I can't quite derive the meaning of 自分でも from the parts that make it up.

Here are the example sentences I don't get with the offered translations.

自分でもそれをやってみます。 Do it by yourself.

自分でもそれが解っているんだけと。 I know it myself.

Are the translations wrong? Why is there a も there? There doesn't seem to be an "Even" or a "Too" nuance in the sentences.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

I'd also appreciate an answer that clarified if this でも is で+も or でも and what difference would it make if the も was dropped.

  • The first translation is definitely wrong, that's not an imperative/request at all. Where do they come from? Sep 3 '14 at 0:05
  • From Anki. And yeah I know that it's not a request, I was thinking more like a verb and it's auxiliary information "Go for a run". Just a statement of action rather than an imperative. Still, it does sound wrong.
    – Nathan
    Sep 3 '14 at 0:07
  • @DariusJahandarie Despite the way it is written, it probably was not intended as an imperative, eg "(You may/can) do it by yourself." I'd also appreciate an answer that clarified if this でも is で+も or でも and what difference would it make if the も was dropped.
    – Tim
    Sep 3 '14 at 0:50
  • I added your question in @Tim
    – Nathan
    Sep 3 '14 at 1:36
  • 1
    The Tanaka corpus (known to be full of errors, mind you) has these three sentences: (1) 「自分でもそれが解っているんだけと。」 = "I know it myself."   (2) 「自分でもそれをやってみなさい。」 = "Do it by yourself."   (3) 「自分でもそれをやってみます。」 = "I'll do it by myself too."  You've supplied sentences 1 and 3 with the translations for 1 and 2.
    – user1478
    Sep 3 '14 at 1:55

As requested, to break things down into parts...


【自分】oneself / myself

【で】by (preposition)


【それをやってみます】 will try to do it

For pure comprehension purposes, this can be made easier to understand by replacing【自分でも】with【私も】+【自分で】

e.g.【私も自分でそれをやってみます。】 Effectively, "I too, will try to do it by myself." (As opposed to leaving the task up to someone else to do.)

If the も was dropped remove "too, " from the above phrase.


(Note: I will assume a typo and that the final と is supposed to be ど)

【自分】I / myself (personal pronoun)

【でも】even (adverb)

【それが解っているん】understand that

【だけど】([conjunction] to an omitted phrase or [emphasis] depending on the nuance)

Effectively, either...

[Conjunction] "Even though I understand that..." (Omitted phrase understood by context) For example: A「タバコをやめるべきですよ。体に悪いんです。」B「自分でもそれがわかっているんだけど・・・(やめられないんだよ)」

[Emphasis] "Even I understand that !/? (don't treat me like a fool)" For example: A「空が青いって知ってますか?」B「私でもそれがわかっているんだけど(バカにしないでください)」

  • Yeah this is what I expected, I'll toss it up to incomplete translations as to my misunderstanding. Thankyou! :)
    – Nathan
    Sep 3 '14 at 6:14
  • No problem. Just as a side note, the original example is actually somewhat of an awkward phrase when paired with the translation provided in the book. (「自分でもそれをやってみます。」 = "I'll do it by myself too.") It would be much more natural were the Japanese / English pair found in the book to be one of the following for example: 「自分 でも それをやってます。」 = "Even I do that." or 「自分 でも それをやってみます。」= "Even though it is I, [lowering / humbling oneself] (I) will try to do that" Given the comment above about the book being prone to error, the example phrase itself could likewise, possibly, be incorrect.
    – hzen
    Sep 3 '14 at 6:35
  • 自分 and 一人 are different, although in English they might both translate to "oneself"
    – dainichi
    Sep 4 '14 at 1:32
  • Thanks for pointing out the oversight. Have edited to reflect your correction.
    – hzen
    Sep 4 '14 at 3:56

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