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Friday, April 8, 2022

~ni shite ~にして - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, ~ni shiteにして (the te-form of ~ni suru ~にする), sometimes has meanings similar to de, such as "to be X and [Y];" "that said" conjunction at start of sentences; and, in the ~ni shite-iru ~にしている form, "to stay being X," besides the typical meanings you'd expect from the te-form of ~ni suru.

  • {saigo ni} shite saikyou no teki
    最後にして最強の敵
    The {strongest} and last enemy.
    The enemy that is both {the strongest} and the last one.
  • saigo de saikyou no teki
    最後最強の敵
    (same meaning.)
  • sore ni shite mo
    それにして
    That said. Even considering that. Regardless.
  • sore demo
    それ
    Despite that. Even if that's true. Regardless.
  • ii ko ni shite-iru
    いい子にしている
    To be being a good kid. (deliberately.)
  • ii ko de iru
    いい子いる
    To be being a good kid.
魔王 悪魔の支配者にしてすべてを牛耳る悪魔の王
Manga: Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 魔入りました!入間くん (Chapter 5, 問題児アブノマールクラス)

Grammar

See the article about suru する for grammar. This article is mainly for examples.

In summary: de で is a contraction of nite にて which is an abbreviated form of ni shite にして(Masuda, 2002:126–127, citing Hashimoto, 1969, among others), which explains why ni shite にして is somewhat similar to de で even in modern Japanese.

Examples

To Be X and Y

You'll generally find this usage when describing something epic, specially in literary language, e.g. talking about kings, kingdoms, and so on.

魔王 悪魔の支配者にしてすべてを牛耳る悪魔の王
Manga: Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 魔入りました!入間くん (Chapter 5, 問題児アブノマールクラス)
  • Context: an explanation of what the king is.
  • maou, {{makai no shihaisha ni} shite} {subete wo gyuujiru} akuma no ou
    魔王 悪魔の支配者にしてすべてを牛耳る悪魔の王
    Demon-king: [he] {is {the lord of the demon world}, and} the king of demons [that] {rules over everything}.
    • Here, we're saying the maou is the makai no shihaisha on top of also being subete wo gyuujiru akuma no ou.
高貴な者よ、これはそなただけに伝える言葉。 これより先、そなたは王と創造主の地に入る。 その敷居を越え、我らの法に従うがいい。 そして目撃者となるのだ。 最後にして唯ひとつの文明、永遠なる王国、”ハロウネスト”の。
Game: Hollow Knight, ホロウナイト (Before Entering Hallownest)
  • Context: text of lore tablet as seen in Hollow Knight's Japanese translation.
  • {kouki na} mono yo, kore wa {sonata dake ni tsutaeru} kotoba.
    高貴な者よ、これはそなただけに伝える言葉。
    {Noble} one, these are words {to convey to you alone}.
    Higher beings, these words are for you alone. (original English)
  • kore yori saki, sonata wa ou to souzoushu no chi ni hairu.
    これより先、そなたは王と創造主の地に入る。
    Beyond this point, you'll enter the land of the king and creator.
    Beyond this point you enter the land of King and Creator. (original English)
  • sono shikii wo koe, ware-ra no hou ni shitagau ga ii
    その敷居を越え、我らの法に従うがいい。
    Cross its threshold and obey our laws.
    Step across this threshold and obey our laws. (original English.)
  • soshite mokugekisha to naru no da.
    そして目撃者となるのだ。
    And become witness.
  • {{saigo ni} shite} tada hitotsu no bunmei, {eien naru} oukoku, "Harounesuto" no.
    最後にして唯ひとつの文明、永遠なる王国、”ハロウネスト”の。
    The culture [that] {is {the last} and} the only one, the kingdom [that] {is eternal}. Of Hallownest.
    The {{last} and} only culture, the eternal kingdom. Of Hallownest.
    Bear witness to the last and only civilisation, the eternal Kingdom. Hallownest. (original English.)
    • The Japanese version ends with a no-adjective that qualifies mokugekisha of a previous sentence.
    • Harounesuto no mokugekisha to naru no da.
      ハロウネスト目撃者となるのだ
      Become witness of Hallownest.
      Become Hallownest's witness.

To Deliberately Be

ガツガツ ポンポン 良い子にしてろよ、ナポレオン ブヒ?
Manga: School Rumble, スクールランブル (Chapter 81)
  • Context: Harima Kenji 播磨拳児 feeds Napoleon, ナポレオン.
  • gatsu gatsu
    ガツガツ
    *eating noise*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • ponpon
    ポンポン
    *tap tap*
    (mimetic word for the head patting.)
  • {{ii} ko ni} shitero yo, Naporeon
    良い子にしてろよ、ナポレオン
    Be {a {good} [pig]}, Napoleon.
  • Harima Kenji leaves Napoleon behind.
  • buhi?
    ブヒ?
    *concerned pig noise*
あ・・・ありがとうございました!! せんせーさようなら さようなら おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
Manga: Usagi Drop, うさぎドロップ (Chapter 2)
  • Context: guy comes take his child from a "nursery school," hoikuen 保育園.
  • a... arigatou gozaimashita!!
    あ・・・ありがとうございました!!
    T... thank you [for everything]!!
    • Past tense of arigatou gozaimasu.
  • sensee sayounara
    せんせーさようなら
    Good bye, teacher.
  • sayounara
    さようなら
    Good bye.
  • otonashii kara chotto dake shinpai datta kedo
    おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど
    [She's] quiet so [I] was a bit worried, but
  • Rin-chan φ {{tottemo ii} ko ni} shitemashita yo
    りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
    Rin-chan was {a {very} good [girl]}, [you see]!!

