4

The word 流石{さすが} is a bit tough to convey sometimes and I came across a sentence as I started reading a light novel:

作り話に使う名前は流石に選べよ

I'll try to give a bit of context. Someone (let's call him A) comes up to the main protagonist (I'll use MP) of the story and tells him that something bad will happen and he brings up a name which shocks MP due to the history he has with the person wit that name. MP goes on to say that he is often confronted with people who exaggerate their tales when they come seeking his help.

MP: 嘘をつくのはいい。だが。。。作り話に使う名前は流石に選べよ

He says this to A, and I would like to know, if MP saying: "If you're lying, it's fine, but...Choose appropriate names (or a name that would be expected?) for a made-up story."

MP seemed angry hearing that name which A brought up, so was MP trying to convey that, "Hey if you're coming here with a lie, then choose better names to use in your story." (Why use THAT NAME, huh? Wastes the effort of your little story to be taken/considered as a lie). This is what I feel MP could be saying, but I'm not so sure...

I don't know if I'm understanding right, the 流石に part gives me a tough time, so any interpretation you might have could be useful. Thank you!

5

MP: 嘘{うそ}をつくのはいい。だが。。。作{つく}り話{ばなし}に使{つか}う名前{なまえ}は流石{さすが}に選{えら}べよ

In this sentence, 「流石に」 is used to generally accept the antecedent and follow it with a contradictory remark about (part of) it, which is why 「だが」 is a key word here.

Antecedent: 「嘘をつくのはいい」

Contradictory remark: 「名前は流石に選べよ」

In English, 「流石に」 in this usage would be close to "be that as it may" or "however" in meaning.

I must also state that the particle 「に」 is of importance. It cannot be replaced by a 「は」 for this meaning/usage. 「流石」 means a completely different thing -- "as expected", which many J-learners seem to be familiar with these days.

See definition #6 in Weblio和英辞典, which reads:

6 (=に) (=さはさりながら、とは言うものの)still; however

In conclusion, I think your understanding and interpretation of the sentence in question is quite good.

| improve this answer | |
  • @lélecteur Thank you very much for the explanation. I knew of the other meanings, like you mentioned (with 'still' and 'however'), but I still had some trouble So, if you mentioned that my interpenetration is somewhat good, if I want to rephrase it and say "It's fine if you are lying to me. However/Be that as it may, pick out a name that would be better (appropriate) for a lie ( or made-up story). (Because character A said a particular name, it actually makes the supposed lie to be true/believable in MP's view. – Alice B. Rabbit Dec 21 '19 at 11:53
  • By using the imperative form 選べ, is MP making a suggestion here ? My first thought was that well, it sounds like a command/order, and given that he sounds a bit angry, he could say "Choose a better name for your made-up story!" I like to think that it's like this given the mood of the situation. – Alice B. Rabbit Dec 21 '19 at 12:01
  • 1
    選べよ would not be so much an imperative than a suggestion. It is like saying "You could/should have chosen a different name." The name has already been selected and mentioned, so it is too late to change it. Then again, I would have to read the larger context in the original language to speak with complete confidence. – l'électeur Dec 21 '19 at 13:57
  • Thank you so much for the input! It helped me to get a better picture as I kept rephrasing the sentence in several ways, thinking of many possibilities and now I was able to narrow down my interpretations. – Alice B. Rabbit Dec 21 '19 at 14:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.