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The section in question:


So first, I have some issues with 長くお暮しの4人の外国の奥様. I think 奥様 is modified by the parts before, which I would separate into 長く and お暮しの4人の外国の. I would interpret 長く as the connective form of 長い with the meaning "long (time)". Then, I have issues mustering a meaningful interpretation of the phrase お暮しの4人の外国の. Therefore, I also can't say how 長く and 長くお暮しの4人の外国の奥様 stand in a meaningful relationship.

Here's my attempt at translation of the full sentence


=> "Today, we received the favor of married women being here."

This is the short version to show how I basically understand this sentence. As pointed out, I can't make much sense of the attributes for "married women".

"Today, we receive the favor of four foreign country people's married women being here."

This is as far as I can make it. When I try to add 日本で長くお暮しの it all becomes gibberish.

"Today, we receive the favor of long in Japan and life circumstances four foreign country people's married women being here."

I must also add here that おいで in おいでいただきました still confuses me a bit.
I'm pretty sure that it is a honorific/respectful form, especially since there is this entry on jisho.
But since it is categorised as a noun or expression there, I feel very unsure about the way I interpreted it. I interpreted おいでいただきました like "verb て form + いただく", but for おいで to be classified as a verb it would require なる as in おいでになる. Maybe the way I translated it here is still legit since いただく "to receive" can probably also be used in combination with a noun and thereby unfold a very similar meaning "receive NOUN" = "receive ACTION". But as I said, I feel very unsure about this interpretation of mine...

First I wanted to ask about a few more things but this question already got quite long. I'll make another/separate thread about these. Still, I'll keep the full paragraph at the beginning of this question because I think it gives some helpful context. If you think I should erase it, just tell me in the comments ;)


I think the main thing slipping you up here is that semantically verbal forms can often take the form of grammatical nouns in honorific language. As a general rule, most basic sonkeigo forms of verbs take a noun form (usually preceded by お or sometimes ご) followed by になる. However, the noun form on its own can also be treated as sufficient to represent the verb in a number of constructions.

For instance, let's take the ordinary verb 忘れる. This takes the regular sonkeigo form お忘れになる (and the corresponding kenjougo form お忘れする). However, in a number of honorific constructions, the verb can be (and usually is) expressed by お忘れ on its own:

お忘れください "Please forget."
(equivalent to the much rarer お忘れになってください)

お忘れいただきたい "I would like you to forget."
(equivalent to the much rarer お忘れになっていただきたい)

お忘れのもの "The thing you forgot"
(equivalent to the much rarer お忘れになったもの)

This is the reason for the おいでいただきました form that was confusing you - it's essentially equivalent to おいでになっていただきました, just with the shorter noun form used instead of including the whole になる conjugation. So the literal meaning of this part is, as you surmise, something like "We had the pleasure of [them] joining us here", or in more natural English simply "We are joined today by..."

I think this same verb-as-noun phenomenon is also what was slipping you up in the first part of the sentence, because you weren't recognising お暮し as an honorific verb form. 日本で長くお暮しの…奥様 is equivalent to 日本で長くお暮しになっている奥様, or in plain terms 日本で長く暮らしている奥様 "ladies who have lived in Japan for a long time". Add in the extra descriptors, and the full phrase 日本で長くお暮しの4人の外国の奥様 simply means "four foreign ladies who have lived in Japan for a long time".

One easy way of recognising that this お暮し is simply a verb taking a nominal form (rather than an actual semantic noun) is that it's being modified by 長く, which is an adverb and so can't modify actual nouns. If お暮し were being treated as a noun, we could talk about 長いお暮し (or perhaps even お長い暮し), but we can only talk about 長くお暮し when お暮し is a verb conjugation.

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