I would like to ask about the interpretation of the sentence below:


If I were to interpret it literally, it would mean

The thing of unintentionally thinking that it is beautiful

However, the translation given is

Struck me as profoundly beautiful

I am finding it difficult to draw the link between the literal meaning and the given meaning. Is my literal interpretation of the sentence wrong?

  • 2
    It's difficult to come up with any literal translation for のだ, but "the thing of" is almost certainly not it. "It's that" would be a lot closer. Translating it at all is pretty difficult without context, though, since the idea behind のだ is typically to link the clause to its linguistic context in one way or another. – snailplane Oct 8 '19 at 11:32


I think the しまった here means "unintentionally", or "unexpectedly" with a nuance "although you might not think that way in normal circumstance" (related: Verb in ている form ends with しまう), or maybe "wind up/end up" (related: 「しまう」 as an auxiliary verb).

As for the のだ, it could be used to add an emphasis, add an explanatory tone, or to mean "Actually, ..." "Surprisingly..." etc., depending on the context. These threads might be of help:


~てしまう also has the meaning of 'completely', as in carrying out an action to its completion.

In this case, the 'thinking' is what is being done completely. A literal translation would be "I completely thought "it is beautiful". However, that is a rather uninspiring translation. I would say that "struck me as profoundly beautiful" better captures the idea of being so completely taken with the thought.

Another example:

私は持っていた切手を全部友達にあげてしまった。I gave all the stamps I had kept to my friends. (I completed the action of giving all the stamps to my friends)

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