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I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.

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Although it is difficult to translate a short phrase and make sure that all parts of the phrase appear in the translation... How about 彼には分からなかったのは or 彼には分からなかったことは? For any given sentence with little did he know, ..., there is bound to be a better translation, which does not use this phrase, though, so I am not sure how useful it is. –  Earthliŋ Sep 2 '12 at 3:19
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I agree with @user1205935. 彼にわからなかったことは is usually quite translationese, but it is probably the best you can do without looking at the other part of the sentence. Translating word-to-word (or phrase-to-phrase) is not the best way to translate a sentence. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 2 '12 at 18:34
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

For example, the most natural way of translating this expression

One day Jennifer tidied up her son's bedroom. Little did she know her son would be so mad when he found that out.

can be rephrased simply as follows:

One day Jennifer tidied up her son's bedroom. She did not know her son would be so mad when he found that out.

Basically it is a fancier way of saying ~ことをまったく知らなかった where ~ is the statement that follows the expression.

I find the most natural way of translating this is to write 彼女は(息子が怒り出す)とは思わなかった, to show that the person was kind of caught off guard by what happened.

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