In one of my Anki decks I found the following sentence:


The sentence was translated as:

Mr. A spoke of his joy of visiting Japan.

  1. I assume that the translation is correct, but why the sentence was translated like that and not as:

    On the occasion of visiting Japan, Mr. A expressed (spoke) his joy.

  2. How should I say:

    On the occasion of visiting Japan, Mr. A expressed (spoke) his joy.


  • 1
    I don't know the difference of two English sentences but I tell the difference between 際に and 際して. 際に is noun "際" + postpositional particle "に" and 際 means 時. 際して is 連用形 of the verb "際する" + postpositional particle " て". I don't know the English words which means 際する but it means ある出来事や事態に出あう in Japanese. Dec 9, 2015 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


I would say that the translation in the Anki deck is inaccurate. Your translation is much better.

The original Japanese sentence says nothing about what Mr. A's joy was about, and only that it was expressed on the occasion of visiting Japan. The translator probably assumed too much, or it was taken from a broader context. In any case it is inappropriate for a learner.

To give a more obvious example:

× Mr. A [bought a suitcase] of visiting Japan
On the occasion of visiting Japan, Mr. A [bought a suitcase].

This cannot work with the translation in your deck, while your's works perfectly.


X. 彼{かれ}は日本{にっぽん}を訪問{ほうもん}するに際{さい}し、喜{よろこ}びを語{かた}った。

Y. 彼は日本を訪問する際{さい}に、喜びを語った。

Z. 彼は日本を訪問した際に、喜びを語った。

Each sentence mean different situation from the others.

If you want to put ''するに際し(するに際して)'' in another way, you can say ''するにあたり(するにあたって)''.
''するに際し'' and ''するにあたって'' are used together with another verb, are need to be previous event.
So, you can know he had spoken his joy before he visited Japan.

I think on the occasion of is likely to be one of the most appropriate translation, however, ''するに際し'' has more relative to the main verb than on the occasion of does, I think.

So you can know his joy was his visit to Japan.

About Y and Z, the tense are the only difference of ''する際に'' and ''した際に''. They mean ''at the time when someone does or did something''.
If you need not to say politely, you can use ''する時に'' and ''した時に''.

In Y, it was before he came to Japan when he spoke of his joy.
Otherwise, in Z, he spoke of it after he came to Japan.
Hense, X, Y, and Z would be translated into English as follows.

X'. He spoke of his joy on the occasion of visiting Japan.

Y'. He spoke of his joy when he was going to visit Japan.

Z'. He spoke of his joy when he visited Japan.

By the way, I will make a little explanation about the tense in Japanese.
Although some readers may wonder if ''訪問する際に語った'' isn't correct, ''訪問した際に語った'' or ''訪問する際に語る'' is correct, all of those are correct because of the following reason.
Please look at examples as follows carefully.

A. 彼{かれ}が来{く}ると知{し}っている。
B. 彼が来ると知っていた。
C. 彼が来たと知っている。
D. 彼が来たと知っていた。

It depends on the the time compared to the main verb whether present or past tense, that is, ''来る'' or ''来た'' is used.
When you compare the time of the verb ''知っている'' and ''来る'', ''来る'' is or was the future, the following event, in A and B. So you have to use ''来る'' instead of ''来た''.

These are translated into English as follows.

A'. I know he will come.
B'. I knew he would come.
C'. I know he came.
D'. I knew he had came.


I actually didn't understand the usage of "するに際し" together with "語った." While "語った" is in the past tense, "に際し" talks about the future. For me the sentence would be better like this:


"際" doesn't mean "in the case of" only, it can also mean "when." Since it can be easily replaced by "時," which is a less polite way to say "when" or "in case of."

Try checking out this video too.

  • Thanks for the answer and the video (it was quite useful). The phrase is from So Matome Grammar N2 (page 88), so the Japanese is correct, as for the English translation I don't know.
    – zdo
    Dec 9, 2015 at 6:10
  • 1
    訪問した際に and 訪問するに際し are completely different!!
    – Toshihiko
    Dec 9, 2015 at 9:43
  • @Toshihiko: can you please give me more details?
    – zdo
    Dec 9, 2015 at 12:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .