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I was leisurely scrolling through a Facebook page, when I saw this post:

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It featured でも and I'm 100% sure the English translation is wrong. My question is, will removing も from でも change the meaning of the sentence? How can でも be translated to English accurately in such a way that it's distinguishable from a sentence which just uses で.

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This English translation is correct at least in that ~でも means "even (in/with/etc) ~". This 初めまして同士 means "two people who met each other for the first time" (or maybe "two first-timers" depending on the context). The first half of the sentence basically means "Even though it's a pair session of two people who met each other for the first time". (I cannot make this shorter like 初めまして同士のペアセッションでも...)

  • Thanks naruto-san! So this really is でも and not で + も。(I need to work on my parsing.) I did not know that 初めまして同士 is treated as a single unit. (It's something the translation tool missed as well. Can this be replaced by 初めて?) – rebuuilt Dec 2 '20 at 10:48
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    @rebuuilt 初めて means experiencing something for the first time, whereas 初めまして refers to meeting someone for the first time or visiting this place for the first time. 初めて同士のセッション usually refers to "a session of two people who try this for the first time" regardless of whether they already know each other. – naruto Dec 2 '20 at 11:23
  • That's new to me. Japanese learners would recognize 初めまして mostly in self-introduction, and I think my knowledge of this word is still limited to that. Now I know that it can also refer to "visiting a place for the first time" – rebuuilt Dec 2 '20 at 11:33
  • @rebuuilt We colloquially say 初めましてさん (lit. "Mr./Ms. Nice-to-meet-you) to refer to a first-time visitor, guest, listener, etc. – naruto Dec 2 '20 at 13:16

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