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I have a question about 施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため in the following sentence:

桐原さんが言うには、施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため、彼を専属のサポート役として使ってくれ、とのこと。

Maybe I'm mistaken something but those two parts — “施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため” and “彼を専属のサポート役として使ってくれ” feels unnatural here. If I'm understanding correctly, “彼を専属のサポート役として使ってくれ” is the part of Kirihara's quote, but what about “施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため”?

The speaker is talking about his 'some sort of servant' or simply サポート役 who is showing and helping him to get accustomed to the facility he recently started working at. 桐原 is a director of the facility.

Some sort of translation:

As Kirihara-san said, for me who is unfamiliar to life in the facility, use him as your personal support.

Edited: Sorry for not pointing this earlier, but there are three persons here, Kirihara, who is the boss, the speaker, and he, who is the personal 'servant' of the speaker.

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    With your edit, my comments below are invalidated. That is what "context" means to veteran foreign language learners. It does not always mean "a few more words actually said or written". – l'électeur Nov 28 '14 at 11:00
  • That is definitely my mistake, however I though that with "The speaker is talking about his 'some sort of servant' or simply サポート役 who is showing and helping him to get accustomed to the facility he recently started working at. 桐原 is a director of the facility.", I pointed at the fact that サポート役 and 桐原 are the different persons. Well, I guess this wasn't enough. – renchan Nov 28 '14 at 11:07
  • Hm, both answers are differs from each other, and I cannot understand which one of the intepretations suits better to this context... – renchan Nov 28 '14 at 13:04
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    I'm kind of running out of juice earning my reps enough to comment here, so let me say this first for now, that isayamag's answer doesn't contradict to mine. Our answers explain different parts of the sentence. He thought your difficulty in understanding this passage came from mismatch of mood, while I, where the 「~ために」 modifies. It depends on you to decide which one hit the bull's eye. – broccoli forest Nov 29 '14 at 20:36
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Punctuation is deceptive. The overall structure is that 「桐原さんが言うには、~てくれ、とのこと。」 surrounds the inner clause 「施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため、彼を専属のサポート役として使う」. It's similar to false word separation as in "eighth grader" and "New Yorkers", which don't mean "the eighth person who grade" and "new people from York".

So a more or less literal translation can be given as:

What Kirihara-san told me was: I may use him as a personal support for me, who is unfamiliar to life in the facility.

One more general tip on reading Japanese is, the construction of "verbal ending + と" followed by generic verbs including 言う or 思う, are not necessarily quotations but idioms which are translated to other English verbs. For example:

  • ~(imperative) と言う → ask that..., order/have/let (sb) to...

    こんな子供に働けというのは酷な話だ。
    It's too cruel to force such a (young) child into labor.

  • ~(-う/-よう)と思う → be motivated to..., try/seek to...

    この戦争が終わったら、結婚しようと思う
    I'm going to marry (him/her) when the war's over.

  • ~ないかと言う → suggest that..., ask if...

    彼の会社に移らないかと言われた。
    I was invited to move into his company.

  • ~だろうと思う → expect that..., wonder that...

    形勢を逆転するのは困難だろうと思われる。
    It seems to be difficult (for the team) to regroup and win.

  • Already gave a +1 but asking this to make sure. You are saying that Kirihara is the "he", aren't you? If so, that is how I'm reading the original as well. – l'électeur Nov 28 '14 at 7:35
  • That's pretty interesting answer. I've never seen a usage like this before, so could you please give more examples, if you don't mind? – renchan Nov 28 '14 at 10:00
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    I'm ready to, but could you tell me what kind of examples are you asking for? Similar sentences to that in your original question? @非回答者 It's ambiguous both in English and Japanese. I think either would do. – broccoli forest Nov 29 '14 at 8:13
  • Yes, similar to my original question. Specifically where only the part of the verb is the part of the quote/idiom. – renchan Nov 29 '14 at 10:54
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    @DarkAkira OK, I updated my answer with examples and corrections. I changed some wording after I found difficult to come up with right examples for it. – broccoli forest Nov 30 '14 at 11:30
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That sentence seems to be a mixture of two "discourses".

Direct discourse:
桐原さんが言うには、「施設での生活に不慣れなお前のため、彼を専属のサポート役として使ってくれ」とのこと。

Indirect discourse:
桐原さんが言うには、施設での生活に不慣れなのため、彼を専属のサポート役として使ってほしいとのこと。

And there is also another problem, which is that, お前のため/俺のため doesn't match 使ってくれ/使ってほしい for its consequence.

These two problems are making the sentence somewhat confusing.

More natural sentence would be something like:

DD: 桐原さんが言うには、「施設での生活に不慣れなお前のため、彼を専属のサポート役としてつけよう」とのこと。
ID: 桐原さんが言うには、施設での生活に不慣れな俺のため、彼を専属のサポート役としてつけてくれるとのこと。
※つける = to assign

or, if you keep the 使う:

DD: 桐原さんが言うには、「施設での生活に不慣れなお前、彼を専属のサポート役として使ってくれ」とのこと。
ID: 桐原さんが言うには、施設での生活に不慣れな俺には、彼を専属のサポート役として使ってほしいとのこと。

My trial translation is:

Kirihara-san said he would assign him as a personal support for me, who is unfamiliar to life in this facility.

though this is kind of a loose translating.

  • Not sure about this answer. You are seeing three persons here -- author, Kirihara, and "he", correct? That should be why you used 「彼」 even in the direct quote of Kirihara's line. Your English TL is ambiguous. Who is "him"? Kirihara or another man? – l'électeur Nov 28 '14 at 7:42
  • Of course there are three people in the story, and that "he" means the "personal support" guy. – isayamag Nov 28 '14 at 7:55

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