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The character was describing her life, and has finished the previous sentence with a full stop. She then said・・・・・・なんてことない日々を変えたい、と焦がれながら. It's translated as "Hoping that some day something interesting would happen."

I am completely lost in the grammar of this sentence. I tried to read it as follows:

Xと焦がれながら = while longing for X.

But X is なんてことない日々を変えたい. So it's like saying "I was longing for me wanting to..." which clearly is wrong.

In addition, she's using a transitive verb 変えたい. Is she basically saying that she wanted to change the ordinary days, in the sense that she wanted to make something interesting happen?

And why 日々を変えたい rather than 日々が変えたい? Is it just conversational style?

  • 2
    Are you sure the parenthesis are in the correct place? It's not 「・・・・・・なんてことない日々を変えたい」、と焦がれながら maybe? Just checking. – kandyman Jul 25 at 12:56
  • Sorry, there are no 「」marks in the subtitles at all; I just edited my question to remove them. You can see it right here: youtu.be/sZIw9JSyyfU?t=25. – max Jul 25 at 16:30
  • It is the same as 「・・・・・・なんてことない日々を変えたい」と焦がれながら – Yuuichi Tam Jul 25 at 16:55
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It can be parsed as follows:

  • The first part, なんてことない日々を変えたい, is what she is thinking to herself. Like saying to yourself "I want to change up this dull lifestyle".
  • と the quotative particle indicating that what came previously is the content of the following verb. This と is often followed by verbs like 'think', 'say', 'feel' etc, which explain what is being done with the quoted phrase.
  • 焦がれながら the verb 焦がれる (to yearn for) + ながら (while, during). This means 'while yearning'.

Putting it together, she is yearning while thinking to herself "I'd like to change this uninteresting lifestyle". Translations often take some liberty to avoid prosaic literal renderings, so the translation you mention is reasonable, in my opinion.

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  • So the object of her yearning is the phrase beforeと? But how can she yearn for her own wanting to do something?d – max Jul 25 at 17:54
  • And doesn't V ながら require another simple verb to say what she's doing at the same time as V? – max Jul 25 at 17:56
  • It's not the object of the yearning. She is yearning for excitement, and those are the thoughts she is having which express that yearning. – kandyman Jul 25 at 17:59
  • Usually V ながら is followed by another clause, but in literary Japanese that is not necessarily the case. Authors use various techniques (such as 体言止め) which would be unusual in spoken Japanese. The 'rules' in literary Japanese can be bent quite a bit. – kandyman Jul 25 at 18:02
  • So her 焦がれながら requires two components: (A) what she's yearning for, and (B) what else she's doing while yearning. Does the なんてことない日々を変えたいと fill in the (A) or the (B) role? And what fills the remaining role? – max Jul 26 at 4:39

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