I'm translating the following sentence from a book (exact sentence is directly after dialogue in the picture).


I have absolutely zero clue what "からか" means in general and in the context of the above sentence, as I've never encountered it before in my Japanese classes (I know what "から" and the sentence-ending "か" mean, but not this). Can someone explain what it means?

Edit: Based on Ringil's answer, would the following be a possible, accurate translation while taking the からか into account?

"The doubtful interest in the silver-haired foreigner’s voice was unusually fluent."


2 Answers 2


You should think of this like から+か. If there wasn't a か, the following would just be a statement of a fact. The から is used to give the reason for the unusual fluency of the foreigner (in this case it is because the foreigner was excited/agitated).


With the か, the speaker is no longer certain for the reason. The speaker is now only speculating that the reason for the unusual fluency was because the foreigner was excited/agitated. The か indicates speculation/doubt. You might have seen a phrase like 本当かどうか before. It's the same idea.

EDIT: If you want an accurate translation you could say something like

The silver-haired foreigner was speaking unusually fluently. Perhaps it was because he/she was excited.

  • So then からか means speculation or doubt in the context of the sentence?
    – Toyu_Frey
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 1:26
  • 1
    @Toyu_Frey You should think of it like から+か. The から gives a reason and the か indicates that that reason is speculative.
    – Ringil
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 2:11

(I know what "から" and the sentence-ending "か" mean, but not this)

Yes, it's this から followed by this か. から here is a reason/cause marker. か is a question marker but is used like "presumably" or "probably" here. And 興奮 is "excitement", not "doubtful interest".

  • 興奮: excitement
  • 興奮から: due to his excitement, ...
  • 興奮からか: presumably due to his excitement, ...; maybe he was excited, so...

This type of か meaning "presumably" can be used with a few other particles and a te-form. Examples:

Presumably not knowing I am a vegetarian, he is talking about meat dishes.

Probably because of the yesterday's argument, she was absent from school.

Perhaps she saw me sigh; she came and spoke to me.

  • Ironically enough, "excitement" was the first way I translated the kanji, but due to the long winded paragraph of his dialogue and the speaker's highbrowed, rather-reserved manner, I changed "excitement" to "interest". The addition of now knowing what the kanji + karaka would mean that the original translation of excitement is a better word choice.
    – Toyu_Frey
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 1:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .