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Is my interpretation of this sentence from the Tobira textbook accurate?

先生がおっしゃるように、言葉は毎日勉強しなければ上手にならないと思います。

I'm guessing that it means that I think that I won't improve unless I study every day like sensei says? Or could it mean that sensei thinks that I won't improve unless I study every day like he says? Or is it something totally different?

I'm not really sure.

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Yes, I believe the author / speaker is the subject of 「思います」.

「先生」 is the subject of 「おっしゃる」, and as such, 「先生がおっしゃるように」 can be thought of independently as functioning like an adverb, without "setting the subject" of the sentence.

先生がおっしゃるように、

As [ my / our ] teacher says,

言葉は毎日勉強しなければ上手にならないと思います。

[ I ] think that, with languages, one will not get better if one does not study every day.

Thus, the complete sentence could be translated to something like your first guess:

As my teacher says, I think that, with languages, one will not get better if one does not study every day.

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  • 2
    Why is everyone ignoring the word 「言葉」?
    – user4032
    Oct 5, 2015 at 6:58
  • 4
    その「言葉」は、「言語」language って意味です
    – Chocolate
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:29
  • @Shoko Thanks! I hope the revised translation is more accurate now.
    – seafood258
    Oct 6, 2015 at 4:42
  • 1
    Given the おっしゃる construction, I think "As my/our teacher says" would be preferable to "the teacher"
    – virmaior
    Oct 6, 2015 at 12:58
  • @virmaior That is also true. Thanks for pointing that out!
    – seafood258
    Oct 6, 2015 at 17:47

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