For full context: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10011281951000/k10011281951000.html

The sentence in question: NHKが東京の23の区に聞くと、新しい成人は約8万3400人でした。このうち約1万800人が外国人で、8人のうち1人が外国人でした

My attempt at translation: "When NHK asks in the 23 sections of Tokyo, the new adults were 83400. With 18000 among these being foreigners, among 8 there was 1 foreigner."

I don't know of any other function of と than conditional, quotation, contrast and "and/with". However, I feel like it takes the function of とき, but I didn't dare to just translate it like that. The translation with conditional と also seems kinda flawed though.


2 Answers 2



The usage of 「と」 here is to describe the (natural) result of an action.

「Phrase A + + Phrase B」

= "B happens as a natural result of A."

Thus, this 「と」 is like a cross beween "if" and "when". The problem, however, is that if you actually used "if" or "when" in your translation, it would often end up sounding awkward or unnatural. Please always remember that quality translation between two linguistically unrelated languages like Japanese and English does not work like science. It is an art.

My own TL if I had to do a TL:

"Upon inquiry to the 23 wards of Tokyo, NHK found out that there were approximately 83,400 new-born adults. Among them, about 18,000 were foreigners, resulting in 1 out of every 8 of them being foreigners."


This website explains better than I can: http://www014.upp.so-net.ne.jp/nbunka/99jan.htm. And also https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/thsrs/17222/meaning/m0u/%E3%81%A8/. It is simply just one thing happens, then immediately something else happens, usually a surprising or unexpected event.

Btw, I think your translation sounds a bit unnatural in the second sentence. This is just how I would put it: "Among these, 18,000 people were foreigners, with 1 in 8 people being a foreigner." Hope I helped.

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