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I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

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I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.17.2011 3:18 pm

Okay, doing some reading here, and I ran across a sentence beginning with the phrase 見ないでもすむように... (the rest is 犯人を追放しても、ほとんど死刑しない).

There some idiomatic thing going on there that I can't quite wrap my brain around, and it's driving me bats that Japanese is beating me.

What the heck is this saying? I'm running out of hair and fingernails.
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby Hyperworm » Wed 08.17.2011 3:41 pm

"Even if you extradite the criminal to remove them from your sight, most of the time they won't be executed."
(lit. in order that things can be settled even without looking at them)

Possible idiomatic meaning: "so you don't have to deal with them"? Though I have no evidence that it can mean this and 見ないでも済む seems to lean more towards repulsion...

Still feels a little odd but it's hard to say without more context. ._.

EDIT: or it might refer to making it so that society/public don't see them, in order to pretend that it never happened, or at least to hide the identity of the criminal, perhaps for political reasons...?
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.17.2011 10:49 pm

I don't think that's it. I've done some digging around, and found lots of different examples of (Verb)ないでもすむように . It's clearly imparting some information, but I just can't figure it out. Idioms often mess me up like that.
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby Ranja » Wed 08.17.2011 11:02 pm

Why don't you give us more context?
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby Hyperworm » Thu 08.18.2011 12:45 am

AJBryant wrote:I don't think that's it. I've done some digging around, and found lots of different examples of (Verb)ないでもすむように . It's clearly imparting some information, but I just can't figure it out. Idioms often mess me up like that.
I don't quite understand ._.
As far as I can see ないでもすむように is bound to have examples, and bound to impart meaning according to its grammar, which is surely
ないで + も + 済む2 (3?) + ように (=なくても済むために)
Or if you mean you found lots of "different" examples as in "odd examples", "examples that don't seem to fit with the regular meaning", definitely you should post them :D

This is a little awkward because I respect your ability so much and don't want to make suggestions you've obviously already considered :)
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 08.18.2011 2:50 am

I'm with Ranja, can you give us a little more lead up? 何をみないですむでしょう?

見ないですむ sounds to me like "without having to see", but without having to see what? The criminals? The execution?
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby NileCat » Thu 08.18.2011 10:56 am

I’ve made up some example sentences using the following keywords. :)

1.見ないでもすむように
2.犯人
3.追放
4.ほとんど
5.死刑
6.(し)ない
(One sentence that includes all the keywords)

A. (その時代には、)たとえ相手が犯罪者であってもその死を見ないでもすむように、犯人を追放することはあっても、死刑にすることはほとんどなかった。
B. (その国では、)罪を犯した者の顔を二度と見ないでもすむように犯人を追放することは往々にしてあったが、死刑にすることはほとんどなかった。
C. (彼らは)こうした悲惨な事件を再び見ないでもすむようにと犯人を追放はしても、ほとんど死刑にはしなかった。
D. (国王としての私は)人々の悲しむ顔を見ないでもすむように、重犯罪の犯人を追放はしても、ほとんど死刑にはしない。
E. (その時代には/その国では、)人々が残酷な刑罰を見ないでもすむように、犯人を追放することはあっても、死刑にすることはほとんどなかった。

Each example might sound kind of redundant, though.
:think: Am I striking a wrong note?
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby AJBryant » Thu 08.18.2011 8:30 pm

Sadly, there isn't much context beyond the sentence itself. It's in a series of discussions, and one guy is saying "the folks where I come from are really peaceful people." Then he says that sentence, and then the conversation changes to a different topic.
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby Hyperworm » Thu 08.18.2011 11:00 pm

In that case my interpretation (諦めません :D) would be
"Though they may extradite criminals so they don't have to look at them (=so they won't be a blemish on their society), they will hardly ever execute them."

Seems a bit of a... 物騒な... statement to make in order to illustrate that they're a peaceful people, but I think it's the most likely reading (with the information available).
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby AJBryant » Fri 08.19.2011 2:10 am

Actually, that works for me. I was thinking something along the lines of doing it "so we won't have to see them" -- i.e., so they won't be around.

It doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things -- the rest of the sentence and everything else that was going on made sense. I just hate it when something looks idiomatic and I'm not familiar with the idiom. ;)
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby phreadom » Fri 08.19.2011 3:38 am

I'm surprised nobody has noticed this...

"I cat believe a phrase is stumping me..."

猫がいますか? :colonthree:

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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby furrykef » Sat 08.20.2011 11:20 pm

I noticed it, I just didn't say anything. :3
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby AJBryant » Wed 08.24.2011 12:05 pm

I appreciate that discretion. ;) :ninja:
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Re: I cat believe a phrase is stumping me...

Postby kalavinka » Thu 01.12.2012 2:56 pm

I like hyperworm's reply. This isn't a phrase I'm familiar with either and I don't read up on political things in Japanese so I'm unlikely to read criminal/peace context things but I wanted to google the phrase ないでもすむように for other contexts to get a sense of what it can mean. You probably did the same but it's funny that I came across more than one dental (and medical) examples!

One dental staff person's page said this in their profile:
1. 体を大事にする。
2. 患者様が1本でも歯を失わないでもすむようにご指導させていただくこと。

Another dental example:
小児の矯正は顎と歯のバランスを整えていくことによって正常な位置に永久歯が出てくるように誘導しできるだけ歯を抜かないでもすむように治療を行っていきます。

A nutrition example,
食糧はできるだけ軽量にするために、カロリーのある軽いものを考えています。現地調達ができるところでは、新鮮なものを食べる計画ですから、したがってお米を食べないでもすむようにいまから訓練しています。

So yeah I think it's like to do something, in order to, help keep making it go along the plans/intended path, etc. Really awkward but that's the gist.

The thing I find hard (dangerous?) about reading text people wrote is that it could be a really poor example of proper Japanese. Example, with my Japanese relatives, I find that my cousin's wife sometimes has an odd way of speaking. I thought maybe that's just part of my Japanese ignorance and I could learn from it but first I asked my mom and she agreed that the wife talks funny :)
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