• SHARE

Pochi no sanpo-gatera, hagaki o dashi ni itte-kuru.

(Since I’m taking Pochi for a walk, I’ll go and post the postcard.)

Situation 1: Mr. Okubo lets his wife know that he’s taking the family dog, Pochi, for a walk.

夫:ポチの散歩がてら、はがきを出しに行ってくるよ。

妻:あ、じゃあ、ついでにコンビニでおしょうゆ買ってきて。

Otto: Pochi no sanpo gatera, hagaki o dashi ni itte-kuru yo.

Tsuma: A, jaa, tsuide ni konbini de o-shōyu katte-kite.

Husband: Since I’m taking Pochi for a walk, I’ll go and post the postcard.

Wife: Ah, well, while you’re at it, please buy a bottle of soy sauce at the convenience store.

 

The pattern “X がてらY” is used when you are doing one thing and decide to do something else while you’re at it. In this case, “X” is a noun, がてら is a conjunctive particle and “Y” tends to be a verbal phrase that expresses movement: 行(い)く (to go), 買(か)い物(もの)する (to do the shopping), etc. The “X” action is the primary one, so in English, the structure can be translated as “at the same time,” “since” or “while”:

お遊(あそ)びがてら、お寄(よ)りください。

(Seeing as though you’re free [playing], please come for a visit.)

がてら can sound a little formal. In Situation 1, Mr. Okubo has the option of replacing it with (の)ついでに:

ポチの散歩(さんぽ)のついでに、コンビニに行ってくるよ。(Since I’m taking Pochi for a walk, I’ll go to the convenience store on the way).

 

Situation 2: Mrs. Okubo is talking on the phone with her old friend Mrs. Nishizawa, who lives in Kyoto.

大久保:コロナが落ち着いたら、ぜひ遊びにきてね。

西沢:ぜひ、ぜひ!お宅を訪ねがてら、草間彌生美術館にも行ってみたいな。早く安心して外出できるようになってほしい。

Ōkubo: Korona ga ochitsuitara, zehi asobi ni kite ne.

Nishizawa: Zehi, zehi! Otaku o tazune gatera, Kusama Yayoi Bijutsukan nimo itte-mitai na. Hayaku anshin shite gaishutsu dekiru yō ni natte hoshii.

Okubo: When the coronavirus comes to an end, do come visit us.

Nishizawa: Sure, sure! I would like to also try going to the Yayoi Kusama Museum when visiting your home. I’d like it so that we can go out without any worries as soon as possible.

When using XがてらY, “X” can also be a verb in its pre-masu form, such as Mrs. Nishizawa’s 訪(たず)ねがてら (while visiting) in Situation 2. The “X” verb is also usually one that conveys an action:

娘(むすめ)を送(おく)りがてら駅(えき)まで行って、新幹線(しんかんせん)の切符(きっぷ)を買ってこよう。

(Since I’ll take my daughter to the station, I can buy a shinkansen ticket [for myself] while I’m at it.)

When using the more colloquial ついでに, the sentence can read as: 娘を駅まで送るついでに、新幹線の切符を買ってこよう。

 

Bonus Dialogue: Two young colleagues are chatting on their break while working from home.

セレ:明日(あした)は、久(ひさ)しぶりに出勤(しゅっきん)だね。

三田 (みた):うん。しかも、打(う)ち合(あ)わせがてらのランチもあるね。楽(たの)しみだなあ。

セレ:打ち合わせがてらといっても、会議室(かいぎしつ)でお弁当(べんとう)が配(くば)られて、それを黙(だま)って食(た)べてから、マスクをして会議(かいぎ)をするみたいだよ。

三田:安全(あんぜん)のためにね。それでも、みんなに会(あ)えるからうれしいよ。だけど、隣(となり)のビルの林(はやし)さんには会えないなあ。いつもランチがてら隣のビルに行ってうろうろしていると会えたのに。やっと名札(なふだ)で名前(なまえ)を確認(かくにん)できたからアプローチしようと思(おも)っていたんだ。そうしたら、すぐ在宅(ざいたく)勤務(きんむ)になっちゃった。これじゃ何(なに)も進展(しんてん)しないよ。人生(じんせい)、まっ暗(くら)だよ。

セレ:コロナにかかっていないだけでも幸(しあわ)せだと思おう。医療(いりょう)関係者(かんけいしゃ)や研究者(けんきゅうしゃ)が頑張(がんば)ってくれているから、出口(でぐち)はきっともうすぐだよ。

三田:うん、セレ君(くん)の言(い)う通(とお)りだ。じゃあ、明日(あした)、会えるのを楽しみにしているね。

Sere: Tomorrow is the first commute in a long time, eh?

Mita: Yeah. Moreover, at the same time there’s a lunch meeting, too. I’m looking forward to it.

Sere: They say it’s a meeting, but when the lunch boxes are handed out in the meeting room, everyone will eat them silently, and then we’ll wear masks while having the meeting, apparently.

Mita: For safety’s sake. Still, I’m glad I can meet everyone. But I won’t be able to meet Ms. Hayashi in the next building. Always, while I was having lunch I was able to meet her when I went wandering around in the building next door. At long last, I found out her name from (her) name tag and I was thinking of approaching her. Then, soon after that, I had to start working from home. This has meant no further development (in our relationship). Life is pitch black.

Sere: I think we should be glad we don’t have the coronavirus at least. Those who are engaged in medical work and researchers are doing their best for everyone, so I’m sure an exit (end) is just around the corner.

Mita: Yeah, exactly as you say, Sere. Well, I’m looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)