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Help Japanese Newspaper Translation

Zizka

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In order to practice Japanese I’d like to try translating a short article from the easy Japanese newspaper (News Web Easy).
The article I’ve selected is this one: Click here

First, I write the first sentence, the title as it were:
「宇宙ごみ」の問題で日本と国連が協力する

I then make sure the sentence is correct to avoid typos.

After that, I try to identify what I can understand:
宇宙ごみ space dust
問題 a problem or question
国連 United Nations
協力 to cooperate

“The UN will cooperate with Japan about the space dust question.”
It could be a problem though. I haven’t read the article yet so I’m not sure. Tomorrow, I’ll try the second sentence.
 

Toritoribe

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Speaking strictly, your translation is for 「宇宙ごみ」の問題で国連が日本と協力する. Japan and UN are equivalent in rank in the original word order. The meanings are not significantly different, though.
 

Zizka

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In this case, is it a question or a problem? The former for me has a neutral connotation while the latter has more of a negative one.
 
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is it a question or a problem?
In this case, it's "the space junk problem" or "the problem of space debris".

This is not anything inherent in the Japanese, however, and I don't think it can be determined from the grammar. Those just happen to be the ways that English speakers describe the same concept.

Ah, and it does have a negative connotation because it creates hazards for people and equipment involved in space flight.
 

Zizka

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But how do you know it’s “junk” though? I do find “garbage” as one of the possible translations but to me “dust” and “garbage“ are not synonyms. Is this case of where the context is necessary to pinpoint junk as opposed to dust?

Maybe 埃 would be better to mean dust?
 

Toritoribe

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You shouldn't think about it just from the word ごみ. The point is what 宇宙ごみ usually refers to.

 

Zizka

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ah ok it’s a compound noun, they got together sort of like a bus station. So space debris then.

Anyhow, part of the first sentence because it’s very long:
宇宙には、使わなくなった人工衛星やロケット一番など、[...]

人工衛星: satellite
ロケット: rocket
など: particle meaning “such as, etc...”
や: particle non-exhaustive list

I can already guess the idea of the sentence, something about satellites and rockets which became useless and are in space. Still, I want to translate it so I wanted to get a head start for tomorrow when I do the translation of the whole sentence.

I’m a bit puzzled about the 一番 here though right before など.
 

Toritoribe

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Look the kanji more carefully. It's not .
 

Zizka

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Anyhow, I’ve finished work earlier so to relax I decided to finish up tomorrow's sentence.
宇宙には使わなくなった人工衛星やロケットの一部など、たくさんの宇宙ごみがあって、問題になっています。
I would say something along the lines of:
“I’m space, there are a lot space debris such as rocket parts and unused satellites and it’s becoming a problem.”
I would’ve said debris instead of space debris to avoid repetition but I was aiming to get the meaning. Also it’s satellites which have become unused I think.
 

Zizka

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Alright, tomorrow's sentence then:
日本と国連は6日、オーストリアのウィーンにある国連宇宙部で署名をして、「宇宙ごみ」の問題で協力していくことを決めました。

オーストリア: The country of Austria
ウィーン: Vienna, the capital of Austria
6日:むいか:the sixth day of the month (February I assume).
国連:the United Nations
国連宇宙部: United Nations office for Outer Space Affairs

So I think the first part goes along the line of:
"On the 6th of the month, representatives Japan and the United Nations were in Vienna in Austria to sign with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs...
...on how to cooperate to deal with the space debris problem."
I don't think I'm far off although there probably some nuances.

There are some things I am wondering about namely:
At the beginning of the sentence they talk about 「日本と国連」in what sense? A country and the onu, so how were they in Vienna exactly? This is why I added in 'representatives'.

I'm also wondering about that part:
協力していくこと
I'm wondering what the underline part is about. I'm a day ahead in my translation which gives me some time to examine some text elements I might've missed.
 

Toritoribe

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オーストリアのウィーンにある modifies 国連宇宙部.
で indicates the location where the action 署名をする is done.
日本と国連 is the subject of 署名をする. は is for topicalization.
協力していくこと is the object of 決めました. こと is used to nominalize 協力していく here, since the object must be a noun. It's like "to decide cooperate" is ungrammatical also in English when "cooperate" is a verb.

it’s satellites which have become unused I think
The word order "space debris such as unused satellites and rocket parts" can keep the ambiguity the original Japanese sentence has.
 

Zizka

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Regarding 協力していくこと, it’s more the underlined part I’m wondering about.

Also, in ´A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar’ there are a few entries regarding こと. The entry regarding the nominalizer says it expresses a relative lack of empathy regarding what is nominalised by the speaker. Is there a lack of empathy regarding the collaboration?

So regarding the signature, it‘s Japan and the UN which signed, it stays abstract.
 

Zizka

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Tomorrow’s sentence:
それから日本と国連はこの問題を世界に知らせて、

それから: after that
知らせる: to become known, to be notified

“After that, the world will become aware of that problem...”
 

