I was doing my daily dose of reading and I came by this particular sentence, which I had a little bit of trouble finding the meaning for.


The context is a patient who had brain surgery and is struggling to get his thoughts together. I roughly translate it to "Once again my consciousness has faded from these effects".

The 虚ろに has been the main problem I have with this particular sentence. I know the 虚ろ is a way to address something hollow, or give a sense of emptiness thats different from 空; but I'd like some confirmation on the usage of that 虚ろに in this sentence. Also, the「あたり」is written in hiragana, so I'm not 100% sure on it meaning "effects".

Once again, thanks for anyone taking their time to answer this question!


First, it looks like you are somehow seeing a word that is simply not there -- 「[当]{あ}たり」 --, which is preventing you from understanding this sentence even without the word 「[虚]{うつ}ろ」.

The word that you should be seeing instead is 「[辺]{あた}り」. 「このあたり」 means "around here/there". Unlike 当たり、辺り is very often written in kana.

(For the pronunciation-conscious students, 「[辺]{あた}り」 and 「[当]{あ}たり」 are pronounced very differently from each other. The pitch accent is on the あ in 辺り and it is on the たり in 当たり.)


「意識が虚ろになる」 means "to become not fully conscious"

"From around this point (in time), I became not fully conscious again."

  • So that's why it seemed way off for some reason. Thanks for clearing it up for me! This has been really helpful – Terrier Jul 15 '14 at 10:53
  • I have never heard anybody referred to as "becoming not fully conscious again" in the "real English speaking world". It seems derivative a typical J->E dictionary. You also have not mentioned how to deal with ~てしまいました which is a challenge when it is combined with an English expression such as "not fully conscious". Possibly "~I slipped into a stupor (or daze)" might work? We could add "complete" before stupor/daze but the sentence is more natural without it and a "slip" is often an action that takes one beyond the point of no return which (I think) captures the 〜てしまいました nuance. – Tim Jul 15 '14 at 21:27

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