1

How would one translate this sentence into English?

蝋燭{ろうそく}はけっこう上のほうにある

I generally know what each of the words mean individually, however I don't know if any of them change in this context. I'm reading a light novel and the character has found him/herself in a cave with some lit candles around and is a bit confused.

I think that it literally translates to "The candles are quite upright" which of course makes little sense so my guess is that

[1] I am misreading "上" as "ue", though I can't imagine why it would be read as "jou" or "nobo"
[2] If I am reading it correctly, then the upright-ness of the candles refers to their luminescence somehow.

2

While there are several words matching けっこう, the most common and probable one is 結構. It has several meanings, but the one used here is most likely "quite", especially because it matches the verb ある.

上 is indeed うえ and with ほう(方) basically means "upward direction", however here it indicates the location of the candles relative to the observer and not their orientation.

The full sentence probably means something like:

The candles were [placed] pretty high up.

For "straight/upright", a more likely word would be something like まっすぐ(な) or 直立(した).

  • 2
    "The candles are (located) quite far/high up." is how I read the sentence. The translation you provided is what I'd give for "蝋燭は上のほうにけっこうある". – goldbrick Jan 4 at 0:24
  • @goldbrick indeed, good point. I’ll edit it. – Igor Skochinsky Jan 4 at 0:27

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