本末転倒な上に

English translation: that is contrary to what you want to do, and on top of that...

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16:25 May 22, 2018
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Cinema, Film, TV, Drama
Japanese term or phrase: 本末転倒な上に
Dear ProZ members,

I'm uncertain on how to interpret な上に in the following sentence from a gramatical point of view.
A man has to defeat an enemy in order to get away from a place as soon as possible, but the enemy is frozen in a special type of ice that does not melt.

He proposes to have other people melt it through a ritual, but his friend says...

本末転倒な上に、夜まで待たないとできないよね

The ritual can be done only at night, and they have to get away sooner, so this solution wouldn't be of help.

I would translate it as "You're missing the general picture, and on top of that you'd have to wait for the night". However, I think it would make more sense if he said: "You're missing the general picture, since you'd have to wait for the night". But is this possible with な上に?

Could they be two separete sentences ("You would do that because you're missing the general picture. You'd have to wait for the night")?

Thank you!
Riccardo91
Italy
English translation:that is contrary to what you want to do, and on top of that...
Explanation:
If I am getting the context correctly, the enemy is frozen and not a threat anymore. So why melt the ice to release him? That is 本末転倒. This alone is bad enough, but on top of it (な上に), you need to wait until the night.
Selected response from:

Yuki Okada
Canada
Local time: 04:17
Grading comment
This is probably the right one. I didn't thought that, being that the enemy is frozen, there is no need to wake him up to begin with.

It makes much more sense this way. Thank you!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4You’re missing the general picture. Anyway, [you’d have to wait for the night.]
Barnaby Breaden
3That defeats the whole purpose because we need to wait until ...
Port City
3that is contrary to what you want to do, and on top of that...
Yuki Okada


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
that is contrary to what you want to do, and on top of that...


Explanation:
If I am getting the context correctly, the enemy is frozen and not a threat anymore. So why melt the ice to release him? That is 本末転倒. This alone is bad enough, but on top of it (な上に), you need to wait until the night.

Yuki Okada
Canada
Local time: 04:17
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
This is probably the right one. I didn't thought that, being that the enemy is frozen, there is no need to wake him up to begin with.

It makes much more sense this way. Thank you!
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
You’re missing the general picture. Anyway, [you’d have to wait for the night.]


Explanation:

The translation given previously by Mr. Okada is accurate,
but given the fact that the phrase expresses two different
thoughts on two distinct levels (“that’s a bad idea” + “can’t
do it now anyway”), and the fact that English lacks the handy
expression 本末転倒, I would split it into two sentences. Not
only is this clearer, but it is more natural given the context.

Barnaby Breaden
Australia
Local time: 21:17
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
That defeats the whole purpose because we need to wait until ...


Explanation:
The purpose of defeating the enemy is to get away from the current location as soon as possible, but the proposal requires them to stay until the evening. Hence, it defeats the whole purpose. ~な上に means "on top of (the preceding word). But "because" seems to fit better in this particular context.

Port City
New Zealand
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 3
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