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I'm kinda at a lost here. In what I'm translating (a song), a character says:

なんて言わないで

自己申告制

My main issue is...I have no clue how で is meant to be used here. One person I spoke to translated this as:

"Don't say things like that."

A self-reporting system.

But with で, wouldn't it be:

A self-reporting system [that requires/by means of] no talking.

However, the rest of the sentence after で has no verb, so I don't think that would work either...there was no comma in the original line, so I don't know if it'd be a conjunction, either (and if it were, wouldn't 言わないで be 言わなくて?)

Sorry if the answer is actually simple, but I haven't been able to figure this one out. Am I missing something?

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    You should look up ないで – Aeon Akechi Jul 19 at 4:03
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ないで is the te-form of ない, but it can be a continuation marker (if it's in the middle of a sentence) or a request marker (if it's at the end of a sentence).

  • 見ないで!
    Don't look!
  • 見ないで答える
    To answer without looking

You seem to understand this. So the real question here is "Is there an imaginary period between 言わないで and 自己申告制"? However, no one can tell yes or no only from this short fragment of the lyrics. Even when a noun follows a te-form, it can still be part of a sentence, especially in lyrics (see this question for examples: Can te-form be used to modify a noun?). To answer a question like this, you need to access the entire lyrics and fully understand the context. So I googled for the original lyrics:

今日もココロがランアウト
現実だってシャットアウト
起きたらすぐにシットダウン
試しにファイティンポーズ
とってはみるけど
維持できないなら意味ないじゃん
なんて言わないで自己申告制
これでも頑張ってる「つもり」
やっぱりめんどくさい ムリみ〜

After reading this, the role of で still looked ambiguous to me, so I listened to this song on Spotify. My conclusion is that there is a period after 言わないで. That is, this 言わないで is a request ("don't say"), and 自己申告制 is associated with the next line. Here's my interpretation:

  • 「維持できないなら意味ないじゃん」なんて言わないで。
    Don't say "If you cannot maintain, it's meaningless".
  • 自己申告制(では)、これでも頑張ってる「つもり」。
    According to me, I'm doing my best.
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  • this is so useful, thank you!! (And sorry for not linking the song to make this easier, orz) My only question is, how does 自己申告制 translate as "according to me" in this case? I've never heard it used like that, but to be fair I've not seen the word itself used much. – Wildmask Jul 20 at 23:43
  • @Wildmask I've never seen 自己申告制 used like this, either, and that's why I needed the context to understand why it was there. Here this word seem to imply something along the lines of "It's me who need to understand myself". – naruto Jul 21 at 0:32
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言わないで is a negative command, "don't say."

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  • This may be true, but you still haven't directly answered the question being asked... Can you edit your answer to explain the grammar principles? – ajsmart Jul 20 at 12:46
  • @ajsmart I'm not sure which principle needs explaining... the OP is wrongly interpreting で as an independent word. – Casey Jul 21 at 0:37
  • I can see your point. I'm just trying to put myself into the shoes of the individual asking the question. If I were unsure about the use of で, I'd really appreciate an explanation of what I've got right/wrong rather than a short translation. – ajsmart Jul 21 at 12:48
  • @ajsmart Yes, I can see your point as well, but I didn't see any way to break it down any further. – Casey Jul 21 at 14:10

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