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This is a section of text from my JLPT textbook on page 33:

電話を前にして、彼女に僕の恋心を告げるべきがどうか非常に心が揺れていた。昔の僕だったら、ためらいもせず告白しただろうに。今日ほど断られることが怖いと思うことはない。電話番号を聞く勇気はあったじゃないか、軽く映画にでも誘えばいいじゃないか、と言い聞かせながら、今日もまた時間が過ぎていった。

I think (or hope) that I understand it in general, but I can't quite get the very last part.

My loose translation would be something like, "Before calling, I'm extremely nervous about telling her that I'm falling for her. Back in the day, I wouldn't hesitate to confess my feelings. Now, it's not the case that I'm afraid she'll reject me. While I ask myself, didn't I have the confidence to get her number, couldn't I just casually ask her out to a movie or something..."

And then the last part, 今日もまた時間が過ぎていった, I'm not sure about.

Is it, "... and still, it's getting late"? As in, the author is not specifying exactly why he is nervous, he's just saying how it's getting late while he waffles about calling?

Is it, ".... and still, a lot of time has passed until today"? As in, it's been a while since the author got her number, and so he's worried she's forgotten about him or something? My read on this paragraph is that he has not asked her out yet so this is after his first meeting, and before the first date.

Is it something else?

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You do realize it's また, not まだ, right? Just checking. –  dainichi Mar 19 '13 at 7:52
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「電話を前にして」は、「電話機を目の前にして」「電話機の前に立って(or座って)」って感じです –  Choko Mar 19 '13 at 16:11
    
Why didn't he ask her out? 骨がないから。 –  istrasci Mar 19 '13 at 16:46
    
「電話番号を聞く勇気はあったじゃない」のあとに「か」は無いですか? –  Choko Mar 19 '13 at 16:49
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@DaveMG OK, just asking because you seem to be using "still" instead of "again" in your translation of the last sentence. I would translate it as something like "And again today, time just passes by (without me being able to muster up the necessary courage)" –  dainichi Mar 21 '13 at 10:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

He is hesitant because of the fear of being rejected.

今日ほど断られることが怖いと思うことはない。
I did not care this much about the possibility of being rejected back in the day

The guy is talking to himself

と言い聞かせながら

saying he should just take it easy and just ask her out.

電話番号を聞く勇気はあったじゃない、軽く映画にでも誘えばいいじゃないか

And as always

今日もまた

he was hesitating, lecturing himself and before he noticed, the day was over and he did not do shit

時間が過ぎていった

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Aha! I did not realize 今日もまた was a way of saying "as always". –  Dave M G Mar 19 '13 at 7:52
    
@DaveMG This is no literal translation. It can be translated other ways. –  oldergod Mar 19 '13 at 7:55
    
I'm still a little confused, though. Doesn't where he says, 今日ほど断られることが怖いと思うことはない mean he is not afraid to ask her out? I can understand that he maybe wants to believe that even though it might not be true, but, the way it's stated seems to be very assertive, so I find it kind of contradictory to the fact that in the end he hesitated. –  Dave M G Mar 19 '13 at 7:55
    
Semi-literally, it's something like "I'm never as afraid of rejection as today". Oldergod seems to parse it as taking place in the past, but I find it more natural to read it as the present: "Today I'm as afraid of rejection as ever". –  dainichi Mar 19 '13 at 8:04
    
Thank you Dainichi, I am not a native english speaker so I might be off. Dave, see the sentence as 今日ほど<sub sentence>ことはない and you will probably understand how it is made. The negation is the result of a comparison to 今日ほど (as today ?). –  oldergod Mar 19 '13 at 8:24

A more colloquial translation.

電話を前にして、彼女に僕の恋心を告げるべきがどうか非常に心が揺れていた。

I know I should call her and let her know how I feel but I'm really nervous for some reason.

昔の僕だったら、ためらいもせず告白しただろうに。

In the past I would have just declared my love without hesitation.

今日ほど断られることが怖いと思うことはない。

I never used to be so scared of the thought of rejection.

電話番号を聞く勇気はあったじゃないか、軽く映画にでも誘えばいいじゃないか、と言い聞かせながら、今日もまた時間が過ぎていった。

I used to have the courage to ask for a phone number, to casually ask someone out for a movie, but I missed my chance again today.


Reading between the lines, he really likes the girl and is more scared of her reaction so he can't muster the nerves to just ask her. As a result 今日もまた時間が過ぎていった, he missed his chance to say anything again.

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Your last translation is wrong. There is nothing closed to I used to have the courage... –  oldergod Mar 23 '13 at 14:07
    
電話番号を聞く勇気はあったじゃないか is what exactly then? –  jmac Mar 24 '13 at 3:41
    
多分・・・「電話番号を聞く勇気はあっただろ?I had the courage to ask for her phone number, right? (so now I have her number) だから軽く映画にでも誘えばいいだろ?so, I can just call her and ask her out for a movie, no?」・・・と言い聞かせながら I'm talking to myself... って感じじゃないかと思います –  Choko Apr 6 '13 at 14:45

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