1

So I'm translating this song (https://www5.atwiki.jp/hmiku/pages/31606.html) and the particle usage in a line confused me:

チョコレート中毒さ それはもう大変な (this is just for context)

Chocolate poisoning, it's already so much

甘い甘い結末は望んでなんかいないよ

But I don't wish for a sweet, sweet end (?)

The usage of は really confused me; it would make sense, especially with the チョコレート中毒, if the person didn't wish for the sweet, sweet end, but the way it's written with は, the sweet sweet is the subject.

Is this just as written, that the sweet, sweet end is the subject, or is は just a stylistic choice in some way, and can be translated as if it was を, as would make sense?

Thank you!

  • 2
    Nothing to do with your question, but チョコレート中毒 means "chocolate addiction", not "chocolate poisoning". – l'électeur Dec 9 '17 at 2:08
  • I've always learned 中毒 as just poisoning, and I didn't think about looking up the whole term チョコレート中毒. Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out! – Smoothie Dec 9 '17 at 17:12
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First, チョコレート中毒さ それはもう大変な is inversion of それはもう大変なチョコレート中毒さ, which means "really really serious chocolate-addiction". Both それは and もう are an adverb that emphasizes degree of something. (さ is a sentence-ender that conveys irresponsible/optimistic feel.)

As for your question, は does not necessarily denote the subject of a sentence because the object marker を turns into は as well as the subject marker が once it's topicalized. This kind of topicalization almost conventionally occurs in order to limit scope to negate, when the predicate of the sentence is negative.

Incidentally, the example phrase wouldn't be that unnatural either even if it was 甘い結末望んでなんかいない because being inserted with なんか can also function like the topic part limits scope of negation. However, it may be important for you to remember that は is actually the first choice.

  • Thanks for the help! I was unfamiliar with that grammatical construction. – Smoothie Dec 9 '17 at 17:30

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