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The full text is...

この魔剣があれば… メルヴィンの言うとおり 竜すらも恐るるに足らない…

Is this a double negative? "Even dragons to be not afraid is not enough" = "Even dragons are [will be] afraid".

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Related, but not an exact duplicate: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2478/… – cypher Dec 26 '11 at 23:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I see only one negation in your sentence, and therefore I do not know what made you think that it might be a double negative. Anyway, 恐るるに足らない means “not worth fearing.”

Strictly speaking, 恐るるに足らない is not very correct because it is a mixture of the classical and modern Japanese grammars. As I explained in an answer to the question which cypher linked to, it should be 恐るるに足らず in the classical grammar and 恐れるに足らない in the modern grammar.

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Is there a difference between 足りない and 足らない? I personally prefer 足りない for present Japanese. – user458 Dec 26 '11 at 23:33
@sawa: I do not think there is a difference between 足りない and 足らない. So, I think that 恐れるに足りない is also correct. – Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 26 '11 at 23:35
Thanks, that helped a lot. To answer to your double negative question... its because I had the official English translation which was supplied as "Even the dragons shall fear me". I knew 足らない was negative and did not know 恐るる but it had to be negative to make the English (positive) translation. In this case the English translation did not match the Japanese original. – edwinbradford Dec 27 '11 at 9:48
@edwinbradford: I see, thanks for the explanation. That English translation does not match what the Japanese sentence says. 竜すらも恐るるに足らない means “Even dragons are not worth fearing” or “Even dragons will not make me afraid.” – Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 27 '11 at 12:32

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