なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 / Absolute Beginner Bookclub

Sounds good, I’ll try that!

Yes, don’t worry about asking questions. We’re all in this together and trying to help each other to our abilities. :slight_smile: Reading a book in Japanese for the very first time will be hard in the beginning but if you struggle through and stick to it, you will notice some progress!

Also, here are some resources and links that might be helpful for those reading for the first time:

And if we have a shared vocab sheet - that can make reading a lot easier as well. Maybe we can start working on the vocab sheet now even though there’s still about 2 weeks a week until we start?

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If people are up for it, we can spend those 2 weeks looking at the additinal spreads at the beginning of the new edition. What do you think?
(My schedule includes only the core of the book, which is available in both editions).
By additional spreads I mean the pages up until p. 16 in the new version (pages 2-9 specifically).

EDIT:
Let’s make it official then, feel free to post any comments, questions or translations for pages 2-9 from the new edition. Let’s just go ahead and do it in this thread.
(Make sure you add page number on the top of the post so it’s easy for others to follow).

I’ll also set up a new thread for the first section of the book this weekend. If anybody starts a vocab sheet, let me know and I’ll add the link there.

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Quick nitpick: there are actually only 8 days until Feb 1st (including today), so this is perfect as there are 8 extra pages :wink:

Also, for anyone who has the old version, the images in the amazon link contain the first 4 pages (though they are numbered 2-5 so I may be wrong about this? Can someone with the physical new book check?)

Oh noo, I hope I didn’t count the pages wrong! I have the old edition myself. Can someone with the new one confirm what the first 16 or so pages look like for you?

Maybe the table of contents is printed after those additional pages? So they would be numbered 2-9?

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This is what my book (the new edition) has
Page 1: title
Page 2-9: additional spreads
Page 10-14: table of contents
Page 15: section title
Page 16: first page of regular text

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I’m looking forward to joining my first book club and taking this journey with you all!

I’ll have to opt for an ebook as shipping is a pain but at least I’ll have it on time!

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@zuzu: I created a vocab sheet we can use for this book club

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I’m new to this whole thing, but I wanna try to translate the first sentence :sweat_smile:

Page 2/3

みぢかなものをよく見てみよう

Let’s have a look on well known things.

みぢかな familiar
もの things
よく well, often
見る to look
みよう let’s see?

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The ~てみる construction means “try” (as in, give it a go and see what happens).

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Thanks for kicking us off Chris. Your translation sounds great to me! Let me break it down a bit more as we are starting at absolute beginner level:

よく見てみよう

よく here is an adverb meaning nicely, properly, well. It’s describing how we are doing the looking.

見て is in て-form. If anyone hasn’t got to て-form yet in grammar they might not be ready for this Bookclub!

みよう is in volitional form, meaning “let’s…”As Belthazar mentioned, verb in て-form followed by みる means “to try to do something” - so this is “let’s try looking”

Adding in the よく it’s “let’s try looking well/properly”. I wonder if a nice translation might be “looking closely”.

So we could say - Let’s try looking closely at some familiar objects

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Don’t scare away all the absolute beginners :stuck_out_tongue:

You can look up and learn the て-form, e.g. here:

https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/416
Genki I 2nd Edition : Page 150 (and practice online here)
みんなの日本語 I : Page 92 [CH 14]
A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar : Page 464
Cure Dolly: https://youtu.be/GzEVLMDC8nw

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Thank you! I was confused by this, I think I need to start looking up grammar points more :sweat_smile:

For verb tenses, I’ve been finding the wikipedia article on Japanese verb conjugation quite helpful (no idea if this is actually a good resource but I like it :woman_shrugging:). P.S. I just noticed te+miru is described in the te-form section :see_no_evil:

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Carrying on page 2 (with formatting that took far too long on a mobile device - not to be repeated!)

ぎもん1

Question 1

なぜこういう形なのかな?

なぜ - why
こういう - such, this sort of
形 - shape
なのかな - かな expresses the concept “I wonder” or expresses doubt. If you add の before かな it stresses the uncertainty. When のかなcomes after a noun or な-adjective it becomes なのかな. Grammar link - Maggie Sensei

Why this sort of shape I wonder?

なにかいみがあるのかな

なにか - something, or “what” followed by a question particle

いみ- meaning, significance

が - topic marking particle

ある - to exist

のかな - expressing wonder (see above, this time after a verb so does have な at the front)

I wonder if there is a significance?

みのまわりの ものを、よく 見て みましょう。

みのまわり - literally “surrounding oneself” (身の回り) = one’s personal belongings, one’s possessions, one’s daily life

の - possession particle

もの - things

を - object marking particle

よく見てみましょう - let’s try looking closely (see above - this time in the more formal volitional form of the verb at the end)

Let’s try looking closely at the things around us in our daily life.

どうして こういう形なのかな?

どうして - why

こういう - such a, this sort of

形 - shape

なのかな - I wonder (as above)

Why are they such a shape?

わけが あるのかな?

わけが - reason (plus topic marking particle が)

ある - to exist

のかな - I wonder

わけがある means “there is a reason” - followed by のかな

I wonder if there’s a reason?

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I am trying to buy this for my phone or hopefully kindle but it’s hard to understand these websites in all Japanese. :C

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By the way if anyone is confused we are discussing the pages which are in the new edition but not the old one. Here they are from the free samples on the Amazon page for this book:

Pages 2-5

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It was for sale on iTunes in the UK without having to navigate any Japanese site. BookWalker site has the option to view the site in English but you need to use a VPN if you are purchasing from outside Japan (see discussions above)

For Kindle, amazon japan has an option to change the website language to English :smiley:

Oh, I see! Thanks!

Well, looks like I can’t get it for kindle in the US. :confused: maybe I will try a physical copy :slight_smile:

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