10 Minute Biographies Book Club Chapter 3 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

My attempt at a literal translation. p42

Even if his ears became unable to hear-- without loosing his heart --(He) created beautiful music.


I think you might want to think about the tenses in your translation again - the whole sentence is in the past, and so the first part would also be in the past, don’t you think?


Yes for the first verb. Thanks!

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I had to take a break from Wanikani for the last 1.5 months because of college and internship, but I will hopefully get back to reading this book in chapter 3. Thank God the chapters are independent :slight_smile:


Joining in for this. Will go back and read chapters 1+2 eventually.

Pg 43:

Becoming deaf didn’t stop him from writing beautiful music.

Pg 44:

Thunk thunk, thunk, thunk thunk thunk.
“No, no! Don’t play like that!”
The sound of the piano and his father’s angry voice rang out from the dimly lit attic.
Around 250 years ago in the German town of Bonn,
a 5 year old Ludwig von Beethoven was being taught how to play the piano by his father.


I think 耳が聞こえなくなった is more about the process of becoming deaf and not just about being deaf. :v:


Wikipedia has a slightly different writing for Ludwig:


I read that ヴ is not used in official government documents since 2019 and that this character was not very often used before. Even when there are words using it, speakers tend to transform the sound into ブ when saying it. So writing ヴ can make a word seem a little bit more exotic and the speaker more cultivated.


I’m quite surprised that they went with ト and ヒ, though…
My pronunciation feels closer to ルードビック than ルートビッヒ :woman_shrugging:


As for the final ヒ I suppose they mean the soft pronunciation of the final ‘g’, as ヒ is often an aspirated sound ([ lu:tʋɪç ] rather than [ lu:tʋɪk ] as in the sound sample from @Micki).
In the preceding chapter the spelling of キュリー didn’t render the French pronunciation either, which would rather be クリー (kyʁi)

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Oh yeah, good point! I checked at Forvo, and two people pronounce the name ending in ~ch, while the other two end it with ~k:

True that. Bottomline: Katakana pronunciations are weird.

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p. 45

Beethoven’s father was a musician, but he always drank alcohol.
His work didn’t go well and his life grew constantly poorer.
Therefore, it was inevitable that he raised his son to become a great musician like Mozart, who was called a “genius” at that time and made spectacular showings.
His father’s teaching method was rude, when he didn’t play according to the score he was even hit.


What is the time zone that the daily schedule is set to? It makes one page difference if we use Japan or USA time zones.

It’s Japan Standard Time (GMT+9). I posted p. 45 at Midnight JST.

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I was finally caught up on schedule so thought I’d do a full translation, just like the good ole days. I wasn’t familiar with ばかり before so these pages were a good introduction. The last two sentences were tricky especially, and partly why I thought it’d be worth doing a full translation to make sure I was understanding their meaning.

Translation for pg. 45


Two hundred and fifty years ago, in the German town, Bon…


Beethoven, a five year old boy, was being taught piano by his father.

ベートーベンの お父さんは 音楽家でしたが、いつも お酒を 飲んでばかり。

Beethoven’s father was a musician, who was always drinking.

仕事も 上手くいかず、生活も 貧しくなるばかりでした。

His job was going badly, and his life was always becoming poorer.

そこで 息子を、そのころ「天才」と言われて大活躍していた モーツァルトのような、大音楽家に育てようと、必死だったのです。

So, he was frantically raising his son to be a great musician like Mozart, who was said to be a genius and making splendid work at the time.

お父さんの 教え方は 乱暴で、楽譜通りにひかないと、たたかれる ことも ありました。

His father’s teaching methods were violent, he would even hit if the sheet music wasn’t followed.

Is it actually the teaching methods that are violent, or the beating if sheet music isn’t followed?


I think I agree with @matthewsa that this is 必死 rather than 必至.


Ah, yeah, you’re right. “Becoming deaf” or “losing his hearing” would be better.

Page 45:

Beethoven’s father was a musician by trade, but you wouldn’t know it as all he ever did was drink.
The man had no success with music, and he was unsatisfied with his life.
He was desperate to raise his son to be a [famous/great] musician like Mozart - a genius who enjoyed a great deal of success.
His father’s teaching style was violent, going so far as to hit his son when he didn’t play according to the sheet music.


Thank you, Microsoft IME!


I’d rather interpret 生活も貧しくなる that he became poor (as in, had not enough money for the daily living needs). That’s at least the main meaning of 貧しい in 大辞林 (J-J dictionary).


I had completely forgotten this meaning of 必死, it was always ‘certain death’ to me. But yes, ‘frantic’ makes sense here.

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