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「きまり」

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「きまり」

Postby Michael_SD » Thu 01.21.2010 4:31 pm

Hello. There are three sentences from a 読み物 I would like to ask three questions about. (The sentences in question are highlighted in blue.)

日本の社会には多くの「きまり」があること、そして日本人はそれを厳格に守ろうとしていることに驚いた。日本ではどこに行っても、「きまりですから」という言葉を耳にする。これを言われてしまうと、こちらにはもう反論の余地はない。どんなに常識的で正当な理由もこの言葉にはかなわない。

The unhighlighted sentence was in the original, and I thought it best to keep it intact for context.

"A thing about Japanese society is the many 'rules' it has and I [the writer of the article] was suprised at how strictly the Japanese follow them. No matter where I go in Japan, I hear the words 'because it's a rule.' When I'm told this, there is no room for me to object. Even legitimate reasons and common sense aren't a match for such words ['rules']."

My questions are:

(1) Am I correct to understand that the first part of the first sentence *modifies* こと? (As opposed to こと in the sentence being the こと used in female speech)? (The writer of the article is a female.)

(2) Is [これを言われてしまうと] read in English as "when I hear this [these words]", and not as the "when I'm told this" reading I gave it above? I thought I saw something somewhere in the past about [~を言われてと] in such context, but couldn't locate any reference.

(3) My biggest question is on the last sentence. My reading of it is off by a sight, I'd guess. I couldn't get [どんな常識的で] to work with the rest of the sentence, for whatever reason.


Thanks in advance for any corrections, enlightenment, ideas.
Michael_SD
 
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Re: 「きまり」

Postby Hyperworm » Thu 01.21.2010 7:07 pm

Rather than a "rule", I'd say「きまり」 is "something that has been decided", "the way it is", a custom, a convention.

(1) Yes, but I think you've interpreted the structure of the first sentence wrongly. The structure is:
~こと、~ことに驚いた。 I was surprised at thing [~A], (and) thing [~B].

(2) "When I'm told this" is literally correct, but I think "When people say this to me" is the best way to express it in English. "When I hear this" is unnecessarily loose IMO.

(3) Is it どんな常識的… or どんな常識的… ? You were inconsistent between the sentence and your question. ^^

どんなに…も
I think probably:【どんなに常識的】で【(どんなに)正当】な理由も…
All reasons, no matter how well-justified or obvious they are, ...
No matter how well-justified or obvious the reason...
Even the most well-justified and obvious reasons...
(I'm having a little trouble deciding which of those is actually closest to the original. :?)

「その言葉」 doesn't refer to the conventions themselves; it refers to the words 「きまりですから」 which shut down all counter-arguments.

[edited repeatedly xD]
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
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Re: 「きまり」

Postby Michael_SD » Thu 01.21.2010 9:42 pm

Hyperworm wrote:Rather than a "rule", I'd say「きまり」 is "something that has been decided", "the way it is", a custom, a convention.

I should have caught that, of course. I was aware of the likes of 決まる and 決める and was sure that きまり was derived from the former. How I got "rules" out 決まる, well, I must have been out to lunch on that one, for sure. :blush:

Hyperworm wrote:(1) Yes, but I think you've interpreted the structure of the first sentence wrongly. The structure is:
~こと、~ことに驚いた。 I was surprised at thing [~A], (and) thing [~B].

Without your pointing this out, I wouldn't have caught it in a month of Sundays, or at least for some goodly time in the future when I had acquired the expertise. I completely missed that. Thanks on this one, especially. I wrote it down so I don't forget it.

Hyperworm wrote:(2) "When I'm told this" is literally correct, but I think "When people say this to me" is the best way to express it in English. "When I hear this" is unnecessarily loose IMO.

Works for me. I'll go with "When people say this to me" then, as well. Sounds good.

Hyperworm wrote:(3) Is it どんな常識的… or どんな常識的… ? You were inconsistent between the sentence and your question. ^^

Oops. Sorry. It should have been どんなに in both instances.

Hyperworm wrote:どんなに…も
I think probably:【どんなに常識的】で【(どんなに)正当】な理由も…

Since I've pointed out belatedly (my apology) that it should have been どんなに, do you mean, in your construction, that the second instance of どんなに is implied by も? That is what I would infer from your candidate readings of:
All reasons, no matter how well-justified or obvious they are, ...
No matter how well-justified or obvious the reason...
Even the most well-justified and obvious reasons...

Hyperworm wrote:「この言葉」 doesn't refer to the conventions themselves; it refers to the words 「きまりですから」which shut down all counter-arguments.

This is one I missed, but it's one I probably should have seen. I can see what you mean now, however, since you've clarified it and now that I've worked through the grammar/mechanics of the sentence and looked at the context.
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