レンタルおにいちゃん - Week 1 Discussion (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

レンタルおにいちゃん Week One: Pages 3-12

Start Date: 8th August

Next Week: Week 2
Home Thread: Link


Vocabulary List

Created by @ChristopherFritz. Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

*Created by @nfive. Contains list of grammar points for the week with links to Bunpro explanations.


Discussion Guidelines

  • Please blur / hide any major events in the current week’s pages (however early they occur), like so: [spoiler]texthere[/spoiler]

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked

  • Join the conversation - it’s fun!


Participants

Mark your participation status by voting in this poll:

  • I’m reading along
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0 voters

If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion (or have read ahead), please select “I’m reading along”!


20 Likes

Welcome to Week One of Big Brother Rental: レンタルおにいちゃん

A couple of quick points to get us started…

1. Ask Questions!!

This group works best when people ask questions - so please ask! No question is silly - this is the Absolute Beginner’s Book Club so people are expecting Absolute Beginner Questions. The questions drive the discussion, and there’s a good chance if you are wondering, there are several other people wondering the same thing.

When asking a question:

  • Please include the page number for every question you ask
  • Check whether your question has already been asked / answered before posting
  • Remember to utilise the vocab spreadsheet
  • Blur out any major events when posting, however early in the ‘week’ they occur (like so: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler])

2. Useful Resources

  • Jisho is a popular online Japanese-English dictionary, and the usual source for populating the spreadsheet
  • ichi.moe is a popular tool for parsing out sentences. It’s not infallible but it can be really useful when you don’t recognise the conjugation of a word, or when a set of words form a set expression.
  • The Jaded Network is a useful resource for looking up the little sound effect words in the pictures which are often not in Jisho
  • Deepl will translate a sentence from Japanese to English. It’s not going to be right all the time, but when you are struggling with a sentence it can sometime help to point you in the right direction.

And finally another poll (multiple selections allowed):

  • This is my first time trying to read a Japanese manga
  • This is my first time trying to read any Japanese book
  • I’ve tried reading a book in Japanese before but wasn’t able to complete it
  • It’s not my first book in Japanese but I’m looking forward to reading this one!

0 voters

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I didn’t understand one sentence when I read it two weeks ago and wanted to ask what it means but I managed to understand it this time. :joy: So nothing to see here.

Let’s have fun reading it together!

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Question About: PAGE 6

Part 1

プリンとかどう?

At the bottom right of the page there’s the sentence: " プリンとかどう?". It may be because I don’t know what とか and どう mean, but from what I figured out (with help from the docs sheet), it means “how about pudding or something like that?”.

Part 2

4個入りをお土産に

I case I’m right with the translation, the second part of the sentence is the one that confuses me the most.
“4個入りをお土産に”, or (in a “rough sketch version”) according to the docs sheet and my understanding: “containing 4 articles for souvenirs” (???)… Sorry, the sentence hasn’t clicked the “make sense” switch for me yet…

I’m sorry if this came out weird, I’m not a native English speaker, and trying to express myself in 2 different languages is a bit harder than I originally thought…

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Page 6

4個入りをお土産に

I construed this as “a four pack (of pudding) as a souvenir.”

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Page 6

Yes, this sentence completlely threw me off as well. Specifically about what is the role of both を and に particles here?

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Page 5

よく噛んで食べるんだよ

Not really understanding the grammar here. Is he pointing out how nicely she’s chewing and eating her food? 食べる doesn’t look conjugated because it ends with る, so what’s the end part for?

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Page 6

Yes, this sentence completlely threw me off as well. Specifically about what is the role of both を and に particles here?

To my understanding, I’ve seen “お土産に” in other parts of sentences before, as in “I am going to buy this shirt as a souvenir.” The 4個入りを is specifying what we are getting as a souvenir. All that is missing is a verb, which has been left out and is being implied in the sentence. You could assume that this sentence, more completely, might be written as:

4個入りをお土産に買います - “I will buy a four pack as a souvenir.”

Other verbs could go here, but that’s just an example. You can also switch the 4個入りを and お土産に parts around so long as they stay with their particles since Japanese is largely pretty modular.

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Page 9

デパートとかたまにしか来れない

Is this something like “We can only come to (places like) the department store occasionally”? Not really understanding the potential form, and my grasp on しか + ない is shaky…

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Page 5

For this one, I assumed the translation was something along the lines of “chew politely while eating” based on the vocab sheet but I’m not 100% sure what the grammar specifics are either!

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Page 5

よく噛んで食べるんだよ

I struggled with this a bit. I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be an observation, or if it was meant to be more of a gentle command that isn’t written in a command form. It also could be him commenting on her chewing it well, but I’m not the best with onomatopoeia so I couldn’t tell if he’s chastizing or praising. I’m assuming more of a gentle reminder: “Chew properly while eating,” so that she doesn’t choke.

~んだ marks things that have an explanatory tone. Like if someone told you your shirt was cute, you could say “昨日買ったんだ” (I bought it yesterday) as explaining something further related to the original statement. Sometimes the original question is implied as well though, so it has more of of a tone of explanation rather than serving as an explicit one, if that makes sense. Like, you might get up to go to the bathroom and tell the people around you “トイレに行くんだ,” explaining where you are going without being asked because you’re pretty sure people are going to wonder why you’re getting up. I think from the pictures, it looks like she’s wolfing food down, so he’s explaining that she should chew up her food well while she eats.

