Sorry if my example is a bit out of context. But I wonder if it is grammatically correct to write 神々しささえ感じさせる異様な像?

What confuses me most is the fact that it is a verb and then a na-adjective right after.

Also if you could give an advice on how I should think when translating that would be appreciated. Right now I'm just thinking what sounds most natural, but is there a specific order you should follow? If there is a "system" for Japanese to English translating it would be good to know.

This example.


This is my guess on translation:

It was said to be a strange statue that was surprisingly big and even felt divine.

Or is it something with "divine strange statue".

  • 1
    On the other hand, I'm confused with what this question is about. Seems like two or three different ones with one a bit out of topic (system for translating).
    – macraf
    Oct 19, 2016 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


驚くほど大きく ("surprisingly big (and)"), 神々しささえ感じさせる ("(which) causes even a divine feeling") and 異様な ("peculiar") all modify 像. Alternatively, you can think 神々しささえ感じさせる modifies the noun phrase 異様な像 ("peculiar statue") as a whole.

As you already know, 神々しささえ感じさせる is a relative clause that always modifies a noun. So if another adjective follows right after, you have to "wait" for the next noun (or noun phrase), which is 像 in this case.

The order is important: if the sentence were 異様な神々しささえ感じさせる像, people will take this 異様な as the word that modifies 神々しさ (i.e., "peculiar divinity").


... verb and then a na-adjective right after.

See: * "The Japanese language does not have words that function as adjectives in a syntactic sense"

It was said to be a strange statue that was surprisingly big and even felt divine.

That's near-perfect. Variants :

It was said to be a bizarre statue that was surprisingly large and even a little awe-inspiring.

It was said to be a surprisingly large, and even awe-inspiring, bizarre statue.

I try not to change the order of keywords and key phrases.

If there's a system (i.e., formal procedure), i'd like to know too.

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