Zizka

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...ごみを片づけるための研究一緒にしていきます。

片付ける: to clean up
ため: for the benefit of
の: nominaliser
研究: research, investigation

so I would say the whole sentence:
“After that the world will become aware of that problem and together they will research for a way to clean up space debris.”
 
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協力していくこと
~ていく is to do starting now going forward, ~てくる is to have done in the past up until now.
It should be in your textbook somewhere, it's definitely in JLPT study guides.

Is there a lack of empathy regarding the collaboration?
Newspaper articles do try to be objective, or at least written from an objective point of view.
Anyway, further on in the entry, there is a [Related Expression] section that goes into better
detail about using の vs. こと that should help.


“After that, the world will become aware of that problem...”
"the world" isn't the subject of the Japanese sentence. 日本と国連 is.

If the verb form is confusing you see the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar entry for 'saseru'.
 

Zizka

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I’ve read the entry which distinguishes the の and こと nominalisers. I understand the difference now. In my previous encounters with こと, I wasn’t under the impression that it lacked empathy.

Anyhow, 知らせて is saseru comes into play I believe. “To cause something to do something” in the sample sentences it is translated as “made x do y”.

So then it’s Japan and the UN who make the world (世界に) aware of the problem.
 

Zizka

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この問題で国連と協力する国は、日本が初めてです.
This is the next sentence. At a glance I think it says that regarding that problem, of the countries which are collaborating about it, Japan will start/begin to do something about it. This isn’t my final answer but I’m fairly confident I’m about right.
 
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“To cause something to do something” in the sample sentences it is translated as “made x do y”.

So then it’s Japan and the UN who make the world (世界に) aware of the problem.
That's the idea, yes.

While 'saseru' is usually called the 'causative' and is often used for making someone do something, it is also used for permitting someone to do something.
In this case, it's all the same anyway since 'let the world know' and 'make the world aware' are both close in meaning to the Japanese.

Japan will start/begin to do something about it
This is not the て form of 始める, it's the adjective 初めて. (not just because of the kanji, but because ~てです isn't grammatical.)
 

Toritoribe

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Before moving to the next sentences, can you give us your final translation of 日本と国連は6日、オーストリアのウィーンにある国連宇宙部で署名をして、「宇宙ごみ」の問題で協力していくことを決めました。? This is a general idea and not just to you, but we often see the cases where members think "I think I understand" and we think "you really understand it correctly" are not the same. I believe it's useful for you to confirm whether you really understand it correctly or not.
 

Zizka

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Sure, but I think I would stick to my original translation. If there’s anything which is inaccurate feel free to point it out and I’ll do my best to fix it.

Regarding the last sentence, I did say it wasn’t my final answer :). 初: はつ: it’s a noun adjective. It means the first time of something. Why is there て at the end of that adjective? Like toritoribe said, I’d rather really understand things instead of staying in the realm of general ideas.
 

Toritoribe

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If there’s anything which is inaccurate feel free to point it out and I’ll do my best to fix it.
...I already did it. (In other words, your translation is wrong.)

初: はつ: it’s a noun adjective. It means the first time of something. Why is there て at the end of that adjective?
You already got the answer from Chris-san also here.

Read our replies more carefully, please?
 

Zizka

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“Read our replies more carefully, please?”
I don’t like this kind of comment. It implies that if I miss something or if there’s a miscommunication it has to be because I’m being careless. I don’t think that’s fair. You can make comments like those if you want of course. I just don’t think it’s useful or helpful in a helping pedagogical relationship. I think the best environment is one where mistakes are welcomed and where there’s no pressure. If I’m told to read more carefully I do not feel comfortable asking questions as I might have asked the same question before and it the defeats the purpose.

If a question is asked twice then a possible conclusion can be that the answer wasn’t understood. There’s no malice, carelessness or laziness involved here.

I used not to say anything about stuff like that because I think then a person will refuse to help then but I decided I’d let you know. I think that if someone really wants to help they’ll do so even it involves repetition.

If you feel I’m being unfair, you don’t have to help me. You’ve already done a lot for sure for which I’m really appreciative.

For example, you mention that Chris-san has already answered my question. If I didn’t realise that, then I didn’t understand the explanation.
 

Toritoribe

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Fair enough. Then, my hints wouldn't be helpful for you. However, you would be able to find the adverb 初めて(はじめて) quite easily just by looking up the word in your dictionary. (Yes, it's actually an adverb, but I believe you would be able to find 初めて, for instance in the page of 初 in Jisho.org.)

 

Majestic

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If I may, there isn't just one type of pedagogical relationship. It is OK for the teacher to ask the student to review the instructions already given. In addition, I would ask that you look at Toritoribe-san's many, many, many replies, not only in the Learning Japanese section, but in all sections.
However, the time he spends teaching people Japanese is particularly mind-blowing. And he does this in his free time, for free, for you. It is hours and hours of work, with no compensation. Many times he will give an answer, and the student will not read it or understand it. He can either spend even more of his free time answering the same question twice, or he can ask the student to review the material already given. If he asks the student to review again (and adding "please" to the sentence), there should be no cause for offence.
 
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