10 Minute Biographies Chapter 10 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

Just a small remark:

This is totally correct :slight_smile: AND the inverse also holds true, therefore the non-の sentence would be 似たような花を、。。。:wink:

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Oops, the Genki page I had open was talking about “noun + の + noun” becoming just “noun + の”, but in our example 似たような acts like a な-adjective so the の is not needed. I think sometimes I learn more from answering questions than the person I was answering to!

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p.139

近づいてみたり、ちょっと離れて、周りの草や木にも触ってみたり。
Try to get closer, move a little away or touch the grass and trees surrounding you.
花や木を見ていれば、一人で野山にいても、ちっとも寂しくありません。
If you watch flowers and trees, you will not feel lonely at all, even if you are by yourself in hills and fields.
それどころが、ワクワクしてきます。
On the contrary, you get excited.
牧野富太郎は、小さいときから、植物が大好きな子でした。
Tomitaro Makino loved plants since his early childhood.
富太郎は、今から百六十年まで前に、高知県の酒屋さんの家に生まれました。
Tomitaro was born 160 years ago into a liquor store owner’s family in Kōchi prefecture.
家は大変なお金持ちでしたが、富太郎が小さいうちに、お父さんとお母さんがなくなってしまいました。
The family was very rich, but Tomitaro’s father and mother died while he was still small.

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Here’s my attempt:

pg. 139

近づいてみたり、ちょっと離れて、まわりの草や木にも触ってみたり。
He tries to get closer, backs away a bit, and also tries touching the surrounding grass and trees.
花や木を見ていれば、一人で野山にいても、ちょっとも寂しくありません。
If he is looking at flowers and trees, even if he is alone in the hills and fields, he is not at all lonely.
それどころか、わくわくしてきます。
On the contrary, he came to be excited.
牧野富太郎は、小さいときから、植物が大好きな子でした。
Makino Tomitarou was, from a young age, a child who loved plants.
富太郎は、今から百六十年ほど前に、高知県の酒屋さんの家に生まれました。
Tomitarou, from now about 160 years ago, was born into a family that were Kouchi prefecture liquor store owners.
家はたいへんなお金持ちでしたが、富太郎が小さいうちにお父さんとお母さんがなくなってしまいました。
The family was very rich, but when Tomitarou was young his father and mother unfortunately died.

EDIT: thanks to @2000kanji I realized I made a mistake with where “160 years ago” goes in the sentence.

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@Micki, @NicoleRauch - thanks, super helpful hint about の grammar point.

Page 139

近づいてみたり、ちょっと離れて、回りの草や木にも触ってみたり。
Trying to get closer, and then in turn moving little further apart, he tried to get involved (to understand) both tries and grass.
花や木を見ていれば、一人で野山にいても、ちっともさびしくありません。
Being alone in fields and mountains, looking at flowers and trees, he never felt lonely.
それどころか、わくわくしてきます。
Instead, he was feeling excited.
牧野富太郎は、小さい時から、植物が大好きな子でした。
Since he was very little, Tomitarou Makino was a child in love with plants.
富太郎は、今から百六十年ほど前に、高知県の酒屋さんの家に生まれました。
160 years ago, Tomitarou was born into a family of brewer in Kouchi prefecture.
家は大変なお金持ちでしたが、富太郎が小さいうちに、お父さんとお母さんがなくなってしまいました。
The family was very rich, but unfortunately Tomotarou’s parents died when he was very young.

The first sentence is troublesome
近づいてみたり、ちょっと離れて、回りの草や木にも触ってみたり
There is verb+み which is probably means “try”, there is also たり (doing things like such and such), which I failed to incorporate into translation at all. And final verb 触る does not feel very natural.

In the second sentence there is one small part I don’t get:
花や木を見ていれば、一人で野山にいても、ちっともさびしくありません。
What is いても here?

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The first sentence contains a few grammar points mushed together. Let’s pick them apart:
First there is ~てみる which means “to try doing ~”, like you said. It connects to the て form of the preceding verb. Note that this “try” does not mean “let’s see whether you’re able to do that” but rather “try it out and see how it goes for you / how you like it”. (A very common use case is 食べてみて下さい - please taste this food.)

On top of that we have ~たり~たりする which means “doing ~ and ~” - the important bit here is that this is neither a complete list nor does it determine the order of the actions. It connects to the た form (i.e. past tense) of the preceding verb.
Lastly we have the verb 触る - it took me by surprise as well when I read this part. I assume that in this context it means something along the lines of “to approach” (see Jisho) or maybe “to take into consideration; to integrate” (my own interpretation).
All together we get two actions in this sentence:
近づいてみたり、- He tried to get closer
ちょっと離れて、周りの草や木にも触ってみたり。- He tried to back off and also approach/consider the surrounding plants and trees.
Technically this sentence is incomplete, it needs the final する. But this is left out for the usual reasons :woman_shrugging:

In your second question, ~ても has the meaning “even if”. All together: “Even if/though he was alone in the mountains and fields”.

