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I'm kind of lost with the phrase うがった見方 used in NHK's special news program subtitles. They were showing U.S. President Trump speaking about his Russia ties allegations. The voice commentary was トランプ大統領はロシア疑惑に対して否定を繰り返しています and then the program proceeded to show Trump's explanation along with Japanese subtitles:

There's been no collusion, no obstruction.
And virtually everybody agrees to that.

共謀はなかった 誰もそう考えている

The above is shortened, but the subtitles clearly echo Trump's words. Then:

Whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint.

うがった見方をしているだけだ
ばかばかしい

ばかばかしい again is a direct quotation, but but what is うがった見方をしているだけだ supposed to mean here?

It doesn't seem like a translation of "if you want to know the truth from that standpoint" (and shouldn't it end with で to connect to ばかばかしい?).

Is still a translation of Trump's words or is it a description of his conduct?

うがった見方 is translated as "penetrating remark" -- I can't see that relate either to Trump's conduct directly, nor to what he was talking about. Does it have another meaning?


Besides, does うがった見方 have to be true? Or can it be used just for any "spiteful" or "touching" remark?

  • Excuse me, where do you see "remark" in うがった見方? 見方 is not about talking, is it? – kuchitsu Jul 11 '17 at 23:55
  • @kuchitsu Here うがった見方 and it seems to me like a description off (response to) other person's remark as coming from their perspective/insight. – macraf Jul 12 '17 at 0:05
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    +1 Unfortunately, dictionaries have not caught up with the "recent" change in the meaning of うがった見方, which is why you will find the all-positive definition "penetrating remark" just about everywhere you look. That translation would rarely, if ever, work in the present-day Japanese-speaking world. The phrase is used for a very different meaning nowadays. I will leave the answering to one of the experts here as I am no longer posting answers. – l'électeur Jul 12 '17 at 0:31
  • ^ I am no longer posting answers. また言うてはる・・ experts てイヤミにしか聞こえへ((ry – Chocolate Jul 12 '17 at 7:07
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穿つ【うがつ】 literally means to gouge or to dig. according to a dictionary, 穿った見方/穿った考え方 is originally a positive expression ("deep/insightful thoughts"). But I believe it's now usually used to refer to a skeptical and cynical way of thinking. It's "deep" in a sense, but it may be wrong.

Some dictionaries still say such a negative meaning is a misuse, but according to 文化庁's survey, the majority of people believe 穿った見方 is a negative expression, regardless of age.

平成23年度「国語に関する世論調査」の結果の概要 (PDF)

graph

So うがった見方をしているだけだ in this context means "They are being too skeptical" or "People are overthinking it". In other words, it says that people are seeing the problem from a wrong standpoint.

You can also use this expression as a hedge, like so:

穿った見方をすれば、それは意図的なものかもしれない。
I may be overthinking it, but it may be intentional.

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