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Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

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Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby mystimel » Wed 05.15.2013 3:46 pm

I'm comparing Japanese and English Relative clauses in a report, and was trying to figure out if Japanese has any "free relative clauses" - clauses that don't refer to an established noun. English Examples are:

I like **what** you’ve done vs. I like **this thing that** you’ve done.

Find **whoever** took the money. vs. Find **the person who** took the money.

**Whatever** he did was inexcusable. vs. **The thing that** he did was inexcusable.

I imagine it would need to use a similar word like nani in the noun position. Maybe like ... Watashi wa shite iru nani ga suki desu. 'I like what I'm doing' Do the Japanese have to say "I like this thing that I am doing" or would this type construction be acceptable? Are there similar acceptable sentences with other words besides nani? Please help! Thanks in advance!
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.15.2013 6:26 pm

Not a native but that's very basic Japanese grammar.

Simplest way is to use "no".

Sakki itta no wo mada oboeteiru?

Do you still remember WHAT I told you earlier?
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby Ongakuka » Wed 05.15.2013 6:30 pm

I'm not a native speaker but I can translate your sentences.

お前のやったことは気に入っているよ (やったこと = thing (you) did)
I like **what** you’ve done

Vs

お前のやったこれが気に入っているよ
I like **this thing that** you’ve done. (lit: I like this that you've done)

I've got to go to work now, hope that helps in some way :sweatdrop:
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 05.16.2013 5:01 am

Find **whoever** took the money vs. Find **the person who** took the money.

Translating the first sentence with 誰か is possible but sounds wrong. (金を盗った誰かを探せ。)

Typically you would use the word やつwhich is a way to refer to someone specified OR unspecified in a degrading way. 金を盗ったやつを探せ sounds like you have no idea who it was that took the money, and it would typically be translated into English into the first sentence (whoever.)

At other times やつ will be translated as 'that guy' when we know who is being specified. There are many words in Japanese that work like this.

The last pair of sentences also use こと. I'm certain this word fits the description of what you are looking for. こと can be contracted into の as in Shiroisan's example.

これをやったのは、君か = are you the one that did this?
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby furrykef » Thu 05.16.2013 9:00 am

Yeah, this question doesn't require anything near a native speaker. Even I could answer it and I'm not very good at Japanese. (I'm somewhere around JLPT N3-level, which is intermediate; JLPT N1 [lower numbers = higher level] is "fully functional adult" and it's still nowhere near native.)

I'm not sure how to say it more tactfully, but it's not good form to request a native speaker, especially for a matter that is unlikely to require one.

Here's an interesting question: how do you translate Popeye's famous "I am what I am" into Japanese? I'm pretty sure 俺は俺であるものだ misses the mark. ;)
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby NileCat » Mon 05.20.2013 3:48 pm

The common translation seems to be 俺は俺だから俺なんだ.
Meaning-wise, only 俺は俺なんだ would work, though, they have added another 俺 aiming to emphasize his confidence, I guess. :)
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Re: Grammar Question for Native Speakers on relative clauses

Postby Hektor6766 » Mon 05.20.2013 10:52 pm

Because the full quote (first 2 lines of the song) is "I am what I am and that's all what(that) I am..."
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