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I'm working on a translation for a comic and I'm kind of stumped on this one line. The specific context is the character talking to herself and musing about what someone else thinks of her, the line in question being, "He's probably going to think I'm crazy for worrying this much..."

I'm thinking it's 思っている because the topic of the sentence is still he, a third person. Here's what I got so far, 彼は私がこんなに心配してるなんて、頭がおかしいと思ってるでしょう。 Is this correct?

Also, two things. Can 多分 be used here along with でしょう or is it incorrect/redundant? Like, ・・・多分頭がおかしいと思ってるでしょう。 I only ask because I've heard 多分 can't be used when assuming someone's feelings or thoughts. And two, is 頭がおかしい an appropriate expression for crazy in this context? Thank you.

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    For clarification, you're checking for nuance when writing in Japanese / translating from English into Japanese? Jan 6, 2023 at 20:01
  • Yes, from English to Japanese.
    – Jet
    Jan 7, 2023 at 2:51
  • The naturalness of a line in a fiction depend a lot on the context. Is there anything said (by the same character or another one) immediately before and after? Jan 7, 2023 at 2:56
  • She's planning on traveling to find him because she hasn't heard from him in a while and is starting to worry about him. There's no other character with her. But she does say something like, "But I need to this weird feeling off my chest." afterward.
    – Jet
    Jan 7, 2023 at 3:05

3 Answers 3

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The sentence

彼は私がこんなに心配してるなんて、頭がおかしいと思ってるでしょう。

as a translation of

He's probably going to think I'm crazy for worrying this much...

is correct, as far as meaning or general acceptability is concerned.


I think you are confusing some rules.

  • 彼は・・・と思う is usually odd.
  • 彼は・・・と思っている is common.

But

  • 彼は・・・と思うでしょう and 彼は・・・思っているでしょう

are both fine. So 思う/思っている is purely aspectual difference and it's your choice which is better for the context.


Regarding たぶん, 多分頭がおかしいと思ってるでしょう is fine. It is certainly odd to say 私はたぶん頭が痛い, which I guess the rule you have in mind is about.

Regarding crazy, it looks ok (without context), but どうかしている may be better. Or maybe 変だ.


Another option I can think of is to use a relative clause: こんなに心配している私を、たぶん彼はどうかしていると思うでしょう. (He's going to think that I, who is worried this much, is crazy)

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The dictionary form 思う shouldn't be used to talk about a third person, but that's when you describe their current state of mind as in He thinks ... in English. What you want to say here is what (you think) he is going to think. It's a future event, not a current state. The 〜ている form is inappropriate for that. You should use the dictionary form.

彼は私がこんなに心配してるなんて、頭がおかしいと思うでしょう。

Adding 多分 is not a problem.

彼は私がこんなに心配してるなんて、多分頭がおかしいと思うでしょう。

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If it's literally a line that is supposedly spoken by a character (to herself), you probably want to use a less rigid tone. Without pronouns like 彼 and 私, if possible. You can use the verb's passive form for that.

こんなに心配していると、多分変に思われるだろう

I think 私 tends to be redundant in general in a monologue. 彼 is a bit more tricky, but if the character is obviously thinking about "him", you don't need to reaffirm that by mentioning it.

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