I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become:


Specifically, I am unable to understand this portion: というところ.

These are the only forms I know:

  • Verbところ - is just about to do [verb]

  • Verbているところ - in the midst of doing [verb]

  • Verb-Pastところ - had just done [verb]

  • Verbていたところ - has been doing [verb]

  • Eventところを - in the midst of [Event]

読んだ警告という does not fall within the above analyses. It is a noun modified by a relative clause. What does ところ do in this case?

  • Not sure if you can use ところ (as in place, 所) like this, but perhaps they mean "the place (in the car) which said ('was called') warning", then again perhaps they would have used the kanji if that was the case.
    – gibbon
    Mar 2 '12 at 11:39
  • I think you can rephrase it as 今日は友達の車の中で読んだ警告という"部分"を/という"箇所を"/今日は友達の車の中(or車内)に書かれた警告(という個所)を, so maybe this ところ refers to 箇所[かしょ]・場所[ばしょ]?
    – user1016
    Mar 2 '12 at 13:22

I am not sure if the person that corrected your sentence understands Japanese enough, or understands your intention. Your original sentence means:

Today, I will read a warning in my friend's car, and do a Japanese to English translation (of it).

The modified sentence means:

Today, I will do a Japanese to English translation of the portion/chapter/section/etc. titled "warning" that I read inside my friend's car.

A natural translation for ところ in this case is "portion" (some place within a text).

  • Was there anything wrong with my original sentence? I was told that 文になっていません which means it does not form a sentence?
    – Flaw
    Mar 2 '12 at 14:31
  • @Flaw There is nothing fully wrong with it. I doubt the Japanese knowledge of the person that told you that. If I were to be strict, 車で "at the car" is a little bit strange. It should be 車の中で "in the car".
    – user458
    Mar 2 '12 at 15:32

In this case, (という)ところ just refers to the place (or "part") of what is going to try to be translated by the speaker of that subject.

という can be used almost anywhere:

Xという人 -- An X type of person. -or- A person called X.
Xということ -- An X type of thing.

In English, という is kind of like using (the somewhat dated phrase) "so-called" along with quote marks "" around something that is being referred to, like this:

The so-called "problem" ...

(Though it can be more accurate to use といわれる (or いわゆる,) here, for an actual "so-called" translation.)

For という, however, most people would probably use "what you call", like this:

(It's,) what you call, the "problem" ...

  • 1
    +1 for the comparison to "so-called". I think という is a little softer, but nonetheless it's a very helpful model to build from.
    – Questioner
    Mar 3 '12 at 2:46
  • 1
    @DaveMG Updated the example to include the phrase "what you call". I think it's a little softer than "so-called" because, as you know, "so-called" sometimes includes a hint of doubt about what is being discussed. "What you call" seems to be a little more neutral, here. Thanks for the comment~
    – summea
    Mar 3 '12 at 3:46
  • Yes, "what you call" is even better :)
    – Questioner
    Mar 3 '12 at 3:50
  • 1
    @summea という does not at all mean "so called". The Japanese word for "so called" is いわゆる.
    – user458
    Mar 4 '12 at 16:51
  • @sawa For a formal translation, yes, いわれる would be used for "so-called". But, いわれる is another form of いう. The point of using "so-called" here is to demonstrate the "thing in question".
    – summea
    Mar 4 '12 at 16:59

An explanation of というところ。

It's in section 2.4.9 on page 15 and 16. I found it interesting that someone can use というところ when talking about unfamiliar topic or the topic is being broached or described in an unusual way.

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