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I translated a sentence of mine into Russian, which originally read: "I want to hear all about your news and what took place today! Once I have my coffee, of course."

Here is my translation: "Я хочу услышать все о твоих новостях и сегодняшних происшествиях! Раз уж у меня есть кофе."

At first, I translated the last sentence quite directly as 'Раз у меня есть кофе,' but was changed to 'раз уж...' Could you provide a brief explanation of 'раз уж' (though I can intuit from context, I want to be sure) and an example or two of how it is used?

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"Раз уж у меня есть кофе" translates into something like "...since I already have my coffee", or, to put it another way, "Now that I have got my coffee [I'm ready to listen to you]" -- it implies that you have a cup of coffee in your hand and are ready to listen.

There is not much difference here between "раз" and "раз уж" -- the particle "уж" (reduced "уже") simply reinforces completeness of what follows ("у меня есть чашка кофе").

Your English phrase sounds more like you haven't had your coffee yet and are not ready to listen until you have, so it would be better translated as "Расскажи мне, что у тебя нового и что происходило сегодня, но только после того, как я выпью кофе, конечно".

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Since you translate from English "Once I have my coffee, of course" then this sentence should become "Как только выпью кофе, конечно" in Russian.

About conjunction "Раз уж". It's just a spoken alternative to "Если уж". Although direct translation to "If already" has a little sense in English, yet the meaning should now be clear: it's a conditional clause similar to as or since.

Reducing "Раз уж" to "Раз" is okay too.

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