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I'm doing a translation for a comic and I'm having trouble deciding between ーそうだ and ーようだ.

The specific context I'm looking at is a character exploring a seemingly abandoned building, but eventually sees something wandering off in the distance and mutters something like, "Huh, looks like this place isn't empty after all."

I'm thinking that ーようだ/みたいだ is correct because, to my understanding, it implies the most amount of confidence when expressing conjecture, usually based on visual evidence, but I've also seen そうだ be used for similar contexts. Is the use of ーようだ here correct? Also, can the copula verb だ be dropped in casual feminine speech like, ーようだね to ーようね or ーみたいだね to ーみたいね? Thanks.

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  • I'm not sure how you're trying to use そうだ to translate the given sentence... Can you give us the full translation attempts, preferably with several sentences before this?
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 8:26
  • Sure, what I'm thinking is something like, この場所は捨てなさそうね。 Or この場所は捨てないようね。
    – Jet
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 20:41
  • Um...捨てる has nothing to do with "empty". In case you meant "abandoned (place)", you have to use the passive voice at least.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 12:39

1 Answer 1

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Simply considering 'looks like this place isn't empty', I guess what you are thinking are:

  1. ここは空じゃなさそうだ
  2. ここは空じゃないそうだ
  3. ここは空じゃないようだ

1 and 3 work as translation for the phrase (putting the exact wording aside). 2 means hearsay - "I've heard this place is not empty"

As for the last point, yes, そうだね/ようだね can be そうね/ようね, which sounds feminine.

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