This week we finish chapter 2! Hope everyone is still enjoying reading.
The home thread is up for the next Absolute Beginner Book Club Book １０分で読める伝記（２年生） - which starts on 7th November 2020. This is a book rather than a manga and contains 12 short stories of famous people from around the world, aimed at grade 2 Japanese students.
I don’t know if that’s the case, but there’s an English expression that is similar: “Talk is cheap.” In other words, you can say anything, whether it’s true or not. Sort of like how Kanami claims she doesn’t know anything about the stolen item.
The particle で can attach to a noun that states “with what” the action of the verb is done. Maybe we can consider this like “from the mouth” or “with the mouth” in English. And は makes this the topic, so the remainder of the sentence will be a comment on this topic.
I don’t recall if I’ve talked about the Japanese topic-comment structure in this book club’s threads. Essentially, what comes before は is the topic (the context of the conversation), and what comes after は is a comment being made about the topic.
The comment being made about “from the mouth” is:
なんとでも: We can consider this an expression meaning “whatever”
言える: “to be able to say”, the potential of 言う “to say”.
じゃない: “isn’t it?”
[topic]: “with your mouth”
[comment]: “isn’t it that you can say anything?”
English: “Can’t you say anything with your mouth?” meaning you can say anything, but that doesn’t make it true.
ichi.moe helped me out a lot with this one: 何もしてやれなくて. I now understand that the verb is してやる, to do for someone. But I’m still a bit confused about the -て conjugation. He trails off at the end, so maybe it’s indicating that there could be another verb after that, if he chose to continue talking?
て can also be used to join clauses, and with the なくて, it usually is meant for adding reason or cause, usually feelings or something out of control of the speaker. He trails off at before giving the reason, which is quite common when the reason is difficult and hard to explain, as it is in this case. In English you may or may not include the conjunctive part as well.
Example English of same “trailing off” conversation:
“I’m really sorry. I just couldn’t do anything (because/but)…”
It would be
とろう -> 取ろう (volitional “to steal”)
取ろうとする (to try/attempt to steal)
then change the する to conjunctive て and add past tense of くる
取ろうしてきました (to attempt to steal, came -> “came over and tried to steal”)
It is that Komori - & Kanami too - are both speaking…? What does the “kou” mean in this sentence?
“I have nothing to add to this story yet”… but very unsure about my translation.
Page 69, our oniichan speaks:
“It is that (The keyholder) was inserted (into your bag) by this child called Sae, I think”
Am I about right about this one?
“I didn’t know what to do in your situation (just now) either” is what I made sense from it, but…
I think it’s really strangely worded with the だ (it is) and と (if/when), literally I translate: “If it is that situation, what to do (too) wasn’t (happening)”… Like that sounds really strange to me. I’m confused. Am I in the dark here or is that a usual way to phrase such things in japanese?
Seems fine as a “when” to me. If anything it’s the past tense at the end that’s a little confusing. I believe と conditional is one of the forms where the tense of the second part determines the first, and that might make a little more sense.