I can't make heads or tails with translating this question in a book I'm translating at the moment. The sentence I'm working on, ironically enough, leads me to more questions while from what I can gather, is about a question itself. (Image is provided for assistance and spell-checking Japanese)


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I know that これを一体 can be translated to 'this' 'one object' / 'this' 'one body' / 'this' 'unity'/ 'this' 'the heck...', but the rest I have absolutely no clue as to what it can mean in this sentence other than that the last two hiragana のか is a particle.

1 Answer 1



「一体」 here is a light cuss word meaning "the heck", "in the world", etc.

「どうしろという」 should be remembered as a set phrase meaning "to tell (me or another person) what to do".

「これ」 would refer to the knife you asked a question about recently.

So, we would have something like:

"What the heck are (they) telling me to do with this?"

More naturally,

"What the heck do they want me to do with this?"

  • Thanks for the tip regarding [どうしろという], I'll study it more later to memorize it. Okay... so "What the heck does she want me to do with this knife?" works for a translation. I've been translating all day none stop, without food, so I probably should take a break in order to re-energize so I can focus more later. By the way, is it possible to message other members on this site without doing so via comments, like I am doing right now?
    – Toyu_Frey
    Dec 27, 2017 at 1:24
  • @Toyu_Frey We don't have a private messaging function on SE. ^^;
    – Chocolate
    Dec 27, 2017 at 4:04
  • 2
    Is 一体 really a curse word?
    – goldbrick
    Dec 27, 2017 at 19:29

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