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人間にとって魚は大切な食べ物です。

healer

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Reference: FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101
Fish is an important food source for people.

There are a lot of verbs read as とる and end up as とって in 〜て form. Also there is とる which is the contraction of 〜て + おる.
There is no kanji so I can't tell which verb it is. Is とって above from とる that derives from 〜ておる?

How should one choose between 大切な and 大事な while both mean the same?
 

bentenmusume

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First of all, if とって was a specific verb like 取る or 撮る, it would probably be in kanji. Secondly, Xにとって meaning "for (from the perspective of) X is a very common construction. You find it confusing now because you still lack exposure/experience, but any native or proficient speaker will scan XにとってYは大事です and immediately scan it and understand it as "Y is important for X'.

As for your second question, that's like asking how do you choose between using "important" and "vital" in English. There are subtle differences (perhaps 大切 feels a bit more personal or emotional and could be used to refer to family, a pet, an important keepsake, etc. while 大事 and 重要 sound a bit more objective and formal) but mostly it's about feel. It can be intimidating early when you don't have the experience or knowledge to make these judgement calls, but there's really nothing to do but accept that there's a lot of subtlety and overlap in (any) language.
 

Toritoribe

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As for the contracted version ~とる, you need to realize that ~ておる is a dialect of ~ている used mostly by old people or only in some regions. Thus, if the speaker uses this ~とる, they also use the similar wordings for all their words, not just for ~とる part like your example.
e.g.
わしゃ昨日は寝とってテレビは見とらんのじゃ。
(私は昨日は寝ていてテレビは見ていないんですよ。)

なんでさっき食べとってまた食びょうっだいな。
(なぜさっき食べていたのにまた食べているんですか。)

When にとって means にていて, the only possible verb whose -te form is にて is にる, i.e., 煮る or 似る. You can check the meanings of these verbs in your dictionary, and can exclude them from the possible candidates anyway.
 

healer

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You find it confusing now because you still lack exposure/experience,
Isn't it reasonable to be confused and ignorant being a learner? I jolly well know that I need exposure, but I can't help it if I don't get it at this stage.

there's really nothing to do but accept that there's a lot of subtlety and overlap in (any) language.
I'm aware there could be subtle difference and that's why I ask. I also understand that sometimes it is difficult even for a native speaker to explain the difference. I just ask, if I get a good response I'm lucky, if not I wouldn't dwell on it.
 

bentenmusume

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Isn't it reasonable to be confused and ignorant being a learner? I jolly well know that I need exposure, but I can't help it if I don't get it at this stage.

I think you're misunderstanding me here. I'm not attacking you for lack of experience and exposure or saying it's unreasonable, and honestly have no idea why you're getting this impression. I'm just pointing out that there is a difference between grammar points that you can be expected to memorize 100%, grasp, and internalize before moving on (e.g. conjugating the -te form of verbs, fundamental particle usage, etc.) and other points that you probably won't be able to fully master without considerable (sometimes even years) of exposure. For the latter, sometimes it is best to understand them as best you can, file them away in a compartment of your brain, and then move on and try to observe in the future. If you don't learn to do this, you run the risk of over-obsessing about relatively minor details at the risk of learning more fundamentally important points.

I'm aware there could be subtle difference and that's why I ask. I also understand that sometimes it is difficult even for a native speaker to explain the difference. I just ask, if I get a good response I'm lucky, if not I wouldn't dwell on it.

And I gave you an answer, didn't I? To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed answering your questions at first, because you struck me as one of the more thoughtful and serious learners on this board in a while. I may have to retreat back to the sidelines, however, as it seems that you find my responses lacking, given that you never comment on the substance of what I say, and only seem to get upset at how I say it.

And I'm pretty sure I said this before, but I'm not a native speaker of Japanese. I'm an English native who went through the same learning process you're going through now (albeit some time ago), and the primary reason I'm responding is because I'd like to think I have some insight that can help you in grasping these concepts.

edited to add the following

What is this in terms of grammar?

It's an old person/dialectal version of ~のだ, or the "explanatory/contextual の" as it's sometimes called. It appears as (~のです/~んです、~のだ/~んだ)in standard modern Japanese.
 

healer

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Thanks for not giving up on me. I know I lack all the environment for learning a foreign language. What I have is tenacity at this stage and I just go through the grammar, words and sentences again and again until they stick.
 

Toritoribe

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According to your examples, とって = ていて and わしゃ = 私.
Right.
~ている=~ておる
~ていて=~ておって --> ~とって (because of contraction)
 
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