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You shall not pass

Davide92

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Hi everyone!
As you might know, "You shall not pass" is a famous quote from The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. It is spoken by Gandalf the wizard as he forbids a demon from crossing a bridge. The official translation in Japanese is:

ここは断じて通さん!

My question is about the last word 通さん. I suspect it's some form of 通す = "to let pass, to allow through", but I can't make sense of the さん ending. Any help would be appreciated
 

Toritoribe

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ん is the euphonic change of ぬ, which is a (classical) negative auxiliary verb. It's equivalent to 通さない in modern Japanese, and expresses the speaker's strong (negative) volition there, thus, the Japanese translation is more likely "I never allow you to pass here!".
 

popcornn

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通さん is the changed form of a verb 通す.
If you want make it negative meaning, you change す into さ, and add ない.
It will be 通さない.If the translation in Japanese were:
ここは断じて通さない! , it's not strong enough.
As a nuance, 通さない is a bit stiff and polite expression. and
the translation is supposed to be strong, rough and offensive expression.
ん means the same meaning as ない, but it is from anciant Japanese language, and
It makes Japanese speakers feel nuance like strong, rough,
offensive and something like that.
 

Toritoribe

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The translator used the classical negative form to add a "solemn/majestic" nuance in order to suit to Gandalf, not "rough/offensive" in this case. Incidentally, I checked my book and found that 瀬田貞二 Seta Teiji translated the sentence more faithfully to the original as きさまは渡ることはできぬ in the novel version.
 

Davide92

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Thank you very much!

I think Seta Teiji's translation is especially well-suited for the original book version of this quote, which reads "You cannot pass!" and sounds less forceful to me.
 
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