なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 - Wrap Up & Final Comments

なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 - Wrap Up & Final Comments

We finished the book! :tada: How was it for you? This is a thread to discuss people’s thoughts on the book, how the bookclub worked, and any other final thoughts. You also have the satisfaction of clicking on the “I finished the book” poll below…

Main なぜ?どうして?科学のお話 thread: Link



  • I have finished なぜ?どうして?科学のお話!! :fireworks: :medal_sports:

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The read was very up and down for me! A lot of easy chapters mixed in with more difficult ones, and in seemingly no particular order. It was always a great feeling when I was able to understand complete sentences on my own. Although I had to translate the majority of the content, I still think this was a valuable experience. It was much easier to put everything together by the end of the book.

I really enjoyed posting our daily translation on the thread, and comparing and discussing with each other what we did not understand. It created a kind of classroom vibe. I am very thankful for the more experienced Japanese learners following along with us most of the time, and correcting our translations. That was very helpful and I appreciate the time taken to look over all of our posts!

The next book レンタルおにいちゃん looks to be a little easier than なぜどうして and I kind of look forward to not having to translate so much (though I could be completely wrong) I can still see myself picking up more books in this series, and would be on board if it was a part of the beginner book club in the future.


As I have said before I am surprised by the intellectual level of this book intended for 2nd grade. The stories were interesting, the difficulty for us non-Japanese readers was varying.

It was the first Japanese book that I have read and in the end, it became easier - although of course the grammar and vocabulary were not always easy. To me the use of hiragana instead of kanji+furigana did not seem helpful as it was not always evident which transcription to choose among those offered by the IME. (My current book on hamsters in Strasbourg systematically uses kanji where kanji should be.)

The discussion with the co-learners and our 先輩 was fun and helpful. Thank you all for your contributions!

After my first manga starting on Aug 8th, I consider trying a Beginner or Intermediate bookclub for a change (in autumn/winter).


This was the first book that I’ve read in Japanese which feels like a personal milestone. Difficulty did seem to vary chapter to chapter, and even sentence to sentence, trending down as I read more though. I’d agree that the best feeling was not having to look up any words for a sentence. That was a rare but great feeling!

My personal highlights would be the early chapters on the human body for their great gross-out factor. I don’t think there was actually a section I disliked. Some of the science was new to me but even the subjects I was familiar with were interesting enough and often fun to see how the topics were tackled for targeting a younger audience. It’s similar to the guilty pleasure of watching Saturday morning cartoons.

Thanks again to everyone for posting their translations. It was super helpful and often gratifying to see my translation matching reasonably closely. If I was really struggling I could refer to other’s translations to get a foothold as well. I loved when someone would break down a single sentence that we were struggling with too. That had the benefit of not just correcting a single sentence but seeing how difficulty sentences could be approached. I wish I could’ve made the live readings more but it turned out 7AM on Sundays were a bit too early once life started to pick up this summer (did some landscaping outside).

I don’t want to ramble too much but I’ve only been really learning Japanese for about ~9 months and I really wish I had started a bit sooner. The only time better than yesterday is today though. I didn’t make much of an effort before visiting in 2018 and now another trip isn’t looking to happen for at least a few more years.

Don’t jinx it! It would feel awesome if we could rely less on jisho/ichi.moe/Google for the next book. :smiley:


This was my first WK book club! :sparkles: Thank you to everyone for chugging through to the end, it made it more fun for me even if you didn’t see me reading your posts :blush:
And thanks to @Micki and @Belthazar for all the grammar insights.

I wasn’t around much on the threads, mostly just because I wasn’t reading it as intensively as most of the active readers – I just wanted to enjoy the book, and translating pages daily made it more like homework for me :sweat_smile: (I have homework with my tutor already)

But I learned (and probably forgot already) a lot of useful vocab in this book! And it was also my first time reading whole pages of vertical text :open_mouth: (not just speech bubbles)


This was also my first full book in Japanese it feels great to finish it! I think this style of book was great. The sentences were hard but not too challenging and so I was able to keep up or easily catch up if I was very busy and falling behind a bit. I also lurked through most of the thread, and really appreciate everyone who was dedicated to posting their translations. There were many times where I didn’t quite grasp the sentence and you guys had figured it out. I agree with @IgorTheGreat about feeling really confident going into レンタルおにいちゃん thanks to having finished なぜ.

