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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by thorpig, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. thorpig Senior Member

    Iqaluit, Nunavut
    Canadian English

    I'm having trouble understanding what connotation this expression carries in the following line. The context is how the support staff on the set of a hidden camera show (ドッキリ番組) are behaving.


    I understand that it's remarkable the staff are carrying along as if nothing is amiss, but how does this expression translate? "Everyone went about their work as usual (or pretended as much), so much so that you could swear it was the real thing(?)"

  2. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Isn't this 念仏を唱えるように(黙々と)・・・・? See the third sample 工場勤務は~.
  3. Tonky Senior Member

    It's coming from chanting a sutra(Buddhism scripts). When most of us (except for monks of course) chant along, we do not think of its meanings at all, but just chant the words we learned (or read).

    「全員いつも通りに・・・と念を唱える様に」 is saying that they are pretending to work as if they were chanting "work as usual, work as usual, work as usual..." to the point that "work as usual" lose its meaning to them. It's showing how they were trying to pretend (and how awkward they looked, maybe) as if they were telling themselves to "work as usual" repeatedly, otherwise they might not be able to hold their laugh/smiles. If their "pretending" looked perfect to anyone, maybe it implicates how hard they tried and how their "chanting" worked. (Of course, it does not mean they actually chanted.)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  4. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    No. What they're saying is not 'as usual'.

    How they are working/pretending? As usual, plus 念仏を唱えるように黙々と。

    いつも通りに、・・・っと(I don't understand)念仏を唱える様に全員が現場で仕事をして(るフリ)いました。
  5. thorpig Senior Member

    Iqaluit, Nunavut
    Canadian English
    Thank you both, Tonky and frequency. I was on the wrong track. It would seem as though this can be interpreted in a number of ways...

    "as if by ritual"
    "as if in silent prayer"
    or, more literally,
    "automatically, like monks chanting sutras"

    I'll play with this a bit more. Thanks again!

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