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I have this following sentence:  

横線――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれは、俺の生命の残量を可視化したものだ。

There are a few questions I came up with about this sentence:

  1. The first part of the sentence is: 横線―――HPバーの名で呼ばれる青いそれ, my question is how can this sentence be parsed? How does the long ――― change the meaning/parsing of the sentence?
  2. At the end of the sentence, it is written: 可視化したもの. Why is 可視化した used in past form, while according to the context I'd expect a present-form? Is this perhaps a grammar subject I just don't know yet?

For the context (and the context only), the translation of the book can be found in this link.
However, the translation is not literal which doesn't really help me understand and solve my questions by myself.

Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

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Maybe this is a little too simplistic a view but it seems like putting 横線 and then ーー is just them trying to be cute by putting horizontal bars after they write "horizontal bar," like orthographic 擬態語 –  ssb Feb 4 '13 at 4:49
    
Haha! Well, that's a funny way to put it, although this is from a book, I highly doubt they'd do something like this in books. I think it's there for explanation... thanks for commenting! :) –  xTCx Feb 4 '13 at 5:33
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

1.

[[HPバーの名]で呼ばれる] [青いそれ]

I can't really say for sure about "――" without more context. My guess is that 横線 is being pulled out to make it clear that it's the term being explained (maybe it's part of a list?). The technical terms in my translation might be off, but this should give you the feel:

The Horizontal Line -- that blue thing which goes by the name of ....

You might have been thrown off by 青いそれ, literally "blue that". In English, demonstrative pronouns cannot be modified by adjectives, but that is not the case in Japanese.

2.

Basically it says that this is "the result of" visualizing your remaining life. Since it is the result of that process, it's already complete, therefore した.

A subtle point is that もの is not the subject of the relative clause. I.e. the literal translation of 俺の生命の残量を可視化したもの is not "The thing that visualizes my remaining life" (although that might be the most idiomatic English expression), rather "(The thing which is) the result of having visualized my remaining life". Note that Japanese is very flexible about the role of the modified noun in the relative clause. Less so in English, which is why the literal translation I give above does not involve a relative clause at all.

The technical way to explain した would be say that this is not a past tense, but a perfective aspect. The use of different verb forms for tense-aspect in Japanese is quite subtle, and the use differs between matrix sentences and subordinate/relative clauses. Let me know if you want to know more about this, it might be worth a separate question.

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As for 1, you're correct. 横線 was in fact introduced before in the context. Your translation makes sense as well. Thanks! :) As for 2, if もの is not the subject, what is?, as for the ~した part, in essence, it adds the nuance of "the result of...", right? I'd like to know more about it, and I will therefore open another question later today. Thank you! I appreciate your answer! –  xTCx Feb 4 '13 at 5:31
    
The subject is unspecified. Another way to say it in English is "(The side line is) my remaining life visualized". Visualized by whom? I dunno... the computer, if I'm guessing correctly about the context. –  dainichi Feb 4 '13 at 7:36
    
BTW, if I recall correctly, 横線 is given the furigana ライン in that book. –  snailboat Feb 4 '13 at 12:57
    
@dainichi So how will the full sentence translate literally? "That blue line called the HP bar, is the result of the visualizing of my remaining life" perhaps? and snailplane - that's correct :) –  xTCx Feb 4 '13 at 13:29
    
In "that blue line" in English, the phrase "blue line" provides "clarification" to the reader of which thing we're talking about -- the blue line. We should already know there is a blue line, and this sentence explains it. ...However, in Japanese, 青い and the other clause is just description. The "clarification", if there is one, is 横線. "That horizontal line--blue it, which is called by the name of 'the HP bar', is my remaining life visualized." (obviously, this is literal and not very pretty or even valid in English...) –  Hyperworm Feb 4 '13 at 14:21
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To add to @dainichi's answer, 横線 is probably better translated as "horizontal line", not "side line".

Also, the ーー could probably be replaced easily by すなわち or 言い換えて. "That horizontal line, that is/in other words, that blue thing called the 'HP Bar', ..."

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As for "horizontal line", good point. 換える is ichi-dan. It's 言い換えて. –  dainichi Feb 4 '13 at 23:35
    
@dainichi: Oops, good catch. –  istrasci Feb 5 '13 at 3:48
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The horizontal line -the blue one called HP bar- visualizes my remaining life.

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Does this response answer the entire question being asked? ^^ –  summea Apr 23 '13 at 20:32
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Please read this web page cache. According to it, the horizontal line is what is shown on glasses or something and tells the knight how long he can live. It is blue and called "HP Bar".

The ーー is a dash. Japanese usually use a double size dash. It is often written with two dashes. When a phrase or sentence is between two double size dash, the phrase or sentence expresses about the word in front of the first dash. The author of the book that you read use a single "double size" dash with the same meaning.

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