First of all I am going to explain the context :

Someone has opened a letter and ask someone in an other room to come here.

The other person asks what is happening. And this is the answer :

大塚さんにこういうのもらったんだけど…なんだっけ これ?

I'm guessing this means :

Ootsuka san gave me this, what is it ?

But I'm actually lost on the meaning of こういうの in the middle of the sentence. I know it means such as, like this but I don't see how I should translate it here. I almost feel like it is superfluous. Does it reference the letter itself ? If yes I don't know exactly how I should translate it.

1 Answer 1


Yes, こういうの refers to the letter itself. Literally, it means "something like this" or "this kind of thing", and it serves the purpose of prompting the listener to look at the object itself to see what the speaker is talking about (usually because there's something about it they find difficult to describe in words).

I agree that there doesn't seem to be much need to include it in an English translation, since in English "something like this" would usually indicate that they're talking about a different similar object, and at any rate the "this" together with asking "what is it?" already conveys essentially the same thing. Depending on the context, using something like "this thing" or "this weird letter" might help to convey more of the implied "not sure how to describe it" nuance, though both of those sound a bit more distinctly informal than the Japanese usage.

On a side note, I think there's a typo in your sentence - なんでっけ should probably be なんだっけ.

  • Thank you for the answer. So I shouldn't take too literally the translation and look at こういう more like "this thing that I don't know what it is". :) Yes it is a typo on my end.
    – rXp
    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:47

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