Basically after watching some several news and documentaries (via youtube) from international news outlets e.g. vox, business insider and etc. I notice a trend where they omit the direct translation "と思います" (any tense) and just directly translate the main topic being connected to "と思います"

I cannot provide an example, and I personal find it weird somehow, maybe someone could enlighten me on this?

  • 1
    The frequent omission can be related to the form of content you watch: video. Quotes in news articles on major outlets like the AP and NYT may include the translation of that part. Generally, omitting と思います--can be translated as "I believe," "I think," or whatever--in translation causes no trouble, and some translators can deem it redundant in some contexts.
    – user48754
    Jun 1, 2021 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


The Japanese tend to be rather indirect in their speech. This is to achieve politeness. Simply stating your opinions may come across as a little too forceful. Adding と思います is one way to soften your speech. Oftentimes, there is no value in adding this as part of the English translation.

This link is vaguely related, though I'm sure there are more: Why is being indirect more polite than being direct in Japanese?


I wouldn't read too much into this. Translations and subtitles often take some liberties to convey the main meaning, especially given time or space constraints. Another consideration is different cultural backgrounds. Live translations need to be direct and concise to easy understanding in real time. For these reasons they may omit "~と思います" as it's clear from context. I've seen Japanese translations of news broadcasts and subtitles for foreign TV make similar omissions or give translations of something implied. If an English speaker said "I think that ~" it would also be typical to omit that and simply translate to them saying what they think. It's clear that it's their opinion or thoughts from context. Since this is reciprocal between English and Japanese translations I think it is specific to either language but a practicality when translating such different languages concisely.

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