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Could someone enlighten me on how to say: "I think I understand (it) right now, but I'm not entirely sure (I will understand it) in future"? The speaker feels their understanding could go either way: either they'll remember, or they won't. 50/50.

My (laughably poor) attempt would be:

せめて今の所は分かるけど、未来は分かるのかどうか分からない。

Again, I'm sure that's probably riddle with errors. Yikes!

Many thanks in advance!

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「せめて今{いま}の所{ところ}は分{わ}かるけど、未来{みらい}は分かるのかどうか分からない。」

Just by the look of it, at least, I know that you tried very hard and that is what counts.

「せめて」 , when correctly used, expresses one's minimum hope as in wanting "at least this much". It is used to express a desire. Thus, it feels out of place in this context. Incidentally, 「今のところ」, all by itself, covers what you want to say here.

「未来」 is a bigger word than Japanese-learners tend to think. That I know for sure after having dealt with J-learners for a few decades. A good word to know, of course, but it is too big here.

You used 「分かる」 three times in a short sentence and that is a little too many. This is, however, a minor thing compared to the two items I mentioned above.

So, how could we say this more naturally? We could say:

「今(のところ)は分かるけど、先{さき}のことは分からない。」

「今は分かったつもりだけど、(いつまでも/ずっと)覚{おぼ}えていられるかどうか分からない。」

「今は分かったつもりでいるけど、すぐに忘{わす}れてしまうかもしれない。」

I personally recommend the last two even though they look quite different from your original sentence. I would be lying if I said otherwise.

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  • (l'électeur, sorry, for some reason I'm still unable to tag anyone), many thanks for your very informative reply. Strangely enough, I was thinking the overuse of 「分かる」would be the least of my troubles, hahaha. All the translations are stellar, because all are expressing what I want to say but in slightly different ways. If you don't mind me asking, why would you only recommend the last two? (FTR, personally I agree—the last one is my favourite because of the 「てしまう」, which gives some emotion to the sentence.) Nov 29, 2017 at 3:50

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