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In French, there is a verb "retrouver" (literally "re-find", or "find again") which means "find something that you lost and were searching for" (there the meaning "re-"/"again" is expressed by the morph "re-").

How do we express this term in Japanese?

Do we still use the verb 見つける mitsukeru 'to find'?

An example sentence would be "Mary is happy, she finally found the key (she was looking for since she lost it)".

In French, the part in parenthesis could be ommitted if the word "retrouver" ('re-find') is used instead of "trouver ('find'), since the meaning expressed in the part in parenthesis is expressed by the morph "re-".

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    So is the idea that French differentiates between "finding something you never had before" and "finding something you previously lost" with separate words? And you're asking if Japanese has the same vocabulary-level distinction? (As opposed to just explaining the situation the way you did in the English example?)
    – Leebo
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 9:15
  • @Leebo "So is the idea that French differentiates between "finding something you never had before" and "finding something you previously lost" with separate words? And you're asking if Japanese has the same vocabulary-level distinction?" Yes. "And you're asking if Japanese has the same vocabulary-level distinction? (As opposed to just explaining the situation the way you did in the English example?)" Yes.
    – Starckman
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 9:19

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Usually we don't make the distinction:

花子は(なくしたので探していた)鍵を見つけて喜んでいる.

(cf. 「道を歩いていたら魔法の鍵を見つけた」where the key isn't your belongings.)

For finding an item you lost previously, you can use (物が)出てくる, which is also a common phrase.

花子は,なくした鍵が出てきたので,喜んでいる.

Note that the concept of 出てくる is appearing. If you had lost something and it appeared afterwards, you re-found it. Other usages include

(2) 会社の棚の整理をしていたらこの本が出てきたんだけど,誰のかわからない. (I found this book [this book came out] when I was organising the shelves at work, and I have no idea whose book it is.)

Slightly irrelevant, there's also 再発見する in the line of re-discover (a concept or an idea, et cetra)

手作りの品の良さを再発見する.

(wrong) *なくした鍵を再発見した.

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