Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have the following sentence to translate for class.

森田さんは、
ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから
日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている

So far I have the following.

Morita-san
after graduating from Virginia State University
became getting a full time job at a Japanese movie company.

That することになっている seems strange to me. I would expect するようになっている which is a structure we recently learned.

Can anyone explain and maybe give a better English translation?

share|improve this question
    
"(Someone) is scheduled to ~~~." –  非回答者 May 3 at 3:35

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

「ことになる」 means "it has been decided/it has been arranged". The focus is on the fact that the decision is not made by the person being the topic of the sentence but by someone else (e.g. employer, parents).

For example:

留学することになりました。
It has been decided that I will study abroad.

You passage can be thus translated as:

森田さんは、ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている。
It has been decided that Morita-san will get employment at a Japanese movie company after graduation from Virginia State University.


Note that there is a similar structure 「ことにする」 which conveys the meaning that the decision is made by yourself. For example:

留学することにしました。
I have decided to study abroad.

share|improve this answer
    
This does not sound like a very natural translation to me.  "is supposed to" or "meant to" sounds better and is another translation of ~することになっている –  Tim May 1 at 1:52
    
@Tim I agree it doesn't sound too natural but I think it shows the difference between ことになる and ことにする well: not my decision / my decision. This is especially true for non-native English speakers who may misinterpret "supposed to". This is also a quite common way of explaining those structures in grammar books/websites. –  Szymon May 1 at 2:10
    
It is a bad translation. Don't take this the wrong way but if your explanation of a piece of grammar does not include an expression that can be used naturally then the explanation is not complete. (This is a site for Japanese but you are not doing a favour for any student of English with this translation either.) –  Tim May 1 at 3:30
    
From Cambridge dictionary (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/…): "be supposed - to have to; to have a duty or a responsibility to". Is that what ことになる means? –  Szymon May 1 at 3:36
    
If you look up ~することになっている in Space ALC then two suggested translations include: ■be meant to〈英〉(義務として),■be supposed to(義務・規則・取り決め・約束・任務などにより / 期待に沿うために). I am open to more authoritative suggestions, anything to get away from "It has been decided that.." which does not feel natural and only seems to appear in bad translations. –  Tim May 1 at 6:04

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.