Here's an extract from my fictional book;


(Contextual summary - speaker has presented the person he's addressing with a top secret instruction manual on how to make special sugary confectionery which has some mysterious properties or effects after eating it)

I believe I have a general understanding of what the speaker is saying, however I am odds with myself as to how I would parse it in English.

Here's my attempt at parsing, I will also highlight areas which are particularly problematic for me:

I am more than happy to give this to you but, you should not try it by yourself don't you think? [I think it will explain any kind of awful taste Nakamura san will complain about no matter what so my advice is to choose him.]

I admit the last sentence is half guesswork from the context and it doesn't make sense to me. There's a few things that confuse me here:

1) あたり

What is the correct function of "あたり" here? To me it felt like "choosing"/"selecting" would be fitting.

2) でも

Am I right in assuming "no matter what" is a correct way to parse this or am I think of the wrong usage of でも?

3) ながら

I am very familiar with the usage of ながら in the context of "while" and "although/despite". What function does it have in this sentence? This one really confuses me.

1 Answer 1

  1. 中村さん辺り is "Nakamura-san for instance". ~辺り can mean "~ or something like that" but used only in the context of choosing something/someone. See the fourth definition here.
  2. Yes, どんな凄い味でも is "no matter how awful it tastes".
  3. I'm not totally sure whether he will say 文句 while doing 解説 or before doing 解説. If 文句 and 解説 occur at the same time, this ながら would be "while complaining" (i.e., "make a harsh remark on it.") If it means doing a favorable 解説 after complaining about his task a bit, this ながら would be "(maybe) after complaining" or "although he would complain before giving a commentary." It depends on the context and the character of Nakamura-san.

Note that 「どんな凄い味でも文句言いながら解説してくれると思いますから」 is an inserted subsidiary clause. The main structure of the sentence is:

I recommend (as a taster) Nakamura-san, for instance.

So the whole sentence (without the 文句言いながら part explained above) is:

I recommend (as a taster) Nakamura-san, for instance, because he can give commentary on it no matter how awful it tastes.

  • I can't submit such a short edit, so I'm commenting here: change 酷い to 凄い?
    – kuchitsu
    Dec 26, 2017 at 1:01
  • Thanks for your reply! The passage makes total sense now.
    – Rupin
    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:14

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