Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Do you have a translation question?

Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby MrApple » Sat 04.10.2010 11:04 am

Hi, I'm trying to translate:
"I don't want anyone to use my ..."

E.g.:I don't want anyone to use my computer

This is what I have so far:
- My computer - 私のパソコン。
- To use - 使う(tsukau) - so does "do not want to use" become つかいたくありません, or is there another way to express this, since I don't want someone ELSE to not use it?

One last question - How do you say "no-one" or "anyone" in Japanese? Is "daremo" correct here?

So...The closest I got was:
「(誰もは?)私のパソコンを使いたくありません。」

Thanks.
MrApple
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat 03.06.2010 11:21 am
Native language: Maltese

Re: Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby furrykef » Sat 04.10.2010 2:02 pm

Well, I'm still pretty much a beginner, so you might want to wait for other opinions, but I'll see what I can do. :)

誰も does indeed mean "nobody" (or "anyone" in the right context, including this sentence), but you don't use it with は because も is actually a particle -- the same も that means "too" or "also". It's a pretty versatile particle. :)

Your try is pretty good, but I don't think you can use たい to refer to what you want others to do. Moreover, when you say "I don't want anybody to use my computer" you're really saying "I want nobody to use my computer" -- it's the action that's really being negated, not the desire. But you can't use たい with a negative verb, either, and 誰も requires a negative verb (it goes with 使う, not with たい, in this sentence). So I think all signs are that たい is wrong for the job.

My suggestion is to use the 方がいい (read ほうが いい) idiom. There's a page on it here if you're unfamiliar with it.

So I think the sentence would be:
誰も私のパソコンを使わない方がいい。
Literally, "It is better that nobody uses my computer."

However, I'm not fully certain that this is the best construction to use. In particular, I think maybe the comparison is too contrastive ("It is better" as opposed to what?), but I seem to recall that the 方がいい idiom can be used to make general suggestions.

Let's see what other people say. :)

- Kef
Last edited by furrykef on Sat 04.10.2010 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby NileCat » Sat 04.10.2010 6:05 pm

There exist various translations for the sentence.
Furrykef's one sounds fine too.

Grammatically speaking, the closest structure would be:
  誰にも私のパソコンを使ってほしくありません。


誰か が 使う 

→(positive) 誰か に 使って ほしい

→(negative) 誰 に も 使って ほしく ない

Yes. I know it is tricky.  :sweatdrop:
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby furrykef » Sat 04.10.2010 8:46 pm

Interesting that your sentence with ほしい has the same "problem" that I perceived in the sentence with たい that the "wrong" verb is negated. Maybe that isn't a problem after all? (Though of course the たい form still has the problem that, as far as I know, you can't use it to say what you want others to do, only what the subject wants to do.)
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Re: Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby becki_kanou » Sat 04.10.2010 9:11 pm

furrykef wrote:Interesting that your sentence with ほしい has the same "problem" that I perceived in the sentence with たい that the "wrong" verb is negated. Maybe that isn't a problem after all?


The objection to 〜したい is that it can't be used for other people's actions. 〜してほしい/しないでほしい is a standard (although quite direct) way to say what the speaker desires that others do/not do. You can negate either verb, but the nuance will be different.

私のパソコンを誰にも使ってほしくない。
私のパソコンを誰にも使わないでしい。

According to my NSoJ the first one is much stronger, and if you touched that person's computer they would get really angry, but the second person might be just a little miffy.
If that helps any.

( I'm almost about to give up on asking my husband about grammar, because he always says the same thing: "I don't know why we say it like that, we just DO!")
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
User avatar
becki_kanou
 
Posts: 3402
Joined: Sat 04.19.2008 10:09 pm
Location: Hyogo, Japan
Skype chat: yes_becki
Native language: U.S. English, 米語
Gender: Female

Re: Help me translate this simple phrase, please

Postby MrApple » Sun 04.11.2010 7:52 am

Thank you Nile, furry and Becki :)

I assumed the "tai" form was wrong, but since I'm still a suprer beginner, I went with what I knew so far. Hehe.
Btw, thanks for the link furry. I was not acquainted with that idiom :)
MrApple
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat 03.06.2010 11:21 am
Native language: Maltese


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests