[Translation Challenge] How Do You Say “Have to”?

This is an archive of the JD Translation Challenge, which we do regularly on JD’s Twitter. Why don’t you take the challenge too?

We have also listed the answers from our followers and feedback from Japanese members, so check it out when you are done with your translation.

Table of Contents

Translation Challenge

Translate the following sentence into Japanese.
(See the tweet on Twitter.)

“Phew… My holidays are over and I have to go back to work tomorrow.”

*Sorry for the slightly contradictory English, as it expressed my mixed feelings as a mother (wishing for more days off and being happy to see my kid go back to school).

Click here for my example answers.




Key Phrase

ふぅ (はぁ)

It is onomatopoeia for sighing, which can describe the state of relaxing after something is over, tiredness, or sighing in disgust.

“Phew… finally finished my homework!”

しなくちゃ (しなきゃ)

to have to
*「しなくちゃ」 is an abbreviation and euphonic change for 「しなくてはいけない[しなくてはならない]」. (「しなきゃ」is an abbreviation and euphonic change for 「しなければいけない[しなければならない]」.) The 「いけない(ならない)」 part is often omitted in daily (casual) conversation.

“I have to bring an umbrella tomorrow!”

Answers from our followers. Click to read the feedback.

完璧です🤗👍「ふぅ〜」っていうふうに小さい母音と記号の「〜」の組み合わせがすごくナチュラルで、上手です👏👏 (Perfect🤗👍 The combination of the small vowel and the symbol “~” is very natural and well done👏👏)

「やれやれ」😂 That describes exactly how I felt when I wrote this sentence! (I couldn’t wait for my kid to go back to school 😂)

Or you can say:

「に」is a particle meaning “location”, “direction” or “destination”.
So if you use する(しなければ…), you can use 「を」, which marks the object of the following verb. Or you can use 「に」, if you use verbs that require directions, such as 戻る🤗

[This is an explanation of 五月病]
五月病 is “May illness (depression)” when translated directly into English. In Japan, new school years and jobs often start in April, and people tend to feel depressed especially in May after the long vacation (Golden Week).
He uses this word well to translate the meaning of the original sentence!

Good 😊 Here are two things you can make them better.
「仕上げ」is used when you finish something you have to do like homework, job tasks, makeup, cooking, etc and you put the finishing touches on it😉 But nice try! It’s a good word!

「から」means “from” or “since”🤗
This sentence doesn’t require a subject (because it’s obvious who you’re talking about) so we don’t use が particle, which makes nouns subjects👍

I like that you put 頑張ります! by reading how I felt🤗❤️

Very interesting you translate “phew” into やっぱり😊 (Sorry my “phew” was a tricky one with mixed feelings of wanting more days off and excitement that my kid would go back to school.)
I can tell you’re a good translator! By translating it that way, it becomes vague and gives room for the readers to make a judgment, which Japanese people prefer.


Thank you for submitting both formal and casual🤗❤️

One thing, holidays can be translated into Japanese as below:
If you put “の” between 休み and 日, that’d be perfect 🤩

Btw, when you talk formal with someone close, 休みの日が終わったから、明日働かなければなりません sounds more natural😉
– Formal +から、formal
。 – Dictionary form + から、casual。
– Dictionary form + から、formal。

Some textbooks don’t mention the last usage to avoid confusion. But it’s used a lot😊

Special thanks to all who participated!