大海原と大海原 ・Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea Absolute Beginners Book Club Prologue Thread

Random tidbits based on my innumerable encounters with ぬ in the wild:

  • Using ぬ instead of ない isn’t something that’s done as a matter of course in daily speech. However, what does show up often is using ん, which itself is a sound change (maybe even devoicing?) of ぬ. So if you see something like わからん, しらん, or even the polite verb ending ~ません, that ん is a case where ぬ has lasted into the modern era.
  • Though it’s not often used as a building block, you do still see ぬ used in fixed expressions. A couple of examples off the top of my head would be 動かぬ証拠 (irrefutable evidence; literally “evidence that will not be moved”) or 知らぬ間に (before I knew it; literally “in the space of time that you don’t notice”). Phrases like this are reasonably common.
  • Where ぬ is most common though, is in role language. If you’re new to manga it’s good to know that there are loads of patterns that are used to give you metadata about a person’s character. If you’re an old man, you might say じゃのう instead of だよ; a put-together woman might end her sentences with わ; a wise old teacher might use ぬ instead of ない. There are many many different types of role language and almost none of them are representative of daily Japanese. However, if you want to read native material, it’s just something you’ll have to learn to love.
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Thank you so much for this, that’s absolutely superb.
I had trouble getting ぬ to stick in my head as it felt a little ‘random’, like an exception, your post should be perfect to get it stuck right in there!
Particularly the point about devoicing and the ん hanging around in modern Japanese. Beautiful!

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Aw man, another complexity :sweat_smile:
This made me think that’s why so many practice by reading news- but then that’s not really conversation learning either.
Guess I really will have to climb out of my hobbit hole to truly learn this language :rofl:

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想いは揺るぐことなく is an adverbial phrase that applies to the actions later on. Whoever is doing the actions is doing so without so much as a wavering of their (thoughts/conviction/however you want to translate 想い here). It is the same sentence by the way, not one sentence that trails off and then a separate one that comes after it.

Here’s some further reading on ことなく: https://jlptsensei.com/learn-japanese-grammar/ことなく-koto-naku-meaning/

It’s fundamentally the same as ことがない・ことがある, as in 聞いたことがない “I’ve never heard of that”, but the ない becomes なく because it’s now behaving as an adverb instead of an adjective.

In ただ祈り、待ち続けていました, the verb stem is acting just like て form, so it shows a sequence yes. Line breaks in manga are something that can be tricky to get a feel for…sometimes they break a sentence, sometimes not. In this case it’s still the same sentence.

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It looks like they just released a promotion that lets you read the book for free until September 23.

Linking it here for anyone who’s interested:

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Oook, that helps the reading make sense. What’s the indicator of the adverbial phrase start and finish? その者の isn’t included? I suppose the の is indicating it? その者 [adverbial phrase] - followed by “その者” 's actions?

(that was a lot of questions sorry, just trying to work through it :sweat_smile:)

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No, everything until なく is part of the same adverbial phrase. “That (person/thing)'s thoughts never wavering, […]”. As far as what the indicator is…I’m afraid I’ve got nothing for you, at least in this case. It’s very unhelpful to say “you just identify the part that looks like an adverbial phrase, and anything that doesn’t fit in there isn’t part of it”, but that’s often how parsing sentences works. You get used to it.

Side note (going back to the first bubble), even though the “rule” is that broadly that いる is for people and ある is for things, it’s pretty common to use ありました for people when you’re setting up a story, especially in the case of legends or fairy tales. It gives it kind of a “once upon a time, there was a…” type feel. So the initial expository sentence isn’t “There are things that are unchanging”, but rather something like “Once upon a time, there was an unchanging entity”. It’s that entity who has the unwavering thoughts from this current bubble.

(Incidentally, いる is a somewhat recent addition to the language, which might explain this usage.)

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When you are editing your post you can find text you want to quote, select it, and then click the ‘quote’ button which should appears.

Here is a screenshot showing me making the quote at the top of this post.

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:rofl: super fair. I want language to be like a chemistry formula or something, but alas. Absolute fun either way.

Thank you for this!

O snap it worked. Thank you :pray:

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Perfect, and FWIW this then gives me a notification that I’ve been quoted, so this works even if you have multiple people you’re replying to or quoting :slight_smile:

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Look I don’t consider myself old but I just looked up FWIW (lmao) and am also impressed with the tagging/notification abilities. Anyway having fun.

FWIW I’m 30 :rofl: :v:

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This being my first book, the first page was really difficult and made me feel incompetent so I moved on to page 3. It was def easier. Using a few different resources I think I got the jist but I would like to ask some questions and see if my translation is right.

What Im getting for page three is “Even in witch country, there is a beautiful moon to see.”
But I dont know exactly how なあ fits in. Im also confused about the ん here. I wasnt familiar with でも (in this context “even”?) before either.

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“Even in the witch country, the beautiful moon is still visible”. The implication is that she could see it from somewhere else (you’ll find out later), so there’s a sort of connection.

The ん is the explanatory の, and the なあ is just showing that she’s talking or pondering to herself.

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How do we get the “is still” part?

Thank you!

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‘Still’ is one of the meanings of でも.
I think which one you pick is kind of artistic choice and what you think fits better - ‘still’, ‘and yet’, ‘nevertheless’, ‘also’, ‘as well’, ‘even so’ - lots of options to choose from and I think most of them fit here.

I think a semi literal translation of these lines (page 3, panels 2 and 4) would give something like

ここが魔女の国…
This is the country of witches…
魔女の国でも綺麗な月が見えるんだなあ…
The country of witches, still (/and yet) the beautiful moon is able to be seen huh

choice of 'huh'

For なあ I’m trying to use ‘huh’ to mean the other side of ‘I wonder’, where ‘I wonder’ is a question, I think なあ is more like an assertion, I’m not sure it’s the best word choice in English but hopefully it is close enough.

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Another route would be “I see”, although that’s a bit awkward to follow right after the word “seen”.

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Thank you both.

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Finished the prologue today, I guess not much happening yet.
If I understand correctly Wadanohara has lost her memory?

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It is the first day of the schedule, but so much was already discussed last week :flushed:
While it is nice to have breakdowns of that first page already done, I hope I can join in next time.

With how many people started early, I also wonder how many will follow the schedule going forward :thinking: at least @chrisosaurus seems to be far ahead already.

Yep, that would be implied by 黒巻(くろまき) saying that MC can regain her memory with the power of the great witch.
Since 記憶(きおk) was put in those brackets, I wonder what the author wanted to emphasis with that. I suppose that will come up later in the story - if it has any meaning at all.

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Just got through the prologue - wasn’t too bad overall, outside of that first page I don’t think I even needed to look up any words which is cool. I remember when I looked at the prologue bit when the book was being selected and had some trouble with the panel about the great witch, but now I’m ok with it

The dialogue density was pretty low overall, and the page count quite short, so it made for a pretty quick read

Seeing as there’s been a lot of discussion on the first page already, I don’t think I need to add anything more to it

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