Does this sentence implies challenging?

Hi, I had a bit of a problem with rather simple phrase:


Here’s the context of it: some farmer women share scary stories after a long working day. Some lady seem to challenge anyone to try go to the Ghost Waterfall alone right now. Everyone gasps, shocked, and the other lady volunteer (for a prize).

I translated it at first like a statement of a fact: “Now no one will go to the Ghost Waterfall”, and was confused. As obviously there’s an obvious challenge implied, as everyone gasped after it.

What does indicate the challenging in this phrase?

It is from the folk story called 幽霊滝, collected by Koizumi Yakumo, which is included into Nihongo Yomu Yomu Bunko level 3. It is an adapted story, but I do believe that usually they written with more-or-less natural, though simple language.


I’m confused. What you posted as the Japanese is written as a question but your translation doesn’t have it as a question. Was the question mark a typo? Also, I think there is some confusion regarding your translation using ‘no one’. だれか means ‘someone’ not ‘no one’. If the question mark is valid, what you seem to be confused on is that the 行かない is being used as a negative question to ask ‘won’t someone go?’ Using ‘~ない?’ is the informal negative question form of ‘~ませんか’. Maybe if it had used 行きませんか that would have made it more clear?

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There are two mistakes in your translation here.

The first is the difference between 誰か (someone) 誰も (no one).

The second is that the negative form of a sentence with a rising intonation (the “question voice”) is asking someone to do something. I might ask my friend 一緒に晩ご飯を食べに行かない? to say “Won’t you go get dinner with me?” or more naturally in English “Would you like to get dinner with me?”

So a better translation is “Hey, won’t someone go alone to the Ghost Waterfall?”


Thank you for the fast reply and great explanation!
Now everything is very clear :slight_smile:

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