If someone is discussing a situation, and how it is beyond their control, what would be the most natural way to express this? The two options that come to mind offhand are to use either 操る【あやつる】 ("to manipulate") or 支配【しはい】 ("to control"), but I'm not sure which is best in which setting.

In the interest of giving the question context, here are a couple attempts at sample sentences:

  • チームはどれほど(orどんなに)好きでも、試合は操ることができない(or試合を操ることはできない)。
    "No matter how much I like the team, I can't control the outcome of their matches."

  • 明日は晴れれば(or晴れると)いいんだが、天気は支配できない。
    "Clear weather tomorrow would be great, but I can't control it."

Are those about on the mark, or is there a better way to phrase these kinds of statements?

  • ちょっと日本語直してもいいですか。使っている単語は変えずに。 – user1016 Jul 8 '14 at 8:11
  • @Choko どうぞ直してください – Kaji Jul 8 '14 at 8:12

I think @ssb's どうすることもできない would work. I'd like to add some more phrases:





You also have a more literary phrase:




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One way to do it is just to say コントロールできない. 試合(の結果)はコントロールできない

Another might be to say どうすることもできない.

Glancing on alc, I found one interesting expression: あずかり知らぬところである. It's used in this sentence:

"have no control over how the dice of life are cast"

That said, you probably don't want to spout this one off in everyday speech. User @naruto points out that its nuance is more about "concern" in the sense that something doesn't concern someone (i.e. they have no meaningful part/role in it).

I think 操る has much more of a nuance of controlling something in the sense of manipulation, like you would manipulate a tool or a person rather than how you might manipulate an outcome.

支配 is control in a much broader sense of having authority. If you talk about the weather using 支配 it could be strange.

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  • 2
    「あずかり知る」 is basically involved or concerned, so 「試合の結果は私のあずかり知るところではない」 is usually interpreted as "I don't care" or "none of my business." – naruto Jul 8 '14 at 8:49
  • @naruto Interesting, thanks. I admit I have never seen that expression before. – ssb Jul 8 '14 at 8:51
  • 操る is used to manipulate puppets (操り人形). This use seems to be extended to other areas such as: 彼は部下を思うままに操った|He had his men completely under control [his thumb]. / He controlled his men like puppets on strings. (プログレシブ..辞典) – Tim Jul 12 '14 at 0:29

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