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Mario and Mallow are talking to a little mushroom guy and first, he says "Mario! Mario!". Then he follows up with the text box shown here.

いました、いました!
あやしい やつが!
たった今 ここをとおっていきました!

The context is a bad crocodile is going around town causing trouble and the little mushroom guy just saw him.

I know いました to be kind of like 'was' and 'were' when combined with other words but when used on its own, it doesn't make much sense to me.

What does it mean?

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  • Not an answer to your question, but: Do you have some application running which maybe OCR's the displayed text of your (presumable emulated) game and translates it as displayed on the left-hand side? Ah, never mind: youtube.com/watch?v=WRBRLmhFy-4 found in another of your questions. Too good to be true, but not entirely impossible to have such an application.
    – mats
    Feb 19 at 12:48
  • 1
    Actually, there may be something that is exactly what you're looking for. You have to play through the game at the same time, but I think this is what you're describing. legendsoflocalization.com/wanderbar/#download Feb 19 at 19:52

1 Answer 1

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The verb いる (“to exist” or “to be”) requires a subject and optionally accepts a location.

In the case of Japanese such elements can be omitted in the surface sentence but they are inferred. So understanding this sentence requires understanding what to fill in those two slots.

In this case, subject = He/She/It (aka クロコ/Croco) , location = Here

So “He was here”.

“Just” is also sort of implied, so “He was just here”.

Btw if you the read the next sentence 怪しいやつが, that’s actually providing the subject for the first sentence (it’s inverted, aka a piece of grammar called 倒置法).

So you could say

“He was just here! That suspicious guy!” (maintain the inversion) or “That suspicious guy was just here!” (collapse the inversion).

And finally, in English it’s probably slightly more common to say “I just saw that suspicious guy”, or probably better for this context, “That suspicious guy! I just saw him!!” or something like that. The best translation (including whether you use “a” or “that”) would depend on the exact context which I don’t remember (it’s been a good two decades since I’ve played this game :)).

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