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I was watching a Japanese news clip, one person on the street says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgY1BPzNQqY 15:39-15:47

今日はしんどいなと思って、(夕食は)お弁当屋さんでと思って、いっぱいのってるものをみんなで、ああじゃないこうじゃない言いながら食べたいなと思って。

ああじゃないこうじゃない: It is not like this, it is not like that. 言いながら食べたいなと思って: I think I want to eat while saying

But how do I put them together? I can't figure out what the person is trying to say.

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  • Can you add some context? If it's an answer to a question, what kind of person it is, etc.
    – sundowner
    Mar 5, 2023 at 3:51

2 Answers 2

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ああ and こう are often used together to refer to unspecified trivial things (like "this and that" in English, but usually ああ comes first in Japanese). See: What does まわりであーだこーだ mean in this sentence? So ああだこうだ(と)言いながら食べたい would just mean "I want to eat (this bento) while chitchatting (with my family)". The actual topic is unspecified, and it may or may not be the bento itself.

She actually said じゃね (slangy contraction of じゃない) twice in this interview, but did you notice she pronounced them with a rising intonation? So the literal meaning of this part is more like this:

ああじゃね? こうじゃね?
Isn't it like that? Isn't is like this?

This means she wants to talk about something fun and constructive with her family, not try to deny everything.

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Grammatically, you can think it's ああじゃないこうじゃない with a quotative と omitted. (Inclusively) Or, ああじゃないこうじゃない works adverbially to describe what is being said (like なんのかんの言いながら).

In terms of meaning, your translation should be fine. It just refers to the various stuff on the bento. The person says that she wants to eat bento talking with others about the stuff in the bento, 'this is X, and this is Y'. (Often, the ingredients in bento can be hard to tell what they are mostly because it is finely chopped and then cooked in (often) thick sauce).

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