2

Which is the correct translation for the following?

彼【かれ】はあえて「・・・」と言【い】わなかった。

A: He dared not to say "..."

or

B: He did not dare to say "..."

If only one is possible, how to say the following with あえて?

  1. We had to study hard for the final exam but he dared not to do so.

  2. We jumped from the roof one by one but he did not dare to do so.

  • 2
    I think this is tricky to answer because dare is often a bad translation for あえて. – snailboat Jan 17 '17 at 19:55
  • @snailplane It depends on how you interpret it, doesn't it? I think the problem is actually that the English is ambiguous. FWIW, I think A is the better translation. – Kurausukun Jan 17 '17 at 23:17
  • @Kurausukun It's true that it depends on context, but I also dare say odds are against you... – broccoli forest Jan 19 '17 at 15:36
3

Those two should be distinguished also in Japanese.

  1. 彼はあえて「…」と(は)言わなかった。
  2. 彼はあえて「…」と言おうと(は)しなかった。

The first sentence means something like "He intentionally avoided saying ~". This implies that saying it was usually expected, but he did not say it for a reason. The second sentence is "He did not dare to say ~". This implies he felt it was actually risky to say it, and he avoided it as a natural consequence.

We had to study hard for the final exam but he dared not to do so.

最終試験に向けて一生懸命勉強しないといけないのに、彼は敢えて勉強しなかった。 (Not studying was a risky thing for him, but he did not study, knowing the risk. Maybe he is a bad child.)

[X] 最終試験に向けて一生懸命勉強しないといけないのに、彼は敢えて勉強しようとはしなかった。 (He felt studying itself is useless/risky for him, and that's why he did not study. Maybe he knew he would fail anyway, maybe he was really sick, or maybe he had another important dream.)

We jumped from the roof one by one but he did not dare to do so.

我々は屋根から一人ずつ飛び降りた/飛び移ったが、彼は敢えてそうしようとはしなかった。 (Jumping from the roof itself was a risky thing at least for him. He was afraid.)

[X] 我々は屋根から一人ずつ飛び降りた/飛び移ったが、彼は敢えてそうしなかった。 (He was a ninja and knew he could safely do it, but he did not do so for his own reason. Maybe he thought jumping from the roof was not a good idea to accomplish his mission.)

  • あれ、この「one by one」って「1人ずつ」ですかね、「屋根から屋根へ」ですかね…? (本論とは無関係ですが)自信がないです – naruto Jan 18 '17 at 3:32
  • I think it would have to be 一人ずつ in this case because roof is singular. – snailboat Jan 18 '17 at 3:44
  • @snailplane そういえばそうですね、ありがとうございます! – naruto Jan 18 '17 at 3:44

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