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The sentence is the following.

きっかけはほんの些細なことだとしても。それが、未来の大きな流れを決定づけてしまうこともある。

(I'm not really sure if the first period is supposed to be there, but the narrator took a relatively long pause after としても)

The provided English is the following.

No matter how trivial something may seem, It has the potential to shape the future.

I get the gist of the sentence, also thanks to the english version, but I am a bit troubled by the specific meaning of the first part. My two possible interpretations are something on the lines of

Even if something is (seems) really trivial in the beginning, it can shape the future later on.

and

Even if the origin/cause of something is really trivial, this something can shape the future.

I have and will try and familiarize more with the word きっかけ but in the meantime I wish I could get some help with it in this context.

Thank you very much.

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    Your last interpretation seems fine to me. Here きっかけ means "(initial) trigger", "origin" or "cause".
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 9:25

1 Answer 1

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The best English word that describes きっかけ is opportunity.
Following that opportunity is the beginning of something.

A common question asked during interviews :

Q : 日本に来たきっかけは何ですか? 
A : ネットで日本の文化についての動画を見ました。それがきっかけで日本に対する興味が湧いてきて。。。

The interviewer asked what is the opportunity that caused you to come to Japan. You answer that it's this one video you saw in the internet. Since then you've started to develop an interest in Japan's culture and from there you started to study Japanese, etc.

To make it easier to understand your sentence above, think of one small match. It seems trivial at first, but when you light it up and throw it into a gasoline doused house, it has the power to completely annihilate that house into ashes. The residents would have to sleep on the streets, etc. Likewise you can just choose to not use the match, and the house would be fine.

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  • I see your point, but can you translate 日本に来たきっかけ with opportunity (even though its impossibility does not make your answer invalid)?
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 13:21

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