1

自動運転の技術は、どのくらい自動で運転できるか5つのレベルがあります。
The extent to which you can drive automatically is measured by 5 levels.

Obviously my translation is rather loose. A more literal translation would be "to what extent you can drive automatically で there are 5 levels".

I'm struggling to see how this で works. I feel that I want to replace it with の because the whole embedded question (which I understand can behave like a noun) is describing what the levels are. Would this be wrong? Could you please explain the で and maybe provide a couple more examples of this usage with an embedded question?

2

I think the で is indicating the method/way the 5 levels are determined.

From 大辞泉

6 動作・作用の手段・方法・材料などを表す。…を使って。「電話で連絡する」「テレビで知ったニュース」「紙で作った飛行機」

「この御馬―宇治河のまっさき渡し候ふべし」〈平家・九〉

The examples don't have an embedded question but, here's some with questions:

  • 「愛されるか」ではなく「愛することができるか」男性を選ぶ
  • 「GDP」をどこまで説明できるか判明する
  • 【クイズ】何問正解できるか「あなたの犬好き度」がバレる.

I think replacing で with の would sound pretty awkward as I don't think embedded questions act like nouns in that fashion, but I could be wrong.

4
  • Thanks. I suspect you're right about it being 'method/way', but something still doesn't sit well with me. I think maybe it's the use of ある. In all your examples 'choose my means of', 'establish by means of', 'leak out as a result of', the verb seems to work well with で. But with ある 'exists by means of/ because of etc' seems strange to me. Any thoughts on this woolly feeling I have? Nov 15 '20 at 16:13
  • Maybe "due to how many ways a car can operate automatically, there are 5 levels". I could be happy with that as a translation. Perhaps it was actually どのくらい that I was misunderstanding. Does this seem accurate to you? Nov 15 '20 at 16:37
  • 1
    @user3856370 This で is the same as "by" as in "categorize by age" and "group by sex". I think you can translated this like "There are five levels (categorized/defined) by how automatically it can drive". Although there is no verb like 分類される, the particle で itself plays the same role.
    – naruto
    Nov 16 '20 at 2:25
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    @user3856370 Yeah I agree that ある seems like an unusual verb to use with this. I think typically more like the verbs I have in my examples.
    – Ringil
    Nov 16 '20 at 12:44

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