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Translating Passive sentence

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Translating Passive sentence

Postby draglung » Sat 05.26.2007 9:13 am

I was reading the passive verb section when something came to my mind and i wanted to try to translate this:

I was hit by the ball kicked by that guy

私はあいつに蹴飛ばさせるボールに打ち当てた

I wonder if the verbs i used are appropriate as well.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 05.26.2007 9:24 am

Passives are almost never used with inanimate objects. The way to translate that would just be あいつが蹴り飛ばしたボールに打ち当てた。

The majority of uses of the passive voice in English do not translate directly to the passive in Japanese.

For instance, our use of the passive to provide focus is done with は and が in Japanese:
ジョンは、この車を運転した。 (John drove this car.)
この車は、ジョンが運転した。 (This car was driven by John.)

-te aru is appropriate in other cases:
ドアが開けてあります。 (The door was opened [by someone].)

In cases where the passive is being used because you don't know the actor or don't want to state who it is, you can just take advantage of Japanese allowing you to drop subjects, and keep the normal verb.

(EDIT: Thanks, richv)
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Sat 05.26.2007 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby richvh » Sat 05.26.2007 10:00 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
ドアが開けてあります。 (The door was closed [by someone].)

Your English and Japanese sentences don't agree. Did you mean to use 閉めて/閉じて or "opened"?
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby flammable hippo » Sat 05.26.2007 10:05 am

Another instance where the English passive and Japanese passive aren't the same is in the following sentence (which I think is gramatically correct, if not then this post is rather irrelevant):

僕は犬に死なれました。 I suppose a literal translation of this would be "I was died by my dog" which makes no sense in English but it does in Japanese where the meaning is more along the line of "I was affected by the death of my dog" or something like that.
Last edited by flammable hippo on Sat 05.26.2007 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Kagemaru » Sat 05.26.2007 11:06 am

flammable hippo wrote:

僕は犬に死なれました。


Not incorrect but sounds very odd/unnatural way just to say "My dog died"

flammable hippo wrote:"I was affected by the death of my dog" or something like that.


(私の)犬は死んだのでとても悲しい sounds more natural to me.

To use affect:

彼の考えに影響を受けた。
I was affected by his opinion(s).
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 05.26.2007 11:15 am

Kagemaru wrote:
flammable hippo wrote:

僕は犬に死なれました。


Not incorrect but sounds very odd/unnatural way just to say "My dog died"


What's odd or unnatural about it? That's a pretty good example of an adversitive passive (the "canonical" sentence that you often see in textbooks is 父に死なれた).

Other examples:
From JSL:
子供に起こされました。 (I was negatively affected by somebody/thing awakening the children)
アルバイトに遅く来られて、あの仕事は済ませませんでした。 (Being that I was negatively affected by the part-time worker showing up late, I did not finish that work.)

From DBJ:
ジョンはフレッドに夜遅くアパートにこられた。 (Jon was negatively affected by Fred coming to his apartment late at night)
私は弟にケーキを食べられた。 (I was negatively affected by my little brother eating my cake. [This is the exception to the "no passives with inanimate objects" guideline])
私は二年前妻にしなれた。 (I was negatively affected by my wife dying two years ago.)
原田さんは奥さんに高いコートを買われた。 (Harada-san was negatively affected by his wife buying an expensive coat.)
次郎は太郎にビールを飲まれた。 (Jiro was negatively affected by Taro drinking his beer.)
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Sat 05.26.2007 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Kagemaru » Sat 05.26.2007 12:24 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:

What's odd or unnatural about it? That's a pretty good example of an adversitive passive (the "canonical" sentence that you often see in textbooks is 父に死なれた).


I did say it wasn't incorrect however, I found the use of 死なれた in both sentences a very uncommon and unnecessary way to express that something has died.

So I gave the example of 影響を受ける to show something that has had a real affect/influence on someone/something.

That is all.
Last edited by Kagemaru on Sat 05.26.2007 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby caroline » Sat 05.26.2007 1:05 pm

I have to agree with Chris that I learned the adversitive passive that way .
For instance, some sentences from my teacher :

かわいがっていた猫にきのう死なれました。
The cat I loved died yesterday. (The cat I loved died yesterday, and I was adversely affected by its death)

田中さんは奥さんに逃げられました。
His wife left Mr Tanaka (and I suppose he was embarassed by the fact)

きのうは雨に降られて、ぬれました。
Yesterday, I got all soaked by an unexpected rain (so, I was adversely affected by the rain).

If there are other ways to say that, while conveying the same adverse feeling, I'd love to know that, because these are quite unnatural sentences for my latin-tuned syntax mind and I truly have to twist my instincts to get it right.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 05.26.2007 1:19 pm

Kagemaru wrote:
Yudan Taiteki wrote:

What's odd or unnatural about it? That's a pretty good example of an adversitive passive (the "canonical" sentence that you often see in textbooks is 父に死なれた).


I did say it wasn't incorrect however, I found the use of 死なれた in both sentences a very uncommon and unnecessary way to express that something has died.

So I gave the example of 影響を受ける to show something that has had a real affect/influence on someone/something.


