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1つの嘘から始まった連鎖は留まることを知らない

I think the above sentence is an idiom. I'm just guessing that the meaning is (roughly): Once we began to tell a lie, we will try to cover our lie with more lies.

留まることを知らない (as I read it from meaning-book.com/): "don't know when to stop".

But I'm not sure how to translate 1つの嘘から始まった連鎖は. (A chain that started from 1 lie?)

Thank you in advance for the guidance.

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    Why do you think it means "don't know when to stop" according to meaning-book.com? A quick google search indicates: 「とどまるところを知らない」、というのは止まらない、勢いがいつ止まるのか予測できない、という意味になります。 which I don't think means "don't know when to stop"
    – Ringil
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 21:34
  • とどまるところ、というのはいつ止まるか、止まる場所、という意味になります。 一般的にはひらがなで描かれることが多いですが、漢字で書く場合は止まる所、という表記になります。 It's from what I read here (meaning-book.com/blog/20190601132619.html) Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 21:52
  • What kind of website is meaning-book.com? Is it useful as a resource to learn Japanese?
    – lyudmilla
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 8:37
  • It is very useful for me, since it is also describe the application in daily life practices, not just the meaning literally. The website mostly explained the idioms. Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 1:10

1 Answer 1

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留まることを知らない (as I read it from meaning-book.com/): "don't know when to stop".

The meaning is more like "nobody knows how/where it will end".

But I'm not sure how to translate 1つの嘘から始まった連鎖は. (A chain that started from 1 lie?)

Your notion of the meaning is correct, but you could translate it into English as "what", as in something like "what started with a single lie", you don't necessarily have to literally translate the 連鎖 into English.

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    nobody knows how/where it will end. -- What, so you mean the subject of 知らない is the speaker/people( 誰も知らない), not 1つの嘘から始まった連鎖?
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 2:27
  • Not really, the question is how to translate what the Japanese is saying into some kind of reasonable English equivalent. You can't literally translate the grammar and vocabulary of Japanese into English and expect to get meaningful results.
    – user36788
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 2:54

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