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This is a brief dialog from the game Tales of Graces. In the English version, it goes:

Sophie: Pascal, what's an airhead?
Pascal: Someone who's so smart, they can control air with their mind!

So I wanted to see how this joke would be executed in Japanese. So I found the dialog of the Japanese version, and it's:

ソフィー:パスカル、のーてんきってなに?
パスカル:天気を毎日おんなじにしちゃう神様の特殊スキルだね。

My best guess is "If the weather is the same every day, they get special powers from God", but I'm not entirely confident. I don't know how to parse the hiragana between 毎日 and 神様. Here is why I am having doubts:

  • Since the verb しちゃう precedes the noun 神様 with no conjunction separating them, it seems like "天気を毎日おんなじにしちゃう" is an adjective clause modifying 神様.
  • I've never seen 同じ written as おんなじ, so I'm not sure if it's just an alternate spelling, or a different word altogether.
  • 天気 is a direct object of しちゃう (because of the を) particle. I'm not sure what it means for 天気 to be a direct object to する。
  • I'm not entirely clear on why the -ちゃう form is used for する. My understanding is that -ちゃう means something was done regrettably (or "finally", depending on the context), so I'm not sure how to fit it into the translation.

Can anyone give me a translation, and if you can, clarify the points I listed?

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I think ノー天気 is a pun like in this Pokemon skill: bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Cloud_Nine_%28Ability%29 –  snailboat Jun 13 '13 at 16:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you write out のーてんき with kanji it can be written 能天気. 能 can mean ability or skill, so the pun here is that 能天気 is the special skill of a god who can make the weather the same every day (能+天気, of course, being ability + weather). Another possible interpretation is that ノーテンキ sounds like "no weather," which could be where the idea of the same thing every day comes from. And for the sake of completeness, another possible writing for it is 脳天気, or mind + weather. Pick your pun, really; they all boil down to the same idea of controlling the weather through some special faculty. The word itself means something similar to "airhead" in English, hence the translation.

To address your bullet points:

  • Yes, that's right. This modification makes it a god who does that.
  • It's the same word, different spelling/slightly different pronunciation.
  • 天気を毎日同じにする means to make the weather the same every day. ~を~にする is the construction to indicate this.
  • Don't latch onto the idea of てしまう being something regrettable or final. It can be those, but it can have a more playful kind of meaning that kind of lightens the tone
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The sentence parses as you said.

[ (天気を毎日おんなじにしちゃう) 神様 ] の特殊スキルだね。

  • Yes, おんなじ is just an alternate (more emphatic?) spelling.
  • 天気 is a direct object here because the inner parentheses means "Makes the weather the same every day".
  • 〜てしまう or 〜ちゃう has other meanings too, including "completely/finishing" or as adding emphasis. The usage here could probably be either of these, but more likely the latter.
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