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"I don't care what he thinks"

Do you have a translation question?

"I don't care what he thinks"

Postby sampaguita » Fri 05.08.2009 9:25 pm

Consider the following conversation between a girl (G) and boy (B1) [who is a close friend of G]. Boy B2 (who likes G, but isn't liked by G) gets mentioned in the conversation.

G: Do you think I'm pretty?
B1: Well, B2 thinks you are.
G: I don't care what he thinks. I'm asking what you think.

So I want to translate this conversation into Japanese. Would the following be correct?

G: ねえ、B1、あたしがきれいだと思ってるの?
B1: さあ、B2さんはそう思ってるでしょう。
G: B2が思ってることにかんけいがないよ。B1が思ってることは聞いている。

Or, would the last line be better off as:

G: B2が何と思ってるのかにかんけいがないよ。B1さんが何と思ってるのかは聞いている。

Or am I wrong?

Note: My main concern is the difference between using "こと" and the "embedded question". Further, is my use of "は" in the second sentence of G's second line correct?

Thanks a lot!
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 05.08.2009 9:42 pm

You should use を instead of は since you are being specific about what is being asked.

For the first part I think it would be much more natural to just have something like B2は関係ない, or B2はどうでもいい.
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby sampaguita » Fri 05.08.2009 11:53 pm

If G wanted to say:

G: I don't give a damn about what B2 thinks. I'm asking about what YOU (B1) think.

Would the translation change?

Also, what about "koto" and the "embedded question"? Are both grammatically correct? Can both be used in formal language? Which is more likely to be used? Thank you!
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby keatonatron » Sat 05.09.2009 6:20 am

I would personally go with "B2が思うのはどうでもいい," which I think would translate closer to your "don't give a damn" sentence.
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby sampaguita » Sat 05.09.2009 7:41 am

keatonatron wrote:I would personally go with "B2が思うのはどうでもいい," which I think would translate closer to your "don't give a damn" sentence.


Sorry but I'm a bit confused. Isn't "dou demo ii" neutral in a sense that when you say it, you don't really convey annoyance? Would "kamawanai" be a better option? If so, how should the sentence be phrased?
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby NocturnalOcean » Sat 05.09.2009 8:24 am

keatonatron wrote:I would personally go with "B2が思うのはどうでもいい," which I think would translate closer to your "don't give a damn" sentence.


If you go for this variant, maybe "B2の思ってることはどうでもいい" would be better.
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby keatonatron » Sat 05.09.2009 7:05 pm

sampaguita wrote:Sorry but I'm a bit confused. Isn't "dou demo ii" neutral in a sense that when you say it, you don't really convey annoyance? Would "kamawanai" be a better option? If so, how should the sentence be phrased?


Japanese is a language of underlying meanings. :D

When you say "dou demo ii," it literally means "any (either) option is okay with me," which essentially means "I don't care what the chosen option is." Based on context and the way it is said, the emphasis could be on not caring or on "anything is okay".

If G wanted B2 to like her, she would be happy with "he likes you" and not happy with "he doesn't like you." If she didn't want him to like her, her feelings would be the opposite. If she simply doesn't care what he thinks, then either option would not change how she feels, which is why you get "dou demo ii."

Of course this phrase can also show up in normal conversations between friends deciding on what they want to eat or where they want to go to hang out, which really shows the power of context and tone of the conversation. If you say it with an annoyed tone of voice, it very strongly conveys annoyance :P

"Kamawanai" on the other hand doesn't. :? It's kind of a stiff word that teachers use when talking about how to do your homework and such. (e.g. "電卓を使っても構わない")
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Re: "I don't care what he thinks"

Postby sampaguita » Sat 05.09.2009 9:16 pm

あ、そうですか。ありがとう!
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