10 Minute Biographies Book Club Chapter 4 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

10 Minute Biographies Chapter Four: Röntgen

Start Date: 27th December

Previous Chapter: Chapter 3
Next Chapter: Chapter 5
Home Thread: Link


We are reading at the pace of one page per day. If a sentence crosses two pages it is read as part of the first page.

Daily reading schedule
Date Page Last Line of Page
Dec 27 59 Chapter title page
Dec 28 60 ほねや、内ぞうの ようすが わかる、ふしぎな
Dec 29 61 ところが、先生は 絵を 見て おこりました。
Dec 30 62 大学に 入学しました。 大学では、科学に きょうみを
Dec 31 63 物理学の けんきゅうを つづけて、大学の 先生に なったのです。
Jan 1 64 けい光ばんが、光っている ことに 気が つきました。
Jan 2 65 いろいろな ものを おいてみる ことに しました。
Jan 3 66 けい光ばんがに 光が うつるので、『何か』が
Jan 4 67 おどろきました。「ほ、ほねが うつっている。」
Jan 5 68 目には 見えない とくべつな 光だったのです。
Jan 6 69 X線で お金もうけを しようとは、思いませんでした。
Jan 7 70 End of chapter

Vocabulary List

Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

Grammar Sheet

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He discovered the X-rays to examine diseases and injuries.

p. 60

Have you ever seen your own bones?
Isn’t it surprising if you are asked that?
But aren’t there many people who have seen it in “Roentgen photos”?
So, when you are injured or when you get a cavities treatment, it’s those photos that are taken.
Actually, the “Roentgen” in this “Roentgen photo” is originally a person’s name.
The secret of the wonderful “Roentgen photo” showing the state of bones and internal organs was discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen.

p. 61

Röntgen was born in Germany and raised in Holland. When he was a highschool student, friends drew a portrait of the teacher to make fun of him. When Röntgen and the others saw the picture, there was great laughter. But when the teacher saw the picture, he got angry.

p. 61

Röntgen was born in Germany and grew up in the Netherlands.
When he was in high school, a friend jokingly drew a portrait of a teacher.
Röntgen and the others laughed out loud at the drawing.
However the teacher got angry when he saw the picture.

p. 62

“Who is it who drew the picture that makes fun of me? You!”
“It’s not me. But I can’t tell you the name of the person who drew it.”
Röntgen thought that tattling was not right, and didn’t tell the name.
The teacher did not let off the disobedient Röntgen.
And then, he had to quit school.
Nevertheless, Röntgen studied very hard and entered university.
At the university he became interested in science, and thus found his way.


Thank you, I like your translation!

I’d like to point out a few little things that got a bit blurred in your translation:

許せません - this is potential (so a literal translation would be “could not”). This is also hinted at by the use of が by the way, in case anybody wonders.

止めさせて - this is causative. Note that the topic is still the teacher, so literally it says he made him quit school.


I’m not sure, but I think やめる is usually written without kanji, while とめる is often written as 止める.

I think you misinterpreted this part. This sentence introduces the direct quote that follows on the next page. It means something like:

and he became to think: …


According to Jisho, this is correct, but in our use case I think 辞める would even make for a better match of the intended meaning?


Ah, I should always read one sentence ahead.

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Thank you for your translations, I have some questions:
レントゲンは、ドイツに生まれ、オランダで育ちました: Which form is “生まれ” conjugated in?

In this page, て form of 見ru comes up a lot. Is this a particular gramatic structure? 見て大笑い, does this means “saw and laughed a lot”? 見て怒りました, “Saw (it) and got angry”?

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The て-form of a verb often has the meaning of “and” or “and then” when connecting sentence parts (among various other meanings, but you will learn to distinguish them over time), so yes, this has exactly the meanings you listed.

生まれ, on the other hand, is conjugated in ます-stem (i.e. if you turn a verb into ます-form, the stem is what is before the ます). The meaning is roughly the same as the above-mentioned て-form, so it’s neat that you’re asking these two questions together :slight_smile: The main difference is that the ます-stem version is more formal and almost exclusively appears in writing, while the て-form is frequently used in conversation.


I totally agree with @NicoleIsEnough but maybe it’s worth pointing out that while the て-form and the stem mean roughly the same, in texts like this one here, the stem often clearly distinguishes two sentences/ideas and could be translated with „and“. The connection created by the て-form seems often a bit closer, the verb in the て-form creates a context for the following verb, that mostly goes beyond a simple „and“ (although you can translate it like that). For example here seeing causes laughter and anger, while being born in Germany and raised in the Netherlands are just are just two „events“ that happend.


Thank you, then I am familiar with the use of て form. For 生まれ however, is the stem 生 then you add まれ, to get a more formal version of listing actions? What is this form called?

You take the dictionary form 生まれる and then make the masu-form 生まれます. If you then delete the masu you get the masu-stem/verb stem/ stem (there are different words for this depending on the source). So 生まれ is the stem here (not just 生).
In written texts you now can use this stem to connect sentences where in spoken language you would usually use the て-form.


I noticed 思うように can be a set expression meaning: as one wishes; the way one wants; to one’s satisfaction

He became “the way one wants” - doesn’t really make sense in English, in fact it’s quite difficult to translate this into normal English and keep the Japanese nuance. Perhaps something like; "he reached the point where his desire was…“I want to become a scientist”


I am really benefitting from those who are posting their translations, thank you.

Yesterday we had the kanji for cavity and I was so delighted with it that all my family now know about insect teeth :slight_smile:

I would just like to say that in my lessons on wanikani today 虫歯 came up I am so happy

I do not have the grammer base (yet) to contribute to your learned discussions but thought I would share my moment of delight in my studies :slight_smile:

p. 63

“I will become a scientist!”
Röntgen became the assistant of his physics professor and started his walk on the path to becoming a scientist.
Thus he continued his research in physics and became a university professor.

p. 64

One day — Röntgen made an experiment with electricity flowing in a glass tube called discharge tube.
He covered the experimental equipment with black paper, turned the room’s lights off and …, noticed that a fluorescent screen placed at a distance was shining.