6

This is from a JLPT N3 listening comprehension test on Youtube. This is the transcript they give in the answer key.

M: すみません、カバンを落{お}としたみたいなんですが。

F: 電車{でんしゃ}の中{なか}じゃないですか?よく忘{わす}れる人{ひと}がいますから。

M: お酒{さけ}を飲{の}んだのは、電車{でんしゃ}を降{お}りてからですから。

F: じゃ、お酒を飲んだ所じゃないんですか。

M: 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから

F: その後どうしました? ...

I'm not sure I get the last phrase correctly. "It's because my friend forgot (his?) bag and I took care (of it?)." It doesn't seem to answer the question being asked (it's the man's bag that is lost, not his friend's). Yet the police officer seems happy with it and continues with another question.

8

The idiomatic construction "Clause A くらいだから Clause B" is used to state that the fact of A serves as a testament to B, a basis for surmising B, or a justification for saying B. The English expressions "Given/Since/seeing as (and the like) A, B", for the most part, will do as a translation though. Examples:

巨大{きょだい}な雪像{せつぞう}が[1週間]{いっしゅうかん}も建{た}っていられるくらいだから、極寒{ごっかん}である。 ≪The fact that those colossal snow sculptures can stand for a full week testifies to the sheer coldness (of the place).≫

“ハルキスト”っていうくらいだから村上春樹{むらかみはるき}のこと大好き{だいすき}なわけじゃん。 ≪Given the label "Harukists," they adore Haruki Murakami, right? ≫

Now to the sentence in question:

M: 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから。

With the above-mentioned pattern in mind, the first thing you notice is, apart from だから changing to ですから for politeness, that there's no Clause B to be seen. But no worries, this is simply because it is ellipted and implied, and luckily for us, recovering the lost clause (or at least what its main import is) from the context is easy enough; It's something that serves to refute the officer's guesswork offering, likewise with M's previous line. So the complemented sentence could be any of these:

友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから、{それはあり得ません/それは違います/そこで忘れたはずはありません/etc.。}

Another point of note is that "注意{ちゅうい}する" means, among other things, to alert someone to, or even scold them for, their mistake or misconduct.

So all in all, M is reasoning that since he is the one who alerted his friend to the fact they'd forgotten their bag in the restaurant/bar, the same watchfulness couldn't have failed to fall upon his bag, at any rate not then and there, could it?


It seems there are more interpretations of the sentence than I would have imagined. Mine is the only one that came naturally to me, and, after considering other possibilities, still seems most natural to me but I'm just putting in my two cents' worth.

  • 英語も説明も、めっちゃ上手だなあ・・・(いつもそうだけど。)めっちゃ納得できる・・w – Chocolate May 8 '17 at 10:47
  • I can only accept one answer, but each one of them here was very helpful. Thanks everyone! – Asik May 8 '17 at 15:02
  • @Chocolate そう言ってくれてとてもうれしいです:) でしゃばって見当違いなことを言ってるかもしれないとも思ってビクビクしてたのですが、思い切って投稿して良かったです。 – goldbrick May 8 '17 at 16:19
3

In this phrase, the くらい stands for "so that". A direct translation is:

My friend forgot his bag, so that I was cautious

But a better one would be:

As my friend had forgotten his bag, I made sure I did not forget mine.

Thus the fact that the friend forgot his bag serves as a justification for why the character wouldn't have forgotten it at the restaurant.

  • 1
    I can't believe I never saw that usage of くらい in the 5 years I was in japan... I really have to stop slacking on studying under the pretext that I am living in Japan haha... – stack reader May 8 '17 at 2:50
3

The くらい here is used in the sense of:

くらい 〘副助詞〙(「ぐらい」とも)
❹ ある事柄が、極端なことであることを表す。「あの温厚な人が大声を出すくらいだから、よほど頭に来たんだ」
(明鏡国語辞典)

It expresses the degree of something is extreme. "He must have been very angry, (because it was so extreme) to the extent that such a good-natured person should raise his voice."
→ "Even such a good-natured person as him should raise his voice, so he must have been very angry."

It means "to the extent that..." or "to the degree that..." I think it can be rephrased as ほど, as in あの温厚な人が大声を出すほどだから、よほど頭に来たんだ.

So here in your example, 友達がカバンを忘れて、注意したくらいですから can be interpreted as:

友達がカバンを忘れて、注意したくらいですから (≂ 注意したほどですから / 注意するくらいシラフだったから/しっかりしていたから)、そこで忘れたはずがありません。
"I couldn't have left my bag there, because I was sober/cautious to the extent that I pointed it out when my friend forgot his bag."
→ "I even pointed it out when my friend forgot his bag, so I couldn't have left my bag there."

  • I rollbacked my post to the 2nd revision... I first thought that the 注意した meant "pointed out", and then on second thought "made sure", and now I'm not really sure which way it should be interpreted... sorry – Chocolate May 8 '17 at 10:20
  • >"... because I was sober/cautious to the extent ..." You must have a brilliant insight to find he was sober. – mackygoo May 8 '17 at 15:02
3

1) F: じゃ、お酒を飲んだ所じゃないんですか。
2) M: 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから
3) F: その後どうしました? ...

I'm a native Japanese. You need not worry about the interpretation of the phrase 2), because it is ambiguous in this context.

If I make the sentence 2) clearer, I would add the phrase "違{ちが}います。なぜなら そこでは、" to 2) like:

1) F: じゃ、お酒を飲んだ所じゃないんですか。
2)' M: 違{ちが}います。なぜなら そこでは、 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから。
3) F: その後どうしました? ...

Even after this amendment, I think, the phrase 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから is still ambiguous because you can't clarify who forgot the bag and also who said to whom to pay attention to it.

Then, there may be two possible amendments to clarify the ambiguous phrase like:

4) 友達{ともだち}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、私{わたし}が(友達{ともだち}を) 注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから。
5) 友達{ともだち}が私{わたし}がカバンを忘{わす}れて、(私{わたし}を)注意{ちゅうい}したくらいですから。

  • 1
    I initially thought 4) was the only possible interpretation, but on second thought, yes, 5) looks also possible in an actual conversation. – naruto May 8 '17 at 5:21

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