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Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask about this.

For context, I've been trying to figure out a good way to translate "なしてや", which is a dialect of どうして and なぜ. All of them mean "why, how".

In this instance, I have a character trying to correct her speech from "rural-sounding" to more "urban-sounding".

り: ......なら、参謀になりたい。

R: ......So, I should just join the military.

あ: 参謀!?なしてや!?あ、じゃなくって、なんでですかっ?

A: The military!? [rural dialect of why]!? Ah, I mean, why?

In order to keep the same meaning in English, I would need to find some equivalent of なしてや, keeping the dialect and all.

The options I've come up so far are

  • "What in tarnation!? Ah, I mean, why?"
  • "Whycome!? Ah, I mean, why(/how come)?"
  • "What in the Lord's name!? Ah, I mean, why?"

I don't think these are "natural" enough. For the last one, it doesn't seem in character for her to be using that phrase.

So exactly what is a good way to translate this dialect to English? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Never heard of "whycome". Not sure about the context, or what "rural" really means. I suggest WTF which is impolite modern idiom & slang. – Weather Vane Aug 4 '19 at 19:57
  • @WeatherVane By "rural" I mean by a country accent, if that makes sense. The character isn't the type to swear like that (That's more of R's thing), so it wouldn't work out. Regarding "whycome", that's how one person translated the phrase, which is a bit strange, but it's something. – Ren Aug 4 '19 at 20:07
  • Perhaps the translater meant "how come...?" Please see Why is it “how come” and not “why come”? I suggested WTF as the urban version, not the rural. I have no understanding of the unnamed language used in the question. – Weather Vane Aug 4 '19 at 20:12
  • So it depends on which dialect you want. Would "howzat" work? – Mr Lister Aug 4 '19 at 20:25
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    This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network, Japanese.SE. – Mitch Aug 4 '19 at 21:41