Contextual condition: [assumed context] + なら+ [result]


#1

In my Anki 10K deck, I have this sentence:

このカメラなら水中の写真が撮れますね。

translated as:

With this camera you can take underwater pictures.

The part that throws me off a bit is the use of the particle なら. It seems to be being used in a similar fashion as when one uses the particle で for using a tool. As in はさみで紙を切りました。

Am I understanding this correctly? Is this usage of ならcommon?


#2

I think it’s more of just smoothing out the translation with なら as a conditional.

Being more literal, the translation would be “If it’s this camera, (you) can take underwater photographs.” It makes sense, but it’s not exactly normal phrasing for English.

Waiting for the grammar gurus to rip me a new one.


#3

That sounds like normal English to me.


#4

It sounds more or less normal to me too, but it’s something I’d expect to hear if they’re trying to sell me said camera.


#5

Yes, I was thinking exactly the same thing (only being on the selling end, having worked in electronics retail myself).


#6

In a comparison, yes.


#7

I think I’m just weirded out by starting out a sentence with a conditional, but no surrounding context. Like you guys mentioned it would make a lot of sense to say that in environment where one is asking questions or making a comparison.

eg: “Do any of these work underwater?” “If it’s this camera, you can (take underwater photographs).”

On the other hand, without that context I feel more comfortable with a more explicitly worded statement and/or repositioning the clauses. Since this establishes the main subject more clearly.

eg: “I can take underwater photographs, if I’m using this camera.” <—> “If I’m using this camera (then) I can take underwater photographs.”

The original translation using with accomplishes the same goal with the least number of alterations to the source statement. Only an “if” is being replaced by a “with” that still serves to establish the condition.

“With this camera I can take underwater photographs.”


#8

I would probably start with “with” myself - however that’s not a literal translation of the OP’s sentence.

Ex: “This camera’s got a really good zoom, but the battery life isn’t very long.” next camera “This one here takes great low-light pictures.” next camera “With this camera, you can take pictures underwater.”

EDIT: That said, if the customer was already considering it, or had expressed interest between two cameras, and had already mentioned going snorkeling or something “If it’s this camera, you can take pictures underwater” would be 100% appropriate.


#9

I liked more the last translation: “With this camera, I can take underwater photographs.”


#10

Thanks everyone! I feel much better now.

Pretty incredible response rate: eight responses in less than an hour. All hail the Holy Crabgator!


#11

And here I am not able to use the particle も correctly


#12

Shame on you!

:wink:


#13

tbh, as soon as I was introduced to the particle も I quit grammar and went “screw it, I can’t even afford to pay for WaniKani, I’ll learn grammar when I feel like it”


#14

I always think of も as the “solidarity particle,” as in whatever the subject of the sentence is in the same boat as whatever came before.


#15

I never know how to properly bring it inot conversion. For example, if I’m trying to say, Me and Rokuro are friends, would it be like

私は,ろくろも友達です


#16

It would be appropriate if you want to say that you are also Rokuro’s friend.
私もろくろの友達です

If you wanted to say that Rokuro and you were friends, you might say “Rokuro is my friend”

ろくろは私の友達です

Then again, my only exposure to grammar is through very basic Memrise courses, but it seems sensible to me.


#17

i know two particles: は and も

I guess I know states of being, like the is, is not, was, was not stuff

I’ll study grammar again of course, but as of now, I have taken a break from confusing japanese grammar


#18

There are three particles that I used, は、も、and の, with の being the possessive particle, so 私の友達 means “my friend”.

so the two sentences have the pure meaning (in order):
Me Rokuro’s friend
Rokuro my friend


#19

Most resources don’t jump straight from は to も.

You should probably cover が, を, の, に, で and と before adding も to the mix.


#20

This use of なら is kind of like expressing your confidence in something. You’ll often see sentences like 誠さんなら、できるよ! Which means you have faith in Makoto’s abilities. It’s not so romantic in your sentence but it’s more or less the same meaning. You are emphasising the fact that this camera can do it just like you were emphasising that Makoto could do it, with the added implication that you’re not so sure that other cameras will have the same functionality.