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I'm attempting to translate the story 「花咲かじいさん」.

I want to understand this sentence better:

きっとおなががすいているだろう

I believe it is:

きっと -> certainly
おなががすいて -> from お腹が空く, having an empty stomach
いるだろう -> (you) are probably

So, "Certainly, you probably have an empty stomach" or maybe "I'm sure you're likely very hungry".

How common is the か -> が in おなががすいて? That really threw me off.

Am I correctly translating きっと? It seems to be in contrast to いるだろう.

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  • Are you sure it's おなが?
    – ssb
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 1:39
  • The text definitely reads おなががすいて. The context for the sentence is an old man finding an abandoned puppy. Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 4:52
  • It's an ebook, and that's the title: amazon.com/gp/product/B00D2GM1JM Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 4:53
  • 2
    Maybe it was scanned from a physical copy and the OCR made a mistake.
    – ssb
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 6:14
  • 4
    Yikes. I hope the real e-book doesn't have punctuation like in that screenshot.
    – oals
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 6:32

2 Answers 2

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きっと〜だろう

If you were to say (きっと)お腹が空いている alone, it would sound as if you're talking about someone other than the person you're talking to (or that you're accusing the person you're talking to of not understanding their own senses -- "You are (definitely) hungry." has more or less the same connotations in English, I think.) Basically, it's weird to talk about your addressee's mental states with such certainty, because they know it better than you.

So, in Japanese you add だろう to introduce the possibility of your statement not being true (although you think it is likely true). A similar thing in English would be like saying "You must be hungry.".

Then, the きっと further strengthens your belief in your statements chance of being true, but without going as far as a straight declaration would. I guess "You are almost certainly hungry." or something like that would be an example of a stronger version of the earlier English sentence. (I personally wouldn't bother trying to keep that nuance of the Japanese when translating, since the example I gave also has a change in register and other side effects.)

おなが

I'm consideribly sure this is just a typo.

Translating word by word...

...is generally a poor idea. The proper analysis of the Japanese sentence is

きっと[[[お腹が]空いている]だろう]

or even more broken down,

kitto [[[onaka=GA] sui-te-i-ru] darou]

but trying to translate each part just leads to confusion.

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きっとおなかがすいているだろう = He/she/they must be hungry.

Hope this helps.

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