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言っておくが、私に怒っても始まらないよ。= I'm telling you it will do you no good to be angry at me.

Does が mean 'but' in the sentence? Does おく mean 'in advance' in the sentence?

If YES, what lead to the translation above?



Note:

A related question 言っておくと

  • You are aware that が and けど have basically exactly the same meaning, right? (in reference to your link) – sbkgs4686 Aug 27 at 16:15
  • @sbkgs4686 Yes I do. But が and けど in that expression don't seem to play the role of 'but; however; although' as in the dictionary. And I didn't find that 言っておくが/けど is a 'set phrase', so I thought it has to be more literally interpreted. – raruna Aug 27 at 16:31
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    This usage of けど is exactly in line with what the dictionary says, though, if we're going to be quoting dictionaries. – sbkgs4686 Aug 28 at 1:23
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    @raruna 「ある事実を前置きとして述べ、本題に結びつける意を表す。」 – sbkgs4686 Aug 28 at 15:29
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You are more or less right. て-form + おく means to do X in advanced for the benefit of the future and X-Phaseが、Y-Phrase is usually X-Phrase, but Y-Phrase.

However, after spending a lot of time translating from Japanese to English one major point of advice I can give is don't get too hung up on the directness/one-to-one match of a translation. There are just some things that don't translate directly well and will require the translator to take some freedom in making the translation sound and feel good for the audience

Lets break down the sentence you posted and translate it to see this in action

The first and main part of your question:

言っておくが =>

言って + おく + が
To say + to do for the future's benefit + but

So by assuming I is the speaker, we can "Englishify" this to:

言っておくが
I'm telling you (for your future's sake but)...

Now lets take the Y-Phrase part and break it down:

私に怒っても始まらないよ =>

私に + 怒っても + 始まらない + よ
I to + to (even) be mad + no use + (ending)

After "Englishifying" it:

私に怒っても始まらないよ
There is no use in being mad at me.

Putting it all together we get:

言っておくが、私に怒っても始まらないよ
I'm telling you (for your future's sake but)... There is no use in being mad at me.

Cleaned up final version:

I'm telling you... There is no use in being mad at me.

Now lets compare with the translation you provided:

Breakdown Version:
I'm telling you... There is no use in being mad at me.

Provided Version:
I'm telling you it will do you no good to be angry at me.

As you can see both English versions have the same meaning at the end of the day. BUT where the important point comes in is that the translator had the freedom to get to this final English version. Where it feels good and natural to the target audience, English speakers, in this case.


In response to raruna's first comment:

When you say "here" I'm going to assume you are talking directly about the 言っておくが part and its relation to the English translation.

With this and the English translation you posted and even the one I did kept in mind, I want to say "No". Translating to But doesn't necessarily make sense here. Here is more of a unsaid filler word or pause when translated to English.

This goes back the point I cannot stress enough, which is you should not try to do direct translations/one to one word matches or try to force what I will call "textbook examples" when translating.

The X-Phraseが、Y-Phrase meaning X-Phrase, but Y-Phrase pattern is a easy to understand textbook example for beginner Japanese learners that is used.

And this works 95% of the time when translating from Japanese to English. But in the example you posted we can see this starts to fall apart when we are trying to make the English translation feel natural.

Keeping all of the implied meaning, everything in parenthesis, in the translation version I did we have

I'm telling you for your future's sake but... There is no use in being mad at me.

From a native English speaker's perspective this just sounds weird and requires clean up to make it feel more natural, which is a essential part of translating to a different language.

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  • So が here will keep having the 'but' meaning no matter what right? Although there might be some definitions of けれども(which is equal to が) that are different from 'but; however; although'. @sbkgs4686 could you indicate from the dictionary you proposed which definition fits my question/sentence(I stuggle to read dictionary definitions)? – raruna Aug 28 at 13:41
  • Honestly I'm more convinced of this Answer since it gives the final word about the meaning of けど」、「けれど」、「が」、「だが」, etc being making a prefatory remark. I suggest you chack it out. – raruna Aug 28 at 17:16
  • Please see my edit for a response to your first comment. That answer you linked also is exactly what I explained in my answer. There is not necessarily a English word that directly translations for each word you encounter in Japanese and vice versa – Tylersansan Aug 28 at 17:22
  • Yes your assumption about here was right. And thanks to your edit, I reached an understanding. And I think I understand now what you mean when you added 'but...' in I'm telling you for your future's sake but.... When you added 'but...' you didn't even mean 'the English word but' and as you said, you just added it as a a unsaid filler word or pause right? If my guess is correct, I think you can edit I'm telling you for your future's sake **but...** to be I'm telling you for your future's sake **が...** . Please correct me if my guess is wrong. – raruna Aug 28 at 17:53
  • The but I added matches up with the and was added because we have that ` X-Phraseが、Y-Phrase` pattern. However, this is where things get tricky. When you start to convert the Japanese and cross the line into English that but (the ) no longer feels nature and that's why I say the becomes a unsaid filler word or pause. Because that feels nature in English. Having the but does not. When translating the focus should not be that each Japanese word is converted to English. The focus should are able to capture the overall meaning of the Japanese and make it feel natural in English – Tylersansan Aug 28 at 18:20

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