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

@2000kanji your translations are getting so good I have nothing to say! Except, happy new year everyone!


Happy New Year everyone!

p. 65

“Strange. The fluorescent screen is shining. I wonder if the light leaked from the experimental equipment.”
But, even at a closer look, the experimental equipment was completely covered by the black paper.
“Perhaps a ‘something’, invisible to the eye, passes through the paper and makes the fluorescent screen shine …”
Apparently, the invisible ‘something’ can pass through things.
To confirm this, he decided to place various things between the experimental equipment and the fluorescent screen.

In the second sentence, 塞いで (ふさいで) is from 塞ぐ. This kanji is not in WK.


I guess strictly we should translate this as - he decided to try placing various things… (〜てみる - to try doing something).

p. 66

When this ‘something’ passes through an object, the light is projected on the fluorescent screen.
On the other hand, when it does not pass through, the shadow of the object is projected on the fluorescent screen.
Wood, thick books, rubber: as the light is projected on the fluorescent screen, the ‘something’ seems to pass through those.



P. 63 What does the particle “ぞ” mean at “科学者になるぞ”?

P. 63, what does the particle “の” at “大学の先生なったのです” doing? How does it differ from “大学の先生なったです”?

P. 65 What does the “な” mean at “おかしいな”?

Thank you


These are all typical parts of direct speech:

ぞ - Jisho.org - sentence-ending particle that adds force or indicates command

のです - Jisho.org - (weakly) adds the notion of the statement being an explanation (i.e. “it’s because …”, but not as strong as e.g. から or し)

な - Jisho.org - this is #4, adding a notion similar to “isn’t it?” in English

Hope this helps! (If not, please don’t hesitate to ask again :slight_smile:)


Is こ、これは also a stuttering (th… this…) because he sees his hand?

p. 67

However, when lead was placed, the shadow of the lead was projected on the fluorescent screen.
“As to lead, it does not let pass the ‘something’ … hmm. This is so.”
At that moment, Röntgen was surprised.
“B…bones are projected.”


I interpreted this as a stutter as well. But I thought it referred to to following sentence where he sees his bone and would translate it as something like „Th… this.“ or „Th… there.“

Isnt this more like „whenn he places the lead“?


I agree こ、これは is stuttering speech. I interpreted this sentence as the moment where he places his hand in front of the ray, and is amazed as he sees the image of the bones. So I read it as, “(And) th…this one…”


Hey everyone,

I’ve been catching up for the last few weeks and am now up to speed. It has been really helpful to have the vocabulary sheets and translations as I’ve read through - thank you.

Here’s my translation of today’s page, 66. I’m going to err on the literal side, so that it’s easy to match up the English sentence structure with the Japanese.

この『何か』が、ものを通りぬけると、けい光ばんに 光が うつります。
This “something”: When it passes through an object, light is projected onto the fluorescent screen.

ぎやくに とおりぬけないと、けい光ばんに ものの かげが うつります。
On the other hand, when it doesn’t pass through, a shadow of the object is projected onto the fluorescent screen.

木や あつい 本、ゴム。これらは、けい光ばんに 光が うつるので、『何か』が 通りぬけるようです。
Wood, thick books, rubber—given that, for all these, light is projected onto the fluorescent screen, it seems that the “something” passes through them.


Together with the lead, the bones of his hand were projected on the fluorescent screen!
The ‘something’ passed through the skin and muscles, but did not pass through the bones, so the shape of the bones was projected as a shadow.
Röntgen named this ‘something’ “X rays” and announced it.
“X” because this is a word used to refer to a thing whose true nature is unknown.
X rays were actually a special light invisible to the eye.


Happy to see 発表 on this page as I just learned it here on WK :smiley:


Thank you, your replies are incredably helpful!

By the way, what is up with the double quotation marks,『何か』, and how do you write them and regular quotations?

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Type 「 or 」on a Japanese text input and then press the space bar a few times to get the different options, including 『』.

Ok thanks, how do you write 「 and 」(for some reason I dont get search results one the symbols)? Also, what does the double quotation marks means?

On an iOS Japanese keyboard they are with the numbers. On a Mac keyboard you press the [ or ] keys.


According to wikipedia:


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Good to be back, here p.69 from me

The discovery of this light surprised the whole world/a surprise the world over.

With Rontgen-photographs taken with the X-ray, we are able to study illnesses inside the body as well as broken bones.

Therefore, the discovery of the X-ray awarded Rontgen his the first Nobel price.
Therefore Rontgen won the first nobel price for the discovery of the X-ray

But, he didn’t think he should try and make money of the X-ray.

I’ve got a question for the こと on in the second sentence… does this literally translates to “with this thing we are able to…”?

Cheers guys!


This part doesn’t make much sense to me, I think the other translation you give is better.

I would translate this like this: With Roentgen photographs taken with X-rays it’s possible to examine for example illnesses of the body and broken bones.

„we are able“ or „you are able“ might be fine too. But „as well as“ seems to stray too far from the original text, where the illnesses and broken bones are marked as examples, not as an exhaustive list.

Röntgen won the first Nobel Prize for the discovery of the X-rays.
Röntgen is here the subject and it’s not his first Nobel Prize but the first Nobel Prize in general (at least for Physics) and I don’t think he won another one.

verbことができる means „to be able to“, „can“. So in this case it means „to be able to examine“. There are other expressions with こと where it doesn’t literally mean „thing“ but it’s used to turn the verb in front of it into a noun.


Thank you mate, great notes,

I was also a bit confused by the last sentence as I knew he won the first Nobel prize in physics, but do they mention this specifically in the book and I just missed it?

It would feel strange to translate it too “He won the first nobel prize”