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来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you

Why is で used in 年であります? Is であります an older form of です? Also, what would the ばかり translate to here? I thought maybe it could be "just", but that meaning does not seem right. Also, what is the nuance of this expression? Is it clunky and outdated, florid and verbose or none of these?

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Clunky? Certainly. I would perhaps have used the word "overwrought"; and having reread it about 10 times going back and forth looking at all of your questions; I've become more and more convinced that it was not in fact written by a native speaker. (The two main hints being 是非 for ぜひ and であります for である). The ばかりです right at the end there is also puzzling; was there ever a worry that someone might be wishing a bad year upon the receiver? –  Williham Totland Jan 4 '12 at 13:26
i am an amateur at japanese, and google searching terms is a poor indicator, but "でありますように願うばかりです " gets a lot of examples on line. does the end of the sentence strike you as a foreigner's japanese? google.com/search?q=%22でありますように願うばかりです+%22&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en‌​&prmd=ivns&filter=0&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=0l0l0l30134l0l0l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0&oq=%22でありますよう‌​に願うばかりです+%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql= –  yadokari Jan 4 '12 at 14:01
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1 Answer

1. である is a copula

2. ばかり is used to mean "nothing but"

Let me try building the sentence step by step:

  • 来年は是非明るい年である。- "Next year will certainly be bright/cheerful"
    (Literally: Next year is(である) a certainly bright/cheerful year)

  • 来年は是非明るい年でありますように願う。- "I wish the next year to be bright/cheerful (for you)."
    (Literally: To wish in a way such that next year will be certainly bright/cheerful)

  • 来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです。- "I wish nothing but(ばかり) next year to be bright/cheerful (for you)."

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thank you, this was very clear. As a loose interpretation into english, would " I hope that the next year will be (just) great for you" be adequate? Or is the expression as it stands in Japanese as clunky as "I wish nothing but the next year to be bright and cheerful for you." -in other words, does the original expression in japanese sound natural or does it sound somewhat labored over? (i don't mean to belittle your translation, as it was definitely helpful) –  yadokari Jan 3 '12 at 15:43
@yadokari. Sorry to disappoint but you'll have to wait for more experienced users to comment. I have close to no experience in practical usage of Japanese (there's nobody I can converse in Japanese with). I can only base my answers on syntactic validity and simple vocabulary. Whether or not your sentence would sound natural to a Japanese native I haven't a clue. –  Flaw Jan 3 '12 at 15:47
maybe i should ask another question about the natural nuance of the expression... –  yadokari Jan 3 '12 at 15:49
@yadokari If you do, do construct your questions in a way that does not overlap too much with the previous questions. Focus on a specific point that could be extrapolated to be useful in more than one situation. But I think that a question that explores if any given nuance is "natural" or not would be too broad to contain in a single question. You'll have to balance between having a "vague question" and having a "so-specific-it's-only-useful-for-that-instance question" –  Flaw Jan 3 '12 at 15:54
(1) 是非 is an adverb expressing the first person's expectation, and has to concord with a predicate that expresses such meaning. Your first sentence with 是非 without 願う is ungrammatical. (2) Using the polite form ありますように with an overt/explicit verb 願う is wrong. –  sawa Jan 3 '12 at 22:02
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