While I have at long last finished 逆転裁判３(Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations) and moved on to the next game after 136 hours of reading, looking stuff up, and scratching my head, I still have a few lines of dialogue left that I want to discuss.
Today I’ll have a look at another of イトノコ刑事 lines (he’s Dick Gumshoe, if you remember). He has some troubling news for the attorney, regarding one of their friends. Before actually telling the attorney what’s the matter, he says the following:
The part I’m going to have a closer look at today is the 「あえて…」part. I’ll briefly go over all the other bits of grammar first, so don’t worry about missing anything.
Let’s take apart the first sentence, アンタには言いにくいッス. アンタには = to you, 言いにくい = hard to say. ッス is a colloquial, semi-polite version of です, as far as I can tell. So, literally, “It’s hard to say this to you”, while I’d go for “It’s hard to break this to you”, to make it sound more tough-guy cop-like, the way I imagine イトノコ刑事 talks.
Side note: I’ve always wondered why some of イトノコ刑事’s words are printed in katakana, like アンタ here. Is it possibly supposed to indicate that he talks with an accent? Can’t remember his origin story, maybe he comes from an exotic place or something; might be worth looking up.
As for the second sentence, でも、…言っちまうッス by itself would mean something like, “Nevertheless, … I’ll tell you.” 言っちまう is a contraction of 言ってしまう. In this case, I think it means he regrets having to say what he is about to say (see A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, p. 403).
That leaves us with the unknown あえて. The dictionary gives us daringly; intentionally as translations, but they’re not really a literal fit here. As luck would have it, I recently came across the kanji used in 敢えて during my kanji studies. 敢 means daring; bold. So maybe the best translation here would be boldly: “I’ll boldly say it.” As in, “I regret having to say this, so I’ll just get it over with and get it out.”
Putting it all together, my attempt to translate this in a natural- and cop-sounding way would be,
It’s hard to break this to you.
I’ll just go ahead and say it…
Let me know what you think of it, I’m still learning and need the info. Don’t be mad if I messed up – ain’t none of us perfect 🙃
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