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だけ / 同じくらいが一般的だ

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Hi,


1. マルフォイが何か言ったら、何が起きたかダンブルドアだけははっきりわかるはずだ。

There have been discussions here before about the dual meaning of だけ as "only" or "this/so much". In this sentence, is there any way to determine which of the following is intended, other than by what makes most sense in the context?

i) Only Dumbledore would clearly understand what had happened; therefore it would be OK (as no one else would understand)

ii) Dumbledore would clearly understand what had happened, which would be bad news


2. 今やノート型コンピューターは弁当箱と同じくらいが一般的だ。

The structure of the second part of this sentence defeats me. It is supposed to mean that notebook computers are as common as lunch boxes, but I can't see how that meaning is obtained. To me it looks like "As for notebook computers, the same quantity as lunch boxes is general/typical", which makes no sense.
 

Toritoribe

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1)
だけ only means "only" there, but だけは shows it's "at least" to me, unlike だけにわかる or だけしかわからない.

2)
同じくらいの大きさ/重さ makes sense? Probably you saw that sentence alone somewhere, but there must be the context to clarify what it refers to in the original article.
 
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1) Sorry, I believe that だけは has been mentioned before as a distinct case, but I failed to notice it. So, given what you say, do you get a clear idea from that sentence alone whether 何が起きたかダンブルドアだけははっきりわかるはずだ is describing something favourable to the speaker or unfavourable to the speaker?

2) The translation given for this sentence is "Now notebook computers are as common as lunch boxes". Assuming a suitable context, is that translation correct or incorrect?
 

Toritoribe

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1)
Do you mean だけ in something like 食べた分だけ払う?

There is no specific (negative or positive) implication in that sentence.

2)
That translation is obviously wrong. The sentence must be 同じくらい一般的だ(が isn't there) for that meaning. I don't think "lunch boxes" is a common/appropriate example of "as common as ~" in the first place.
 
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1)
Do you mean だけ in something like 食べた分だけ払う?
Perhaps a bit more context is needed. The speaker, Harry, has done a bad thing. Malfoy has witnessed this, and he may tell one of the teachers. However, the circumstances are odd, so most people probably will not understand what actually happened, and may not believe Malfoy. Using the translation だけ = "only" (which we know is not always accurate), the sentence translates as something like: "If Malfoy says anything [about the incident], only Dumbledore will have a clear idea of what happened". A common implication of this would be that because only Dumbledore will understand it (and no one else will), things will not be so bad for Harry. I am interested to know whether the Japanese sentence carries this implication or some other implication.

Edit: By the way, the translation of だけ as "at least" is not feasible here -- it would imply that Harry wants people to understand what happened, which, within the story, clearly is not the case.

That translation is obviously wrong. The sentence must be 同じくらい一般的だ(が isn't there) for that meaning.
Good, thanks.
 

Toritoribe

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Then, the sentence should be マルフォイが何か言ったとしても、何が起きたかダンブルドア(だけ)にしかはっきりわからないはずだ. This has a favorable nuance to Harry. The original sentence ダンブルドアだけははっきりわかるはずだ means "even if no one else won't clearly understand it, at least Dumbledore will", i.e., "only Dumbledore will understand it and no one else will" or "some people, including Dumbledore, will understand it".
 
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