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. . . oita no ga, . . .

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. . . oita no ga, . . .

Postby space_bubble » Sat 08.15.2009 8:47 am

Hello. In a yomimono (which appears on page 66 of the textbook An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese), there is a sentence I have been reading two different ways, and I am trying to decide which reading is right.

(For context, the sentence is from a hypothetical email that a ryūgakusei in Tokyo has sent to his former Japanese professor back home.)


そちらを出る前に、先生や日本人の友達たちから、日本の生活や大学について色々聞いておいたのが、役に立っています。


Reading 1:
Before I left there, I heard various things from professors and from Japanese friends about the Japanese way of life, college and so forth, and that is proving to be very useful.

Reading 2:
The various things I heard before I left there, from professors and from Japanese friends, about the Japanese way of life, college, and so forth, are proving to be very useful.


(My apology if the Subject Line of this post is not very explanatory, but the sentence is convoluted enough that I can't completely figure out what it is in the sentence that confuses me.)

Thanks in advance for any ideas clarifying and/or explaining this.
Last edited by space_bubble on Sat 08.15.2009 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: . . . no oita ga, . . .

Postby keatonatron » Sat 08.15.2009 9:35 am

What I'd like to ask is, what do you think is the difference between those two sentences?

The meaning is exactly the same; one is simply more natural than the other.

Whenever trying to translate a Japanese sentence into English, you can try to to it literally (which sounds funny but is accurate), or naturally (which might be a little different grammatically, but sounds much more natural without losing the original meaning.)

You've given a natural translation and a literal translation; it's impossible to say which reading is "right".
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Re: . . . no oita ga, . . .

Postby space_bubble » Sat 08.15.2009 10:29 am

keatonatron wrote:What I'd like to ask is, what do you think is the difference between those two sentences?

The meaning is exactly the same; one is simply more natural than the other.

Oops. :oops: That's where . . . oita no ga, . . . -- I think -- got me. It was convoluted enough that I didn't realize that both sentences imparted the same basic meaning.

keatonatron wrote:Whenever trying to translate a Japanese sentence into English, you can try to to it literally (which sounds funny but is accurate), or naturally (which might be a little different grammatically, but sounds much more natural without losing the original meaning.)

You've given a natural translation and a literal translation; it's impossible to say which reading is "right".

Your answer is great because it says so much so compactly. It's the subordinate clause I failed to see that threw me off, but which I now see. Thanks for the clarification.
Last edited by space_bubble on Sat 08.15.2009 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: . . . no oita ga, . . .

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 08.15.2009 10:37 am

I was wondering about that title because のおいたが doesn't appear anywhere in what you quoted.
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Re: . . . no oita ga, . . .

Postby Hyperworm » Sat 08.15.2009 11:30 am

Either translation is acceptable, but I think nailing the literal meaning is important; failing to understand exactly what each part of a sentence like this means could lead to subtle mistakes in translation in some cases.

Personally I would say the literal meaning is "having asked my professors and Japanese friends about various things, including the Japanese way of life, Japanese colleges, and so forth, is proving to have been very useful."

が is the subject particle there, not the が that connects clauses (with the meaning of "but").
And I think の here refers to the act of asking, not the things he asked.
Last edited by Hyperworm on Sat 08.15.2009 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: . . . no oita ga, . . .

Postby space_bubble » Sat 08.15.2009 11:35 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I was wondering about that title because のおいたが doesn't appear anywhere in what you quoted.

Oops again. :oops:
I changed it to oita no ga in the OP.
Last edited by space_bubble on Sat 08.15.2009 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: . . . oita no ga, . . .

Postby space_bubble » Sat 08.15.2009 11:50 am

Hyperworm wrote:Either translation is acceptable, but I think nailing the literal meaning is important; failing to understand exactly what each part of a sentence like this means could lead to subtle mistakes in translation in some cases.

Personally I would say the literal meaning is "having asked my professors and Japanese friends about various things, including the Japanese way of life, Japanese colleges, and so forth, is proving to have been very useful."

が is the subject particle there, not the が that connects clauses (with the meaning of "but").
And I think の here refers to the act of asking, not the things he asked.


Your pointing out the "having asked . . ." and your confirming that ga was the subject particle is like a lightbulb going on. With this, I *finally* see how no nominalizes a clause. Thanks for this.
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Re: . . . oita no ga, . . .

Postby sampaguita » Sat 08.15.2009 10:24 pm

But if こと were used instead of の, then the original translation of "the things i asked ...." would also make sense, right? This was one of the differences between こと and の that I learned some time ago.
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Re: . . . oita no ga, . . .

Postby space_bubble » Mon 08.17.2009 6:53 pm

sampaguita wrote:But if こと were used instead of の, then the original translation of "the things i asked ...." would also make sense, right? This was one of the differences between こと and の that I learned some time ago.

Perhaps. That's quite an important point, but it drifts from the original topic.
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