ルリドラゴン ・ Ruri Dragon 🐲 Week 4

Page 48

In this case, it’s not just そう because that would attach to the verb stem (吐きそう). It’s そうだ, which can also mean “appearing”, but in this case might be “I heard that…”. So, “I heard that my daughter breathed fire…”.

I think it’s probably the copula だ/です in て-form, connecting it to a further (unspoken) sentence. So, she’s trailing off there.

Pg. 37

Strictly speaking, you don’t need the だ copula to end sentences in casual Japanese. It often gets omitted. However, when following the explanatory の, it’s pretty much always there. If you left it out, it would sound a bit more childish, and it could easily be mistaken for a question instead of an explanation.

You also generally have the copula present when there are other sentence ending particles involved, as it helps to mark the whole sentence as the target of the particle. だな in particular is basically just a casual and more assertive ですね.

Yeah, I initially mixed up sentences because I remembered they had asked about the だ on page 36 also. :joy:

I’m gonna leave the んだ explanation up just in case it’s useful though.


It’s not a のだ sentence we’re dealing with here.

Think of the whole [that you’ve only grown horns] as a single concept, a single part of the sentence. You can even replace the whole thing with the word “situation, case” (場合) for a slightly awkward, but working sentence.
場合だ → It is the case. What’s the case? That you’ve only grown horns.
だけ needs to attach to the thing that’s the “only” of something, and basically turns that thing into a noun. In this case “You’ve grown horns” is the only thing that happened to Ruri.

For more examples with this same construction:
かわいいだけだね → you’re only cute, huh
女子だけだね → you’re only a girl, huh

In all of these cases ~だけ acts as a noun. These can be translated literally as かわいいだけ → “cuteness-only”, “you are cuteness-only”. 女子だけ → “girl-only” → “you are girl-only”.


Oooh, the information that だけ turns the phrase into a noun is crucial! Then it makes sense of course.


Yeah, a lot of the grammar points do that. It’s a common feature of agglutinative languages. Whenever you see a copula, it’s safe to assume that the rest of the sentence is basically acting like one big noun.


Hey everyone! This is my first book club and I finally caught up to you all after starting last week. I’ll be reading on-schedule next week so I’ll probably have some questions then, I just wanted to introduce myself now.

Sidenote: How easy do you find this manga to be compared with others typically recommended to beginners? I tried reading よつばと! a couple of months ago and it was such a slow and painful process I never even made it past the first ten pages, but for this one I’ve been breezing through it.


It’s about middle of the road, mainly because of colloquialisms


Yeah, all of the ~てた and ~んだ tripped me up at first, but I feel like you get used to it pretty quick.


Personally, I’ve found this to be the easiest. I read a small part of よつばと! but I didn’t really care for it and I do agree it was a bit higher level than Ruri.
Though part of what makes this easy for me, is the fact that I don’t care about the ~てた and the ~んだ 's. Understanding is generally enough for me, I’m okay with slight guesswork, and this has quite the simple vocabulary, so I didn’t really encounter anything difficult.

About the colloquialisms, I don’t think I’ve seen it as anything out of the ordinary, I think anime has trained me well for various styles of speech unconsciously.


If you haven’t checked it already, the よつばと book club threads may help cover for any unknown grammar.

Aside from that, I recommend checking in with Yotsuba after we finish this volume of Ruri Dragon. If it’s still a bit slow going, try our next book club, then try out Yotsuba again. As long as you’re learning grammar along the way, you should find it becomes easier and easier.


Uhm, I’m actually kind of having second thoughts about my reading methods, I kind of read through the chapters using the word lists and grammar lists whenever I felt I needed them, but I’m not dissecting bit by bit each sentence. I think I was getting the meaning pretty much okay so far but surely I’m probably not getting the details or nuances completely.
My steps are :

  1. Read
  2. Process
  3. look for a word/grammar if I don’t know
  4. read again aloud
  5. move on

After reading your comments I think maybe I’m reading wrong…?
Do you guys translate each bubble before commenting or checking the actual meaning? Do you take notes?


Nope, that looks completely fine to me. It’s basically the same method that I use in book clubs. I do take notes, but only if I feel like I’m not understanding the sentence as much as I want to.

Earlier on, my steps were:

  1. Read while trying to understand.
  2. If I have trouble understanding, I mark/screenshot/type out the sentence for later.
  3. Later I go over the problematic sentences and try to see if I really can’t figure them out.
  4. Check the thread and write questions for my problematic sentences that haven’t been answered by the thread already.

Lately I’ve front-loaded the question-writing a bit more:

  1. Read while trying to understand.
  2. If I have trouble understanding, I write out the sentence, what I think it might mean (either just a description or a full literal translation, depending on what might be more useful) and my questions, ready to be potentially posted in the forum later. (You can see an example of this here.)
  3. Check the thread and post the questions that haven’t been asked by other people already.

The advantage of that front-loading is that I don’t have to think about the parts I don’t understand twice (once when I try to figure it out initially, and then again when I’m coming back to my problematic sentences again after a few days), but of course there are bigger breaks during my reading.

You might also notice a conspicuous absence of “translating everything” in there :wink:

Personally, I think that translating can be useful, but it’s a ton of work, and if your understanding is decent in general, a few targeted questions are a better use of your time and energy. (They usually get better answers too, because the people answering can concentrate all their energy on those few answers!)

(Also we have dozens of readers, but I only see the same few people posting translations, so I’m quite sure most of them don’t translate everything.)


Oh that makes sense! I guess I had that fear of “not doing things efficiently”.
I was thinking maybe giving this week’s pages a second read, this time a bit more thoroughly. It’s possible that I may be sacrificing meaning for just wanting to now what’s going to happen next.
So if I take a minute to reread maybe it would help me pin point better what I’m having trouble with.

I haven’t considered that duh! Thank you :smiling_face:


Book clubs are the perfect place to deepen your understanding because you can easily get answers for anything that is even a little unclear to you, so… that sounds good!

Reading the thread to see the questions/answers of other people is also a good way to learn new things. Sometimes you’ll find answers to questions you didn’t even realize you had.


The goal when learning a language is to get to understanding things without having to translate them anyway.

Not saying translating is wrong, but personally I try to translate as little as possible - basically I only translate bits when I don’t understand them, and even then I go for having a vague idea of a translation to help me know what something means rather than trying to find an accurate way to word things in English.


Now this is some Chat GPT level stuff.

“Give me panels where a Japanese schoolgirl is being patted on the head”. :smile:


It helped a bit that the scene came up in this week’s chapter in another book club, making it easy to recall and have on hand =D


On the other side of things, when I was very new to reading, posting my translations really helped. Mainly because then you have other eyes on what you think the meaning was, usually other, more experienced eyes. Your brain’s great at pretending that something makes sense, even if it doesn’t. Especially if inbetween sentences you need to parse them for several minutes.


Absolutely! That’s a big part of why I say translating isn’t wrong. It can definitely help.

I think most people start out translating. Some people think that’s a bad thing, personally I’m of the opinion that if there’s a language you know to use as an intermediate between a language you don’t know and the concepts that make sense to you, you might as well use it to start. Nothing wrong with that.

Plus, if nothing else, with how time-consuming reading can be in the beginning, taking some notes can help you retain some context you’d lose otherwise, or give you something to check when you’re not sure what someone might be referring to. And it’s a good starting point for others to check your understanding or their own understanding too, so for collaboration it works very well.


Definitely my favorite week so far. Ruri spitting fire out for the first time was a genuine unexpected and cool moment.