NHK News Web Easy Translations

Stop spoiling the bamboo in Kyoto

Hello Everyone - お元気ですか?

Today I will be translating a news article from NHK News Web Easy for my Japanese to English translation. The article talks about people engraving the bamboos along a walk way through a bamboo grove. I plan to start with lesson 15 of Minna no nihongo today, but even during translating this document I learnt a few grammatical constructs which I will discuss in the points and notes below.

Vocabulary List:

  • 京都市 (きょうとし) – Kyoto city
  • 嵐山 (あらしやま) – Arashiyama district in Kyoto
  • ~本 (ぽん) – counter for long cylindrical objects
  • 竹 (たけ) – bamboo
  • 文字 (もじ) – letter (of alphabet), character​
  • 傷 (きず) – scratch, scrape
  • 見つかる (みつかる) – to be found, to be discovered
  • 散歩 (さんぽ) – walk
  • 観光客 (かんこうきゃく) – tourist
  • 先 (さき) – point (of an object)
  • 細い (ほそい) – thin, fine
  • 硬い (かたい) – hard, tough
  • 急に (きゅうに) – quickly, rapidly
  • 管理 (かんり) – management, control
  • ひどい – excessive, severe
  • 切る (きる) – to cut
  • 捨てる (すてる) – to throw away, discard
  • 大事 (だいじ) – important, valuable

Link to the original article: click here.

Original Text:

京都市の嵐山 100本の竹に文字のような傷が見つかる





My Translation:

Engravings of letters was found on 100 bamboo plants in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto

In the Arashiyama district of Kyoto, there is a walk way through a bamboo grove that is famous among tourists.

According to officials in Kyoto, around February onward alphabets and Kanji characters were found to be engraved in the bamboos. The carvings appear to have been made with sharp and pointed objects. Such engravings have been increasing quickly since last month and hundred such bamboos have been found up till now.

Kyoto officials have pasted posters in Japanese and other foreign languages asking people not to engrave on the bamboos. “Since the roots of the bamboo plants are connected, even if one bamboo is scratched the other bamboos also start to deteriorate. The bamboos with excessive engravings have to be cut and discarded and so we want this to be stopped.” says an employee of the company managing the bamboos.

A woman who saw the bamboos said “It is beautiful but disappointing. I hope everyone takes care of Kyoto”.

Points and notes:

  1. A walk way through a bamboo grove has been described in very simple language for children – たくさんの散歩できるがあって (Inside lots of bamboos there is a walk-able way).
  2. The other sentence that I had difficulty understanding was がひどいは、っててなければならないのでやめてほしいです. I did not understand what なければならない meant and after searching on the web I found out that it basically means “must do or have to do”. So I translated it as “the bamboos with excessive engravings have to be cut and discarded…”.
  3. 先が細くて硬い物 (an object with thin and hard point) this phrase seems to be similar to 髪が長い – long hair, etc.
  4. 大事にする is an expression meaning to cherish or take care.

I’ll tackle another post tomorrow. またね!


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