Translating 外れる

I keep bombing this because I translate it as “to be separated” rather than “to be disconnected.” I’m tempted to add the alternative translation, but wanted to run it past someone.

Is there some subtle difference between separated and disconnected?


Even though “to be disconnected” sounds awkward, I think that along with its synonyms (to come off, be out, be off) are fine.

“To come off” actually makes a little more since for the things it describes, in my opinion. It refers to things that are together or secured that have kind of come apart on their own.

The first set of examples from here are good: 外れるを英語で訳す - goo辞書 英和和英

If you check out words like 分ける (わける:to separate/split) 離れる (はなれる:to be separated/ apart from someone)
which literally mean to separate, the first one refers to things that you are splitting apart on your own and the second refers to being separated by distance.


That’s exactly what I was looking for–thanks so much!

These examples are really useful. I actually had no idea what context of “be disconnected” the definition meant, and I have been kind of assuming that it meant to be disconnected from e.g. a phone call. Unless it can also be translated to that? lol.

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For a phone call ending, you use 切る, whether it’s intentional hanging up or just disconnecting.

EDIT: Just to be clear though, I don’t think people use that verb to tell someone they are hanging up though. In that case, you usually just say 失礼します the same way you would if you were leaving a room. 切る is just for describing the act, or talking to a third party, it seems.

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