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実は、日本語のクラスで... / あのう、ミラーさんは...

eeky

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Hiya,

1. A student is talking to a university professor:

実は、日本語のクラスでプロジェクトワークをしていまして、私は日本の歴史の教科書をトピック に選びました。先生がその問題について研究なさってい ると伺ってので、いろいろお話をお聞きできたらと思っ ているのですが。

My translation: "Actually, I'm doing some project work for my Japanese class, and I've chosen the topic of Japanese history textbooks. I've heard that you, professor, carry out research into this subject, so I thought it would be good if I could ask you one or two things."

Is this OK? Especially....

a) Is he doing his project on the subject of Japanese history textbooks in general? Or has he chosen a topic *from* a Japanese history textbook?

b) Is it OK here to translate 問題 as "subject", "topic" or similar (rather than "problem" or similar)?

c) Is いろいろお話をお聞き referring to the student asking the professor "various things"? Or is it referring to the student listening to the professor talking about various things?


2. あのう、ミラーさんは10年間日本に住んでいらしたんですが、日本に 住んでいて、これはアメリカと違うなと思われた点があ りますか。

My translation: "Well Mr Miller, you've been living in Japan for ten years; (while you've been) living in Japan, are there some things [points] that you've noticed [thought] are different from America?"

a) Is いらした = いらっしゃいました?

b) What does これ refer to? Does it refer, generally, to Mr Miller's living in Japan?

b) What is the function of な in 違うなと?

c) Is 思われた a passive form (i.e. "(points that) were thought (to be different)"), or is it an honorific/polite active form (i.e. "(points that) you thought (were different))"? I often seem to have difficulty understanding which of these two senses is intended. Are there any general tips anyone can offer? To a native speaker is there always an obvious clear-cut distinction, or do the two senses (passive and honorific) sometimes kind of merge into one idea?
 

Toritoribe

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1. A student is talking to a university professor:
実は、日本語のクラスでプロジェクトワークをしていまして、私は日本の歴史の教科書をトピック に選びました。先生がその問題について研究なさってい ると伺ってので、いろいろお話をお聞きできたらと思っ ているのですが。
My translation: "Actually, I'm doing some project work for my Japanese class, and I've chosen the topic of Japanese history textbooks. I've heard that you, professor, carry out research into this subject, so I thought it would be good if I could ask you one or two things."
Is this OK? Especially....
a) Is he doing his project on the subject of Japanese history textbooks in general? Or has he chosen a topic *from* a Japanese history textbook?
The former. 私は日本の歴史の教科書からトピックを選びました is for the latter.

b) Is it OK here to translate 問題 as "subject", "topic" or similar (rather than "problem" or similar)?
Yes.

c) Is いろいろお話をお聞き referring to the student asking the professor "various things"? Or is it referring to the student listening to the professor talking about various things?
Grammatically, it's the latter. If it's いろいろお聞きできたら, it can mean "to ask". But we can also think this is an euphemism. The speaker in fact would ask some questions to the professor.

2. あのう、ミラーさんは10年間日本に住んでいらしたんですが、日本に 住んでいて、これはアメリカと違うなと思われた点があ りますか。
My translation: "Well Mr Miller, you've been living in Japan for ten years; (while you've been) living in Japan, are there some things [points] that you've noticed [thought] are different from America?"
a) Is いらした = いらっしゃいました?
Very close, but more accurately, it's いらっしゃった.

b) What does これ refer to? Does it refer, generally, to Mr Miller's living in Japan?
That's a kind of direct quotation, Mr.Miller thought "This is different from America" at that time. So, it can be said that これ refers to the points/things.

b) What is the function of な in 違うなと?
It's a sentence final particle, as in above.

c) Is 思われた a passive form (i.e. "(points that) were thought (to be different)"), or is it an honorific/polite active form (i.e. "(points that) you thought (were different))"? I often seem to have difficulty understanding which of these two senses is intended. Are there any general tips anyone can offer? To a native speaker is there always an obvious clear-cut distinction, or do the two senses (passive and honorific) sometimes kind of merge into one idea?
It's an honorific. I would say it's "naturally" interpreted which is which in most cases.
 

eeky

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That's a kind of direct quotation, Mr.Miller thought "This is different from America" at that time. So, it can be said that これ refers to the points/things.
Thanks Toritoribe!

So the whole of 「これはアメリカと違うな」 is what Mr Miller thought (or what the speaker assumes Mr Miller thought), right?

It's an honorific. I would say it's "naturally" interpreted which is which in most cases.
Is it always clear to native speakers that the sense is one thing or the other thing (either honorific or passive), or are there ever cases where a native speaker would be unsure and would say "it's a bit of both"?
 

Toritoribe

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So the whole of 「これはアメリカと違うな」 is what Mr Miller thought (or what the speaker assumes Mr Miller thought), right?
Right. 👍

Is it always clear to native speakers that the sense is one thing or the other thing (either honorific or passive), or are there ever cases where a native speaker would be unsure and would say "it's a bit of both"?
For instance, if it's これはアメリカと違うなと思われる点がありますか, 思われる can be interpreted both as an honorific and the passive. Probably I don't think too much about the difference in conversation, though. 😅
 

eeky

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For instance, if it's これはアメリカと違うなと思われる点がありますか, 思われる can be interpreted both as an honorific and the passive. Probably I don't think too much about the difference in conversation, though.
When you say that you don't think too much about the difference, you're talking only about certain ambiguous sentences like the example you give, right? I mean, there are plenty of other examples where it's grammatically clear that the sense must be passive, or that it must be active and honorific, right?

When you say that you don't think too much about the difference, do you mean that in certain contexts such as this, the two concepts (passive and honorific) merge together into one concept for you? So by using the passive (e.g. "that was thought by you"), rather than the active ("that you thought") are we also automatically being deferential to the person in question?

Sorry to bang on about this, but it is a topic that I often seem to have problems with.
 

Toritoribe

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No, I mean it's when I hear it. I consciously use (especially) honorifics when I say it.

As for 思われる, this is exactly the passive form but in fact it's used as 自発 or "spontaneous", as same as 思い出される, 感じられる, 悔やまれる, etc.. So 思われた点 means more likely "the points that you think/feel automatically/naturally" than "the points that is thought by you".
 
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