The kanji 訳 (わけ) means “translation” or “inference” and it can be used in a number of different ways to express or disaffirm a conclusion based on context or reason. Used in this way the word is very often written in hiragana.

週に3回以上ジムに通っていたら会員になったほうがお得なわけです。
If you’re going to the gym more than three times per week then it would make sense to become a member.
嬉そうな顔をしているけど、入試に合格したわけなんだね?
You look happy—that means you’ve passed the entrance exam, right?
そういうわけで、すぐに来たんだよ。
That’s why I came immediately.

Used in this way わけ actually has a slightly dated ring to it—the sort of language you might hear in a period drama or a samurai movie but not among younger friends. Couple it with the negative auxiliary verb, however, and we have a very common and useful phrase that can be used to stop the listener inferring the natural conclusion from the context. It’s closest English translation might be, “that doesn’t mean…”

大学でロシア語を勉強したけど、ペラペラと話せるわけではない。
I studied Russian in university, but that doesn’t mean that I can speak fluently.
会計士資格を持っているんだけど、数学が得意なわけではありません。
I hold an accountancy qualification, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at maths.

わけではない is often heard with the phrase という. Used together the closest translation would be “that’s not to say…”

全く悪いというわけではない。
That’s not to say it’s altogether bad.
お金があれば必ず幸せになれるというわけではありません。
Having money doesn’t necessarily mean that you can be happy.
餃子が好きだけど、毎日食べたいというわけじゃないよ。
I like gyoza, but that’s not to say that I want to eat it every day.
予約する必要があるというわけじゃないけど、レストランが大人気だから事前に電話しておいたほうがいいかも。
I don’t mean to say that you must make a booking, but the restaurant is very popular so it might be better to give them a call beforehand.

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