this is my first question asked here.

Translating a bilingual version of Yotsubato! and I've got a question right off the bat. Three questions actually.

もうすぐだ translates in the manga as "we're almost there" Google translates it as "coming soon" And Jisho.org has it as soon; shortly; before long; nearly; almost​

So did the manga add the "we're" for English context?

The context pertains to Yotsubato and her dad almost having arrived at their new home, but is もうすぐだ ever used in the context of something like a movie 'coming soon' like it often is used in English?

Finally, it's actually written as もうすぐだぞー I am to understand the ぞー at the end is some sort of exclamation like to signify Yotsubato is excited to have almost arrived?

Thanks for the help! David

1 Answer 1


A good translation does not just translate individual words or phrases but should also sound naturally in the target language.

もうすぐ is made from すぐ which means "soon" and intensifier もう, so literally it basically means "very soon". However, this phrase by itself does not make much sense in English. What is happening "very soon"? It expresses impatience and excitement of Yotsuba, so think what would an English-speaking child say in a similar situation. "we're almost there!" is not a bad choice.

Additionally, Japanese is infamous for its context sensitivity and the tendency to omit words which are obvious. For example, in beginner textbooks many example sentences may start with 私は, but in real-life Japanese first-person pronouns are used rarely because the default mode is that you're speaking in first person. So here also, both the pronoun ("I/we") and the action (arriving) are omitted because they're redundant. The full phrase with everything stated explicitly could possibly be: 私たちはもうすぐ到着だ, but it's unnecessarily verbose and sounds unnatural, especially from a young child.

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