日本へ行った時

John_Doe

Senior Member
Russian
魚が嫌いだと日本へ行った時困りますか?
If you don't like fish, will you have trouble when you go to Japan?

(A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino)
Is it all right with the translation? I wonder why there should be 日本へ行った時 instead of の本へ行く時.
 
  • Tonky

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    English uses "Absolute Tense" while Japanese uses "Relative Tense".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_and_absolute_tense
    You need to reorganize the timeline in accordance with the tense used in the main clause.
    日本へ行った時困りますか
    The main clause is underlined. You most likely go to Japan first, and then you may have trouble or may not in Japan.
    So, "going to Japan" happens before "you have trouble", and you need to use た form there in Japanese.
    A literal translation would be "Will you have trouble after you go to Japan?" or "Will you have trouble when you are in Japan?"
    日本へ行く時困りますか
    With this, the both action/condition has to happen at the same time. Thus it would mean something like either "Will you have trouble on the way to Japan?" or "Will you have trouble when you are going(flying) to Japan?" or perhaps "Will you have trouble right before you go to Japan?"
     

    puny_god

    Member
    English - US
    I agree with Tonky's explanation. The assumption in the sentence is you will encounter a problem after you come to Japan.
    BTW, Makino and Tsutsui's works are great reference. Glad you have them too. :)
     
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