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From Death Note episode 1:

僕はすでに、死神のノートを、現実だと疑ってなかったが... こうしていろんな事を直視することで、 ますます確信を持って行動できる

This is translated in the English subtitles as:

I didn't think the Shinigami's Notebook was real... but after seeing its results, I can act with certainty.

The first part of the sentence seems to be backwards...

現実だと疑ってなかった

Means literally:

did not doubt it is reality

So, the whole thing should be:

I did not doubt the Shinigami (Death God)'s Notebook was real... etc.

Am I correct?

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  • 2
    So, where is the double-negative?
    – user4032
    Dec 27, 2016 at 2:57
  • Hm, I sorta assumed that's how the translation got it backwards, but there's actually none in the sentence. Will edit the title.
    – Asik
    Dec 27, 2016 at 3:45

5 Answers 5

3

You're right. The translation in the subtitles is incorrect.

Maybe you could interpret it this way:

「僕はすでに、死神のノートを、『現実だ』と信じて疑ってなかったが・・・」
「僕はすでに、死神のノートを、『現実だ』と思って疑ってなかったが・・・」

Literally: "I had already believed (by then; before いろんな事を直視する) that Shinigami's notebook was real and never doubted." "I was already not doubting, believing that Shinigami's notebook was real."

ますます確信を持って」 "with more certainty" also shows that the speaker was already certain.

4

I might be wrong but here is how I would translate it.

I was not doubting the existence of the death note, but after seeing it in action with my own eyes, I can start acting with conviction(about using the death note for his plans.)

It does seems like the translation is quite backward. But people who do subtitles usually are like that. Interpreting everything in their own words.

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And a lot of us are confused too (I’m Japanese.) And now there I've found this answer here:

The translation is like following:

I didn’t doubt "LIKE" this note is real. But after seeing its results, I can act with certainty.

So IF you translate, I didn’t doubt THAT this note is real, which could mislead you.

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Not that I was questioning whether Shinigami's Notebook was real before, but now seeing that it is actually working I can start acting confidently.

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You are correct!

僕はすでに、死神のノートを、現実だと疑ってなかったが...

means

(For some reason,) I have already believed the death note is real, ...

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  • 1
    I think the English translation is not using the perfect tense correctly. It should probably be "I already believed".
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 27, 2016 at 10:41

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