彼女は彼に本を取ってあげた。

English Translation

She reached for the book for him.

The sentence source button is currently linked to a different pair of sentences: #87380.

Clozemaster: 彼女は彼に本を取ってあげた。= She reached for the book for him.

Tatoeba: 彼女は彼に本を取ってあげた。= #10122703 She took a book from him.(translated from Japanese in 2021)

本を取る + あげる = to take a book + and then give it to someone else // to take a book on behalf of someone else
So, the new English sentence (#10122703) posted in 2021 is closer to the meaning of the Japanese sentence.

“To reach for” is often translated as ~に手を伸ばす or ~を取ろうと手を伸ばす (see examples on 英辞郎). The Japanese sentence misses the nuance of “reach”.

The clozemaster version makes more sense to me. Even though “reached for” may not be a literal translation, it’s the “for him” part that matches the japanese meaning much more than “from him”.
The tatoeba version just seems wrong to me, especially after you explained what 取ってあげる means.
She gives the book to him (あげる), after picking it up from somewhere (取る). She does not take it away from him.

@pitti42
You haven’t clicked any of the links I gave, but please read them carefully.

Neither of example sentences from 英辞郎 translates “reach for” (reached for) as 取る (取った) , but as 取ろうとする (取ろうとした). These two verbs illustrate a situation in different ways in Japanese.

手を伸ばす and 取ろうとする are interchangeable, but 手を伸ばす and 取る are not. That’s why I, as a Japanese native speaker, do not support the old version (i.e. the Clozemaster version).

“Reach for” in English emphasizes the ongoing action of taking a book. That’s the nuance of 手を伸ばす and 取ろうとする I found in the old version. In other words, the English sentence doesn’t guarantee that she successfully took a book.

On the other hand, 本を取った in the original Japanese sentence doesn’t have the nuance of “ongoing”. Rather, 本を取った is closer to “have taken a book” (i.e. perfect present tense).

You defined 本を取ってあげる as “to take a book on behalf of someone else”.
This is exactly what “She reached for the book for him.” describes.
The other sentence “She took a book from him” means just the opposite, and therefore is simply wrong.

All that talk about “reaching for”, which is the only thing you seem to be fixated on, is irrelevant if the basic meaning of the book moving from place “A” into “her” hands, and then into “his” posession is not met.

The manner in which the book is being picked up, i.e. whether you want to call it “pick up”, “reach for”, or simply “take”, is secondary and cosmetic, and does not change the overall understanding of what has happened.

And yes, the fact that she actually picked the book up, and not only tried to, is implied in “reached for”.

Anyway, my point is that taking the book “from him” is wrong in any case, and whether “reached for” is a fitting translation or not is debatable but secondary, and thus the clozemaster sentence is a better translation than the tatoeba one.

It took me for a month but I would like to explain why the pair should be revised.

The question is NOT about the あげる part (to do for someone’s sake), but A) 取った (have taken) v B) 取ろうと手を伸ばした (lit. = was stretching her arms to reach for the book). We don’t mix them up. Please respect the difference between Japanese and English ways. And the current translation pair doesn’t match while the Tatoeba version does.

  • A) illustrates a “post-seizure” status: The book had been on a bookshelf, but it has already been in her hand, or even handed over to him. Therefore, the book is no longer on the bookshelf.

  • B) illustrates a “pre-seizure” moment: She was reaching for the book. But she hasn’t completed her action yet. Therefore, the book is still on the bookshelf.

Please feel free to add the following correct ones to your own collection if you (and other readers here) like to keep the original English sentence “She reached for the book for him” and want to know a better translation in Japanese.

彼女は彼のためにその本に手を伸ばした。(かのじょはかれのためにそのほんにてをのばした)

彼のために彼女はその本を取ろうとした。(かれのためにかのじょはそのほんをとろうとした)

You can swap the order of words between 彼女は (the subject) and 彼のために (the purpose).
I believe 手を伸ばした captures the nuance of “reach for” better than 取ろうとした because 取ろうとした literally means “tried to take” (i.e. there is no physical/emotional distance between her and the book if you simply say 取ろうとした. But 手を伸ばした would sound a bit wordy. So, I give you two alternatives.

You did not understand what I have written, do you? Please read it again.

Yes it is. In tatoeba’s english translation, “from him” means the direction of the book movement is reversed, and therefore wrong, which makes the whole translation wrong.

In the other sentence, “for him” is correct. She manipulated the book in his stead so that it ended up in his possession. Only after acknowledging that, you can look at whether “reached for the book” is an appropriate translation for 本を取ってあげた.

Or in other words: Just because you feel that “reached for” does not match the Japanese, that does not automatically make the logically wrong alternative a correct and better translation.

Maybe I even agree with you that “reached for” is not a 100% accurate match for 本を取ってあげた. But it is in any case a much more preferrable choice than the logically wrong alternative.

Let me make a final attempt by summarizing the facts:

  1. The tatoeba version has a logic error and therefore fails to come even close to matching the meaning of the japanese sentence.
  2. The clozemaster version gets the general meaning right, and only nuances of it are improvable.

I fail to see how you can claim that the tatoeba version is the better translation.

I did my best to get my point across. I will not respond a fourth time.

Have a nice day.