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家具に囲まれた自宅の書斎

healer

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Ref: FREE Japanese Word of the Day Widget - JapanesePod101

The translation for the above sentence is “home study with furniture”

I suppose 囲まれた is the passive form of 囲む for the meaning of “surround and encircle etc” Is the above translation correct? I would have taken it as “home study surrounded with furniture”.

I looked up the example sentences 囲まれた #sentences - Jisho.org and the verb is mostly used for the above-said meaning. A few examples are actually using the verb 取り囲む though.
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, the more literal translation is "home study surrounded by furniture".
 

healer

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Thanks Toritoribe-san!

Is the furniture in this case actually outside the study since it says furniture surrounding the study?

If the furniture is inside, is this verb 囲む often used in this way?
 

Toritoribe

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It's inside. Speaking strictly, what is surrounded is people, not home study, but furniture is usually inside the room in "a room surrounded by furniture" also in English, right?
 

healer

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Thanks for the clarification. It’s good to know that one could describe such situations with this particular verb in Japanese language.

In the English language I’ve never come across the verb “surrounded” used in this sense. If I say a place is surrounded by/with something. That something would be at the periphery, the outer edge of the place referred to in the physical sense. Even in the figurative sense such verb would not be used to describe things inside something. I have had a quick search on the Internet just in case I have missed. The following are some examples I’ve found on Surround in a sentence (esp. good sentence like quote, proverb...).

  • Silence and secrecy surround the murder.
  • Snow-capped mountains surround the city.
  • He likes to surround himself with beautiful things.
 

Toritoribe

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Quick google search results:

A room surrounded by furniture and fabrics chosen by someone with taste.

Think of a spiral staircase in the middle of a room surrounded by furniture and décor.

Apparently they also look great in a modern kitchen or living room surrounded by furniture carved from the last trees of the last American Walnut grove on the planet.

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball made their home look swell with furnishings from Jamestown Royal, including a photo of the couple of their living room surrounded by furniture made in Jamestown and shipped to them in California


I know some of the results should be interpreted that "surrounded" modifies the preceding verb, not room, like the following examles, but there really are cases where this interpretation can't be applied.

Sitting well in your living room surrounded by furniture

Sandals said, standing in a colourful daycare room surrounded by furniture made for pre-schoolers

Relieving myself in the middle of a room surrounded by furniture

A woman standing alone in a room surrounded by furniture

4 men stand in a neon pink room surrounded by furniture and musical instruments.
 

bentenmusume

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Hmm, I would argue that in those examples, surrounded modifies: the implied subject (the person who is "sitting well"), Sandals, "myself", the woman, and 4 men, respectively. Without the introduction of those elements (i.e. the people who themselves are surrounded by furniture), I personally (I don't want to presume to speak for all native English speakers, though healerさん seems to feel the same) probably would not refer to "[a room] surrounded by furniture."

I think it's perhaps easier to think of this in terms of the "room" in question (the 書斎 here) not referring to the entire physical room (i.e. from wall to wall) as what's being surrounded but rather the area in which the person sits and uses the room for its intended function.

It's also probably worth pointing out (as this is something that often trips native English speakers up about Japanese relative clauses) that the nature between the noun and the modifying clause is more "loosely binding" in Japanese than it is in English, such that ~に囲まれた部屋 could also be interpreted depending on context as "a room [where you are] surrounded by (...)", in the same way that 経済がよく分かる本 means "a book that if you read it, you'll understand economics" (i.e. a book that helps you / will allow you to understand economics", not "a book that [itself] understands economics well", despite the fact that that's what it looks like if you try to interpret it as strictly binding like a relative clause in English.

Again, not that the original example requires this explanation to make sense, but it's worth keeping in mind when you encounter these clauses.
 

Toritoribe

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Ah, I see. In the same sense, what is surrounded by furniture would be a spiral staircase in the second example in my post above, and "someone in the room" might be implied in all those examples. I think bentenmusume-san's explanation "loosely binding" would be more appropriate for this case.

Other examples of "loosely binding" I can think of now:
焼き鳥を焼く煙が漂っている。
(What broils meat is actually fire, not smoke.)

事件の起きる前日、彼の様子はおかしかった。
(事件の起きる日の前日 is more logical.)
 

healer

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I think it's perhaps easier to think of this in terms of the "room" in question (the 書斎 here) not referring to the entire physical room (i.e. from wall to wall) as what's being surrounded but rather the area in which the person sits and uses the room for its intended function.
Thank you for your input. Your thinking of taking 書斎 not a physical room but an area for the same purpose is quite plausible.
Perhaps loose binding of relative clause does not really apply here.
 
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