I also think that there are probably dozen of useful vocab words that I’ve forgotten because you just see them for a few sentences in a single section and then never again. I think next time I’ll be better about getting an anki deck of the vocab sheet and adding new words. It is really fun when it overlaps with Wani Kani vocab, I’m in level 19 so I started seeing 宇宙 right as we finished the space section.


I thought the book was challenging, but I expected that going in. I will say that the first few chapters I was completely overwhelmed and could physically read it but not understand any of it. Now at the end I am understanding roughly 50% of it and my speed has increased. I loved coming across words in Japanese and looking them up in English and still not knowing what it was. :laughing: I thought second graders were learning ABC’s and puppies and not nitroglycerin and bio-luminescence? :wink:


I’d be worried if my 8-year-old were only just learning their ABC :stuck_out_tongue:


This is definitely my goal as well. I’ve been better about checking when certain words will show up on WaniKani, and if they’re more than 5 levels away I’ll try and make my own card. I’ve also started adding some phrases to KameSame that don’t appear at all on WK. I currently mostly use those and bunpro, but I think I’ll need to start using Anki too.

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It’s interesting that making the book simpler for Japanese children by having less kanji, makes it more difficult for non-native speakers who are learning Japanese! Presumably the children have no problem understanding most of the words because their vocabulary is so rich by that age.

I kind of see it that people don’t use kanji when they speak, so you need to be able to understand these words without relying on kanji. In fact one of the things I’ve quite like about this book is when I’ve recognised a word in non-dictionary form without there being a kanji to prompt me. Like recognising まいた as being 巻いた, or recognising a passive or potential form that’s differed quite a bit from its base form.

I do remember struggling more with the lack of kanji in the first book we read though. I’m not sure if it’s because my vocab and grammar have improved since then, or if it’s because I’ve discovered ichi.moe!


Before this book club I didn’t know ichi.moe and I am glad to know it now. A very helpful site (although they have more problems than google translate or deepl in recognizing names - they often try to decompose them grammatically).

@Cathm2 did you finish the book?

A bit late (mainly me being lazy and instead reading other stuff), but I just got around and finished it.


So I’ve done almost zero reading since I started my drive! I was basically just keeping on top of reviews.
Finished my week of night shifts yesterday morning and planning a major catch up this week.

I should get to the end by Sunday but there’s a few sections I skipped on the way through so I need to see how much there is to do there!


I reckon we must have started around the same time. I kind of feel the same about starting earlier but glad I’m learning now. And I’ve not yet been to japan, and no idea when I’ll be going now!


You’re blasting through the levels! When I first started the book club I assumed you were a veteran.

Nope…I am going fast as I’ve realised the challenge motivates me. But it means that comparatively my grammar is quite a lot weaker. I’m doing Bunpro but fairly slowly so about halfway through N4 and I think that’s still pretty shaky!

We have been advancing roughly together from one level to the next. I will (hopefully) reach level 39 on Monday. As for bunpro, I have almost “finished” N4, but I’m doing the reviews using my private cheat sheet and often with try and error. I am quite irritated by all these “looks like” and “seems” with low, some, much confidence and the like. Another bunpro answer I hate: “yes, that would work, but can you say it differently?” My answer to this question is often “no, I can’t - why should I?”.


And I finally got to the end!

I did miss a couple of sections though they were all ones we covered with the live readings. I’ll probably try to go back to them, but I’ll be trying to catch up on my other books first!


That’s what bugs me a lot with Bunpro, too.
I’m going really slowly through it as well. I do a couple of lessons every other week when I feel like I’m below a certain threshold of reviews per day (also SRS fatigue). I mainly use it as a means to be able to recognize grammar points more easily when reading, so I’ll sometimes just undo, correct it and move on.

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