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Would I be correct in reading things like 私には or 個人的には as being "to me"? Like in the following:

私には寿司が美味しいって!To me sushi is tasty!

Or

彼には女性が誰よりきれいです。To him she is better than anyone.

Would I be right in reading it like this? Interpreting には as a bit of grammar that is often times used to explain what a scene is from a certain persons perspective? Or would this be to unreliable?

  • 3
    For cases where "to me" is in the sense of "it seems to me that...", it is perhaps better to use 私にとっては or 私としては. Thus the two English sentence could be better rendered as 「私としては寿司が美味しいです。」「彼にとって彼女は誰よりもきれな女性です。」 – hello all Aug 22 '17 at 16:50
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私には is 私に followed by the topic/contrast marker は. So yes, it can mean "to me" or "personally", but 私にとっては is often used for this purpose, too. See: Help with には and にとって

  • Use 彼女 ("she") instead of 女性 ("woman"). I suppose it's a mere typo :)
  • In the first sentence, you probably have to use は instead of が, because this sentence describes a general fact rather than what you've just perceived. In the second sentence, you can use both が and は after 彼女, because が has the 'exhaustive-listing' function (i.e., "among many women").
  • って at the end of a sentence after the dictionary form of a verb/adjective sounds like you're trying to strongly convince someone; e.g., 本当だって! ≒ But it's true!; 行くべきだって! ≒ Hey, you have to go there!

The corrected version would be:

  • 私には寿司は美味しいです。 (acceptable)
  • 私にとっては寿司は美味しいです。 (recommended)
  • 彼には彼女が誰より綺麗です。 (acceptable)
  • 彼にとっては彼女が誰より綺麗です。 (recommended)
  • Cool, thx m8! :D – Tirous Aug 22 '17 at 19:38
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The other answers including the past answers quoted are grammatically and logically correct, but the examples and their explanations are, I think, not sufficient, so I am going to add some information to correctly tell the nuance of Japanese.

Though "にとっては" or "としては" is not exactly correspond to "to somebody or to something", they are generally used formally like in "日本にとっては憂慮{ゆうりょ}すべき事態{じたい}である。 It is a matter of concern to Japan." or in "日本としては核兵器{かくへいき}の存在{そんざい}は看過{かんか}できない/見過{みす}ごせない。 As Japan we cannot overlook the existence of nuclear weapons.", so they are too formal to be used in a daily conversation, especially such as in the given sentence about talking about sushi taste and things like that, furthermore in a sentence with an exclamation mark.

Examples of "にとっては" from here

  • プラハの人々にとっては、愛する都のイメージとして、石畳はプラハとは切り離しがたいものとなっている。
    For the people of Prague, as an image of the city they love, cobblestones are hard to separate from Prague.
  • みたい場所=フィールドと、(中略)期待=マインドの一致が行動を方向づけるようになっていった。どちらが欠けても自分にとっては意味がない。
    Whichever one of the place (= field) I want to see and the expectation (= mind) of mine lacks, it makes no sense for me.
  • 財産は、生活の安定を切望する堅気にとっては、ほとんど自分と一体のものです。
    Property is almost integrated with himself for an honest person who aspires for the stability of life.
  • 勤労にいそしむ市民一般にとってはさらに大事な条件であることをも告げてくれるのである。 It also tells us that it is even more important condition for citizens who are diligent at work.
  • 「知らなければ知らないだけ、あなたにとってはいいのよ」と言っていた。
    "The less you know it, the more it's good for you" they said.
    note: This is an example in which "にとっては" is used in a conversation, but the context of the conversation is serious so the use of it is natural or no problem.
  • 新刊書の広告は当時の高級紙にとっては、抜群に重要な地位を占めていたのである。
    For the high-class coated paper of the time, the advertisement of the new publication occupied an outstandingly important position.

Examples of "としては" from here

  • 生活保障としては私は全く不十分だと、このように考えております。
    As a living security, I think it is totally inadequate.
  • 投資効果としては非常に高いものがあります。
    As an investment effect, it is highly effective.
  • 社会的な解決方策としては、ある程度のルールができたのではないかという気がします。
    As a social solution strategy, I feel that some rules have been created.
  • としては引き続き、D社との交渉をやってくれるとありがたいな。
    As for me, I would appreciate it if you continue to negotiate with D company.
  • 自分としては、別に、笑いをとろうと思って恋愛をしてきたわけではないからだ。
    As for me, I have been in love not because especially I wanted to get a laugh.

Would I be correct in reading things like 私には or 個人的には as being "to me"? Like in the following:
私には寿司が美味しいって!To me sushi is tasty!
Or
彼には女性が誰よりきれいです。To him she is better than anyone.

