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Newcomer in the Japanese stackexchange. :) My knowledge in the language is fairly limited and I need your help.

I'd like to know how is "My little sister can't run this fast" in Japanese? Different online translations give different variations. I don't know how correct or "stiff" they are.

And if you're wondering, there's an anime "My little sister can't be this cute"(Ore no imouto ga konnani kawaii wake ga nai)[俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない]. All the episodes are titled "my little sister can't ...". So I'd like the closest translation to the anime title.

Here's what I know:

Ore no - my

imouto - little sister

ga - is (when new info is introduced)

konnani - in this way

kawaii - cute

wake - being

ga - is (when new info is introduced) but why twice?

nai - negative particle

And I expect it to be something like this: Ore no imouto ga konnani hayaku ga hashiranai

P.S. Also, could you provide the correct sentence in Japanese hieroglyphs, as well? Onegai.

EDIT:

Thank you both for the thorough explanations. :)

And I didn't know that Japanese symbols are not called "hieroglyphs" at all. English is not my native language. Maybe the term is most suitable for ancient writing systems.

  • 1
    Japanese hieroglyphs? I never heard them called that before. – Darcinon Nov 14 '15 at 2:03
  • Hieroglyphs is no more than the writing system ancient Egypt did use. (Eiríkr Útlendi's answer explains well how to name the symbols used for writing Japanese in its postscript.) – 永劫回帰 Nov 15 '15 at 3:17
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The most literal translation of this title would be:

There is no way my little sister is this cute.

The is in the above sentence is not really grammatical and should be understood as can be.

Just mimicking the title of the anime you get:

(hashiru : run ; hayaku : fast)

おれ{ore}の{no}い{i}も{mo}う{u}と{to}が{ga}こ{ko}ん{n}な{na}に{ni}は{ha}や{ya}く{ku}は{ha}し{shi}る{ru}わ{wa}け{ke}が{ga}な{na}い{i}。
俺の妹がこんなに速く走るわけがない。
My little sister can't run this fast


First が{ga} is not is but が tells you that what is just before が is the subject of the sentence. Here there are two が because two sentences are intertwined.

1: 俺の妹がこんなに可愛い
1: My little is this cute.

2: ~わけがない
2: No way ~ is true.

Combining the two: No way (the fact that) my little sister is this cute is true which translates more properly to My little sister can't be this cute

  • Yes こんなに is what I meant. It's fixed. – 永劫回帰 Nov 14 '15 at 9:07
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Your own translation is pretty close. Here it is, tweaked a bit:

俺【おれ】の妹【いもうと】がこんなに速【はや】くは走【はし】れない
Ore no imōto ga konna ni hayaku wa hashirenai

Breaking this down word for word:

I (very informal, masculine) + [possessive] + younger sister + [subject] + this degree + [adverb marker] + quickly + [contrastive topic] + can't run

The main differences from your try: 1) ga can't be used that way after an adverb, while wa can be, and wa is often used in negative statements like this one; and 2) hashiranai just means "doesn't run", while the potential form for "can't run" would be hashirenai.

As an aside, Japanese characters are called kana for the simpler phonetic characters (either the rounder hiragana for native words, or the angular katakana for borrowed words, sound effects, and the like -- click through to the Wikipedia pages), or kanji for the more complicated ideographic / logographic characters, most of which were originally imported from written Chinese.

  • 1
    Downvoters, please at least comment on what you dislike. The goal of this site is to provide answers that are as useful as possible. If you dislike an answer and comment about why, that answer can be improved. If all you do is downvote, you do nothing but discourage answers. – Eiríkr Útlendi Nov 15 '15 at 19:46
  • I suspect that your sentence conveys meaning or a statement about ability, and not so much about the speaker's disbelief that his sister could run that fast. – Flaw Nov 16 '15 at 2:57
  • Thank you for the feedback, Flaw. Yes, the translation using 走れない does not factor in the construction of the anime title, and I'm happy to concede that 変幻出没's answer is more fitting. That aside, my post does answer most aspects of the question and even incorporates the user's own translation attempt. I don't think there's anything incorrect or misleading here, making the downvote seem inappropriate. – Eiríkr Útlendi Nov 17 '15 at 17:40

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