The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114):

視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界

A world (media industry) where they irresponsibly manipulate the content and do things contrary to social mores, as long as a high rating can be obtained.

I wonder if someone could explain:

1) what/why is おれば used (I think it is いる but why おる?)

2) what is the meaning of 大手を振る, literally and how does it work in this context?

  • Are you sure it isn't おけば?
    – Hyperworm
    Sep 14 '12 at 12:59
  • No, it is definitely おれば(I thought the same myself when I read it).
    – Tim
    Sep 14 '12 at 13:15

おる is a less common variation of いる. While I do not think that it is incorrect, I do not know why the quoted sentence uses おれば instead of いれば (or おけば as Hyperworm suggested).

大手を振る (sense [2]) describes how a person behaves proudly (without being ashamed of anything).

I would translate

視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界


A world where they can live without shame while they fake facts and do things which seem to be against ethics given the responsibility of mass media, as long as they have a high audience rating

I have to say that the translation into English which you quoted is sloppy. Where did メディアの責任 and 大手を振る go?

Moreover, just in case, I recommend you not to consider that the quoted Japanese sentence is well written. I think that it is written carelessly for at least the following two reasons: (1) it is unclear who is thinking in メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思う; (2) やらせ is apparently one of the メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うこと, and therefore listing these two in parallel does not really make sense.

  • 1
    Thank you. Your answer addresses just what I was asking, from perspective I needed. (I suspect these text books deliberately choose sloppy/difficult Japanese to replicate real life but it is rarely explained. )
    – Tim
    Sep 15 '12 at 0:01
  • @Tim: I agree that it is possible that the textbook chose a not-well-written sentence intentionally. After all, sentences like the one in the question are not rare. Sep 15 '12 at 0:46
  • 1
    Additional note: In subsequent discussion on different question it was suggested おる might have been used by writer (here) to convey a condescending tone. (see "来おった (連用形 + おる → おった?)")
    – Tim
    Sep 17 '12 at 0:18

おる here is a formal mode for いる/ある.

on this see for example: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080610223934AAl5OVt

大手を振る literally mean to wave, shake your open arms(大手), that is the gesture you do when you have something to bragging about. A more literal translation would be:

A world where you can brag about/being proud about your high rating, no matter what...

  • 大手を振る does not mean “brag about something.” Sep 14 '12 at 13:59

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