The following is an instruction for writing a small composition:

1) それまで聞いたことがない音を聞いて、びっくりした。
2) 国でよく聞いていた音がほとんど聞かれないので不思議に思った

First, my attempt at translation:

"Have you experienced culture shock from the following things while coming to japan or going to a foreign country?
1) Hearing a sound you haven't heard so far, you were surprised.
2) Because

...you mostly don't get to hear sounds you often hear in your country...
...sounds which you often heard in your country mostly aren't (to be) heard...

...you think it's strange.
...you think strangely (like "feel" strange?).

So, obviously my problem lies with the two bold parts.

I think the passive construction could be an indirect passive? I asked about the indirect passive before but I still feel very insecure about it. I also don't know whether I translated it correctly, should it be an indirect passive (version 1 of my translation shall represent the case where I assumed that it is an indirect passive.).

Second, the 不思議に思った gives me a little headache because I'm not sure what effect 不思議に has in this case ^^ It could mean that "I think of something as strange" (which I think is very likely here) or it could mean that "I think strangely", which would be the most direct/closest relation between the adverb and the verb here, but I think it isn't very likely that this is the case here.

  • 1
    When you look up "wonder" in some dictionaries, you'll get 不思議に思う.
    – user4092
    Oct 20 '17 at 2:39
  • 1
    The 聞かれない in your example is not indirect passive.
    – Chocolate
    Oct 20 '17 at 4:19

You basically have the right ideas! Think of the passive this way:


In countries other than Japan, Nori isn't eaten much.

It really is just a normal passive. Just like sentences such as "Sounds aren't being heard", "Snakes are rarely seen" and so on. You could put this sentence in active form as

... 聞いていた音を耳にしないので、...

But the passive form sounds a little nicer (at least to me).


This is a set phrase meaning you think something is strange, perplexing, bewildering or unusual. So basically your first guess was correct!

  • 1
    Your version(耳にしない)sounds nicer to me. If it's 話 or うわさ (rumor), the passive one is also often used beside the active, but not really with 音.
    – user4092
    Oct 20 '17 at 2:36
  • @user4092 I feel like 耳にする is more commonly used with rumours or hearsay, which is why I might prefer the 聞かれない phrasing. But then again, you can use both and my grasp on the language isn't quite strong enough yet to judge which sounds more natural.
    – derpda
    Oct 20 '17 at 2:56
  • 耳にする or 聞く are more common in everyday expressions. In that sense, 聞かれない sounds more formal.
    – user4092
    Oct 20 '17 at 8:34
  • @user4092 I see. I'll let the answer and the comments stand as they are, I think they show a good learning process! Thank you =)
    – derpda
    Oct 20 '17 at 13:33
  • If the down-voter could please explain what exactly is wrong with my answer, that would be much appreciated!
    – derpda
    Oct 25 '17 at 2:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.