Are you a native speaker of Japanese?
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Sat 05.26.2007 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby flammable hippo » Sat 05.26.2007 1:31 pm

Just to add in on the fun of giving examples :D

昨日、誰かに車を盗まれた-yesterday my car was stolen by somebody
昨日の夜、 どろぼうに入られた-lats night I had my place broken into
友達にパャRンを使われた-My friend, to my dismay used my PC

I wonder what Coco-san or Furin-san think of this usage of the passive form.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby furin » Sat 05.26.2007 2:38 pm

I was hit by the ball kicked by that guy

私はあいつに蹴飛ばさせるボールに打ち当てた


If the situation is like my poor manga:
Image

I guess we would say, simple,

あいつが蹴ったボールが私に当たった。

当たった is a past form for 当たる

If you want to use 当てられる(passive for 当てる), then it would be
(私は)あいつが蹴ったボールに当てられた。In this situation, it has a nuance of something like that boy had a purpose of hitting me for some reason.

I wonder what Coco-san or Furin-san think of this usage of the passive form.
ココさんを待ちましょう ^^;
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RE: 迷惑の受け身

Postby coco » Sat 05.26.2007 6:25 pm

flammable hippo wrote:
Another instance where the English passive and Japanese passive aren't the same is in the following sentence (which I think is gramatically correct, if not then this post is rather irrelevant):

僕は犬に死なれました。 I suppose a literal translation of this would be "I was died by my dog" which makes no sense in English but it does in Japanese where the meaning is more along the line of "I was affected by the death of my dog" or something like that.


英語では説明が難しいのですが、
僕は犬に死なれました。 is close to
彼は大学生の時、父に死なれたので、大学をやめました。そして、会社で働きました。 from this post, sentence No.7.
They are both 死なれた usages. And SS-san's example is correct because it is fit with the definition of れる(←) エ. According to this dictionary, it seems to be called 迷惑の受け身.

(エ)動作・作用の主体に害が及ぶもの。自動詞に付いた場合が多く、迷惑の受け身とも呼ばれる。
「せっかくの海外旅行も毎日雨に降ら〈れ〉て、少しもおもしろくなかった」
「ずっと妻に寝込ま〈れ〉て閉口している」

I don't know what should be the 迷惑の受け身 in English. Adversity passive form?
SS-san's example sentence expresses the trouble which happened to that person(=彼), and it is appropriate.

僕は犬に死なれました is grammatically correct. But as kagemaru-san says, it's a little bit unnatural to me too.

犬に死なれて旅行に行けなくなった。 In this sentence, listeners may feel the speaker was annoyed with his dog's death rather than he was sad.

昨日、誰かに車を盗まれた
昨日の夜、 どろぼうに入られた
友達にパャRンを使われた
These are all correct since these expressions tell about 迷惑. (友達にパャRンを使われた. is used when you didn't welcome your friend's behavior.)

Kagemaru-san, 私も同じように感じます。「れる」は、同じ受け身でも微妙な違いを持った用法があります。「○○に死なれた」という阜サは、死者に対する哀悼が感じられない阜サで、そのため受けた迷惑の方を感じさせる結果になりかねません。したがって避けることが多いのだと考えます。

風鈴さん
I guess we would say, simple,
あいつが蹴ったボールが私に当たった。

私もこの阜サが一番自然だと思います。強いて言えば、「あいつ」を使うなら、「おれ」かな。
あいつが蹴ったボールがおれに当たった。
(イラストも お上手ですね。 :D)

他の方もご意見をどうぞ。
(Shin1ro-sanを待ちましょう。 :) )
Last edited by coco on Sun 05.27.2007 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Kagemaru » Sun 05.27.2007 12:12 am

Kagemaru wrote:
I did say it wasn't incorrect however, I found the use of 死なれた in both sentences a very uncommon and unnecessary way to express that something has died.
That is all.


coco wrote:
僕は犬に死なれました is grammatically correct. But as kagemaru-san says, it's a little bit unnatural to me too.


Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Are you a native speaker of Japanese?


You know the answer to that, don't patronise me.

Because I don't jump on every post citing this paper and that, this book and that, demarcates my inability of determining in some cases what may or may not be natural sounding Japanese?

Get off your high horse.
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Sunken » Sun 05.27.2007 5:05 am

犬に死なれて旅行に行けなくなった。 In this sentence, listeners may feel the speaker was annoyed with his dog's death rather than he was sad.

Sounds pretty much like the expression "...because my dog died on me" in English.
How far can you take that similarity? I guess at least as far as "my car broke down on me" or "my experiment blew up on me"?
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RE: Translating Passive sentence

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 05.27.2007 7:01 am

Kagemaru wrote:
flammable hippo wrote:

僕は犬に死なれました。


Not incorrect but sounds very odd/unnatural way just to say "My dog died"


It isn't just saying "My dog died". That's the whole point.

It's more like saying, "My dog died on me" or "My dog up and died".....both of which in English are entirely different from "My dog died".

I refer you to the words of Bobby Zimmerman's Mr. Bojangles:


He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the South
He spoke with tears of 15 years of how his dog and him travelled about
The dog up and died, he up and died.
After 20 years he still grieves
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
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