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Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

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Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby chibola » Sat 07.02.2011 12:20 am

It was in the text of this novel I was reading:

" この天使の名前は雪村楓。さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪若干低めの身長と優美なボディーライン 性格も穏やかでやさひく 全男子生徒の憧れの的だ。"

The translation it came with:

"With a warm smile and beautiful hair, petite figure and elegant body line... she has a kind and gentle personality, and is the object of affections for all the male students."

My question concerns the "ni" right after "egao." I thought it was only used as a sort of "orientation/direction" particle so I'm not sure how it's used here.

I also have another question, this one over the "yasashiku" before "zendanshi..." Why does it just stop with the "ku"? I thought, and this may be a flawed understanding, that the "ku" would turn the adjective into an adverb, like so: yasahii-->gentle , yasashiku --> gently. But that if the ku had a "te" following it then it carried the essence of "and..." (but don't worry; I know the nuance it means to carry).

So how/why does it break off at "yasashiku"? I never really questioned that in sentences until now.

I apologize if all this is common knowledge to everyone here, but I don't really understand. I would appreciate some help :( .
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby micahcowan » Sat 07.02.2011 3:04 am

chibola wrote:" この天使の名前は雪村楓。さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪若干低めの身長と優美なボディーライン 性格も穏やかでやさひく 全男子生徒の憧れの的だ。"

The translation it came with:

"With a warm smile and beautiful hair, petite figure and elegant body line... she has a kind and gentle personality, and is the object of affections for all the male students."

My question concerns the "ni" right after "egao." I thought it was only used as a sort of "orientation/direction" particle so I'm not sure how it's used here.


Well, first off, the translation is obviously not trying to be accurate in every technical detail. The Japanese description mentions "strands of her glossy hair, draped" over her yada-yada bodyline, which is abbreviated to "beautiful hair". The "ni" definitely wasn't translated into an "and", but neither is it accurate to say that "ni" is only used as a sort of "orientation/direction" particle. It's often used to designate the indirect object ("to/for/in", etc), and it's also often used to turn a noun/adjectival noun into an adverb. If I was going to choose a word from the translation that would have been the translation for that "ni" it'd be the first word: "with". ("With a warm smile"....) But you really shouldn't expect every word to have a direct, word-for-word translation; such a thing is usually impossible, especially in translating between Japanese and western languages.

I also have another question, this one over the "yasashiku" before "zendanshi..." Why does it just stop with the "ku"?


Yeah, it does seem a little abrupt. Same with jumping straight from ボディーライン to 性格も穏やかでやさひく... I feel like there must be some typographical marks missing here... some commas or something? Anyway, perhaps this abrupt jumping from thought to thought is what was intended.
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby play_on_my_words » Sat 07.02.2011 4:13 am

chibola wrote:

So how/why does it break off at "yasashiku"? I never really questioned that in sentences until now.



I somewhat agree with micah here seems like it could be a mistake in the printing the most logical thing after looking at the translation you provided is that it should be something like 穏やかでやさしくて、instead of just やさしく. As for the に particle translation, it looks like from the translation given and from me reading it, that it seems it would mean ’with' here.

Anyway just reaffirming some things that were already stated, for the most part.
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby Hyperworm » Sat 07.02.2011 9:41 am

に can be a list particle like や and と, and so was translated as "and" here.
に, sense 4■ at the bottom
並列・列挙・添加・取り合わせを表す。「バターにチーズに牛乳」

It seems odd that spaces are used to divide やさひく (why やさく?) and the following clause; I'd expect a comma at least. Spaces happen sometimes but I wouldn't have thought you'd see it in a novel.
Anyway, I've seen this use of く before, where it seems more like a くて than an adverb. I've never read a grammatical explanation on it (I'll search later). Perhaps it serves the same role but is less explicit than くて? "her personality, gentle and kind; she is a..."
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 07.02.2011 10:05 am

I'm pretty sure やさひく isn't classical Japanese, which leaves the only options being

A) it's a printing mistake

B) it's some kind of 方言

I wouldn't rule out either, but it does sound weird so for now lets assume its a mistake.
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby chibola » Sat 07.02.2011 11:00 am

Thank so much to everyone for their input. I think I'll just go with the printing error for the "yasashiku." Oh, and special thanks to hyperworm for telling me "ni" is also a list particle. I didn't know that at all. But... when would you use it? I mean, if you have "ya" already, why make "ni" a list particle, too? Just for variation?

I appreciate all of you taking the time to answer!

:colonthree:
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby NileCat » Sat 07.02.2011 11:41 am

Hyperworm wrote:Anyway, I've seen this use of く before, where it seems more like a くて than an adverb. I've never read a grammatical explanation on it (I'll search later). Perhaps it serves the same role but is less explicit than くて? "her personality, gentle and kind; she is a..."

It’s a work of 連用形.

