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The following is an excerpt from a dialogue with my language partner. For some context, I told her that I went to the restaurant with my girlfriend and her family on christmas eve. She then replied the following:

クリスマスイブの食事の話をおもしろく読みました。日本では、クリスマスイブディナーというと、恋人同士で行くイメージですね。

My attempt at translation:

"I enjoyed reading your story about the christmas-eve-meal. In Japan, there is the impression that..."

So, I think that 恋人同士で行く is an attribute to イメージ which itself is part of the sentences predicative via the copula です(ね). I think 恋人同士で行く means "To go as a couple (literal: To go being a couple). My main issue is that I have little to no idea how to connect that with クリスマスイブディナーというと.
From my more recent questions, I've learned that という can put the two elements on both sides into a "A = B" relationship. Then, whenever と isn't used as a quotative or conditional particle, and when it also doesn't connect two nouns like "ミラーさんと田中さんはもう帰りました。", my last idea would be the functionality of "AとBは違います。" = "A differs from B".
However, if the latter should be the case, then it really gives me a headache how to integrate クリスマスイブディナーという and 恋人同士で行くイメージですね into each other, especially since I also dont really know how to handle the direct succession of と to という.

  • You mentioned the conditional use of と, so is there a reason you didn't consider it here? – Leebo Jan 2 '18 at 16:33
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    Hm, good question. "In Japan, when you say 'christmas dinner', there is the image of going as a couple." That would work. I was so set on reading という as the "A = B" pattern, that it never came to my mind to translate クリスマスイブディナーという in a way where と as conditional particle would make sense.^^ – Narktor Jan 2 '18 at 16:39
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As Leebo mentioned in the comment section, it's the conditional use of the particle と.

Simply put, the pattern is "If A, then B", or A⟹B if you are more familiar with logical expressions.

Here's a short example:

日本語{にほんご}で話{はな}すと人格{じんかく}が変{か}わる

Whenever I speak Japanese, my personality changes.

Going back to your example "~というと" means "speaking of ~"

日本では、クリスマスイブディナーというと、恋人同士で行くイメージですね。

Speaking of Christmas dinner, Japanese have the image of couples going out for dinner together.

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