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I got a tough one

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I got a tough one

Postby FreeMan07 » Tue 10.05.2010 6:07 pm

Anyone think they can translate this sentence?


ほど is such a complicated word for me to understand . . .
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby chikara » Tue 10.05.2010 6:49 pm

TJPへようこそ  :)

What do you think it means?
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby furrykef » Tue 10.05.2010 8:22 pm

One way to analyze ほど is marking a Johnny Carson clause. Imagine a sentence with ほど as being the punch line to a Johnny Carson joke. Hopefully you know the old Johnny Carson joke formula:

Johnny: It was SO hot...
Audience: How hot WAS it?
Johnny: It was so hot that even the Amish were buying air conditioners!

(Yeah, I made that one up. :mrgreen:)

Now apply that to ほど, except in the final sentence the punch line and setup are in reverse order:

忙しい = I'm SO busy...
(How busy ARE you?)
寝る時間がないほど忙しい = I'm so busy I don't have time to sleep!

Now, we can't apply this too literally to your example, because, in your sentence, the part after "hodo" isn't an adjective. So let's rephrase to something more general:

寝る時間がないほど忙しい = I'm busy to such an extent that I don't have time to sleep!

Try to apply this formula to your sentence and tell us what you come up with. :)
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby Hyperworm » Tue 10.05.2010 8:54 pm

If we had: 大事な人であるほどすぐそばにいるの
then you could use "so ... that ..." to generate: "He's so close beside me that he's a precious person".

With nouns, you can normally interpret ほど using "as __ as __" :
"He's as close beside me as a precious person."


However, having said that, I don't think that's how ほど is actually being used here.
It could be sense 5 of ほど from ニューセンチュリー和英辞典 @ Yahoo!辞書:
【すればするほど】the +比較級, the +比較級.(※前のtheは「...するほど」,後のtheは「それだけいっそう」の意)

The more, the better.
The bigger a jewel is, the more expensive it is [× the more it is expensive].
The higher you climb, the fresher the air will become.

The last provided example drops the すればするほど pattern, showing that ほど can be used this way without it.

大事な人ほどすぐそばにいるの could fall into this sense.

Possible translation:
The more important a person is to you, the closer they are to you.
The most precious people are those right beside you.
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby Hektor6766 » Tue 10.05.2010 11:01 pm

Forgive my interruption, but I'm confused.

ほど doesn't require a negative verb for this usage, like some grammar books say, or does the の have something to do with that?
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby NileCat » Wed 10.06.2010 4:24 am

Hyperworm-san, your insight is flawless.

Actually, the first thing I came up with when I read the original post was a fairy tale called The Blue Bird.
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Re: I got a tough one

Postby FreeMan07 » Wed 10.06.2010 6:47 pm


Me and some friends pondered this for a while.

We had a feeling this phrase possesses more feeling that it appears to.

Kind of like the writer was trying to say you don't know how close someone is to you until you lose them.

With that in mind, I came up with a translation that was less direct, but possibly more realistic.

The closest people to you are more important than you know/think/realize.

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