~ないかな (Negative Verb Form with Positive Translation)

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I encountered the following as I was reading chapter 29 of the manga かぐや様は告らせたい (images of the section are linked below if it matters). The lines are stated by a very cynical, depressive type character who has a irrational and jealous hatred toward members of sports clubs.

あぁほんと・・・

全員 死なねー

かな・・・・

I would have translated this to something like: Yeah, really...I wonder if they're all not dead..

Now, I sincerely doubted that that was correct since it didn't make any sense at all so I consulted the fan translation:

Yeah... Maybe... They should all just die...

This translation makes more sense to me and I assume it is a valid translation.

Could someone please explain the grammar (although I'm certain there is some slang involved) that caused 死なねー (死なない presumably) to be given a positive meaning?

Japanese panel
English panel

G-Cam

Posted 2017-07-12T17:52:06.060

Reputation: 3 000

I found this reference which explains かな in some degree of depth https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-particle-kana/

– G-Cam – 2017-09-14T14:01:25.773

Answers

10

This ねー is ない as you've correctly guessed. かな is usually "I wonder ~", but (ない)かな often expresses one's wish. 全員死なねーかな means "I wish they all die."

かな

3 (「ないかな」の形で)願望の意を表す。「だれか代わりに行ってくれないかな」「早く夜が明けないかな」

This translates to a positive English sentence because ~ないかな is essentially a rhetorical question like "Why not ~?". You can choose whichever fits better in the context, between "I wish ~" or "I wonder (if) ~". See this related question, too.

Some more examples:

  • 空を飛べないかな。
  • どこかに1億円落ちてないかな。
  • はやくクリスマスが来ないかな。

naruto

Posted 2017-07-12T17:52:06.060

Reputation: 199 900

5

Sorry, I discord about the wish. It's not an resolute wish. It's more like "if possible, it would be great"

There are 2 meanings for this construction ~ないかな, "I think ... not ..." (negative opinion) and "I wonder..." (desire)
It also depends on the construction before:

  • 私、空を飛べないかな
    I wonder if I can fly
  • 私は、空は飛べないかな
    I think I can't fly

Ryouichi

Posted 2017-07-12T17:52:06.060

Reputation: 51