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Just trying have some fun with Japanese grammar, but the sentence in the title has me stumped. I just don't understand Japanese particles enough to even know where to begin. Here is my best attempt at something resembling this sentence, but its gotta be wrong, so please help understand how to construct this sentence in the best way.

I think that she thinks that I think she is dumb
私は彼女が私は彼女がバカとおもうとおもっているとおもう。(LOL, there is just no way...)

  • my try would be 僕は彼女は僕は彼女はバカだと思うと思うと思う (Boku wa kanojo wa boku wa kanojo wa bakada to omou to omou to omou) lol but i'm not 100% sure – Felipe Oliveira Jun 14 '17 at 12:51
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How about...

I think she is dumb.
彼女のことをバカだと僕は思っている。

She thinks that I think she is dumb.
彼女のことをバカだと僕が思っていると彼女は思っている。

I think that she thinks that I think she is dumb.
彼女のことをバカだと僕が思っていると彼女が思っていると僕は思っている。

X thinks that I think that she thinks that I think she is dumb.
彼女のことをバカだと僕が思っていると彼女が思っていると僕が思っているとXさんは思っている。

Y thinks that X thinks that I think that she thinks that I think she is dumb.
彼女のことをバカだと僕が思っていると彼女が思っていると僕が思っているとXさんが思っているとYさんは思っている。

... and it can go on and on...

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    彼女のことをバカだと僕は思っている。 why 彼女のことを uses を and not は or が? Like it would be in something like 彼女はきれいだと思っている? – Felipe Oliveira Jun 14 '17 at 13:24
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    @FelipeOliveira 彼女をバカだと/彼女がバカだ/彼女のことをバカだと思っている would still be fine. 彼女のことが~だと思う/彼女のことは~だと思う would sound a bit off here. (but why?.. dunno!) – Chocolate Jun 14 '17 at 13:29
  • やっぱり, some of those things that looks "weird" in a given language, but that's how it is, thank you! – Felipe Oliveira Jun 14 '17 at 13:39
  • @FelipeOliveira Take a look at this question: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/609/… – ajsmart Jun 14 '17 at 18:51
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How about "私は、彼女が、私が彼女を馬鹿だ(と思う)と思っていると思う"?

"I think that she thinks that" is translated as "私は、彼女が(を)~と思うと思う" and "I think she is dumb" is translated as "私は彼女は馬鹿だと思う", so it would be translated as "私は、彼女が、私が彼女を馬鹿だ(と思う)と思っていると思う".

My other idea is "私が彼女が(を)馬鹿だと思うと彼女が思っていると私は思う".

  • Does that feel like an awkward in Japanese, like it does in English? – ajsmart Jun 14 '17 at 13:10
  • I don't understand why the usage of を particle when saying that she is dumb (baka) – Felipe Oliveira Jun 14 '17 at 13:14
  • Of course, yes. "彼女は、私が彼女のことを馬鹿だと思っていると思う" would be natural. – Yuuichi Tam Jun 14 '17 at 13:17
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    Both 私は彼女が馬鹿だと思う and 私は彼女を馬鹿だと思う are used. This を is related to ~を~と思う. – Yuuichi Tam Jun 14 '17 at 13:25
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Nice challenge! I really had to think about this one.

The only way I could do it without the sentence being super clunky was to use synonyms for think. So I used 意見{いけん}(opinion), and 思う。 I'm not 100% convinced that it means exactly what I have translated it as (or if its 100% grammatically correct for that matter), but this is what I came up with:

私の意見ですけど、彼女の思いでは私が彼女を馬鹿{ばか}だと思うと考えているかな。

This is my opinion, but she seems to think that I think she's dumb.

I have found that in situations like this, using synonyms helps make the task of translation considerably easier at times.

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