NHK News Web Easy Translations

Auction of a painting!

Hello everyone – こんにちは!

In my first post I will be giving a shot at translating a news article about the auction of a painting owned by a British aristocrat. I am attempting this after just completing the first part of the first textbook of Minna no nihongo. The language on the NHK news web easy has been made very easy for beginners to start reading real Japanese early on in their studies.

My level at the time of translating the below text: Preparing for JLPT N5. Textbook I am studying: Completed 1-1 Minnan no nihongo all 13 chapters and about to start 1-2 Chapter 14. Date of the article: 5月18日 11時30分. Original article: Available here.

Original Text:





My translation:

The painting bought at the auction was of Rembrandt.

The year before last, a painting owned by a British aristocrat for a long time was auctioned. The painting is of a young man but the artist of the painting was not known. A Dutch dealer in artworks bought the painting for about 20 million Japanese yen.

The buyer of the painting thought that a 17th century famous Dutch painter Rembrandt might be the artist behind the painting. He showed the painting to the experts. A lot of experts examined the style of the painting, the colors used, etc. and concluded that the artist was Rembrandt.  The experts believe that Rembrandt painted it in year 1634 when he was around 28 years old.

It is possible that this painting is actually a part of a bigger painting consisting of a man and a woman. The painting of the woman might be somewhere in the world.

Points and notes:

  1. The above translation is not literal or word to word but the best way I thought could the text could be communicated in English.
  2. Since the text is targeted at children, the concept of a dealer is explained in plain language: 美術品を売ったり買ったりする仕事をしているオランダの人 (meaning “A person from Holland who buys and sells artwork as a profession”).
  3. 絵には若い男の人 I haven’t learn the には  construct yet but guessing it means “inside” in this case.
  4. It is difficult to guess whether a noun is singular or plural as in the case 専門家に絵を見せました, it could be “showed to an expert or to experts”. I have used the plural form as in the next sentence it says たくさんの専門家 – a lot if experts/ many experts.
  5. Now in the sentence 作者はレンブラントだとわかりました。as per だと means “if it’s the case”. So I am not sure if the experts are sure of the artist or they think it could be Rembrandt.
  6. The vocabulary that I didn’t know, I looked up the meaning and put the best synonym based on the context. The only meaning I doubt is hundred per cent correct in this context is of 貴族.

Well let me know if any of you have suggestions to make the translation better. See you in the next post. じゃまた!


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