I found this sentence on a video game review site:


I am not sure whether だと means 'in Japan' or 'if it were in Japan'. The translation in one case would be:

This is a rogue-like game that, in Japan, is called 'Amazing Dungeons' which is probably a bit easier to understand.

A rogue-like game is a genre of video game which is similar to the original of the genre, Rogue. The other option which I personally think is more likely is:

This is a rogue-like game which if made in Japan would probably be called something more easy to understand like 'Amazing Dungeons'"

It boils down to me not knowing the だと construction. Can someone be kind enough to explain this usage to me?

  • according to eow.alc.co.jp/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%A0%E3%81%A8/UTF-8, 日本だと means "in Japan". I think it translates to something like "it's a Roguelike game which is probably better recognized in Japan by the name 'the mystery dungeon'".
    – user797
    Oct 25 '11 at 11:52
  • 3
    日本だと is similar to 日本では in meaning, and both mean “in Japan” rather than something heavy like “if it were in Japan.” But I cannot come up with a good explanation as for why. Oct 25 '11 at 12:02
  • I see, thank you glacier and Tsuyoshi. Still there does some to be a bit of ambiguity there as the very first sentence in the link posted by glacier does indeed translate it as "if it were Japan". Obviously depends on the exact context. Thanks for the replies! Oct 25 '11 at 12:40
  • 1
    As an aside to the だと issue -- I don't think that 言った refers to actually "naming it" or "calling it" 不思議のダンジョン. To me it's more like "(This is) a role-playing-game which, in Japan, may be more easily understood if I said 「不思議のダンジョン」 (by analogy, as the name of a game series that it's similar to)."
    – Hyperworm
    Oct 25 '11 at 19:14
  • @RichardMansfield That sentence has pretty much the same meaning if "If it were Japan" was replaced with "In Japan": "In Japan, the teachers would have had the students competing..."
    – user797
    Oct 26 '11 at 0:36

Instead of だと, it should be broken down into だ(copula) and と(particle).

here is used as a particle that indicates an uncontrollable event or state will follow after what the particle marks. Sometimes parsed as if but not really accurate since it's not really a conditional. Also can be parsed as when.

日本だと[A] would mean "if/when in Japan, [A] follows as a consequence (not controllable by the first person and/or seemingly agent-less)."

Also take a look at Derek's answer regarding と for "if"-clauses

  • Why isn't (apparently) a particle needed in Japanese to indicate the "in" in the phrase "if/when in Japan, ..."? Oct 26 '11 at 11:24
  • 1
    @KarlKnechtel It's because there is no 1 to 1 mapping for grammar between English and Japanese. The "in" is so that it sounds natural in English. A more literal translation of 日本だと[A] would be "It is Japan, and [A](follows as a noncontrollable consequence resulting from "Is Japan" "
    – Flaw
    Oct 26 '11 at 13:18
  • Why does everyone keep assuming I'm expecting a 1 to 1 mapping?! Oct 26 '11 at 13:18
  • 2
    @KarlKnechtel: Because otherwise your question would not arise. There is no reason to expect a particle in Japanese just because a preposition “in” is used in English. Oct 30 '11 at 4:47
  • There is no need to indicate "in" because it doesn't say "when in Japan", It's says "if it's Japan ...". This is similar to "ame da to ..."/"if it's raining ...". If the situation/context is Japan, then ...
    – Kaz
    May 13 '12 at 2:04

Salaam, Not an academic answer, but hope it helps:


in english is like "with Japan", or "with the case of Japan", and used to attract attention on the subject matter.

In my opinion, 日本では, is more general or neutral.

Usually it's better to specify what part of the subject is examined

Another usage is with a judgement appended, which implies that you bind your point of view to the statement: ー日本は便利だと思います [ Japan is practical, that's what I think] ー日本はやすいだといいです [ [if] Japan is cheap, that'll be good]

Another colloquial usage is like this: ーなんだと?  [what is it (that is happenin...)?]

Inverting the order we get another interesting usage like this: 日本とは、なんだ? [& concerning] Japan, what about it?

  • 2
    やすいだと is ungrammatical. だ cannot follow after verbs or adjectives.
    – Lukman
    Oct 25 '11 at 23:33
  • why not, it's an adjective, and だ=です 寒いだよ あついよ I think it all depends on the level of politeness, where some forms are locked/unlocked.
    – k.honsali
    Oct 26 '11 at 7:08
  • 3
    Although やすいだと and 寒いだよ might be correct in some dialects of Japanese, they are incorrect in the standard dialect as Lukman commented, regardless of politeness. Oct 26 '11 at 11:11

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