For full context: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10011277371000/k10011277371000.html

The sentence in question: ローマ法王は、今までも「人間は広島や長崎から何も学んでいない」などと言って、核兵器に反対してきました。

My attempt at translation: "Concerning the roman pope, saying even until now 'mankind hasn't learned anything from hiroshima and nagasaki', he began resisting nuclear weapons."

  • Maybe replace resisting with OPPOSING since that verb would fit better the intended meaning. I think, Jan 7, 2018 at 11:50

1 Answer 1



Your translation of that is:

"he began resisting nuclear weapons"

I must say, unfortunately, that your translation is off.

「Verb in te-form + いく or くる」

always means "to do something continuously for an extended period of time".

It could never mean "to begin to (verb)" or "to begin (verb)+ing"

Thus, the phrase in question means:

"he has (always) been against nuclear arms"

The subsidiary verb 「いく」 is used to describe future actions and 「くる」, for past actions up to the present.

くる ⇒ きた ⇒ きました

The original uses 「きました」, the polite form of 「きた」.

  • Thanks :=) For this translation, I looked at this thread japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/676/… and somehow jumbled 来る with 行く. Although I guess translating "空が明るくなっていく。 The sky [over a period of time starting now and continuing indefinitely] brightens." with "The sky starts to brighten" probably isn't the best idea either?^^
    – Narktor
    Jan 9, 2018 at 16:36

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