I'm trying to translate this text from a comic. I understood words, but the whole speech is difficult.

自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ。。。 一人というのは寂しかっただろう? 私もかつては自分を理解する者がいない 孤独に苛まれたよ。

I translated something like:

It's beautiful to have someone who understand you(rself). A lone person is a solitary, do you agree? Once I didn't understand my self too and was tormented by loneliness. (Or tormented myself into loneliness).

First phrase with that "者" and "というのは" was really a problem @.@

  • Could you edit your post to include a partial/attempted translation, so we can see where you're having trouble? – Darius Jahandarie Dec 10 '13 at 20:03
  • Why use romaji? There are two mono's in the first sentence. – l'électeur Dec 10 '13 at 21:07
  • Sorry, I meant the first "mono". I know what it means but the whole concept is difficult to say simply. I hope to had translate it right, I'm not sure. – kymyit Dec 10 '13 at 21:23

自分を理解してくれる者がいる is an idea ("There is someone who understands you"). 者 just means "person(s)" and even though it is rarely used in real life these days, let us leave it as is since OP says this is a line from a comic.

In order to use an idea as a topic in Japanese, we need to nominalize it. The easiest way to do so INFORMALLY is to add a の, which is done here. Since we now have a "virtual noun", we can add the topic-marker は. The author could have said:

自分を理解してくれる者がいるのは~~ but he wanted to make it sound more formal and emphatic, so he used という and said:

自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは~~ In essence, he expressed the formality and emphasis that he desired by "quoting" the idea --- by treating it as a written saying from somewhere. 

One sees the same process in the phrase 一人というのは. One may wonder how 一人 could be an idea but here it is the same as 一人でいる or 理解してくれる人がいない.

OP was not successful in reading the structure of the last sentence. It does not say "I did not understand myself." Rather it says, "I used to be 苛まれた by the 孤独 that came from the fact that 自分を理解する者がいない."

"That there is someone who understands you is a pleasant thing. Being alone must have felt lonely, I presume? I, too, used to be tormented by the solitariness of not having anyone to understand me."

  • Oh thank you! You really saved me!! And now I understood! – kymyit Dec 11 '13 at 1:53

aというのは here defines a term/phrase(A as B; the meaning of A is B), for example 動物というのは人の友達だ。- Animal is a man's friend.

We can also use とは instead of というのは. It is more casual form.  

Also, as far as I can understand 自分 in your sentence(last one) means not "yourself", but "me".

Some sort of translation:

It feels pleasant to have someone who understands you. Being alone was lonely, right? Once I didn't have a person who understands me and was tormented by loneliness.

Unfortunately I'm not 100% sure with my answer, so you better wait for someone's else answer too.


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