When I translate English to Japanese, I always encounter to the preposition “for”. As it has various meanings and many different translation, I was confused about how translate it to Japanese.

In my personal opinion, among those project which was translated by me, the most difficult sentences are the type of “for + sb/sth” and so on. In those sentences, “for” means to be given to someone or to be used by someone. When I translate them to Japanese, the Japanese translations like “~のため”, “~用”, “~適する” arose in my mind immediately, but I have no idea with which one should I choose.

After do some English-Japanese translation, I became to have a sense of it and found it wasn’t so difficult at all because there are some regulars about the translation of “for”. Now, l want to share my summary about it with all of you.

1,translate “for” to “~ため”

When the word “for” expressed the meaning of for the sake of somebody’s benefit or in order to provide the condition to do something, it seems to be translated to “~ため” more probably. Take the following sentences for example.

(1) A party was held for them. 彼らのためにパーティーが開かれた.

(2) Give one’s life for one’s country 国のために命をささげる.

(3) What did you do that for? 何のためにそんなことをしたのか.

(4) I bought a book for reading on the train. 列車の中で読むために本を買った.

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From (1) to (3), they are all describe the underlying meaning of somebody’s benefit. Thus, those types are usually translated to “~ため”. Besides, (4) describe the meaning of if we want to reading, a book is needed. So in some degree, the “for” expressed the condition when do something.

2,translate “for” to “~用”or“~適する”

You may wonder why I place the “~用” and “~適する” in the same title. That is because, in my opinion, the two expressions are so similarly that can be replaced by the other one in many cases. In spite of saying that, there are still differences between them. If it is translated to “~用”, we can read out the implication of using something. While on the contrary, if we translate it to “~適する”, it can’t be read out the meaning of using something. Because “~適する” can be used to express a suitable state, not only using something. What I said can be proved by analyzing the sentences below.
(6)AteloCell Collagen for Cell Culture 細胞培養用透過性コラーゲン膜 …

(7)Janetter for Twitter Mac用Twitter

(8)for household use 家庭用の

(9)a book suitable for beginners 初心者に適した本

(10)This rice is suitable for planting in cold climates.この稲は寒い地方の栽培に適している.

(11)He has no aptitude for a business career. 彼は実業家には適していない.

(12)This textbook is just right for high school students.この教科書は高校生に適している.