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Context: Person A has been talking about how they will spend their life making better some wrong by dedicating their life to helping others. In fact it's not really A's fault but something their subordinates did without their knowledge, but A is still accepting responsibility for it. In the course of the incident in question B also did bad things to A as part of trying to stop what A is now taking the blame for.

Person B is, I think, not impressed with it, and might think A is dishonest. So B says:

そんな綺麗事、通じない奴の方が多いぞ。 大人の社会にはな。

As far as I can figure out this means more or less:

Such whitewashing. There are so many people who simply aren't open. In the world of the adults.

But I'm not sure about this at all. For one, the A is really young and could not be considered adult. So I'm not sure what that part is supposed to indicate? That there are people who are dishonest in the adult world too?

Also I'm not sure what the 奴{やつ}の方 construct is supposed to mean. Right now I consider 方 to be used here in it's "side of argument/group" type of meaning. So "other group of people" would be the meant meaning here. Possibly indicating that the speaker is not one of these people. But I'm not sure at all.

And I assume 綺麗事 is just B saying to A that they are whitewashing events, that is they aren't being honest.

  • 1
    One thing that I would like to say is that 綺麗事 is not whitewashing. See this question and its answer japanese.stackexchange.com/q/39061/3506. It's basically beautiful, righteous yet dreamy idea. So, B pointed out A is naive, not dishonest. – marasai Jan 7 '18 at 21:13
  • That actually makes MUCH more sense now. She is basically saying that most adults would not be that naive or would not even understand someone this naive. I'm not really sure still which of these is more correct interpretation of 通じない – 4th Dimension Jan 8 '18 at 21:28
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「そんな綺麗事{きれいごと}、通{つう}じない奴{やつ}の方{ほう}が多{おお}いぞ。 大人{おとな}の社会{しゃかい}にはな。」

And your TL of that is:

"Such whitewashing. There are so many people who simply aren't open. In the world of the adults."

The first thing I would like to point out is the possibility that you might not be parsing the 「通じない奴の方が多いぞ」 part. Your translation of "open" kind of worries me. It is saying that:

"there are more people who would not understand or practice such whitewashing/lip service than those who would.

「Aの方が多い」 means "A outnumbers (the other group)." 「方」 is used for comparison between two items.

That is to say that 「そんな綺麗事が通じない奴」 outnumber「そんな綺麗事が通じる奴」.

So, the entire quote means:

"There would be more guys who would not understand or practice such whitewashing than those who would. In the adult world, that is."

Regarding your questions:

"A is really young and could not be considered adult. So I'm not sure what that part is supposed to indicate? That there are people who are dishonest in the adult world too?"

B is not saying or implying A is an adult. B is simply trying to explain to A what happens in the adult world. In fact, it sounds like B is actually implying that A is not thinking like an adult.

  • Ah, thanks. I did not know/get the Aの方が多い bit. Although I'm still a bit hazy on what is the exact intended meaning here? Is she saying that The adults mostly won't be open to such whitewashing? – 4th Dimension Jan 6 '18 at 15:45

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