Monday, July 6, 2009

Learning Japanese, Part 11 - Page 1

When the driver says that the checkpoint isn't on his GPS, the cop replies:

検問情報 をナビに流す警察がどこにあんだよ いいから開けろ
けんもん じょうほう を ナビ に ながす けいさつ が どこ に あん だ よ いい から
あらけろ

We have to assume that there are two sentences here. The clues are the "an da yo", which usually comes at the end of a sentence, and the fact that "ii kara" starts on a new line.

kenmon = checkpoint
jouhou = information
wo = particle that comes before a verb
nabi = GPS
ni = from
nagasu = distribute (over a radio)
keisatsu = police
ga = subject marker
doko ni = from where
an da yo = what is + emphasis
ii kara = because it's good
arakero = open (imperative)

checkpoint . information . GPS . from . transmit . police . from where . rhetorical question . Good . because . open.

Now, a nuance that is obvious to native Japanese speakers is the "an da yo". It could be treated as "wa nan da yo", which is literally "subject marker . what . is . emphasis", but has the usage of "what are you thinking" or "what's up with that"? Along with "ga doko ni" (topic marker + from where), it turns the entire preceding sentence into a rhetorical question.

The literal translation is:

"Which police would transmit checkpoint information to GPS?" "Because good, open."

Or, "Police would transmit checkpoint information to GPS?" "Because good, open."

Turned into slightly more natural English: "You think the police would broadcast checkpoint info over the GPS? Because it's ok, open up." I'm taking the cop's attitude and business-like behavior into account when deciding on the final version of the sentence to use. Note that the version I actually do use is "You think the police would publicize check points on your GPS units?" I'm treating "your GPS units" as meaning "to the GPS systems of the public in general".

Note also that "ii kara" is a special case that was already discussed. It can't remain in its current form as-is.

To be continued.

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