72 - Killing Your Own Chickens, Part II

Continuing with yesterday's lesson, we're talking about this blogger who killed a chicken (watch out for graphic images in that article).

Specifically, we're still in the midst of breaking down the article's title:

「いのち の ワークショップ」 で 「にわとり を さばいて」 おいしく いただきました。
As part of our "Life Workshop," I "processed a chicken" and ate it.
Literally: "life + の + workshop + で + chicken + を + prepared / processed / judged + deliciously + received."

I "judged" my own chicken?

In the middle of the article's title, we have this phrase:

「にわとり を さばいて」
I "processed a chicken"
Literally: "chicken + を + prepared / processed / dressed / judged"

This use of さばく was new to me. Here it means "to dress." That is, to take a dead chicken and do all the stuff you need to do to get it into edible form.

I've seen さばく used to mean "to judge," in which case it gets written as 裁く(さばく), a word I'm pretty sure that I've never used before. *shame*

Here it is being used as the title of this blog post:

あたま が よく なる と、 ひと を さばく よう に なって しまう。
Getting smarter makes you start judging other people.
Literally: "head + が + good + become + と + person + を + judge + ように + become + しまう."
Note: Instead of saying なる, "to become," at the end, we have なってしまう, which gives off the nuance that this is not a desired or intended result of being smarter. I should probably write a lesson about it *_*.

I also found this book online that uses the word 裁く(さばく)in the title:

さばく のは おれ だ。
I am the one who judges. // It is I who will judge.
Literally: "judge + のは + I + is."
Note: With a little searching, I also found the English version, which is titled "I, The Jury."

💀 🙀 🐻 👽 🐯
Tiny, Tiny Tangent

I'm trying to focus and talk about dressing chickens.

But this grammar point is so easy, I just have to teach it:

VERB + のは + PERSON + だ。
PERSON is the one who VERBs.

That VERB can be any verb in plain form. So:

たべた のは ジョン だ。
John is the one who ate it.
Literally: "ate + のは + John + is."

It can also be a question. Here's a program that showed up on the Discovery channel:

いきのこる のは だれ だ!
Who will be the one to survive?!
Literally: "survive + のは + who + is!"

Note: This verb 生き残る(いきのこる)literally means "to remain living." You may be interested to learn that Harry Potter, "the boy who lived," is referred to as 生き残った男の子(いきのこった おとこのこ)in the Japanese translation.

If we want to get really fancy, we could even talk about how this のは is actually a nominalizer (=noun-maker), and the VERB can also be an ADJECTIVE.

Also, the PERSON can be pretty much anything:

わたし は かいがい に いく のは はじめて です。
It is my first time visiting another country.
Literally: "I + は + overseas / abroad + に + go + のは + for the first time + is."
Note: I recommend dropping off the 私は if/when you say this.

むずかしい のは はつおん だ。
What's difficult is pronunciation.
Literally: "difficult + のは + pronunciation + is."

Note: For example, maybe someone asked this person, "Is English grammar difficult?" Then they would say "No... What's difficult is pronunciation." They also could have just said 発音が難しい(はつおん が むずかしい), "Pronunciation is difficult."


That tangent was not as tiny as I'd intended.

Oh, dear.

Moving on...

I will "deliciously receive" your life, chicken.

おいしく いただきました。
I ate it (and it was delicious).
Literally: "deliciously + received."

This phrase is both simple and complicated.

For one thing, it's only two words. Simple!

But one of those words is いただきました. Complicated.

If you've read this article on my site, you'll know that いただきます can have quite a few meanings, and it's what you say just before eating a meal in Japan.

Technically, the verb means "to humbly receive."

The nuance can be not only that one is receiving food, but that one is receiving a life. And the chicken-killer explores this idea a bit...

What does it mean to "receive a life?"

いのち を いただく って どういう こと?
What does it mean to "receive a life?"
Literally: "life + を + humbly receive + って + what kind of + thing?"

Agh! We just learned about どういう in the last lesson!

Instead of the word 意味(いみ), "meaning," however, we just have こと,"thing."

That's because we're not talking about the meaning of a word or phrase.

Rather, we're asking what the meaning of something more abstract is. Don't worry if that sounds confusing. You'll get a nuance for this stuff naturally over time. I did, at least.

Here are a couple of examples...

(1) Here's yet another book from the Japanese Amazon store:

What is kindness? // What does it mean to be be 'kind?'
Literally: "kind + って + what kind of + thing?"

(2) I also found this article about skiing:

スキー で よく みる 「こつばん を たてる」 って どういう こと?
What does the phrase "bring your hips forward," which is often seen in talks about skiing, refer to?
Literally: "ski + で + often + see + 'pelvis + を + stand' + って + what kind of + thing?"

Note: We saw 骨盤(こつばん // pelvis)back in Lesson #16! Yeah, I have no idea what "stand your pelvis" is supposed to mean here. That article has a video that kind of explains it. Looking at this English article, I came to the conclusion [guess] that this referred to "bringing one's hips forward."

Here's the video the article uses:

Some Sad "Conditions"

The chicken-killer also uses the following phrase at one point:

そんな げんじょう は ほんとに かなしい こと です。
This is a truly saddening reality.
Literally: "that kind of + present condition + は + truly + sad + thing + is."

I probably could have translated this to something like, "That kind of present condition is truly saddening," which would have a more literal ring to it.

But I'm hesitant to ever use the word "condition" in a Japanese-to-English translation.

The reason is that, talking to a Japanese person in English, they use the word "condition" way-way-way too often.

This is because they have 27 million words that get translated to "condition:"

present condition; existing state

situation; circumstances; conditions

conditions; terms; requirements

condition; state of health; tune

current status; condition; situation


Maybe I'll try to differentiate those in tomorrow's lesson.


Warning! Graphic Images

Last but not least, we get to the dark side chicken-killer's blog post, where he says:

ここ から は すこし グロい しゃしん を こうかい しています。
Below I will be showing some photos that are a bit graphic.
Literally: "here + from + は + a little bit + grotesque + photos + を + make public + am doing."
Note: I think that saying "grotesque" for グロい is a bit too strong, so I went with "graphic."

On a side note, 公開する(こうかいする // "to make public")and 後悔する(こうかいする // "to regret") are kind of homophones.

I say "kind of," because they actually have different pitches. 公開 is flat and continuous, but 後悔 drops after the 後(こう)... or at least, that's what I was recently told when someone pointed out my inaccurate pitch.

I still don't get it. Maybe practice with a native teacher?

いやな ひと は みないで ください。
Please don't view them if you are sensitive to these things.
Literally: "unpleasant + person + は + don't look + please."
Note: I don't know a good way to translate 嫌な(いやな)here. Technically an 嫌な人, in this case, would be just someone who finds looking at photos like this to be "(very) disagreeable." Little kids use 嫌(いや)a lot when complaining. Adults, too...

Anyways, though I call the author the chicken killer, it actually is a rather interesting article.

He points out how easy it is to forget that we take lives every day, in countless ways.

One thing is undeniable: If I have to start killing my own chickens, I'm going vegetarian tomorrow.

Maybe that means I should be vegetarian now?

Bonus Phrases

Thank you for this meal. // Thank you.
Note:Said when (very) humbly receiving something.

いみ ない じゃん。
That's meaningless.

この じょうきょう を みて。
Look at the current situation.
Note: For example, if Rei were holding a bunch of bags, and then I asked her to hold my water bottle, too, then she might get angry and say this to me, the nuance being, "Open your eyes and look at this situation--I'm holding a bunch of bags; I can't carry that!!"

じょうけん の いい しごと したい。
I want a job with good working conditions

おなか の ちょうし わるい。
I have an upset stomach.

ベロベロ の じょうたい で かえって きた。
He came home wasted [drunk].

こうかい してる。
I regret it.

Complete and Continue