Short Grammar Questions


#2265

Wow man thanks for that golden nugget of information


#2266

彼は文章表現が上手だ。新聞記者 だけのことはある

I understand this sentence as:

He writes very well. No wonder he’s a journalist.

I don’t quite understand whether it implies that he got a job as a journalist because he writes well, or that he came to write well because he works as a jornalist.

It’s an exercise from 総まとめ N2文法, so there’s no translation and no context. This grammar point is lumped together with だけあって, which according to the Dict. of Advanced J Grammar can go both ways, so I’m not sure here.


#2267

It can go either way and technically is ambiguous without context. In this situation, it makes more sense that the person writes well because they are a journalist. So “Surely because he’s a journalist” or “its no surprise that hes a journalist” would be how I translate the second part.


#2268

Has the translator taken some extreme liberties here?

Context: this is a woman telling people to brush their gums with salt

習慣にしていただけたらな、とそんな風に思います。
given translation: I am happy if you could adopt it in your custom.

Would していただけたら be a grammar point I’m not aware of? And is そんな風に思います some kind of phrase that you have to know to know like 気に入る?

I would be grateful for any assistance.


#2269

していただけたら is a subjunctive (and potential) form していただく, which is a more polite variation of してくれる or してもらう, all referring to the act of doing something for the speaker. In this case, however, as is typical of polite or audience/customer-facing Japanese, the most polite variant is appended not to an action that directly benefits the speaker, but to impart the idea of making a request.

If you translated it more literally, it would be “If you could make this a habit…” and then the back half is just more sort of hemming and hawing away from making a direct request (as is typical), with her saying she that’s how she thinks of it (/thinks that that would be good). The translation you posted isn’t all that liberal; this kind of arrangement just doesn’t carry directly over into English well. So you kind of have to make up a back half to the hypothetical along the lines of “If you could make this a habit, I’d be happy,” or for a non-bad-translation version, “I’d like for you to try to make this a habit / I’d appreciate people trying to make this a habit,” or even “Please try to make this a habit.”

(As Leebo points out below, if anything it’s too literal, to the point it sounds like either non-native writing or like someone was just too afraid to deviate from the Japanese even when it produced unnatural English. Although with “am happy” instead of “would be happy” for a subjunctive, I lean toward it being the former.)


#2270

This doesn’t sound like it was translated by a native English speaker, or at least… not one of a dialect that would sound familiar to me.


#2271

Missed this earlier, but since it didn’t seem to ever be firmly answered:

I would interpret that as meaning “He writes very well, as you would expect of a journalist.” Which yeah, you would probably more naturally translate as “No wonder he’s a journalist,” but it kind of obfuscates the input-output here. In this case, the speaker already knows he’s a journalist, and then connects that to the quality of their writing. I.e. The qualities of a journalist show through in his writing, rather than it being an assumption that he’s a journalist because he’s good at writing. (It’s a really pedantic distinction.)

The grammar in question here is だけに/だけの, which is used to reference qualities (usually in praise) that only seem fitting given the role or stature of the person or thing they belong to. In translation this usually doesn’t matter, since “No wonder” will often cover it without regard for the directionality of the conclusion. (Not sure how else to put that.) Though there are times when you might translate it as, “the qualities of ____ show through,” or “a ____ truly reflective of the standards of ____” etc., in which case understanding the directionality at play here would matter a bit.

If you look, even example sentences which you’d translate with a conclusion going in the opposite direction seem to follow the direction referred to above. Like the first example here: https://japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n2-grammar-だけのことはある/

君は慎み深い人だ。彼が気に入っているだけのことがある。

Which it translates, perfectly reasonably, as “You’re so modest. No wonder he’s fond of you.”

But if you look at what’s happening grammatically, it’s “really,” “You’re so modest. You’ve got (you show) exactly what he’s looking for.” (Lit. “The qualities he likes are present in you.”)

