I’m translating The Little Prince for fun and I have a question about the first part of this sentence.

その本の名前は『ほんとう にあった話』というタイトルで、原始のジャングルについて書かれていた本だった

Why do we have so many naming words in this? We have 名前 and タイトル AND タイトル has いう before it and I am confused.

Wouldn’t その本の名前は『ほんとう にあった話』 be enough?

I’ve just started learning Japanese so I know very little about its grammar and structure. I've tried to find other sentences with 本の名前 and いうタイトル but I can't find anything. It's either 本の名前 or 本のタイトル.

  • その本の名前は『ほんとう にあった話』だった would be enough. It's just a typical redundant way some Japanese speak/write, but let's wait for the grammar experts.
    – DXV
    Aug 23, 2018 at 0:24

1 Answer 1

  • Using both 名前 and タイトル is indeed redundant. Strictly speaking, it should be either one of:

    • その本は『ほんとうにあった話』というタイトルだった。
    • その本の名前は『ほんとうにあった話』だった。

    But I hesitate to call it a severe mistake. Tautological expressions happen all the time both in English and Japanese. Also note that は is not a subject marker but a topic marker. At first, は may seem "loose" or "illogical" than English be. See this.

  • This という is grammatically mandatory to connect the actual title and the word タイトル. "A picture titled Sunflower" is ヒマワリというタイトルの絵 in Japanese. See this and this.

  • Thank you. It’s good to know that I won't have to be this redundant to be grammatically correct. Does the だった part in the original sentence was known from context?
    – user31035
    Aug 23, 2018 at 5:08
  • @user31035 I replaced で with だった because this is a compound sentence joined with the te-form, and I focused on the first half of the sentence.
    – naruto
    Aug 23, 2018 at 6:24

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