なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 - Section 1 Discussion Thread, Completed!

Don’t worry I think most beginners, you and I included, are totally winging it :smiley:


Page 16

I broke it down like this:
おとなには - in regard to adults
まゆの かたちを - eyebrow shape (plus を)
ととのえたり - arranging/tidying up
かいたり - drawing
している - doing
ひと - people
も - even
います - existing

The X たり…Y たり construction means - “doing things like X and Y” - here “doing things like arranging and drawing…”

The たりform is made by using the plain past form and adding り e.g. かく–> かいた --> かいたり

So the whole thing means (I think):
In regards to adults, [doing things like arranging and drawing eyebrows] people even exist.

Or more naturally,
Among adults, there are even people who do things like tidying up their eyebrows or drawing them on.

By the way if you haven’t tried copying and pasting a sentence into ichi.moe yet then try it with this one. It’s like magic for breaking down the sentence!


Yeah, “location” on the Kindle isn’t the same as a page. I haven’t been able to work out what it does mean, mind, or how it correlates to the length of the book. Maybe it’s paragraph numbers?

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I don’t know how kindle locations are actually calculated, but I think it corresponds to some number of bytes – because they map progress pretty well between devices, even if the devices have quite different font sizes or layout settings…

(I might just be remembering invented memories though sorry :sweat_smile:)

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Page 16

Ok, so my first thoughts are… what have I gotten myself into!? :confused:

I didn’t understand much. I picked up a few words here and there. It’s always been very difficult for me to transition from structured learning to applied reading. No exception with this page.


I can relate so much now. I have to keep telling myself that it is OK if I don’t understand 90% of it. But this is hard lol.

Edit: I guess we need to level up more? But no reason not to still try and continue.

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In order to force myself study grammar, I plan to do small post about bunpro grammar point or common word which I found on the current book’s page. Here it goes:

My favorite grammar point on page 16: や - non-exhaustive AND

Full sentence:
まゆの 形 太さは、人に よって いろいろですね。

A や B is translated as “A and B among other things”:

Translation (trying a bit hard to convey this nuance): As for eyebrows, their properties like shape and thickness vary from person to person, right?
I’ve added word “properties” which is nowhere in Japanese version, since “things” does not work here.

Of course, simpler translation is just: As for eyebrows’ shape and thickness, they vary depending on a person, right?


I’m doing this because so far I cannot establish consistent grammar learning routine. I have Genki and bunpro subscription, and I’m aware of bunch of other great resources, but I’m not working on grammar as much as I work on WK. I only went thru the first two chapters of the textbook, and added less than 30 points to bunpro srs. So that’s my attempt to push me into learning new grammar point each day (or most days), while we read this book.

I’ve started with the easiest grammar point on the page, obviously.


I’m mostly satisfied with my pass for this page, the troublesome sentence spills over to page 17, so I’ll ask about it tomorrow. My process is:

  • plug each sentence into https://ichi.moe/
  • search jisho for vocab, bunpro for grammar, check shared spreadsheet (pages 16 and 17 are done there).
  • don’t worry about verb conjugations now, I will learn them eventually
  • If it still does not make sense, ask google translate.

This book has actual breaks (spaces) between words, luxury for the sake of 2nd graders :slight_smile:


as an absolute beginner I am not even understanding the first word :sweat_smile:



Depending on the person, there are various shapes and thickness of eyebrows.

Grammar Points in this sentence
  • や - Non exhaustive “and”. Basically “Shape and thickness, among other things…” In speech you might hear とか more frequently.
  • 太い ー> 太さ This is turning an adjective into a noun. From “thick / fat” to “fatness”. Another example is 長い to 長さ (long to length).
  • によって - In this context it means “depending on…”. More specifically depending on the 人. Another example might be: “車の値段によって、買うかも…” (Depending on the car’s price, I might buy it…)


There are even some adults who do things like groom or draw on their eyebrows. A more direct translation might be something like: "For adults, there also exists people who do things like groom tidy up and draw on their eyebrows.

Grammar Points in this sentence
  • には - Has many uses but in this case it means “for” or “regarding”. Basically, within the group “adults” there are some people who draw on eyebrows
  • ~たり~たりする - This means “do things like x and y…” In this example its ととのえたり、かいたりしています。To get it into the たり form, you put the verb into past-shorm form and add たり. If you look at かいたりしています you’ll notice しています. This is a necessary part of the grammar construction. It provides the “time” context. In this case its the progressive.


It is said that the left and right eyebrow, together, have about 1300 hairs.

Grammar Points in this sentence
  • 合わせて - This is the verb 合う in the causative form (also te form). In this instance it means “if you make them go together / or let them go together.” More simply, “together…”
  • と言われています - This just means “it is said that…”

Which word? まゆの? It is Eyebrows’. の is possessive particle:


Thank you!:slight_smile: this is going to be more challenging than i thought, but I will push through!


wow, I didn’t know https://ichi.moe. This is a great tool to understand the grammar of sentences! Thanks for the link!


I read page 8 (and 9) now (old version). How I proceeded was:

  • read one sentence fully and loudly
  • circle every word/grammar point I didnt know
  • check on the vocab table (or jisho) for the translation. Also maybe ichi.moe and google translate for simplicity (don’t kill me for that lol)
  • translate the sentence (no literal translations)

Here are my translations (sentences numbered):

page 8 (old)/16(new)

(fyi english is not my native language either :see_no_evil:)

  1. What are eyebrows there for?
  2. Eyebrow shape and thickness varies from person to person
  3. As for adults, there are even people who shape and draw their eyebrows. (How do I interpret the 人も correctly? How do I know what も means in this context?)
  4. It is said that the right and left eyebrow together consist of approximately 1300 hairs
    (next sentence goes into page 9)
  5. Just like other hair, and because they grow little by little and are replaced every 3 to 4 months by new hair, eyebrows are always short.

My questions and difficulties in understanding:

page 8(old)/16(new)
  • for this page, my biggest problem was the 2nd sentence. The meaning is somewhat clear, but I think the も gives it another detailed meaning that I am not sure I understand. I interpreted is as ‘even’ as in ‘there are even people who’, but I am not sure about that.
  • the usage of と, for example in sentence 3. I know this only from expressions like と思います. Is this the same case here? といわれています。

FYI you skipped a sentence from page 16/8 (between 2 and 3).

I agree with most people’s translations, thanks to those who’ve explained grammar points!

I have something that’s confusing me - is there a difference between まゆ and まゆ毛? I get both translated as eyebrows, so I don’t get why it’s sometimes using one or the other.


(Thanks I just forgot to write it down here. Will add it later!)

I just assumed the difference between まゆ and まゆ毛 was eyebrows in general vs the actual hair of your eyebrows… I might be off the mark though.


I am so happy that i could read todays page. I used your translations and the drive excel sheet too. These helped a lot! I tried to go further reading the sentence that goes to page 17, but there i have some grammar points that are not weird for me. Hopefully someone will ask it soon or i will, when we reach 2nd of feb in Japan!


Don’t worry, all of us are in this together. It’s only the first section. Once we can translate it using whatever means and read it again it makes more sense. Some of the grammar and vocabulary will surely repeat and thus we can learn from it. We got this!


Thank you very much for the explanations, they really helped :smile: It is really hard for a first time reader :sweat_smile: