July 30, 2009

Japanese in Print: Dragon Quest

It's time for another exploration of the Japanese to be found in adds; I'll try to keep it at an intermediate learner's level. A new Dragon Quest video game recently came out, and people seem to be really interested in it. It's been a popular game series since the 80s, and the characters in the games have always been designed by Akira Toriyama (the Dragonball dude). Akira really outdid himself on one character this time around: The agejō-looking faerie (hit that link for my explanation of agejō). Let's look at her before we take a look at the bigger ad:

She is dripping with the latest Japanese trends. The shorts, the ribbon shoes, the pose... it's all so now. Gotta love it. Another shot:
She does the J girl pigeon-toe even when flying.

And now the ad (click to zoom):

Ad Breakdown:

The Top few lines:
冒険をする時 When on an adventure
大切なことは the important thing
いろいろな人と with various people
話をすることです。is to have conversations
会話 conversation
を通じてby means of
世界で起っていることが the things happening in the world
明らかになれば、 if become clear,
あなたが you
そこで there
何をすればよいかが what should do
次第に gradually
分かってくる become clear
はずです。ought to be

Note that I could translate two things as should, but 何をすればよいかが is literally "what+obj.+ if do+ good+ the question of+sub." or "what would be good to do?" and はずです is "ought to+ be", expressing expectation, but could be should. Another word I often translate as should is べき. It is mostly for stating what one should do in a way that can come off as hoity-toity if not used correctly. You should think about what should means, shouldn't you.

The red circle:
村や町 villages or towns
に入ると when enter
さまざまな人と with various people
出会いますencounter


two とs in this one, but the first is a conditional と (when x is done, y is the result) and the other is the simpler "and/with" と. A third type of と is the quoting one, as in " x と言った". There is a と in the first breakdown, so take a look at that one too.

The bottom line:
困っている人を people in trouble
助けたり helping etc.
事件を cases
解決することで、by solving
物語は story
どんどん rapidly
広がっています spreading out


the たり conjugation of a verb means "doing things like" and is often followed by する even if the verb in the たりform is already する. Example: ゴルフをしたりする=doing things like golfing

I'll leave the dialog shots from the game alone.