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何か / 改善の余地

eeky

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1. どの姿もはっきり何かはわからない。

Does 何か refer to the things that are (or in this case aren't) clearly known about 姿? I think it may be the positioning of はっきり that is putting me off. Is the word order in this sentence completely normal?

2. 「でも、間違いなく改善の余地があるね」

Sometimes I come across phrases translated from English that seem suspiciously literal -- in this case 改善の余地, "room for improvement". I see that 改善の余地 is listed as a phrase in the dictionary, but is it true native Japanese?
 

Toritoribe

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1)
I see your point. Actually, はっきり modifies わからない, so it can be rephrased as どの姿も何か(は)はっきりわからない。. Yes, the original word order is common.

2)
Yes, it's commonly used basically as stiff written language.
 

Kraise

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about 2, Toritoribe-san

what would be a good way of saying this in spoken japanese?
 

mdchachi

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Depends how strongly you want to state your opinion. How about でも、間違いなく改善をするべきだね
 

Kraise

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Depends how strongly you want to state your opinion. How about でも、間違いなく改善をするべきだね
Thank you, again I failed to explain things right

Is there a 口語的 way of conveying the notion of "room to improve" without bringing in words like 余地 and余裕, for example?
 

eeky

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Yes, it's commonly used basically as stiff written language.
So, I guess its use here in what is supposed to be ordinary informal dialogue is an example of the kind of "translatese" that we talked about before?
 

Toritoribe

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Is there a 口語的 way of conveying the notion of "room to improve" without bringing in words like 余地 and余裕, for example?
I would say 直し甲斐がありそう, with connoting a similar nuance.

So, I guess its use here in what is supposed to be ordinary informal dialogue is an example of the kind of "translatese" that we talked about before?
It seems to me to be more likely "the speaker said it jokingly", as we do in real conversation.
 

eeky

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It seems to me to be more likely "the speaker said it jokingly", as we do in real conversation.
I see, thanks, then that would be a nuance not in the original, since in English "room for improvement" is an ordinary conversational phrase.
 
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