The sentence in question: 取材で訪れたとある街で「きょうのラジオで近藤麻理恵が出ていたよね。最近“こんまり”している?」という会話が聞こえてきました。

For full context: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20190314/k10011847731000.html?utm_int=news_contents_tokushu_004

My attempt at translation: "In a certain city, a conversation became audible (saying): 'Marie Kondo has vanished from nowadays radio, hasn't it? Recently, one makes/pronounces it 'Konmarie'?'...."

Now as you can see, I didn't translate 取材で訪れた at all here. That's because I just have no idea how to do it xD

"In a news article appeared" is how I would translate the phrase in isolation. However, I'm already confused WHERE to connect it to, or how. Making it a "direct" attribute to とある街 didn't make sense in my attempts to form a comprehensible sentence. If I just "added" it to とある町 it would kind of work up to a certain point:

"In a news article appeared in a certain town a conversation (saying): '...'" but it goes terribly wrong once it collides with 聞こえてきました since no conversation can become "audible" in a news article. At least I understood it as a news article without any audio/audio-video content but just in plain written language.

Making it a relative attribute feels wrong to me: "In a news article, which appeared in a certain town...". I can only think of this as being grammatical if the whole 取材で訪れたとある街で can be regarded as some sort of adverbial which is only loosely attached to the '[quote]という会話' phrase. But even there I wonder if this can be correct, because it basically leaves us with the same problem as in the first attempt 'In a news article...the conversation became audible' which simply doesnt make much sense to me. Furthermore, I wonder if it is grammatical to do: 取材で[relative attribute] ??? Because, well, I assume that 取材で is kind of an adverbial itself, isn't it? And having an adverbial like this being modified by a relative attribute...I don't know, as you can see I'm thoroughly confused and utterly clueless on this and request your help :D

  • 取材 does not mean "news article". 取材 is the act of collecting information/material for a news article or creative work of art (book, movie, game). Depending on what it is for, this could mean a variety of activities like conducting interviews, taking photos/recording video, doing investigative research, etc.
    – Setris
    Mar 18 '19 at 0:36

取材で訪れる means "visit ~~ to collect data / gather material / for coverage / for an interview".

So 取材で訪れたとある街 means "a town that I visited to gather material" (取材で訪れた is a relative clause modifying とある街).

[取材で訪れた]とある街 -- a town [that I visited to gather material]
[仕事で訪れた]街 -- a town [that I visited on business]
[休暇で訪れた]街 -- a town [that I visited for vacation]

会話が聞こえてきました here means "I overheard a conversation".

"Marie Kondo was on the radio today. Have you been KonMari-ing recently?"


  • で in 取材で is used in its "causative" meaning then, right? Like this, in a more literal translation: "a town that I visited because of data collection/collecting data"
    – Narktor
    Mar 18 '19 at 9:29

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