秋になると日はだんだん短くなり夜はさむくなってきました。彼女は初霜が木の葉を黄色や赤に変えていくのをみていました。

English Translation

In the fall, when the days grew shorter and the nights colder, she watched the first frost turn the leaves to bright yellow and orange and red.

I realize this is probably a citation, but in the Japanese version, there is no mention of “bright” yellow or “orange”.

@mike-lima
It’s a bit challenging to translate such a poetic sentence. But let me try:

日が徐々に (じょじょに) 短くなり、夜も冷え込む秋が訪れる (おとずれる) と、彼女は初霜で黄や橙、赤と鮮やかな (あざやか) に色づいた木の葉を眺めた (ながめた) ものだ。

The original Japanese translation has some flaws.

  1. 秋になると日はだんだん短くなり夜はさむくなってきました is not the correct translation for the “when” clause in “In the fall, when the days grew shorter and the nights colder”.
  2. 初霜が木の葉を変えていく is unnatural. We usually reverse the subject and the object in this context. I know this order of words sounds unnatural in English, but the natural way of thinking/describing in Japanese is “she watched the leaves colored in bright yellow and orange and red by the first frost”.
  3. みていました is also unnatural, and we usually spell the verb in 漢字, not 平仮名. Instead of 見ている, I prefer 眺める because the connotation of 眺める is to enjoy the beauty of nature.
  4. 見ていました doesn’t mean “watched” (past tense), but “was watching” (past progressive tense). I interpreted from the English sentence that she used to enjoy watching leaves in every fall. However, she doesn’t do so anymore (maybe because she is too busy, or too sick??). That’s why I prefer 眺めた「ものだ」over 眺め「た」.
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For those that are curious, I managed to track the source of this sentence:

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