Just as, above, the qualities of a journalist are present in his high-quality writing (whether he got the job because of his writing or learned to write because of the job, it doesn’t matter; the speaker has an idea of what a journalist should write like, and he matches it). I guess the nuance lost in translation here would be that the speaker is already familiar with “his” likes, and sees that as the reason he’s fond of the modest listener. As opposed to just assuming that because she’s modest, anyone should like her.

It always works like that, as far as I know (someone please correct me if I’m wrong, because I came away from my N2 studies feeling pretty firm on it!), even if it wouldn’t always translate like that. Which is confusing but just how it is sometimes because Japanese and English are nothing alike.

Alternate translations for your example (which I think are actually worse but capture the exact nature of the conclusion here a little more faithfully): “He writes well. He is a journalist after all.” “He writes well. That’s the stuff of a journalist.” “He writes well. You can tell he’s a journalist.” Etc.

Sorry this wound up being so long. I was kind of walking myself through it as I typed.


#2272

@iansacks @Leebo

Thanks, fellas!


#2273

Wow, thanks for the thoughtful reply!
This point really had me stumped but I think I get it now.


#2274

Is half a repeating onomatopoeia + つく a reliable way to create words?

I came across ぐらつく (to wobble) recently, and I realized I had the word ぐらぐら (wobbling) in my Anki deck.
Then べたつく (to be sticky) came up in my deck, and I remembered I had べたべた (sticky) in there as well.

I have a good number of onomatopoeia I’ve accumulated, does this apply as a general rule or are there only a handful that work this way? Thought I’d check with you guys to see if it’s some kind of grammar point before looking them up one by one.

Thanks!


#2275

I went and did a search on Jisho.org, and this was listed as the 14th entry:

Suffix, Godan verb with ku ending

  1. to become (a state, condition, etc.) See also 付く づく,after -masu stems, onomatopoeic and mimetic words

So it seems that you caught this pattern through natural exposure. I’m not sure if this is a universal thing, though.


#2276

Oops, of course it’s on Jisho lol. Sorry, but thank you!


#2277

What’s going on here? Some kind of onomatopoeia?
クリスマス、イルミネーションがとっても綺麗な中でね、ラブラブデート、かっ、かっっていう感じですけどね

[When it comes to “longing”, especially for this season], it’s having a romantic date in the very beautiful Christmas illuminations, but I’m just like “screw it”.

Any help would be appreciated


#2278


Seems to originate in the sound of flame flickering.


#2279

Thanks Quacking!


#2280

So I was reading a Facebook post by the singer Gackt and he had a post of the following:

腹筋美しく見せたければこれをやれ。オンナでも出来る。

I was able to understand most of this but I was struggling with the conjugation of 見せたければ. I figured this was a ば conditional (want to be able to show?) but I don’t get how it was constructed.

I was looking in Tae Kim under 4.8.4 General conditionals using 「ば」and he has this rule for verbs:

• For verbs: Change the last /u/ vowel sound to the equivalent /e/ vowel sound and attach 「ば」

But I don’t see how to derive the ければ part from his rules since he says that the ければ is only added for negative endings or い-adjectives:

• For i-adjectives or negatives ending in 「ない」: Drop the last 「い」 and attach 「ければ」.

Is the 見せる actually being conjugated to a negative form here and I’m just not seeing it?

His post also has the official translation as:

If you wanna be able to show off your abs, try this. Women can do it too.


#2281

It’s 見せたい. Look up the -たい form.


#2282

It’s going through the -たい form. 見せる -> 見せたい -> 見せたければ.

That’s why the translation is “if you want to…”

EDIT: By the way, it follows the rule you posted, as the -たい form technically counts as an い adjective.


#2283

Ok thanks!


#2284

Ok, this is what I was missing. I haven’t learned that form yet. That completely clears it up for me!

Edit to add: I now see that たい form is covered 3 sections after where I current am in Tae Kim and as you say had I gotten there I would have known:

However, unlike most conjugations we learned where the verb turns into a ru-verb, this form actually transforms the verb into an i-adjective (notice how 「たい」 conveniently ends in 「い」).