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Forum Home > General Discussion > *Sentence Help/Issues Topic*

Lance
Member
Posts: 173

Because issues with sentences or things dealing with sentence structures, diction, semantics (etc) are so prevalent on this site, the site administrator has asked me to make this topic to help organize it all into one thread.

In this thread, questions relating to single-sentence translations and comprehension can be asked here, and answered by anyone who wishes to answer. We're hoping this will keep up and hold all sentence-related questions, so please post all questions you have like these here!


And, well, to start, here's a sentence of my own: 


コーチなら関係なかろう。


I'd appreciate any good explanation that I can get with this sentence!

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-ランス

January 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

まあ、普通に言うと「コーチなら関係ないでしょう」ですね。
なかろう = じゃないだろう

あまり使われていない、古風な言い方です。
It's a not often used, old-style way of saying it. 

なら In the case of; If talking about   この場合、 そういう意味を表します。

ご参照まで (For your reference)

なら → 第52課
なかろう → 第81課 

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 いまび

January 28, 2013 at 6:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lance
Member
Posts: 173

有難うございました。 Some of those expressions I haven't heard of or seen before, but thanks for the translations. This gives me more to do, now.

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-ランス

January 28, 2013 at 7:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lance
Member
Posts: 173

" 沙夜ちゃんって、義姉さんとこの?"

Can anyone give help with this sentence?

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-ランス

April 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

This is a sentence fragment. It is important to understand this. Japanese speakers often never finish their sentences, just as English speakers do. What is the motivation for this? it depends on what is cut off and how. 

At the very end you have a question mark, but what is the content of a question? In the content of some situation previously stated. この is a demonstrative word, and in Japanese, one that must always be before some NP (noun phrase). It doesn't ever stand alone literally. You can't separate it from its grammatical constraints. So, what it attaches to here is something that happens to be not spoken because that information must be readily available to restore it. That's what speakers do in discourse all the time without ever normally having difficulties. In such a small sentence, there should be zero problem unless you really can't figure Japanese out.

Starting with the first particle phrase: って → というのは. There is a lesson on this and how to interpret it in different environments, but this is used as a topicalizer expression with a sense of citation. Clearly, the two titles are of different people. 

沙夜ちゃん must have just been brought up, and then the next title has something to do with "this (situation that has to deal with 沙夜). 

Titles are not necessarily used literally, so as this seems to be from a series you are going to have to use your knowledge of it to make sense of the relations and locations of the characters. 

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 いまび

April 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

sanri
Member
Posts: 15

Sorry if I'm wrong, but I think Imabi-sensei has split the sentence incorrectly. To me it looks like this sentence is 

沙夜ちゃん って、義姉さん とこ の ?

So it would mean "This Sayo-chan we're talking about, you mean the one at your sister-in-law's place?"



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April 6, 2013 at 3:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

No. That wouldn't be right. He's already given this to me before with more of the context, and given the rest it makes it more obvious. Even still, the issue is that you have a stranded particle no that has to be theoretically attaching to some noun phrase. Furthermore, it would have been 義妹さんのとこ.

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 いまび

April 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

sanri
Member
Posts: 15

I thought it might have been 義姉のとこの with the first の dropped off due to the phrase being thrown in a casual conversation, but oh well. I trust you know better.

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April 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

Having two nouns like that juxtaposed with the particle no dropping out is not really done in casual speech. There are instances where it can get dropped for sure, but things like this wouldn't be one of them. 

If your idea were more so what was meant, the particle would more likely have been contracted to ん. One way to determine if something is acceptable or not is try to do a replacement test. 

義妹 Refers to a person とこ Would refer to a place の Is what would put them together. However, ぼことこ X. That's bad. ぼくんとこ 〇. More or less the same thing. 

Furthermore, the last の drives a pesky nail into the entire thought. 

Sadly Lance was not kind enough to give the rest of even that line for this debate (which I've already scoriated him on). 

The rest of this line was 懐かしいなあ。光たちも喜ぶぞ。

So, here's the whole "line". 

沙夜(さや)ちゃんって、義妹さんとこの?...懐かしいなあ。光たちも喜ぶぞ。

It's quite clear that what この Is attaching to is a こと. The こと Is just ellipsed out. This is very Japanese-like to do this, and the more things you read like anime or listen to conversational speech, examples like this will be just about everywhere. 

The problem I kept having with poor Lance was that the definition of the words themselves in this line make this the only interpretation. Disregarding what the names of the characters might refer to in the series, the definitions of 懐かしい and 喜ぶ refer to a こと. 

You can't say 彼女が懐かしい。 X

That's bad. It's definitely stupid. 

彼女が日本に来るって懐かしいなあ。  That's perfect. It's essentially what the part before it was talking about in reference to 沙夜 Because she had sent a letter about her coming back.

As an aspiring linguist with not much else to do, I could go on and on about two lines of text, but I find that to be an utter waste of time. The problem for Lance was essentially particles and part of speech irrecognition.

この Is a 連体修飾語. It needs an NP to work. One wasn't said. Anyone with eyes can figure that out. The fact of the matter is though is that Japanese grammar says that things like this must have an NP. So, how can you get around this? Say it's there but it's just not spoken. Japanese people, like I've said before, often don't finish their statements or phrases. However, if the information is readily recoverable in the discourse, there's no big deal, and we actually still treat it as if it were present.

Furthermore, the final の before the question mark can't be a final particle because the final particle version has to attach to the 連体形 of a conjugatable part of speech. You have to throw that out immediately.

Whenever anyone has a problem figuring out a sentence, here a few steps to overcome some of your difficulty.

1. Look up the words in English (if possible).
2. When you look up the definitions of the words, don't be stupid about it. If there are lines of synonyms and different definitions. Take note of them and get the overall nuance(s) figured out.
3. Use a Japanese dictionary and see what it says. Take note of any examples provided and what words are in those.
4. At least attempt to look up grammar points you don't now.
5. See how the words are put together and how they match the given definitions/usages you found.

A possible sixth step is to try to make smaller similar sentences and being a smart googler to see if you can even use the words yourself.

Now back to the secret big project....... 

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 いまび

April 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lance
Member
Posts: 173

Strange...I don't remember going over this with you before....


Sure you aren't mistaken?

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-ランス

April 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

Don't play dumb. You know I'm not mistaken. That is exactly what the text is and I know the video where it comes from. 

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 いまび

April 7, 2013 at 10:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lance
Member
Posts: 173

There is no need to be hostile, sensei...I...honestly...I do not know what you're talking about...

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-ランス

April 7, 2013 at 10:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

IMABI
Site Owner
Posts: 1153

While you stay in a fantasy world, the facts still stand because with even the single line a similar situation has to be the case simply because of the grammar restraints of the words themselves. A topicalizer, which is after Saya must refer to something known by the speaker and the listener. So, that can be recovered. Attributers have attributes and vice versa. You use kono with something. If it ain't there, then it's ellipsed out and it is relatively easy (knowing Japanese).

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 いまび

April 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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