I am trying to translate this sentence:


So the first part can be translated as `'Talking about famous places in Japan,'.

The second part is more confusing, I know that the こと modifier after a verb can be used to indicate an action but how can we translate it here? Also I don't understand the relationship with できません which means to be able to.

I would translate the sentence as something like 'I also forgot to talk about onsens' but that seems off to me.

  • 1
    できません is a negative conjugation, but your translation doesn't have any negative in it.
    – Leebo
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:40
  • 1
    Note that "forgetting to talk about onsens" would be 「温泉について話すのを忘れる」. In your original sentence there's no "talk about" part, so it's actually "forgetting onsens" 「温泉も忘れる」.
    – jarmanso7
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 19:05
  • If you join both of your translation attempts, "Talking about famous places in Japan, I also forgot to talk about onsens", it has two "talk", but the original Japanese sentence has only one 言う.
    – jarmanso7
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


Firstly, ~と言えば literally means "~ speaking of", but there's an idiomatic usage where you use it to present things that are typical, are representative, or come to your mind in regards of ~. For example:

スペインと言えば、パエリアと闘牛です。 Literal translation: "Speaking of Spain, paella and bullfights." What it really means: "Paella and Bullfights are typical Spanish things."

I think this is the usage in your sentence. So, if the sentence starts 日本の名所といえば, what I expect would follow are things representative/typical of famous places in Japan. One of such places is the 温泉.

As regards も, here it is signalling that there are other (unmentioned, or perhaps mentioned previously in the conversation) 日本の名所 besides 温泉.

Finally, as you noticed, ~ことができる means "to be able to ~", so the negative form would mean "not to be able to ~" or "can't ~". For this reason, 忘れることはできません can be translated as "[We] can't forget".

All in all, I would translate it as

Onsen is another famous Japanese place we can't forget about.


When it comes to Japanese famous places, we can't forget about onsen, either.

Whatever clicks better for you.

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