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So I've been reading about という in here and other websites but its still very unclear. From what I've seen so far it sometimes doesn't mean anything, but I'm not sure, like it must have at least some connotation, right?

So I picked up this sentence from jisho.org

彼らが結婚したという知らせは村中に広がった。

It's translated as "The news of their marriage spread throughout the village." What is the meaning of という in this sentence? If I say 彼らが結婚した知らせは村中に広がった, would it be incorrect? Would it be different in any way?

I would like to know what is the purpose of という when its used like that.

7

The way I think of という is that it effectively puts quotes around something. So when you have "結婚したという知らせ", it's clear that the "結婚した" part is being talked about in a meta sense.

To contrast that, if you just say ”結婚した知らせ", that can also be interpreted as "the announcement that was married". Though people can still figure out what you are saying, I'd argue it's a bit vague and confusing. You can do a google search for both possibilities to see their rough frequency (google searching doesn't always yield clear results, but in this case I think it's educational).

In the same way, if you were talking about the city they got married in, you would usually say "彼らが結婚した街", and not use the という part.

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In this example という can be translated quite literally. と is the quote particle and いう is "to say". So we get "the news saying that they got married".

3

という is easy to understand if you deconstruct it as と (referring to a quotation) and いう/言う (to say)

I render it in my mental translation to English as "that which is said" or "so called"

In your case "news of" seems a pretty good rendition as well.

The meaning added with this is that rather than referring directly to the subject the reference is to the idea of a person claiming / stating / talking about the subject / or less wordy: the idea or concept of the subject.

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