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I'd like to understand whether the とこに配属 within this dialogue (and in general) can be used in reference to assignment of a position such as proxy, instead of just assignent to a division.

For context, soldiers have been assigned to divisions within the defending army in a conflict. Character A is speaking to character B about the captain of the divison.

Character A says「あいつがウチら第4部隊長だがあいつは連隊長でもある。代理だが実質はお前が第4部隊長だ。しっかりな!」

Character B replies 「めんどくせーとこに配属されちまったぜ。。。ったくよォ」

So I've understood that as:

Character A: That guy may be our fourth division's captain, but he's also the commander of the whole regiment. You may be called his substitue, but you're essentially the captain of the fourth division. Look alive!

Character B: I've gotten myself assigned to a tiresome position...good grief.

It's character B's line that I'd like to ask about, specifically his word usage of とこに配属され. Contextually, I'd assume that character B is complaining about his assignment as the General's substitute, however if I take what he said literally, then I'd assume him to be complaining at being assigned to the division at all.

Basically, what I'd like to ask is, can とこに配属され be used to refer to being assigned to a position within a division?

I've previously only come across it being used as being assigned to certain groups or divisions, but the assignment of a position makes most sense in context so...this isn't exactly a piece of information you can find in dictionaries since it's more about phrasing (referring to a position as a place) than anything else, so I'm turning here.

I would be extremely grateful if anyone could increase my knowledge in this subject, and if you could tell me whether I was right or wrong, along with why, in my initial translation and understanding.

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To analyze this strictly by the actual words being used, 「とこ(< ところ)」 should definitely refer to 「[第]{だい}4[部隊]{ぶたい}」 as the word 「[配属]{はいぞく}」 , by definition, means "assignment to a department, divison, group, etc.". In real life , that is how we use the word as well.

It is true that when one gets assigned to a division, one is often given a specific position in it, but it is still not "correct" or even "normal" to use the word 「配属」 to refer expressly to one's assignment to that position. We have another word for that -- 「[就任]{しゅうにん}」.

Above was for the better understanding of the original within the original language, but translation is another thing.

If you feel using the word "position" would be appropriate, nothing will stop you from using it. You have that much freedom as a translator and that is, after all, why you used "Look alive!" and "good grief", which were not even said in the original. Whatever sounds good and makes sense in the target language is what a translator shoots for.

  • Ahh, thank you for the informative comment taking into account translation. To be honest, I asked about haizoku because I stumbled upon an entry here ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E9%85%8D%E5%B1%9E where it was mentioned to be used as giving an assignment to a person as well as assigning a person to a division. Hence, along with the context, why I was wondering if there was any usage where one referred to a assigned position as a place. – user7541 Apr 11 '15 at 2:01
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  1. とこ is a coloquial abbreviation of ところ, which means place. In that sentence, it refers the troop, not the position. If he said it in standard(non-slungy) Japanese, It would be 面倒臭いところに配属されてしまったぜ。全くよ.
  2. I'm not an expert, but a division is far (about 10 times) larger than a regiment in military jargon. So this 部隊 may be a battalion or a company. I would translate it as a troop.
  3. ウチら第4部隊 is "we the fourth troop", not "our fourth division" (Notice that it's not ウチらの). So あいつがウチら第4部隊長だ is "That guy is the commander of us the fourth troop".
  4. 実質 in this sentence is not essentially, but practically. So 代理だが実質はお前が第4部隊長だ is "You are the deputy, but practically the commander of the fourth troop". あいつ(the real commander of the fourth troop) was mostly absent, because he also worked as the commander of the regiment.
  5. You should take it literally. He complained about his assignment to the troop, which has this(#4) background. He had thought the deputy had been easy job (It might be true in other troops), but actually it was not.
  6. しっかりな! is "Keep in there!", but "Good luck!" is more natural translation.
  • I upvoted this, but there is an (odd) sense of essentially that means practically or basically, so #4 is ... – virmaior Apr 11 '15 at 1:24
  • @virmaior I wrote #4 because I thought "essentially" in OP's translation was like truly, whereas 実質 in the original sentence was like almost but not really. That line shouldn't be read as "Although some people call you a substitute, you are the commander", but "Although You are just a substitute and not the commander, you need to work almost like the commander". After I had read your comment, I searched a bit and I realized that essentially was able to mean almost. Thanks for pointing it out. – marasai Apr 12 '15 at 9:40

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