1

enter image description here

In this scene I was a little confused because he got attacked by a weird looking figure like that literally just before this part, so I expect him to be concerned about himself more than this weird thing. Is he asking "are you safe" or "are you safe (for me to approach)"? I feel like it's the first one but at the same time he would be really naive to say that in this context so I'm unsure.

If it's not the second one, how would you say it instead if that's what you meant?

1 Answer 1

6

Safe in English somehow means both "unlikely to be harmed; not in danger" and "unlikely to cause harm; not dangerous" depending on the context. The same is true for 安全, and 彼は安全だ is ambiguous. However, 無事 in Japanese only means "to be not in danger (any more)", and 彼は無事だ never means "He is not dangerous". Likewise, "君、無事かい" only means "Are you all right?" or "Are you undamaged?"

4
  • Thank you, I just wanted to confirm. Technically "he's safe" or "are you safe" alone will always mean the former in English too, but I wasn't sure for Japanese because of the context. For the second meaning, it would mostly be generic, like "is it safe [for me]" or "a world made safe". I guess the character is just naive or very emphatic.
    – Simon
    Oct 19, 2021 at 2:55
  • 彼は危険だ is ambiguous and means both "he's in danger" and "he's dangerous", so Japanese may be worse :)
    – naruto
    Oct 19, 2021 at 3:03
  • @Simon I'm not sure what you mean by "he's safe" alone will always mean the former. Without context, "he's safe" can mean "he's no longer in danger" or "he survived without injury" but it can also mean "he's a nice decent guy" or "he's not a creepy sexual predator" or "he's not some crazy serial killer".
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 19, 2021 at 3:25
  • @A.Ellett You're right it's used like that sometimes. I don't know if it's considered "proper" English though. The dictionary seems to be avoiding descriptions of people for this particular definition.
    – Simon
    Oct 19, 2021 at 4:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .