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What do the "toki" and "to" mean in this sentence?

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What do the "toki" and "to" mean in this sentence?

Postby chibola » Wed 07.21.2010 12:16 am

“ 魔女にやられた。海を上がって人間になるとき、歩くと痛くなるように不完全な足にされ…

This is the translation it came with:

"A witch did it. In return for coming ashore and living as a human, I was made to walk with a painful limp on an imperfect pair of legs."

1) Doesn't the "とき" in there mean "when"? Where did the translator for this come up with "In return for..."?
2) What is the purpose of the "と” in between 歩くand 痛く? Are they both being modified by the "naru"? Could someone give some examples with that kind of usage?

I'm confused... I'd really appreciate some help...
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Re: What do the "toki" and "to" mean in this sentence?

Postby NileCat » Wed 07.21.2010 2:50 am

First of all, please note that in many literature pieces, especially children's books, translators struggle to find a way to convey the meaning with simple and straightforward idiomatic expressions.They are not necessarily literal translations.

You are wondering just comparing the words "in return for" and "toki", aren't you? Try to think it in other ways.
"In return for coming ashore and living as a human, I was made to walk with a painful limp." ... What does this sentence mean? A very simplified translation could be " The witch gave me a pair of painful legs", ok? And, when did it happen? It happened WHEN you became a human.
You may wonder why the translator didn't translate the words "in return". Well...that's another story. But in a sense, it's palpable in the context, isn't it?

Regarding the second question, here are a couple examples.
走る(run)→疲れる(get exhausted) ・・・走ると疲れる
投げる(throw)→飛ぶ(fly) ・・・投げると飛ぶ
夜になる(night comes)→暗くなる(becomes dark) ・・・夜になると暗くなる

Hope it helps.
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Re: What do the "toki" and "to" mean in this sentence?

Postby kurisuto » Wed 07.21.2010 1:22 pm

To add to what NileCat said: と is another way to form the conditionnal, but this one has a nuance of "systematic consequence". "When you walk with these legs, it hurts" -> it's not just a coincidence; you can't walk with these legs without feeling pain. This holds true for the examples NileCat gave you; while 投げると飛ぶ would need more context to verify the "systematic consequence" thing, 夜になると暗くなる is a perfect example: "when night falls, it (always) gets dark".

It also has a related meaning, as in "右に曲がると、郵便局がある". This one is more for a "permanent state": "if you turn right, there's a post office". So, while it's different from the first meaning (it isn't the fact of turning right that causes the post office to be there), both have a nuance of something natural, on which the subject has no influence.
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Re: What do the "toki" and "to" mean in this sentence?

Postby chibola » Wed 02.16.2011 9:22 pm

Thank you so much. I understand now!
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