Conjunction

にしてもアスナ足速いよねー 悪かったわね 私はコレやのに 体力バカで
Manga: Mahou Sensei Negima! 魔法先生ネギま! (Chapter 1, お子ちゃま先生は魔法使い!)
  • Context: a tsundere and her friend run to school.
  • ni shitemo Asuna
    にしてもアスナ
    [That said,] Asuna,
  • ashi φ hayai yo nee
    足速いよねー
    [Your] legs are fast. (literally.)
    You [run] fast.
  • watashi φ kore ya no ni
    私コレやのに
    Even though [for] me, [I] have this.
    • ya no ni - same as na no ni なのに.
    • This means the roller-skates. She's running at the same speed the other is rollerskating.
  • warukatta wa ne
    悪かった
    [Well, I'm sorry].
    • This is sarcasm.
  • tairyoku baka de
    体力バカで
    For being a physical-strength baka.
    • i.e. for having so much stamina, endurance, agility, strength, etc.

Sometimes, the conjunctive usage occurs without ni に.

して この・・ブロックチェーンの作成とはいかなる事でしょう?
Manga: Ya Boy Kongming!, Paripi Koumei パリピ孔明 (Chapter 1, 孔明、渋谷に降り立つ。)
  • Context: Kongming 孔明, a 3rd-century Chinese strategist with, like, 1 million IQ, is reincarnated in the modern world and is trying to learn about modern technology.
  • shite, kono.. burokkucheen no sakusei towa ikanaru koto deshou?
    して この・・ブロックチェーンの作成とはいかなる事でしょう?
    Then, this.. [so-called] blockchain creation, [what is it supposed to be]?
    • de, kono..
       この・・
      So, this..
      (same meaning.)
    • ikanaru - same as dou iu どういう, dono you na どのような, "what sort of."
    • ikanaru koto - what sort of thing [is it supposed to be].

Usual Usage

For the record, ~ni shite ~にして also has the typical uses you'd expect in the te-form of ~ni suru.

It can be used to connect the verb suru to a hojo-doushi 補助動詞 (auxiliary verb), like this:

じゃあ不老不死にしてください(わく) はい!(ドン) そんなあっさりできるものなのか 素晴らしい では体の中をマナがぐるぐるぐるぐる循環して老いることのない体にいたしましょう!(ぐるぐる) 他には?
Manga: Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita スライム倒して300年、知らないうちにレベルMAXになってました (Chapter 1, レベルMAXになっていた)
  • Context: an angel is granting any desires to a soul about to be reincarnated.
  • jaa {furou-fushi ni} shite-kudasai
    じゃあ不老不死にしてください
    Then, please make [me] {immortal}.
    • furou-fushi
      不老不死
      Non-aging, non-dying. (yojijukugo 四字熟語)
      Perpetually young and immortal.
    • kudasai - auxiliary verb translation to "please."
  • waku
    わく
    *excited*
    (psychomime.)
  • hai!
    はい!
    Okay!
  • don
    ドン
    *bam*
  • {sonna assari dekiru} mono nanoka
    そんなあっさりできるものなのか
    It's something [that] {can be done so easily}?
  • subarashii
    素晴らしい
    Marvelous.
  • dewa karada no naka wo mana ga guruguru guruguru junkan shite {{oiru} koto no nai} karada ni itashimashou!
    では体の中をマナがぐるぐるぐるぐる循環して老いることのない体にいたしましょう
    Then, let's make the mana circulate around and around through inside of [your] body, and turn [it] into a body [that] {never {ages}}.
    • wo を particle - marks the medium through which movement happens.
    • mana
      マナ
      Common term for magical energy in role-playing games. Also known as MP, magic points, magic power.
    • oiru
      老いる
      To age. To grow old.
    • ~koto ga nai
      ~ことがない
      To never [do something]. (to never age).
    • ~koto no nai
      ~ことのない
      (same as above, see: no の subject marker.)
    • ~ni itashimasu
      ~にいたします
      (humble variant of ~ni suru.)
  • guruguru
    ぐるぐる
    *swirling motion*
  • hoka niwa?
    他には?
    [Anything else]?

And it can be used to connect two clauses, like this:

金髪にしてパーマをかけてください 本当にいいの?高校生でしょ いいんです。外国にはたくさんいますから
Character: Mitsuhashi Takashi 三橋貴志
Anime: Kyou kara Ore wa!! 今日から俺は!! (Episode 1)
  • Context: Takashi decides to become a delinquent, specifically: a yankii ヤンキー.
  • {{kinpatsu ni} shite} paama wo kakete kudasai
    金髪にしてパーマをかけてください
    {Make [my hair] {blonde} and} apply a perm.
    • kinpatsu ni suru - to make [it] blonde.
    • paama wo kakeru - to apply a perm.
  • {hontou ni} ii no? koukousei desho
    本当にいいの?高校生でしょ
    Is that {really} alright? [You] are a high schooler, aren't you?
  • ii-n-desu. gaikoku niwa takusan imasu kara
    いいんです。外国にはたくさんいますから
    It's alright. Because there are a lot [of blonde people] in foreign countries.

References

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