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Narubeku zaitaku kinmu ni sasete-moraeru to ii-no desu ga.

(It would be good if they’d let us work from home as much as possible.)

 

Situation 1: Two colleagues are talking at the office.

芝: 新型コロナの感染数がまた増えているみたいですね。なるべく在宅勤務にさせてもらえるといいのですが。

ティエン: ほんとですね。だけど、どうしても会社でやらなければならないこともありますからね。

Shiba: Shingata korona no kansensū ga mata fuete-iru mitai desu ne. Narubeku zaitaku kinmu ni sasete-moraeru to ii-no desu ga.

Tien: Honto desu ne. Dakedo, dōshite mo kaisha de yaranakereba naranai koto mo arimasu kara ne.

Shiba: It seems that the number of novel coronavirus infections is increasing again. It would be good if they’d let us work from home as much as possible.

Tien: That’s the truth. However, there are also things we must do at the company.

 

The adverb なるべく is used when the speaker would like to convey their wish or ask someone for something. Translated in English, it means “as… as possible” or “if possible”:

なるべく来(き)てくださいね。

(I’d like you to come if possible.)

This above sentence conveys the speaker’s wish that they’d like the listener to come, but the nuance is such that they’re trying not to be pushy.

 

Situation 2: A bank clerk is finishing up a meeting with Ms. Yamani at the office.

銀行員: わかりました。こちらとしましては、できるだけの融資をさせていただきます。

ヤマニ: ありがとうございます。そう言っていただけると、心強いです。

Ginkōin: Wakarimashita. Kochira to shimashite wa, dekiru dake no yūshi o sasete-itadakimasu.

Yamani: Arigatō gozaimasu. Sō itte-itadakeru to, kokorozuyoi desu.

Banker: I understand. For our part, we will do our best to provide the financing.

Yamani: Thank you. Your saying that is reassuring.

The term できるだけ is made up of できる (to be able to) and だけ (only), and it translates as “as much as is possible” in English. It is interchangeable with なるべく, but has the nuance of stronger resolve. Use it in front of an adverb, but note that it tends to be paired with 早(はや)く:

できるだけ早く来てください。

(Please come as soon as you possibly can.)

できるだけ早く返事(へんじ)が欲(ほ)しい。

(I want a reply as soon as possible.)

 

As なるべく is an adverb, it has no noun-modifying form. できるだけ on the other hand does if you add の to it, as the bank clerk does in Situation 2: できるだけの融資(ゆうし) translates loosely to “as much as we can with the financing.”

 

Bonus Dialogue: On the last day of their summer vacation, two colleagues are chatting on the phone about what they did.

田町(たまち): とうとうお盆(ぼん)も帰省(きせい)しなかったな。なるべく来(こ)ないようにって母(はは)に言(い)われて…。

グレイ: 私(わたし)も夏休(なつやす)みは家(いえ)で本(ほん)ばかり読(よ)んでいたの。なるべく外出(がいしゅつ)しないようにしていたから、スーパーに行(い)ったのも一回(いっかい)だけよ。

田町: 学校(がっこう)は、秋(あき)から通常(つうじょう)通(どお)りになるのかな?

グレイ: 政府(せいふ)は観光(かんこう)のGoToキャンペーンより先(さき)に、子(こ)どもたちが普通(ふつう)に学校に行けるようにすべきだと思(おも)う。

田町: ほんと!それと、飲(の)み会(かい)や旅行(りょこう)はがまんするから、普通に仕事(しごと)してお昼(ひる)に外食(がいしょく)できればいい。感染者(かんせんしゃ)の管理(かんり)とか歓楽街(かんらくがい)の規制(きせい)とか、もっとしっかりやってほしい。

グレイ: 私たちはこれからもできるだけの自粛(じしゅく)をして、医療(いりょう)関係者(かんけいしゃ)に負担(ふたん)をかけないようにしようね。

Tamachi: Ultimately, I didn’t return to my hometown even during the Bon holidays. My mother had said not to come if possible.

Gray: I did nothing but read books at home during summer vacation. I was trying not to go out as much as possible, so I only went to the supermarket once.

Tamachi: Will schools be able to start normally from the fall?

Gray: I think the government, ahead of (promoting) the tourist Go To Travel campaign, should ensure that children can go to school as normal.

Tamachi: Honestly! On that, we’re refraining from drinking parties and travel, but it would be nice if we could go to work as normal or eat out for lunch. I want there to be firm (efforts) in supervision of the infected and regulation of the entertainment districts.

Gray: From now on we should continue self-restraint as much as possible so as to not be a burden for medical personnel.

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