I'm a relative beginner to Japanese. I was trying to translate some song lyrics, and I got stuck badly on "shows fear as he turns to hide". If you don't know the song, we are told of one man on a lonely platform with a case by his side. He reveals his fear as he turns to hide from two eyes staring cold and silent at him. As he's turning, a momentary expression of fear crosses his face.

How would I best express this fleeting moment during a larger action in Japanese? I looked up a few things and none of them seem to fit exactly.

  • Maybe I want -ながら except every example I've found has talked about actions simultaneous with persisting states (watching TV) instead of events (turning to hide).
  • Maybe I want "turn to hide" in a とき clause, except every example seems to be events from the past. The song relates events in the present.
  • Or maybe I want the man on the lonely platform to "怖がって", changing it to before he turns to hide. This makes two simultaneous actions into sequential ones but for me it alters the nuance of the original lyric.

What do you think?

  • Are you focusing on translating English pattern "X as Y", finding expressions for "fleeting moment during a larger action" regardless of English, or requesting for the best translation of this very phrase? – broccoli forest Dec 18 '18 at 6:38
  • @broccoliforest ultimately I'm just after a translation of "shows fear as he turns to hide" as an example, and as a consequence chasing a Japanese grammatical structure which expresses "action X occurs within/alongside the larger action Y".. somewhat the same thing we can express with the conjunction "as" in English. – quollism Dec 18 '18 at 13:00

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