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The phrase, "whatever will be will be", is taken from the song "Que Sera Sera".

I understand the equivalent expression in Japanese is:

しかたない

But I'm wondering how you will literally translate the phrase. In particular, I'm not sure how to translate "whatever" in this case.

6

I understand the equivalent expression in Japanese is:

しかたない

I wonder where you found that because by far the most-often used Japanese translation for "Whatever will be will be." would be:

「なるようになる」 or 「なるようになるだろう」

These phrases do not use a counterpart of "whatever" in them as they already sound completely natural without it to us native Japanese-speakers.

But if you insist that a word for "whatever" be used, one could say:

何事{なにごと}もなるようになる。」

Also common would be:

「何事もなるようにしかならない。」

We love using our 「しか~~ない」 construct.

(I will not even explain the ungrammaticality of the phrase "Que sera sera." That is only American-made Spanish or French, which is just like the weird Engrish used in Japan.)

  • 1
    "Que sera sera" traces its origin to Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus at the end of the 16th century and the phrase "Che sera sera", which he borrowed from Italian (based on the spelling). Considering the fact that a(n Elizabethan-era British) playwright wrote it for a play sheds some light to its construction; playwrights often break grammar rules to make lyrics work. It was only later adapted in some movies in America in the 20th century which were released before the hit 1956 song by Jay Livingston. But it's true that the use of "whatever" in the song is likely a liberty taken... – TylerH Apr 17 '18 at 15:43

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