美しい (終止形)
美しく (連用形)

A. バラが美しく咲く (adverb: beautifully)
B. そのバラは美しく優雅だ(two adjectives)

B means “beautiful and elegant”, which means, it is (meaning-wise) as same as “美しく、そして優雅だ”. So you can phrase it like 美しくて優雅だ too, however, this ~くて form sometimes sounds too colloquial and "not elegant" for some reason.

e.g.
赤く小さく可憐な花
小さく可憐な花が (赤く咲いている)
その花は小さく、可憐だ。
その花は赤く、小さい。
(cf. その花は赤く咲いている。)
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby chibola » Sat 07.02.2011 11:50 am

Oh, I guess that means we should knock out the printing error assumption? It makes sense now. Thank you for expanding on that, NileCat. I always saw this usage, but I never really understood it (or even questioned it), but now I can see the reason behind it.
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 07.02.2011 12:31 pm

Oh, I guess that means we should knock out the printing error assumption?


Nilecatさん hasn't commented on that yet. I don't know whether it is a printing error (I believe it probably is) but in 連用形 form やさしい would still be やさしく (without a 'hi')
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby micahcowan » Sat 07.02.2011 3:15 pm

For the record, I didn't think there was a printing error here; I suspected that some missing punctuation (commas?) had not been copied over for our benefit.

I see this use of -く instead of -くて from time to time, I'm pretty sure it's not a mistake. But I did think, especially coupled with the abrupt change after "bodyline", that it gave it a more "abrupt" sound.

Hyperworm, personally I think you're trying to make this particular に a "listing" particle in this case, is something of a stretch.
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby NileCat » Sat 07.02.2011 3:29 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
Oh, I guess that means we should knock out the printing error assumption?


Nilecatさん hasn't commented on that yet. I don't know whether it is a printing error (I believe it probably is) but in 連用形 form やさしい would still be やさしく (without a 'hi')

Ah, sorry!
Well, to my Japanese eyes, やさひく is obviously, 100%, a typo.
The comma or period things are...style issue, however, I recognize confusion in the OP's original post.
Let me emend it for you.

この天使の名前は雪村楓。さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪、若干低めの身長と優美なボディーライン。性格も穏やかでやさしく、全男子生徒の憧れの的だ。
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 07.02.2011 3:32 pm

Let me emend it for you.


To my British eyes, this is also a typo ;) you meant 'amend' right? :p

EDIT: Oh wow, its actually a word. Nilecatさん, you have overtaken me in English ability :o
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby NileCat » Sat 07.02.2011 3:39 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
Let me emend it for you.


To my British eyes, this is also a typo ;) you meant 'amend' right? :p

I learned this word long long ago. And I checked it on the dictionary before I post that. :roll:
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/di ... ntry/emend
But this word doesn't seem appropriate... :blush:
Thanks!
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 07.02.2011 3:46 pm

No, I'm sorry, I checked to see if it was a word before you replied, and judging by the definition it was perfect for that situation! 迷惑をかけてすみませんでした!日本語能力試験はともかく、英語の勉強をしてみようかなあ :sweatdrop:
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Re: Why/How did this "に" get translated into "and"?

Postby NileCat » Sat 07.02.2011 6:23 pm

Np, Ongakuka-san. I'll remember that the word I used is not that commonly used. That's very informative for me.

Hyperworm wrote:に can be a list particle like や and と, and so was translated as "and" here.
に, sense 4■ at the bottom
並列・列挙・添加・取り合わせを表す。「バターにチーズに牛乳」

micahcowan wrote:Hyperworm, personally I think you're trying to make this particular に a "listing" particle in this case, is something of a stretch.

I think that is only a matter of interpretation.

I’ll show you some extreme examples.

さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪に若干低めの身長に優美なボディーライン。
In this sentence, the work of all of に is definitely a listing particle, right?
It’s as same as
えーと・・・ポテトにゴボウにナスにトマトにニンジンちょうだい。

さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪~
Well, I personally assume the intention of the writer is to numerate her charms, randomly, logically speaking.
1. さわやかな笑顔
2. 艶やかな髪
3. 若干低めの身長
4. 優美なボディーライン
They are that the boy came up with instantly to describe her charm. In a sense, each image is independent from each other. Do you know what I mean?
IF it is something like 純真な笑顔に輝く瞳, there is some relationship between the two (eyes are a part of smile, etc), and maybe it could translate the word “with” or “on it”.
But here, not because of the grammar but because of the context, I’d take it as a simple listing of her charms for the speaker.
Also you should take the sentence structure into account.
さわやかな笑顔に艶やかな髪、若干低めの身長と優美なボディーライン。
This sentence has no subject, no verb. It’s virtually not a proper sentence.
"Fresh smile and glossy hair, kind of short height and graceful bodyline"
The purpuse of this structure would be just to list "A, B, C, and D" or somethinglike that.

See? Although this に can interpret in many ways grammatically, the function here I believe is “to list”. (列挙する)

EDIT:
But please don't get me wrong.
I'm not saying you're wrong or something like that. When it comes to translating it into English, there are many ways to do if you find one 'natural' as an English expression. That's so-called artistic license. :)
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