I'm a bit confused about this sentence:


This part is easy: 斜陽の日本語は. It means "the Japanese (language) in (the book) The Setting Sun ..."

But this second bit confuses me a lot: 私でもたまに. I read it as: "I ... but occasionally ... difficult." What?

What's the meaning of 私でもたまに in this sentence?

(Maybe it means "but occasionally, I find it difficult?" If that's the case, shouldn't でも be placed before 私?)


This usage of でも is the て form of です plus も 'even'.

Some examples (from Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar):


Even a teacher makes mistakes.


I will even do a difficult job.


Even from here you can see Mt. Fuji.

Therefore, 私でも is something like "even if it's me".

Putting it all together, we could translate it to something like:

The Japanese (language) in (the book) The Setting Sun, even to me is occasionally difficult.

  • 4
    More precisely, a form of だ. The て form of です is でして.
    – user1478
    Jun 12 '18 at 5:13
  • Thanks. So "but" and "even" can be written in the same way ... but then how to tell if it's "but or "even"?
    – alex
    Jun 12 '18 at 5:34
  • 1
    @alex The same way you tell apart bear and bear. Context.
    – user1478
    Jun 12 '18 at 9:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.