Translation: It pays for itself


#1

Can anybody give me a translation for this: It pays for itself.

The situation is installing solar panels. It costs to install them but you eventually earn it back.

Thanks in advance.


#2

My first guess would be something like 長期的には甲斐がある. Not sure if this would work in terms of cost efficiency, but it would probably get the point across.


#3

Something like this perhaps?
自分に払います!

Or maybe in keigo:
ご自分にお払いになります!


#4

Would that work since 払う is transitive? But yeah thats sort of the literal translation. To pay off I think is usually 割に合う or 甲斐がある.


#5

Apparently the expression in Japanese is 元が取れる
Source


#6

That makes sense when you think about it, but I would have never guessed that in 1000 years. Interesting.


#7

Me neither.
Interestingly, I just asked a native about it, and they replied “yeah, it’s a common expression”.
I guess my business sense just sucks too much and I never came accross something that pays for itself in Japan.


#8

I think so. The direct object would be the payments, would it not?

I think @Nath might be more accurate in terms of capturing the phrase however.


#9

If you slap 意味 onto the end of English idiomatic expressions, you’ll generally find Japanese resources written by natives trying to explain it to natives who are learning the English version.


#10

I thought this was going to be a thread about how much money you can earn as a translator, my bad


#11

Thank you. She couldn’t come up with it but my wife confirmed that this was the phrase. The salesman seemed to understand what I was trying to say with my その機械が自分で払ったらいいけど but it didn’t sit right with me.