立ち話もなんですから

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stego

New Member
Italian
Hi. I'm still watching the anime Death Note. A group of police investigators enter the hotel suite where mysterious mister L is staying, hoping to cooperate with him to solve a difficult case. As soon as they walk through the front door, they start discussing the case, standing right there in the entrance. Shortly after, L says:

立ち話もなんですから…こちらへどうぞ。This was translated as: "Standing around there chatting is all very well, but please come this way".

I don't understand the grammar behind the first part, 立ち話もなんですから. In particular the function of もな. I've been thinking about these points:

-From my understanding んですから expresses a reason based on information that is already known to both the speaker and the listener. That would make sense here;
-I think if the intended meaning was 'since this is also a case of talking while standing', the sentence would've been 立ち話でもあるんですから.

I would appreciate your help!
 
  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    立ち話 も 何(なん・なに)ですから
    =立ち話 も 野暮 ですから
    =立ち話 も 疲れること ですから
    =立ち話 も 気が利いているとは言えない行為の一つ ですから 
    =立ち話 も 無作法 ですから (<--edit)
     
    “Standing and chatting doesn′t seem so cool, that you may come this way and take a seat.” (a set phrase)
     
    Last edited:

    stego

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you, much appreciated! Could you also explain why も is used here? This kind of も always confuses me. Is it just a case of the following?

    驚き・感動の意を表す。(デジタル大辞泉 q.v.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    ある事柄を挙げ、同様の事柄が他にある意を表す。…もまた。「国語好きだ」「ぼくも知らない

    I think you can ignore も.
    立ち話もなんですから…こちらへどうぞ。
    = 立ち話はなんですから…こちらへどうぞ。
    The meaning is almost the same. However, the with-も version sounds a little more natural and idiomatic. Both are perfectly fine.

    I just think the も means "too" "also" and if I emphasize も in my translation, it would be something like these:
    “Stand chatting too doesn′t seem so cool that you may come this way and take a seat.”
    "Among many things that seem uncool and weary, stand chatting also would be one of them. So why not come to this way and take a seat?"
     
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    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    The closest definition from your source is:
    1 ある事柄を挙げ、同様の事柄が他にある意を表す。…もまた。「国語も好きだ」「ぼくも知らない」
    This, however, needs some more explanations to be fitted for your text.

    The same usage of も is defined as follows in a paper dictionary (明鏡国語辞典² q.v. 12):
    さりげなくとりたてて、文意をやわらげる。「おなかすいたし、食事にするか」「天気いいから、散歩でもしよう」…
    Section 12 has three subsections, whose details are too minute to be discussed in this thread.

    I am fairly confident that I use my も's appropriately, but I don't understand what is intended by さりげなくとりたてて、文意をやわらげる. I mentioned the above in case others, including non-natives, may find it helpful.

    I tend to think this type of も is a second-best solution to は, the usual topic marker. The problem with は is that it often connotes exclusiveness. E.g., 立ち話はなんですから may mean that "standing around there chatting" is the ONLY thing that is unmannerly in this context. This isn't true. I can think of many less genteel things than talking business in public.

    Even if it is the only inappropriate thing in this context, a polite speaker may still prefer も over は. A mention to its inappropriateness comes across as blaming the interlocutor, who has started the talk while outside. The interlocutor could be just rushy but they could also be so modest that they consider themselves unworthy to be ushered inside. So, blaming their inappropriateness is not at all a wise movement. Then, 立ち話も is a shrewd device for implying that it is just one of the reasons that the speaker wants to delay the talk until they are inside.

    In a black-and-white way, the difference between は and も are:
    XはA: Only X is A.
    XもA: X is one of the things that are A.

    Still, languages seldom work in absolute terms. Examples from my dictionary quote are somewhat lacking in motivation for も. I don't think they are any different from おなかがすいたし or 天気がいいから.
     

    stego

    New Member
    Italian
    SolLaTiDoberman-san, Flaminius-san, thank you so much for your help! I'll be coming back to your replies when I find similar examples.

    Flaminius-san, your reply got me thinking about the difference between その and そんな. In a way, その just refers to an individual item, while そんな implies the existence of a category the individual item belongs to. For example, if I say "そんな人は初めて見た" I'm making a 'broader' statement than "その人は初めて見た", aren't I? Somehow it seems to me that も as used here has a similar nuance, so I was wondering: would it be ok to translate the sentence as "Such things as standing around there chatting is/seems inconvenient/awkward" ?

    However when you said:

    Then, 立ち話も is a shrewd device for implying that it is just one of the reasons that the speaker wants to delay the talk until they are inside.
    I thought that maybe we can apply も to the whole subordinate clause, which would yield something like:

    "Also considering that standing around is inconvenient..."
    "Being also true that standing around is inconvenient..."
    "There's also the fact that standing around is inconvenient, so..."

    Do you think any of this captures the spirit of も as being used in the sentence? I'm basically trying to digest your reply in my own terms. Otherwise I'll just stick to what you and SolLaTiDoberman-san wrote.

    To the moderator: thank you, I'll be sure to source my quote next time.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    I thought that maybe we can apply も to the whole subordinate clause
    Very good observation, O the ancient one!

    I won't go into much detail because this thread is about a specific phrase, but the Japanese language is pretty fond of sentential adverb pretending to be modifying a noun phrase. E.g., 健太は女の子ばかり追いかけて暮らしている。
    This is not a reproach for Kenta not chasing after men!
     
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