1

When I saw the title

君の知らない物語

my mind translated it as

Your unknown story (Translation A)

However, by searching a little, most sources seemed to translate with the meaning

The story you didn't know about (Translation B)

The way I'm thinking, の relates the nouns 君 and 知らない物語, indicating the later is possessed by the former.

Summarising, my questions are the following:

  1. Is hypothesis A wrong? If so, how would one express "Your unknown story" in Japanese?
  2. What is the reasoning behind hypothesis B?
3

Translation B is correct. Here's why:

  1. "Unknown" is in the passive voice, but 知らない is in the active voice. The literal translation of 知らない物語 is always "story (someone) does not know" rather than "story that is not known".
  2. This の is a subject marker rather than a possession marker. See: How does the の work in 「日本人の知らない日本語」?

To say "your unknown story", 知られていない君の物語 works, but in reality 知られざる君の物語 should sound better. This ざる is an archaic version of ない.

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  • 2
    Might be stretching things a bit, but is there any reason that parsing A) couldn't be correct in active voice e.g. "Your story that I do not know" where 'I' is the implied subject of 知らない? Is it totally inconceivable that some context could give rise to this interpretation? If it were possible would it be more natural to say 知らない君の物語 rather than 君の知らない物語? – user3856370 Mar 26 at 14:53
  • Follow up question: I remember seeing that normally you use 知っている and 知らない but not 知る and 知っていない. I can understand the passive usage, but why is it 知られていない and not 知られない? – Jak Mar 26 at 15:09
  • 1
    @Jak ^See this link: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/5729/… – user3856370 Mar 26 at 15:16

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