“The car is watched around the clock.” X 😭
I came across this sentence on a newfangled high-tech monitor in an elevator in a building in Sapporo’s Chuo Ward. If you translated this English example back into Japanese, it would read something like あの車は24時間ずっと誰かに見られている (ano kuruma ha nijyuuyojikan zutto dare ka ni mirareteiru), which in everyday English conversation would go… ‘That automobile is being watched by someone all day and all night.’
1 The word ‘car’ used by itself is usually taken to mean an ‘automobile.’ In this example, ‘the car’ would be referring to an automobile that has previously been mentioned or specified. Since one is reading this sentence in an elevator, the phrase ‘the car’ would have a meaning that is similar to ‘that automobile.’
2 ‘Is watched’ is the passive form of the verb ‘to watch,’ so in Japanese it would be rendered as 誰かに見られている (dare ka ni mirareteiru). For example, ‘This TV show is watched by thousands and thousands of viewers.’ このテレビ番組は、何万人もの視聴者に見られている (kono terebi bangumi ha, nanmannin mo no sityousya ni mirareteiru).
3 The phrase “around the clock” means all day and all night, or twenty-four hours a day.
So if you took the three phrases that comprise the English sentence example and then translated them back into Japanese, you would get something like ‘That automobile is being watched by someone all day and all night.’
Okay, then, how should one go about coming up with the appropriate English translation for the original Japanese sentence 24時間遠隔監視しています (nijyuuyojikann enkaku kanshi siteimasu)? Well, first you’ve got to nail the subject at the beginning of the sentence by using ‘this elevator,’ which refers to what you’re standing in at the moment. Then you can use the phrase ‘under 24-hour surveillance’ for 24時間遠隔監視.
Finally, you can join these two phrases together with the singular form of to be, which is of course ‘is.’ Et voila!
—> This elevator is under 24-hour surveillance. √ 🌈😇
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