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On page 10 of this transcript of Attack on Titan, we can see the following: 男子3: カモ に して やる! https://docs.google.com/document/d/10cBh6DAcXgxOpwlmSFFb2oV06vgi4zRTIPhpYHUjsVA/edit

If you translate it literally it would be something like: I make you a sitting duck/easy target/defenseless victim.

My problem in understanding is, that this remark is made before a fight were the boy who says it is pretty sure it will be an easy win and a one sided fight. Shouldn't he say something like "This guy is an easy target" instead of "I will make you an easy target"?

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    かもにする is a set expression that has an established meaning. So arguing that it should be something else is kind of like questioning "strange" idioms in English. Idiomatic expressions are what they are.
    – Leebo
    Apr 8, 2023 at 5:41
  • I think I know why you thought it was odd. カモにする isn’t often used for a one-time trouncing. It is a bit odd in that context (if I understood the context right).
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 8, 2023 at 9:29
  • This idiom doesn't carry a sense of "to turn someone into something" regardless of whether it is said before or after a battle. One might say カモにしてやったぜ after a battle, which does not mean "I made him an easy target". Just as 楽にする means "to relax" rather than "to make it leisure", カモにする is an established verb phrase with a fixed meaning, and you have to remember it as-is.
    – naruto
    Apr 11, 2023 at 3:57
  • @Leebo: Oh, I didn't know that. Thank you for clarifying. Apr 11, 2023 at 11:53
  • @naruto: Ok, then I will go with the translation as proposed by Dalila below. Apr 11, 2023 at 11:53

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You shouldn't translate it literally. As it was mentioned in the comment section, カモにする is a set expression that has an established meaning: to easily attain victory.

A slang term using the word 'duck' was born from the fact that it was easy to catch them by taking advantage of the duck's habit of taking off for food at sunset and returning to the place where it was in the daytime at dawn. Because of their large size, taste and abundance in numbers (they are migratory birds that migrate to ponds and swamps in Japan from autumn to winter) they were an easy prey. Hence, that expression.

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