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From Oshi no ko ch. 1,

After getting stabbed in back, the doctor recalled two questions: "what if you were born as an idol's child?" and "what if you have looks and connections from the time you were born?", which he never gave a serious thought before.

I have doubts about how だってそうだろう is understood here. I initially thought it meant "but I am thinking about it right now" but when I check translations, it is actually understood as "I mean, why would I?" Which one is correct?

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    What led you to thinking it could mean 'But I am thinking about it right now'?
    – Angelos
    Sep 3, 2023 at 22:03

1 Answer 1

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The official(?) translation is correct.

  • だって can be translated as "after all", "(It's) because", "come on", "you know", "hey", "I mean", etc., depending on the context. It's used to convince others by giving a reason. It can be translated also as "but" when you're trying to argue back and convince others (e.g., だって見たんだ "But I saw it!"), but it's not a generic "but". See also: Why can だって have so many meanings?
  • そうだろう in a context like this is "that's natural", "that's obvious", "that's how it is", "I knew it", etc.

So a simple translation of this would be "After all, it was natural (not to think about it seriously)". I believe it's also correct to translate it as "I mean, why would I?". It captures the nuance of the sentence very well.

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  • "I mean, why would I?" is from a popular fan translation; the official has "I mean, obviously." From your answer, I take it the latter is more "literally accurate", but the former fits overall better? (The first subtitles I pulled up for the anime have "I mean, isn't that right?", which seems particularly... thoughtless.) Sep 4, 2023 at 7:01
  • @UnrelatedString A truly literal translation of そうだろう is just "I think so", so I don't think one is more literally accurate than the other two. "Why not?" is a perfectly valid translation of そうだろう in some contexts.
    – naruto
    Sep 4, 2023 at 16:54

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