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I have often seen ”とても” translated as "very" in English. However, I also have seen direct translations (automatic translations, so I don't know if this still applies) where what is being translated, makes ”とても” seem more like an adverbial or adjectival modifier which could be directly translated as "very anxiety" (from とても不安) or other such like phrases. Was the previous example just a mess-up from the translating software, or is ”とても” more just a modifier for either adjectives or adverbs that denotes a more extreme version of the word it is modifying?

  • What was the whole sentence that included とても不安? – Blavius Jun 10 '16 at 14:00
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    不安 has an adjective meaning "anxious". – broccoli facemask - cloth Jun 10 '16 at 14:30
  • @Blavius, Here is the original Japanese sentence: しかし個人で留学を決め未知なる世界へ飛び込む事は、きっととても不安な事ばかりで何から準備していいものかと悩むと思います。 The translator translated it as, "But that dive into the unknown world decided to study abroad in the individual, I think that worry whether something good to prepare from what only sure thing very anxiety." – Morella Almånd Jun 10 '16 at 14:34
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    @MorellaAlmann That's why you can't trust machine translation. The translated sentence is almost meaningless as well as contains a lot of misparsing. – broccoli facemask - cloth Jun 11 '16 at 8:38
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You are correct, in fact it can be used to signify "very" as well as describing something extreme, such as your example of とても不安. I tend to see とても used a lot in writing, whereas in speaking Japanese people will use すごくmore than とても. Using とても is correct, but I think it depends on the region of Japan as well because not all dialects will use it. I rarely heard とても while I was living in Osaka.

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