10 Minute Biographies - Chapter 1 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

This is great, thanks a lot! Such a silly mistake on そ/ろ… :slight_smile:



on page 12 this sentence confuses me a little bit:
あるときは、「木は、なぜ 水に うくんだろう」 と、みずうみで じっけんを して 水に おちたり、「小麦粉は、どう やって 作れるの」 と、 工場を のぞきに いって、小麦粉に うもれたり……。

Since it’s a list of things he “once did”, does the と’s translate to “after”

“One time he asked why do trees float in the water after falling into the water while doing experiments by the river, and how is flour made after going to the mill”

for me と has meant “and” until I read this sentence but that doesn’t really make sense to me haha.

Or am I just overthinking it and it’s “Why does trees float in the water and he fell into the water while experimenting by the river”?

Thank you!

1 Like

As far as I know, と never means “after” and this wouldn’t make much sense here. He didn’t ask himself why wood floats after falling into the water but he fell into the water while investigating why wood floats, if I interpret this sentence correctly.
I think と here is either the quoting particle, which can be used without a verb, or と thats means “when”. Would be great if someone could explain this usage! :v:


Thank you @buburoi

Here is my translation for p.12 any help or corrections is most welcome

My main questions would be how exactly the と is used in the last sentence, still confused about that.

一時間、二時間、三時間……たまごは 何も 変わりませんが、エジソンは あきらめません。
1Hour, 2 hours, 3 hours… the egg didn’t change at all, but Edison did not give up.

すると、お父さんが やってきました。
Then, father came along.

What are you doing?

まったく、おまえの 『なぜ』 『どうして』 には、あきれた もんだ 。
I am so impresed at your “Why’s” and “How’s”。

あるときは、「木は、なぜ 水に うくんだろう」 と、みずうみで じっけんを して 水に おちたり、「小麦粉は、どう やって 作れるの」 と、 工場を のぞきに いって、小麦粉に うもれたり……。
One time he asked [why do trees float on water], when doing things like falling into the water while doing experiments by the river, and [how can you make flour] and went to the mill to see how flour was made.

1 Like

たまごは 何も 変わりませんが、エジソンは あきらめません

Watch out for the tense, the Japanese text here does not use past tense.

あるときは、「木は、なぜ 水に うくんだろう」 と、みずうみで じっけんを して 水に おちたり、「小麦粉は、どう やって 作れるの」 と、 工場を のぞきに いって、小麦粉に うもれたり……。

I think you mistook うもれたり for うまれたり.



Thank you! Much appreciated :slight_smile:

I’m learning a lot already looking forward to keeping on reading


I think from the context his father is amazed in a negative way, rather than a positive way. So rather than “impressed” I would say: “Good grief, I am exasperated by your “whys” and “hows”.

At certain times he did things like, thinking “why does wood float”, doing experiments in a lake and falling in the water, and thinking “how is flour made”, going to peek in the mill and being buried in flour.


On page 13, why is the verb いやなり not followed by some form of conjugation? This isn’t neither short nor long form.

1 Like

This will come up a lot. In written language you can use the stem of a verb as a continuative form. You are probably used to seeing the て-form used in this way.

So this means - Edison became fed up with school, and…


This makes a lot of sense, thank you so much!

1 Like

is this the same thing that is happening on page 12 with

おちたり and うもれたり?

Edit: Sorry, just realized that this is the ~たり grammar point, nevermind me!

1 Like

No, you use verbたり, verbたり する to give examples of activities (する is omitted in this sentence)


p. 13 translation


Edison disliked school and quit elementary school after three months.
Still, only his mother was Edison’s ally (supported him).
“It’s wonderful to have a mind that thinks ‘why’. From now on, let’s read a book with your mother every day.”


だけは means “at least”. :v:

1 Like

No, this is the たり…たりする verb construction, meaning - “doing things like A and B”. (They left off the する in this sentence).


A few minor details to watch out for (that are missing or not as clear to me in your translation):

~になる means “it became so that”, meaning it was not that from the start. So it’s rather something like “he quickly started to dislike school”.

~てしまう has a nuance of “unfortunately”.

Japanese usually doesn’t distinguish between singular and plural. From your translation I get the idea that they read a whole book each day, or that they read (parts of) not more than one book per day. This is not contained in the Japanese as far as I understand. Therefore I’d suggest “let’s read books together every day.”


Full disclosure I’m still getting through Genki I and am relying on long-forgotten high school Japanese classes.

In the first sentence on page 13 I can’t figure out how I’d differentiate it saying “Edison quit going to school for three months” versus “Edison quit going to school after three months.” (I’d assume まで for the latter, but that’s not the case here).

1 Like

Could this translate to “Ended up…”, as in, Edison got fed up with school and ended up quitting after 3 months.

was reading the Bunpro description here and it’s saying that “[Also used when something happens inadvertently or something “ends up” in a certain state]”.


Yes, good point! That sounds like a nice translation to me :+1:

I feel silly cause it’s only on page 4 (on my ebook) but theres a blue little #1 that just has the character か、i tried looking it up but there were so many definitions that I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. I’ve translated #2 which makes sense and yet doesnt help me figure out what か means in this context.

edit: also, sorry, i know its not officially apart of the reading but i really wanted to do the little quiz portion which is where my question is from, it seems fun