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The following excerpt comes from this news article: http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/11944976/

隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかった中、彼の姿は一瞬にしてビルの谷間に消え、しかも地面を強打する衝撃音が発生することはなかったのだ。

What is 中 doing here? Looks like it might mean "although" or something?

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    My guess as a non-native speaker based on context is X中 = Xを考え中 but I've upvoted am looking forward to learning the answer. – virmaior Aug 29 '16 at 1:18
  • I (non-native) agree with your intuition about "although"—or, more closely, "granted, albeit, given"; I think I'd translate it as "while the space between the buildings wasn't that dangerous, …". However, I can't find an example of this specific usage in Japanese dictionaries, so I might be wrong. – melissa_boiko Aug 29 '16 at 18:27
  • Is it just me or does the article's Japanese feel a bit dubious here and there? Like it's plausible overall but not quite have the smoothness you expect from a native speaker. I find the use of のだ in the quote strange, and the piece ends with the comment "これはまさに自虐ネタであるそうだ。" ← Whatever is "あるそうだ" supposed to mean? – goldbrick Aug 31 '16 at 0:23
  • ^「これはまさに自虐ネタだそうだ。」ってことじゃないですかね・・ – Chocolate Aug 31 '16 at 0:29
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    文字通りの意味は分かるのですが、「そうだ」を使ったのがちょっと不可解だなと... 編集局次長(または他の人?)が「これはですね、まさに自虐ネタなんですよウフフ」と言ったのを間接引用したような書き方だと思うのですが、それが少し考えにくいというか。(この部分は元の英文記事にはないようなので、日本語の記事の著者によるものだと考えます。) – goldbrick Aug 31 '16 at 0:58
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This 中{なか} is used in indicating "to remain one state"

Goo dictionary says

物事が進行している最中。また、ある状態が続いているとき。「あらしの中を突き進む」「お忙しい中をありがとうございます」

I translated 隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかった中 as "The interspace with next building remains little dangerous" but there may be better one though.

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He didn't "dive", did he? . . . Eng. articles must have said "jumped" (and fell).

( The article contains other errors or awkward passages. )

ペンシルベニア州ピッツバーグのオークランドで23日の午前2時ごろ、若い男性があるビルの屋上から若干低い隣のビルめがけてダイブし、大きな騒動となった。

隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかった中、彼の姿は一瞬にしてビルの谷間に消え、しかも地面を強打する衝撃音が発生することはなかったのだ。

This is not correct or grammatical Jp prose.

As written, the meaning can't be determined.

But it could be fun to guess the intended meaning.

My guess:

  1. 中 means "into" (the gap)

  2. 中 means "while"   <---   I think this is it.  (So i'm agreeing with the deleted answer.)

"While the gap between the buildings was not clearly perilous, ..."

"While he figured the gap to be not-so-dangerous (not too wide), his body vanished into the gap in an instant, and yet ... "

While he thought the gap to be not so dangerous, his body vanished into the gap in an instant,   ---------->

(Google translate)   --->   彼はギャップがそれほど危険ではないと考えているが、彼の体は一瞬で隙間に消え、

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    While he figured / thought... -> It was not what he thought. The gap was actually not dangerous/wide. Despite that, he fell between the gap. – Chocolate Aug 30 '16 at 22:42
  • But it was (turned out to be) actually dangerous for him ________________________________________While the gap was not so dangerous, his body vanished into the gap in an instant, ----------> (Google translate)   --->   ギャップはそれほど危険ではありませんでしたが、彼の体は一瞬で隙間に消え、 – HizHa Aug 30 '16 at 22:48
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    It's saying 「隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかった中(で)、」"While the gap was not wide or dangerous, he fell in." =「隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかったのに、」"Although the gap was not wide or dangerous, he fell in." (And, why do you need to use G-Translate?) – Chocolate Aug 30 '16 at 23:15
  • i think [ 隣のビルとの隙間はそう危険なものではなかった中、 ] was produced thru mistranslation or a similar process. i'm trying to see if the mistranslation can be reproduced thru (Google translate). – HizHa Aug 30 '16 at 23:49
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    Heh... But I don't see anything grammatically wrong in these sentences, although you say This is not correct or grammatical Jp prose. ... Btw, the original article is -> post-gazette.com/local/city/2016/08/23/… – Chocolate Aug 31 '16 at 0:24

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