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すべきではない / なんだろう / どうすることもできません / 彼の不注意さ

eeky

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Hello,


1. 江戸時代の終わり、開国すべきではないと考える若者たち の間では、「勝海舟は日本を外国人の言う通りにしよう としている。あんな男は、殺してしまわなければだめだ 。」と言われていました。

My translation: "At the end of the Edo period, among the young people who thought that Japan should not be opened up, it was said that 'Katsu Kaishu is trying to make Japan the way foreigners say (it should be). Men like that should be killed.'"

a) Is this OK?

b) Especially, am I right that 開国すべきではない means Japan should not be opened up, rather than a suggestion that it should be opened up? If so, how do we know this? Is it only from context, or is there a grammatical reason? Would the meaning change if we wrote 開国すべきではないかと考える若者たち? Sorry if this is similar to questions I have asked before. This is a construction that I have great difficulty with.


2. それに対して、この日本は、今でも開国しようとさえし ないのだ。おまえさん、開国に反対なんだろう?だった ら、ちょっと聞きたい。おまえさんたち、絶対に日本に 外国の力を入れてはいけないと言うけれども、いったい 外国人たちが、どんな武器を持っているのか、自分で調 べてみたことがあるのかね?

My translation: "In contrast, here in Japan, (people) even now aren't ready to open up the country. What objection could there be? If there is (an objection), I would like to hear it. Foreign power absolutely must not be allowed into Japan, but have you not investigated yourselves what kind of weapons the foreigners have?"

Is this correct?

a) Is 開国しようとさえしない = 開国しよう・と・しない (people aren't ready to / about to open up the country) + さえ (emphasising "even now")?

b) Is なんだろう = 何だろう or is it な(=だ) + ん (=の) + だろう ? Is "What ... could there be?" a reasonable translation?


3. 海舟の言葉を聞いているうちに、「本当にこの人の言う 通りだ」という想いが強くなってくるのを、どうするこ ともできませんでした。

I get: "As he listened to Kaishu's words, the thought grew stronger, 'It is really as this man says' ..."

Then I am lost with (のを)どうすることもできませんでした. I'm trying to make it mean something like he couldn't stop/help the thought growing stronger, but I think that can't be right as there is nothing corresponding to "stop"/"help".


4. 彼の不注意さは不用意だった。

Translation given: "No attention was paid to his warning."

Can this translation be correct? I don't see how it could mean that...
 

Toritoribe

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1) a)
Yes.

b)
開国すべきではないと考える never means "it should be opened up". 開国すべきではないかと考える always means "it should be opened up". 開国すべきではないかと考える can be ambiguous; "think it should be opened up" or "wonder whether it shouldn't be opened up".

2) a)
開国しよう expresses the subject's will in this case.

開国しようとさえしない
people don't even intend to open up (the country)

b)
The latter. You take objection to opening up, don't you?

3)
どうすることもできませんでした is exactly the part "couldn't stop/help".

4)
Yeah, 不注意さ is mistraslated there.
 
Last edited:

eeky

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Thanks Toritoribe.

I see I have a few things wrong with #2. I'm trying to make sense of だった ら、ちょっと聞きたい in the light of your explanation of the previous sentence. Does this in fact mean "If it's the case (that you object to opening up the country), I would like to just ask you this (i.e. ask what he then goes on to say)"? I regularly have problems with knowing whether 聞く means "hear" or "ask" unless the context makes it very obvious.

The difficulty I have with #3 is that どうすることもできませんでした looks to me to mean "whatever (he) did, it was not possible". Applied to the first part of the sentence, this would seem to mean that it was not possible for him to make the thought to grow stronger, which is almost the exact opposite of the true meaning. Is どうすることもできませんでした idiomatic, with an inbuilt implied (but not literally stated) sense of not possible to stop/help? Or am I misunderstanding the whole sentence structure?
 

Toritoribe

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2)
Yes, your interpretation is correct.

3)
"Interrogative words(いつ, 何, 誰)/Indefinite referring words(どれ, どこ, どの, どう, どんな) + も" meams "every" in an affirmative sentence, "unqualified denial" in a negative sentence.

ここには誰もいない
No one is here.

どれも間違っている。
Everything is wrong.

どうすることもできない
can do nothing

想いが強くなってくるのを、どうすることもできなかっ た
He could do nothing about the thought growing stronger. = He couldn't stop the thought growing stronger.
 

eeky

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Thanks Toritoribe. I broadly understand those points you made. The main problem here was not understanding that を corresponds to "about" in English. Therefore, the general sense is:

"not possible to do anything about the thought growing stronger."

and not something with opposite meaning like:

"not possible to do anything to (make) the thought grow stronger."

I get it now. Thanks!
 
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