."


If you're feeling like nerding out on kanji, you may find it interesting that, though many will say 混む (こむ) is the correct kanji usage when talking about a place experiencing 混雑 (こんざつ // congestion; crowding), it's not all that rare to see people (incorrectly, some would say) using 込む (こむ) in such cases, too.

One instance in which you will see 込む (こむ) is attached to the end of other verbs, in which case it often adds the nuance of "going into," "putting into," "plunging into," etc. If you want to play Japanese detective and research this more, look for sentences using it in these lessons:

[NDL #88] - This beat is fire, right? - Part III-b (detour)
[NDL #739] - JLPT N1: ともなく
[NDL #848] - Onomatopoeia: ぐつぐつ
 
 

Back to the lesson topic. Here we're not looking at the intransitive verb 込む (こむ); we're looking at the transitive verb 込める (こめる). (More can be learned about these verb types in this lesson.)

Specifically, we can put を込めて (をこめて) after a NOUN that expresses some kind of feeling (e.g. love, hope, etc.) in order to express the idea that a feeling was "put into" something.

This is difficult to translate in sentences, but it will sometimes be written as "with" in English:

あなたに、をこめてこの歌を歌います。
あなた に、 あい をこめて この うた を うたいます。
I’ll sing this song for you, with love.
Literally: “you + に, + love + を + load / put into (and) + this + song + を + sing.”

 

In the following sentence, the speaker puts "hope / thought" into the naming of his/her daughter:

優しい子に育ってほしいという思いを込めて、「優子」と名付けました。
やさしい こ に そだって ほしい という おもい をこめて、 「ゆうこ」 と なづけました。
We named her Yūko in the hope that she will grow up to be a kind person.
Literally: “sweet / kind / gentle + child + に + grow up (and) + wanted + という + thought / wish + を + load / put into (and), + Yūko + と + named.”

 

Here, our speaker puts "gratitude" into a present:

感謝の気持ちを込めて、お父さんに手編みのマフラーをプレゼントした。
かんしゃ の きもち をこめて、 おとうさん に てあみ の マフラー を プレゼント した。
I gave my dad a scarf that I hand-knitted to express how grateful I am to him.
Literally: “thanks / gratitude + の + feeling + を + load / put into (and), + father + に + hand-knitting + の + scarf (=muffler) + を + present + did.”

 

Finally, here the speaker puts "resentment" into a morally questionable act against a supervisor:

日頃の恨みを込めて、店長の車に傷をつけた。
ひごろ の うらみ をこめて、 てんちょう の くるま に きず を つけた。
I scratched my boss’s car, an expression of my accumulated resentment of him.
Literally: “normal / daily + の + resent / bitterness + を + load / put into (and), + shop manager + の + car + に + scratch / cut + を + added / attached.”

 

Finished!

Although it can be difficult to translate sentences with を込めて into natural English, I think it's not that difficult of a concept to understand or use in Japanese. But yeah, I had trouble with these translations... *_*
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