Your reading for "to me" in the above two sentences are somewhat correct.
私には and 個人的には are both correct, but I prefer 私には to 個人的には in the given sentences because 私には is used in more informal situation. If you want to express "to me" somewhat formally, you are better to use 個人的には rather than 私には.

But, "個人的には personally" and "私には to me" are slightly different in meaning besides formality, and they seem not always interchangeable when I examine the following example sentences.

Examples of "私には" from here

  • 私には詩とそのコスチュームがなんとなく合わないような違和感があった。
    There was a strange feeling for me that poetry and that costume would not fit together.
  • 私には動くことが必要だった。
    It was necessary for me to take action.
  • 私にはまだ余裕すらあった感じがした。
    I felt I could still afford to do/accept something else.
  • たいしたものではないという樹氷が私には不思議であった。
    It was strange to me that the rime on trees (look like ice monsters) are not a big deal.
  • 彼の姿が消えてからも、私にはすべてが見えていた。
    Even after he disappeared, everything was visible to me.
  • より多くほしがっている私には、乞食者となる権利がない。
    There is no right to become a beggar for me who always wants more.

Examples of "個人的には" from here

  • ミクロの世界で考えるのと反対に、一方でマクロの世界でも個人的には理解できないことがたくさんあります。
    Contrary to thinking in a microscopic world, there are many things that can not be understood personally even from a macroscopic standpoint.
  • この種の奇跡の方が個人的には好きだ。
    I personally like this kind of miracle.
  • 個人的には、とても好きな人達が多い。
    Personally, there are many people I like very much.
  • 三浦個人的には入っていただくのに賛成です。
    I, my name is Miura, personally agree that he will take part.
  • 個人的には社会で働きつづけたい。
    Personally I want to keep working in society.
  • 個人的にはモハメド・アリが嫌いだというエドマンド・フラーがこの見方を代表している。
    The viewpoint of Edmundo Fuller who personally hates Muhammad Ali is the typical one of this kind.
  • 私は、個人的には日本に親しみを覚えている。
    Personally I am familiar with Japan.

There is an expression "私的{わたしてき}には privately" that is resembles "私には to me". And, there is a fixed word as "私的{してき} private" as the antonym of "公的{こうてき} public".
"私的{わたしてき}" and "私的{してき}" use the exact same kanjis, but how they are used is largely different. "私的{わたしてき}" has been used these days mainly in young women. This word is not a very well-behaved word, but it could be used safely in a daily conversation between young women like talking about the taste of sushi like saying "私的{わたしてき}には、お寿司は美味しいわ!"

To me sushi is tasty!

Before thinking about how to express the English sentence in Japanese, I would like to point out that this sentence is unnatural semantically. When you read this sentence, it implies that whether sushi is tasty or not depends on people, but in fact in Japan, there are premises that many people think sushi is tasty.

And this sentence also implies that the partner in the conversation seems to have said that "sushi isn't tasty".

Therefore, it is natural that in the correct interpretation we would place some comments against the partner's taste for sushi at the first half of the sentence, and also the interpretation should not be made for sushi in general, but for the sushi put in front of me and the partner. So the natural interpretation for the given sentence in Japanese will be like:

  • Answer by men: 「えっ、寿司まずい! 俺には、この寿司美味しいけどなあ。」
  • Answer by women: 「このお寿司全然まずくないけど。私には、美味しいわ!」

However, as we are studying Japanese now, let's put these subtle and detailed interpretations aside.

"To me sushi is tasty!"

  • 私には、寿司美味しいですよ! (recommended)
  • 俺には、寿司美味しいけどなあ! (recommended)
  • 私には、お寿司美味しいわ! (recommended)
  • 私には寿司が美味しいって! (acceptable but unnatural)
  • 個人的には寿司が美味しいって! (acceptable but unnatural)
  • 私には寿司は美味しいです。 (grammatically correct and standarad but lacking in emotion, because it does not express the nuance of an interrogation mark)
  • 私にとって寿司は美味しいです。 (same as the above sentence. Better than 私にとっては寿司は美味しいです。)
  • 私にとっては寿司は美味しいです。 (same as the above sentence. It sounds like a machine translation.)

Lastly, a simple and natural interpretation in Japanese for the given sentence in English is like:

寿司って美味しいけど。or 寿司って美味しいですけど。 Sushi is delicious/tasty, though.

In this translation, "to me" is omitted, and "though" is added, because, in natural Japanese, "私 I" that is the substantial subject of the sentence is omitted, and the speakers intention would not be expressed decisively.

  • Awesome answer m8! Considering using this one instead... but I don't have time to read it all right now, lolz. – Tirous Aug 24 '17 at 1:06

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