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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by JapanForever, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. JapanForever Senior Member

    Hi there,
    It's a question which seems to be a bit stupid, I know but I wanted to know how to translate this sentence : 自分の大切なもの
    Is it something like:
    1) my most important thing
    2) my important thing

    That's a bit confuse but I guess the 2 because there isn't the "ichiban word, isn't it?
    The context is the follwoing:
    "She smiled when she saw her friend looking 自分の大切なもの."
  2. RioDeJaneiro New Member

    Hi JapanForever, (you've got a nice name anyway)

    I think it's all about context. I think the word 自分の大切なもの in this context can be translated as 2 (but 1 is fine too)
    The European languages that I know (French, Spanish, and English) use the words "most", "plus", or "mas" quite often and those words do not necessary to mean the exact No.1. What's happening is that the importance or strength the word "もっとも"/"一番" in Japanese is stronger then the word "the most" or alike.
    I've seen Japanese phrases like "もっとも xxx な 1 つ" which must have translated from "one of the most xxx" and I feel that they are very awkward in Japanese (but they are seemingly accepted these days).

    Anyway, I'll vote for the 2 but it depends on the context and translator I think.
    Hope it will help :D

    Rio de Janeiro de Rio
  3. JapanForever Senior Member

    (thanks for your compliment RioDeJaneiro ;) )

    So in this case that's "her important thing" without showing that's the most important one?
  4. RioDeJaneiro New Member

    Oui, c'est mon avis.

    I want to hear other opinions too.

    Rio de Janeiro de Rio
  5. Wishfull Senior Member

    I agree with RioDeJaneiro.

    It depends on the context, but generally speaking I think:
    1) my most important thing -->自分のもっとも大切なもの 自分の一番大切なもの
    2) my important thing --->自分の大切なもの
    3) my very important thing ---> 自分がとても大切にしているもの
  6. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    自分 can refer to any subject in the sentence. I repeat. ANY subject. [There are sundry exceptions to this rule but I shall not go into details.]
    Thus this is not sufficient context to determine what the referent is for 自分. 自分の大切なもの is either something dear to the smiling woman or that to her friend.
    Here I am assuming a Japanese sentence. There is no knowing, however, that the above quote is a translation from Japanese. Commenting on this thread has been very difficult.

    With a lot of waivers, I am still certain that I would not translate 自分 into "my" in the above.
  7. Wishfull Senior Member


    自分の大切な物: one's important thing(s)
    自分の一番大切な物: one's most important thing
    自分がとても大切にしている物:one's very important thing(s)

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