I am reading a manga and I'm going to try a bit of context in hopes that you can tell me how some particular sentences sound like, because I do get the gist of them but a few things got me stumped.
The context is, there is a battle between a boy with a special power and a demon like character.
The boy is chanting a spell that goes like this "私は法で汝は悪魔"
As a very rough translation I came up with this "I [the boy] am (the) law, you are a demon."
The one distorted is clear (or understandable). So, 歪む means distorted or crooked (as in views, or a crooked mind and this is the meaning that I want to go with, because it describes a character that is evil, the demon).

The verb seems to show the condition/state of being and because of the の particle that acts as nominalizer, I concluded that makes the whole thing to mean "The one [between the two characters] that is crooked is...(which I assume is the demon). But what about the わかってる part? Does it make sense with the following translation? "I understand what is the distortion" (The boy wants to eliminate the evil one, the crooked being). I went with the words clear/understandable to somehow make it as vague as the Japanese version, at least to my understanding).
What about わかってる instead of わかっている Is the first one just colloquial? (The way the characters speak does change quite a lot from impolite to polite)

It would be a great help if someone can enlighten me with a proper translation and more in-depth explanations if possible. Thank you in advance and apologies if I made things hard to understand.


Based on my understanding of the context you provided, I would translate the passage as follows:

I am the law. You are a demon.

I know/realize (that) you are warped.

As others have stated, "わかってる" is the colloquial speech variation of the full grammatical form, and わかる has a broad range of meanings, only some of which actually correspond to the English "understand" most commonly listed as its translation in dictionaries. In practice, most day-to-day situations I hear and use it in are closer to "being aware of" or "having knowledge of" X than to "having comprehension of".

In the second sentence, the "の particle that acts as nominalizer", as you put it, can be translated somewhat heavy-handedly as "the fact that [you] are warped (distorted)". The translation using "you" assumes he's still addressing the demon in that part of the spell, which seems like a logical continuation of the first line.

  • Thank you! So I wasn't far off from the translation when I first read the text, but I wanted more opinions. – Alice B. Rabbit Jun 19 '17 at 13:41


Literal translation is like: (I/We) do know/have known that (sth) is warped/distorted.

But I don't know what it is supposed to mean. If it's a spell, they are often supposed to sound mysterious....

What about わかってる instead of わかっている Is the first one just colloquial?

Yes, but so common that I think it's colloquially more popularly used than いる version.

  • 6
    Another way to think about てる and ている is the English colloquialism "I'm" and "I am". They both mean the same thing but they're used so much that shortening the number of syllables is convenient. – tcallred May 18 '17 at 15:11

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