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I'm currently playing ゼルダの伝説風のタクト, and am confused by this bit of dialogue.

The context is that the main character temporarily joins a crew of pirates, which makes him the lowest rank among them. After boarding the ship, when speaking to one of the pirates for the first time, the pirate begins with:

うーむ
それにしても二コも
うまいことやりましたな

He then follows that by saying:

下っ端の仕事は
そりゃ、厳しいことばかりでしてな

So clearly Niko used to be the lowest in rank.

I just can't understand why それにしても is used at the start of a thought. Common translations are things like "be that as it may" or "at any rate". But in English, you would only ever say those things after saying something else.

Is there some other meaning of それにしても that I'm unaware of?

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  • "At any rate, we have to fix this. The deadline is tomorrow". Is this odd?
    – sundowner
    Apr 25 at 0:26
  • @sundowner - I think that would translate better to いずれにしても (or its more coloquial variants) than to それにしても.
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 25 at 1:12
  • @sundowner "At any rate" is natural at the start of a sentence, but very unnatural at the start of a conversation.
    – Blake
    Apr 25 at 1:14

2 Answers 2

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それにしても is a fixed phrase and I personally have never thought what それ might refer to (and you really don’t have to). Having said that, I think it could be understood as reflexively referring to what you are going to say, in this particular case Niko having pulled off something. You know, or assume, the person you are talking to also knows about it. それにしても adds a sense that the degree of whatever you are going to mention still exceeds the level you would normally expect. The sentence often ends with ね, indicating you also expect the other person to agree with your comment. (な in this example is a masculine variant of it.)

You can also use それにしても in a monologue.

それにしても暑いなぁ。

You know it’s hot, but it’s hotter still.

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I think "それにしても" is used as "by any/all means".

So the sentence is as "Mmm, Niko by all means did the great thing.".

"それにしても" sometime appears at the start of sentence.

See the weblio link. the page lists preceding "それにしても" examples. Those often mean the speaker's admiration toward the topic.

sore ni sitemo weblio

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