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so, consider the following conversation:

「その日本酒、どう?」
「うん、わるくない。ちょっと甘い」
「本当?飲んでみる... げっ!全然甘くないよ!
「まあ、it's sweet, for sake

Essentially I'm trying to say that something is not sweet in absolute terms, but is sweet relative to other members of the indicated category. Other examples might be "It's slow for a motorbike" or "It's gentle, for a roller coaster."

The best I could come up with was 「ほかの日本酒と比べたら、あまい」which gets the meaning across, but feels a bit clunky to me.

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2  
Related: ~にしては vs. ~としては –  Flaw Dec 13 '13 at 18:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Going off a space alc search, http://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=it%27s+for I came up with these:

It's hot for this time of year. この時季にしては暑い。

It's cold for April. 4月にしては寒い。

So maybe this would work:

酒にしては甘い。

But this is just a guess, as I am not familiar with this pattern. The two examples I found are time specific so maybe it only works in that context.

Edit:

As per the indefatigable Chocolate sensei's valued suggestion, here is perhaps the most natural answer readily available:

まあ、お酒/日本酒に/としては甘いほうなんだけどね

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3  
Here are some non-time-specific examples from Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, 5th ed. (p.1987): 「素人にしてはうまい。」 "Not bad for an amateur." 「転んだだけにしてはその傷は深すぎる。」 "That's too deep a cut for just having fallen over." 「山へ行くにしては軽装じゃないかな。」 "You're dressed rather lightly for going to the mountains, don't you think?" –  snailboat Dec 13 '13 at 19:20
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「酒にしては甘い。」 is grammatical but is something native speakers would not say because there are SO MANY sweet sakes and it is nothing unusual for a sake to be sweet. –  l'électeur Dec 13 '13 at 21:04
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@TokyoNagoya so what would they say? –  momerathe Dec 13 '13 at 23:11
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@TokyoNagoya along those lines, we wouldn't say "It's sweet for sake" in English if we know sake is always sweet. We would say "It's sweet even for sake". I'm not sure what the Japanese equivalent of that would be. –  Muhd Dec 14 '13 at 0:37
3  
じゃ。。。I would say まあ、お酒/日本酒に/としては甘いほうなんだけどね in this context. –  Choko Dec 14 '13 at 7:26

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