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I was watching an anime and after B sold all his books and gave the money to A so that he could pay rent, A said:

  • 僕は死んだらあなたを守りますよ。

which was translated as "Even if I die, I'll protect you". But I think that while 「僕が死んでもあなたを守りますよ」would mean "Even if I die, I'll protect you", 「僕は死んだらあなたを守りますよ」means "When I die, I'll protect you".

Is that correct? If not, I would appreciate an explanation.

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  • You're correct in that も makes it an explicit "even", which is lacking in the original version. However, I feel that, given the actual meaning of the phrase, translating it without the word "even" would sound pretty wrong in English (too "matter of fact" for such an emphatic statement). – Micah Cowan May 28 '20 at 19:48
  • It could be "When I die, I'll protect you", as たら can express a condition or time when the action happens. Actually, I think this translation would be more accurate. I fixed it – Elizabeth Middleford May 29 '20 at 13:50
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1.「僕は死んだらあなたを守りますよ。」is semantically bit difficult to understand. The literal translation should be "When/If I die, I'll protect you". Probably A would like to say they will protect B as a guardian angel even if they will not exist within this world since A is very thankful to B because of B's selfless attitude.

2.「僕が死んでもあなたを守りますよ」would mean "I'll protect you with my life" or "I will risk my own life to protect you". So, if something happens to B, A is probably ready to throw their life away for B.

All in all, the 1st one sounds more spiritual sense, the 2nd one sounds more physical sense. But since I have not watched the anime, it's very speculative.

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Your understanding is correct. I also feel the same question and expect what will A do after his death.

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