Given that I’ve barely started formally studying N3 grammar on bunpro, I don’t feel all that authoritative on what やはり・やっぱり should be translated to, but I do feel strongly about a certain translation for these two words that I think they shouldn’t be translated to. Namely, the expression “After all”.
“After all” is fine when written in a script that’s meant to be spoken by an actor with someone in the background making sure it comes out right, but beyond that it breaks down. “After all” is extremely colloquial and almost entirely dependent on intonation, which is where the problem lies. Written English text has very little in the way to account for these intonations. At best it’ll usually have punctuation marks or italicized/bolded text if one’s lucky. Even with these and added context, “After all” can have ambiguous nuances. Making things worse is that these nuances can be diametrically opposed to each other, but with one not being any more or less correct given the context than the other.
Let me try an example here.
Person A catches person B and person A says:
“So it was you after all?”
This could either mean that it’s expected but anticlimactic to them or it could mean that it was something that was ruminating in the back of their head as a possibility, but shocks them when it’s revealed to be true. As you can see, these two nuances are diametrically opposed to each other, but even then one interpretation is not necessarily more incorrect than the other. This wouldn’t feel like a problem to me except that in my experience, added context does not make statements like these any less ambiguous in nuance. And the ambiguity could be fine, except that usually when I compare it to the original Japanese sentence, the ambiguity is just not there.
Just gonna close with a disclaimer and reiterate that this might just be a pet peeve of mine, but I see it happen so frequently that I felt I had to make a post on it. (Also I’m gonna request that やはり・やっぱり be added to Bunpro but I wanted to make a separate thread for my particular input.)