なぜ?どうして?科学お話 - Section 5 Discussion Thread

What do you mean by “our” next book?
Yes, it is another book club by @Micki, starting August 8th. Many participants of this book club will be there, too. Me, too.

p. 183

“Dad, is this ‘explosive’ used in war?”


“It is not used to kill people. To prevent the enemy from entering your country, you only have to place some explosive.”


Hearing this, Nobel was a little relieved.


With the father’s invention, the household was rich.


The younger brother Emil was born.


However, when the war ended, explosives were suddenly not used anymore.

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Well, the Absolute Beginner Book Club I assume, which this is part of.

In response to @tedledbetter, though I see you’ve picked it up anyway - yes, you can see the current and upcoming picks in the OP of the book club home thread.


Thanks - Yes, exactly, The Absolute Beginner Book Club. I assumed most people who read here would follow along to the next book?

Yes, I got excited and picked it up already! Haha :laughing: I watch that thread which is where I saw the new book but just connecting the dots back to here :slight_smile:


I’m still undecided, mostly because of having three books on the go now - it’s a bit of a struggle!

At least ebooks make it easy to decide last minute.


I didn’t see “Absolute Beginner Book Club” as the name of the club, but rather as a specification of the level. In Master List of Book Clubs you see that there may be several book clubs of the same level running in parallel.

Sure, but there is an Absolute Beginner Book Club, and both this book and Brother for Rent are part of that book club. So that’s what tedledbetter was referring to when they asked whether Brother for Rent was the next book in line.


I’m excited for a new book club to start, but I’m surprised this one is wrapping up soon. This year is going faster than it has any right to.

「お父さん、『爆薬』って、戦争で 使うの?

Dad, did you say explosive… could that be used for war?

「人を 殺すために 使うんじゃないよ。敵が 自分の 国に 入ってこないよう、爆薬を 仕掛けておくだけさ。」

It wouldn’t be used for the sake of killing a person. it would only be placed in advance to keep enemies of our country from entering.

これを 聞き、ノーベルは 少し ほっとしました。

Hearing this, Nobel breathed a small sign of relief.

お父さんの 発明で、家は ゆたかに なりました。

With his father’s discovery, their family became wealthy.

弟の エミールも 生まれました。

And Emil, his younger brother, was born.

けれど、戦争が 終わると、爆薬は パッタリと 使われなくなって しまいました。

But, with the end of the war, the use of were explosives suddenly stopped.


Though maybe that is for the best…
i hope…

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Pg. 184


ノーベルは お父さんに アイデアを出しました。

Nobel gave his father an idea.

「爆薬を もっと いいことに 使えないかな。

"I wonder if we can’t use explosive for more good things.

道路や 鉄道を 作る 時、トンネルを ほったり、大きな 石を くだくのに、爆薬が 使えるんじゃない?」

Can’t we use explosives in order to break up large stones and excavate tunnels when building roads and railroads?

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そこでーーノーベルは お父さんに アイデアを 出しました。

Thereupon… Nobel submitted an idea to his father.

「ばくやくを もっと いい ことに つかえないかな。

“I wonder if explosives can’t be used for something better.

道路や 鉄道を つくる とき、トンネルを ほったり、大きな 石を くだくのに、ばくやくが つかえるんじゃない?

When making roads and railways, excavating tunnels, in order to break large stones, couldn’t they use explosives.”

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p. 184
そこでーー ノーベルはお父さんにアイデアを出しました。

So… Nobel gave his father an idea.


"I wonder if explosives can’t be used for better things.


When building roads and railroad lines, couldn’t explosives used to dig tunnels and smash big stones?"

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I was picking up physical copies of レンタルおにいちゃん for the next book club and decided to get なぜ?どうして?科学のお話3年生 as well. I also picked up a 2年生 book of biographies so hopefully that’ll help with withdrawal from this book. I need some weird science stories.

そこでーー ノーベルはお父さんにアイデアを出しました。

Then… Nobel showed his father an idea.


I wonder if even more good opportunities couldn’t use explosives…


When building roads and railways, in order to smash big rocks, why not use explosives?


Pg. 185
こうして ノーベルは、お父さんの 仕事を 手伝ううちに、爆薬を 研究するように なったのです。

In this, Nobel researched explosives in order to help with his dad’s work.

その頃の 爆薬は、「ニトログリセリン」という 液体から できており、少し ゆれただけで
すぐ ばくはつしてしまう おそれが ありました。

The explosives at that time were from a liquid called “nitroglycerin” which would immediately explode if shaken a little, which people were afraid of.

ノーベルの 工場で 爆発が 起きました。

Explosions occurred in Nobel’s lab.

工場の 中には、弟の エミールが!

His little brother Emil is in the factory!

...エミールは 爆薬の ぎせいに なってしまったのです。

Emile became a victim of the explosives…


こうして ノーベルは、お父さんの しごとを 手つだううちに、ばくやくを けんきゅうするように なったのです。

Thus Nobel, to help in his father’s work at home, did research into explosives.

I don’t think I’ve quite got this one?

そのころの ばくやくは、「ニトログリセリン」という 液体から できており、少し ゆれただけで すぐ ばくはつしてしまう おそれが ありました。

Explosives at that time, made from the dregs of a liquid called “nitroglycerin”, there was a fear that just by being shaken a little it could cause an explosion.

Again here I wasn’t sure of the おり at the end of the clause, so kind of guessed!

ノーベルは 心配していましたが、ある日ーー。

Nobel was worried, then one day…

ノーベルの 工場で ばくはつが おきました。

In Nobel’s factory an explosion took place.

工場の 中には、弟の エミールが!

In the factory was his younger brother Emile!

…エミールは ばくやくの ぎせいに なってしまったのです。

…Emile had become a victim of the explosives.

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p. 185

Thus Nobel assisted his father in his work and came to do research on explosives.


In those times, explosives were made of a liquid called “nitroglycerin” which risked to explode at once at just a little shake.


Nobel was worried, but one day …


An explosion occurred at the Nobel factory.


His brother Emil was in the factory! … Emil fell victim to the explosive.

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I read this うち as the meaning: while (e.g. one is young); during; within (e.g. a day); in the course of​. I think @2000kanji’s translation is about right for this sentence.

I also puzzled about the おり. My best guess was that it is the stem form of おる, which can be used like いる after the て form of a verb to mean - to be …-ing.


I relied on ichi.moe:
[indicates continuing action (to be …ing) (humble)]
[v5r] Continuative (~i)

居る 【おる】

What I didn’t get is why they used おる rather than いる. It can be used in this way in certain dialects but I can’t see that is relevant in this type of prose. It can be used as a humbler form of いる but I didn’t really see that as being the reason in context. Maybe it’s because it’s being used in stem form - if いる has a stem form I guess it would be い which maybe doesn’t sound right in natural Japanese?


I had to look this up myself, not so long back. From what I was able to find out, verb stems are often used instead of て-forms for joining sequential actions in written form. So in this case, います would just become い, so おり(ます) is used instead. The use of おる in this case has nothing to do with humble language.