足を引っ掛ける

Sulizhen

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello,

I'm reading 魔女の宅急便 and -I'm blushing while writing this, because I've found problems in the very first page *-_-*- although I understand the general meaning of what I'm reading, I've found some expressions that I cannot fully understand.

The book starts telling that once upon a time, there was a town that seemed to be like any other town anywhere, but that it has some "special features", such as some big trees having small bells hanging from them.
The sentences that says so is:

町の高い木という木のてっぺんにぶらさがっている銀色の鈴です。

From this, I can understand that there were little silver (or silver-coloured) bells hanging from the top of the tall trees in the town, but I cannot understand the use of "to iu" there...

But, my main problem is here... The book keeps on explaining that those bells sounded even when there was not any storm to move them, and when that happened, someone said...

「おや、おや、またちっちゃなキキが足をひっかけたね。」

I don't know what "ashi wo hikkakeru" means here. I've seen the film and I know that Kiki is a little witch and that she flies on her broom and, by the context, once it's said that the bells sounded loud even when there was no wind moving them, I can suppose that the bells ring because Kiki is flying near them or something similar but I'm not sure. Is there, maybe, any metaphorical meaning of this expression that I couldn't find out?

Again, thanks in advance!!
 
  • erick

    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    Sulizhen said:
    But, my main problem is here... The book keeps on explaining that those bells sounded even when there was not any storm to move them, and when that happened, someone said...

    「おや、おや、またちっちゃなキキが足をひっかけたね。」

    I don't know what "ashi wo hikkakeru" means here.
    Hi ウルトラマン、
    I've seen the movie and I interpret it like this: 足をひっかける means to snag or trip up one's feet. Since Kiki takes off and stumbles/snags on the tree, it's the flying witch's equivalent of snagging one's feet. So even without wind, the bells chime because Kiki metaphorically trips up on her take-off and bounces off the tree, hence ringing the bells.
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Aaaaah, maybe you're right!! Stumbling over the top of the trees is a right way to understand it, since she is an inexperineced witch!

    Thank you very much for your help!! :)
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Sulizhen said:
    町の高い木という木のてっぺんにぶらさがっている銀色の鈴です。
    町の高い木という
    this is..
    I think it's almost the same to

    the tree named as takai ki in the town
    or
    the tree called takai ki in the town

    or English "as"..maybe but I'm not sure.
    it's very hard to explain, exactly.
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I see... Hmmm... Could it be "the tallest tree(s) in the town" a good interpretation of the sentence? I know that there are other ways to express it, but this translation to English is the only one that makes sense for me in this context -but, if we take into account that my knowledge in Japanese is very limited, this interpretation may be wrong... What do you think?

    Thanks for your help!! :)
     

    frequency

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Sulizhen said:
    Could it be "the tallest tree(s) in the town" a good interpretation of the sentence?
    Yes yes, this is the abbreviated sentence.
    I can read this that there are trees in the town, and the tallest is named as / called as Takai ki.
    and
    there were (this is a?) little silver (or silver-coloured) bells / bell? hanging from the top of the tallest trees, which is called as Takai ki in the town,

    Adding "which is called as Takai ki" makes this sentence longer for the animation script. I think that this phrase was abbreviated.
    And you've already known, that Japanese doesn't have plural/singular forms so I don't understand whether there are tall trees or there is the tall tree in it. Sorry and I haven't watched majo no takkyu bin:)
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Ah! So that's the meaning, actually!

    frequency, Toscairn and Erick: thanks for taking the time to explain me these things!!! :)
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    frequency said:
    I can read this that there are trees in the town, and the tallest is named as / called as Takai ki.
    and
    there were (this is a?) little silver (or silver-coloured) bells / bell? hanging from the top of the tallest trees, which is called as Takai ki in the town,
    And you've already known, that Japanese doesn't have plural/singular forms so I don't understand whether there are tall trees or there is the tall tree in it. Sorry and I haven't watched majo no takkyu bin:)
    Now I re-read your post a question comes to my mind... Is there in Japanese different words for "jingle bell" ("cascabel" in Spanish http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascabel... You know, that one that some people put around their cat's neck...) and "bell"? Or can be both named "suzu"?

    Ah, and I'm not reading the script of the film. I'm reading the book on which Studio Ghibli based its film :) As a side note I must say that the illustrations of the book are cute, even if they have nothing to do with the Ghibli's characters.

    About singular/plural forms... Don't ask me why (maybe because I've seen the film, I guess), but it's easier for me to figure out a tree with many bells hanging from its top, than to imagine a tree with just one bell...

    Anyway, thanks again to all for your replies!
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    toscairn said:
    猫の首につける鈴...鈴でいいニャ!@^ェ^@ (←猫のつもり)
    Hahaha... I see...Thank you!!
    ここに私の猫のトライです! (ニャ!)>=^·。·^= (でも、私の猫は鈴がありませんね...)
    もし、間違えったら、ごめん -___-...
     

    Sulizhen

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    =^· ·^=
    @
    どうもありがとうございましたね!今、私の猫がとてもうれしいです!
     
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