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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by Cairy, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Cairy New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Hello everyone. I am an elementary Japanese student and I have doubts about the の particle.
    I learnt that "Alice's adventures in WOnderland" translated as "ふしぎの国のアリス". I understand that ふしぎの国 means something like "Country of Wonders" but I don't understand why Alice goes at the end. Shouldn't it be something like "アリスのふしぎの国?
    Can somebody explain me why?

    Thank you all!
  2. hoshiboshi Junior Member

    English - US
    It's because whatever comes at the end has the most emphasis - it's the subject of the sentence.
    ふしぎの国のアリス = Alice of the Mysterious Country
    アリスのふしぎの国 = The Mysterious Country of Alice's

    By putting Alice at the end in "ふしぎの国のアリス," it puts the emphasis on Alice. The story is about her.
    And it doesn't make sense to say "アリスのふしぎの国," because Wonderland does not belong to her. It's a place she wound up getting stuck in, and it controls everything that happens to her, so she has no ownership over it! She is "of Wonderland" - in the sense that she is currently part of it/ living in it.
    If you were talking about something Alice actually did own, you could say "アリスのドレス" for "Alice's dress", and the like. But again, when you're talking about Wonderland, it's a bit different.

    If any native speakers have something to add, go ahead! That was just my take on it.
  3. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    の works roughly like English 'in' does. Temples in Tokyo, 東京の寺, A laboratory in Osaka, 大阪の研究室(研究所). Note that they are phrases. In a sentence 'I'm in Tokyo', it differs.

    Moreover, in theory, 'Alice's Adventure in Wonderland' could be ふしぎの国でのアリス or ふしぎの国におけるアリス and more. But they don't sound lovely or romantic as a title of a fantasy, too dull, affecting sale of the book.
    Regardless to say, the Japanese title ふしぎの国のアリス omits 'her adventure'.
  4. 巻き舌外人 New Member

    The reasoning may be similar to saying "友達の晴子です" when, say for example, you are making an introduction.

  5. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Similar, but a little different. 'の' in these cases suggests にいる/にある. But 友達の晴子 is 'My friend Haruko', and 'My sister in Tokyo' is 東京の姉/妹. Complicated.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  6. Cairy New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Thank you all for your answers. They were all very helpful!

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