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The translation of ja ein Vermögen showed a fortune each. does ja has each as meaning as well?

In diesem Land kostet eine medizinische Behandlung ja ein Vermögen
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    Where did you get that translation from? Are you sure you typed ja and not je (which can have the meaning of “each”)? Dec 2, 2021 at 18:04

3 Answers 3

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The "ja" in this case is a Partikel, more exactly a Modalpartikel. Modalpartikel can be used to express the speaker's stance on the content of the sentence, like agreement, suprise, heightened interest, a dismissive attitude and so forth. They can be tricky to translate into English, because there's no real equivalent in English.

"Ja" in this case can confer one of two meanings: Surprise, or harkening back to an already known information.

Dieser Hund ist ja riesig!
This dog is huge! (Which I didn't expect, so I'm somewhat suprised or startled by it)

Wir wohnten damals ja noch in Hamburg.
At that time, we were still living in Hamburg. (I'm aware that you already know that, but I'm harkening back to already known information for some reason)

So,

In diesem Land kostet eine medizinische Behandlung ja ein Vermögen.

can mean something along the lines of

In this country, medical treatment costs a fortune. (And I'm surprised by how expensive it actually is)

or

In this country, medical treatment costs a fortune. (As you already know, and this helps you to understand why person X didn't go to the hospital despite their injuries)

Without the context, it's hard to tell which of the two possibilities it is, but the first version (surprise) is probably more frequent.

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The word "ja" has nothing to do with "each". It is a particle with a large scope of application. Frequently it is used to emphasize something or to express surprise. You can simply say

In diesem Land kostet eine medizinische Behandlung ein Vermögen.

This does not drop any essential information. But the "ja" shows that the speaker it a bit shocked how expensive it is.

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When I see this usage of “ja” I tend to translate it to “indeed”. First, it is somewhat in line with direct translation of “yes”, so it flows rather well and it also indicates the impression of surprise or emphasis that others here have mentioned. Therefore - It costs Indeed a fortune!

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