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Yeah, that’s pretty much how I read it. In the previous panel he asks if there’s anywhere else Kanami wants to go, and this sentence is an add-on to that. So, it’s like: “You know, we don’t come here often, so is there anywhere else you want to go (before we leave)?”

I’m not super familiar with the actual grammar at play here, but しか is often used to emphasize how little an amount is (such as saying something like “I only ate one M&M”). も is the opposite, which can emphasize how large an amount is. Maybe this is a completely separate grammar in this instance (in which case, ignore me), but I guess しか and も can also be used in regard to frequency of events?

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Some of the questions have already been answered, so my responses may be duplicates. (As @Michikusa said in the other thread, lots of activity up front!)

Page 5

The essential meaning is that Big Brother is reminding Kanami is chew her food thoroughly.

To begin with, we have a verb sentence:

「よく噛んで食べる」 “chew well and eat” although in English we would say “chew your food before swallowing it”.

Japanese likes to take verb sentences, and turn them into a noun with の (which often becomes ん when spoken), and make it into a “noun1 is noun2” sentence (which ends in だ).

Here’s an example of this in English:

  • Question: “Why were you late to work today?”
  • Verb Sentence Answer: “My car caught fire.”
  • “It is” Sentence Answer: “It’s that my car caught fire.”

What is “it”? “It” points back to the reason for being late. In English, we’d more likely says, “The reason (I’m late) is because my car caught fire.”

You get similar from Japanese by adding のだ or んだ to the end of a verb sentence. Rather than making a statement of an action, it gives the sense of answering a question, for giving a reason, or an explanation.

It’s for this reason that you may see grammar lessons talk about the “explanatory の” (as @minikui mentioned).

In this case, Big Brother isn’t responding to a question. He’s giving an explanatory statement, like “remember, you have to chew your food thoroughly before you swallow it.”

This concept took me a while to get used to. It will come up more in the manga, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see the explanatory の in action.

Page 6

Your understanding is correct. 「どう」 is like saying “How about this?” in English. (“This” is the プリン.) 「とか」 is like “something like” in English, such as “something like プリン”. Put together, you get “How about something like pudding?”

You’ll see both どう and とか later in the comic.

Note on English souvenir vs Japanese お土産

In English, a souvenir is usually bought on a special trip, so you have something to remember it by. It can also refer to gifts you buy from others on your trip. If you were to visit Hawaii, for example, you might buy some local Hawaii items as gifts for friends and family.

In Japan, an お土産 has more uses. You can bring an お土産 (gift) when you visit someone’s house, like if a grandmother is visiting her son and granddaughter. But you can also buy someone an お土産 when you go shopping.

Here, an お土産 is a gift that Kanami will take home with her.

Page 9

In the prior line, Big Brother had asked Kanami if there’s anything else she wants to do, then in this line (ending in から, so he’s giving the reason why he asked her the question), he’s saying “because we’re not able to come to places like the department store often” or said another way “because we can only come to places like the department store occasionally”. The overall meaning is, “Since we don’t go shopping at stores like this often, is there anything you wanted to do while you have this chance?”

しか essentially means “more than”. When paired with ない, you have “not more than”.

たまに is “occasionally”, so たまにしか is “more than occasionally”. With a negative sentence (ない), it becomes “not more than occasionally” (which may get translated as “only occasionally”).

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Page 9

Is this something like “We can only come to (places like) the department store occasionally”? Not really understanding the potential form, and my grasp on しか + ない is shaky…

Yep! Since it had から at the end, I translated it as “After all, [we/you] can only go to places like the department store every once and a while.”

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I like that use of “you” in your translation. Although the Japanese dialogue is a bit vague, Big Brother can visit the mall any time, so Kanami is the one who can’t visit as often. I thought of it as “we” because they can’t visit the mall often together, but I feel like “you” is a better fit.

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Thanks! I figured I would think of it as possibly being both since they both can be accurate, but with her being so young, “you” seemed a bit more likely. Also, “you” pulled at my heart strings a bit harder and I’m a glutton for punishment!

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“It is” Sentence Answer: “It’s that my car caught fire.”

I’ve never seen this explained as “It’s that…” and I love it! Lemme just… file that away in my brain for future explanations :slight_smile:

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I picked up “it’s that” from Japanese the Manga Way. With as different as Japanese is from English, I like when there’s something in English grammar can at least loosely match the Japanese grammar, even if it’s uncommon in the English language.

I feel my use of explanation for page 5 is a bit frail, especially knowing how difficult the のだ concept was for me to grasp. (I lacked in other areas of knowledge/information that made it harder, as well.) But we’ll see のだ/んだ come up more later in the volume, so anyone who’s still confused by it will have plenty more exposure.

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Page 4

お腹空く/お腹空かない
Why is there not a が between お腹 and 空く? お腹空く does not seem to actually be a verb, but a noun and a verb, so why is there not a particle?

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You’ll notice quite a bit through this chapter there’s particles left out. I think its common in casual speech.

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