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そうか
そういや
[ペッパー]{おまえ}は
昔のユトを
なにひとつ
思い出せねえん
だったっけ。

So the first part, そうかそういや is preamble, "Is that so? come to think of it..." ペッパー is the name of the protagonist who's being addressed. But then I have trouble.

昔のユト: the Ute people from the old days? ユト, so far as I can see, is only used to refer to the Native American Ute tribe, which fits the context because this is a Western.

So I'm assuming they are the object of the next phrase: ないひとつ思い出せねえんだったっけ

But I can't parse this. 思い出せねえんだったっけ is obviously 思い出せる, to recall, but I can't understand this conjugation. The だったっけ ending is past tense copula plus the -ke particle to indicate the speaker is trying to remember something?

It's also confusing because so far I haven't seen any reason to think they are talking about the Ute tribe. The conversation thus far ran something like:

"So, Pepper, I got a message from the State Police. Some guy saw a $10,000 bounty up near Diamond Hill. It's Wild Job, a survivor from the Cassidy Gang."

"The Cassidy gang...?"

「そうだ
ぺッパー
郡警察から連絡でな
ダイヤモンド・ヒルのあたりで1万ドルの首を見た奴がいる。
ワイルド・ジョブって奴だよ
キャシディ一味の生き残りだ。」

「キャシディ一味...?」

And no mention of "Ute"...

Here's a picture, so you can see the katakana for yourselves: a panel from a manga

Having skimmed ahead, I'm now actually pretty sure it's actually a person's name, though what "Yuto" is supposed to be in a Western setting I've no idea...

  • 1
    ないひとつ should be a typo for 何ひとつ. – naruto Nov 5 at 15:07
  • So it is! That explains that part, at least. – Celandine Crane Nov 5 at 15:09
  • 1
    Two things: 1) Why provide context in English? That would turn some of the best answerers off. 2) ユト or コト? – l'électeur Nov 5 at 15:32
  • 3
    Yep, that's コト in the image, not ユト. It's actually pretty clear and unambiguous. Thanks for providing the linguistic context in Japanese, by the way. – snailcar Nov 5 at 17:10
  • 2
    思い出せねえ should just be a spoken variant of 思い出せない I would think? – ivantod Nov 5 at 18:54
3

そうか is "Is that so" or "I see". そういや is colloquialism for そういえば ("That reminds me", "Speaking of that"). 昔のユト is a typo for 昔のコト ("things in the past"), ないひとつ is another typo for 何ひとつ ("(not) at all", "(not) a thing").

As for 思い出せねえんだったっけ, it's colloquialism for 思い出せないのだったっけ. This った is something called a modal-ta.

  • 思い出す to recall
  • 思い出せる can recall
  • 思い出せない cannot recall
  • 思い出せねえ cannot recall (ai-to-ee contraction)
  • 思い出せねえんだ it's that you cannot recall (explanatory-の)
  • 思い出せねえんだった (I recalled) it's that you cannot recall (た for recall/discovery)
  • 思い出せねえんだったっけ (I recalled) it's that you cannot recall, right? (っけ for confirmation)

So the whole sentence translates to "Oh, that reminds me, you remember nothing about your past, huh?".

(BTW, it's usually best to paste the original image before someone asks...)

  • Thank you so much for the detailed answer! Especially for an explanation about the vowel shifts in colloquial speech -- that isn't something I've come across at all in any of my studying, and when I was trying to look up what could be happening with that verb I couldn't find anything about it. :-þ – Celandine Crane Nov 6 at 9:57

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