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I think the correct kanji would be 周り. :v:

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This was the kanji for the Jisho definition I was leaning towards (for “surroundings”), so I’m feeling very validated right now :grin:

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Yes, much better!

@NicoleRauch, thanks a lot for your (usual) wonderful explanations.

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p.140

そこで、富太郎は、おばあさんに育てられました。
Thereupon, Tomitaro was raised by his grandmother.
おばあさんは、寂しい人でしたが、富太郎が大好きな植物を見ているときには、何も言いませんでした。
The grandmother was a lonely person, but she didn’t say anything when Tomitaro was watching his beloved plants.
十一歳になると、学校に通い始めました。
When he turned eleven, he started going to school.
勉強は、ずば抜けてよくできました。
He became an outstanding student.
のちに、富太郎は、「植物の研究をするならば、広くいろいろな学問を学ばなくては行けない」と、言っています。
Tomitaro said later: “If you are going to do research in plants, you have to learn a large variety of subjects.”
植物好きは、変わりません。
His love for plants stays the same.
学校では、壁に掛けてある草や木の説明図に、うっとりと見とれてしまいます。
At school, he is completely fascinated by the explanatory charts of grasses and trees hanging on the wall.

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General comment about my translations. I avoid checking deepl as much as possible, because it gives a great answer, and I stop thinking myself. So I will put incomplete sentences where I could not make sense of it just with jisho and bunpro and general googling. I’m posting to keep myself going with reading, and I’m checking other translations after to see if we are on the same page.

Page 140

そこで、富太郎は、おばあさんに育てられました。
Therefore, Tomitarou was raised by his grandmother.
おばあさんは、厳しい人でしたが、富太郎が大好きな植物を見ている時には、何も言いませんでした。
The grandmother was a strict person, and she saw how much Tomitarou liked plants at that time, but she did not say anything.
十一歳になると、学校に通い始めました。
At 11, he started attending school.
勉強は、ずば抜けてよくできました。
In his studies, he was outstanding and often performed above the rest.
後に、富太郎は、「植物の研究をするならば、広く色々な学問を学ぶなくてはいけない」と、言っています。
Later on, they said about Tomitarou that … “plant research … universally various disciplines must not not study”. (Cannot make sense of this sentence)
植物好きは変わりません。
His fondness of plants did not falter (did not change).
学校では、壁にかけてある草や木の説明図に、うっとりと見とれてしまいます。
At school, he absentmindedly stares at the wall captivated by explanatory diagram of grasses and trees.

I have serious trouble with this sentence:
後に、富太郎は、「植物の研究をするならば、広く色々な学問を学ぶなくてはいけない」と、言っています。
These two things: 1. ばなくて - negative te form of 学ぶ and 2. verb(te) + はいけない - must not
are probably some sort of double negative “must not not study!”, which I could not interpret nicely.
Also ならば part - what it is?

Anyway, just happy that page had some sentences that were easy for me.

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The text says きびしい not さびしい. :v:

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Tomitaro is marked as the subject here, so it is him doing the watching.

ならば is another form of なら and is used in conditional sentences. So it can be translated as „if“.

negative te-form of verb は + いけない means „if you dont do (the action the verb describes) it cant go“ = „you must do (action the verb describes)“

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That’s quite frequent. Instead of saying “you have to study” you say “If you do not study, it will not be ok.” See https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/169

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Summary

そこで、富太郎は、おばあさんに育てられました。
Thereupon, Tomitarou was raised by his grandmother…
おばあさんは、厳しい人でしたが、富太郎が大好きな植物を見ているときには、何も言いませんでした。
His grandmother was a strict person, but when Tomitarou was looking at his beloved plants, she didn’t say anything.
十一歳になると、学校に通い始めました。
When he turned 11, he started attending school.
勉強は、ずば抜けてよくできました。
He was often by far the best in his studies.
のちに、富太郎は、「植物の研究をするならば、広くいろいろな学問を学ばなくてはいけない」と、言っています。
Later on Tomitarou would say, “If one researches plants, one must study a wide variety of disciplines.”
植物好きは、代わりません。
Love for plants can’t take the place of [this study]. OR His love for plants cannot be replaced.
学校では、壁にかけてある草や木の説明図に、うっとりと見とれてしまいます。
At school, he would absentmindedly gaze at the explanatory diagrams of things like grasses and trees hung on the wall.

That second to last sentence gave me a bit of trouble. I thought it could be related to the quote that came before it, but I’m not so sure.

EDIT: I originally read かけて as the conjugated form of かく instead of かける for some reason.

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from pg. 139…

花や木を見ていれば、一人で野山にいても、ちょっとも寂しくありません。
I liked this sentence, just had to bring it back up.

富太郎は、今から百六十年ほど前に、高知県の酒屋さんの家に生まれました。
I’m thinking everyone else’s translations made sense here but I was curious about the bolded. I’d never seen it before but I guess it’s common to put さん after a person’s company? I thought it was some kind of family name but it’s just like calling them the Mr. Brewer/Sake Dealer family.

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I liked that sentence too. I try to get out and walk as often as I can, and being surrounded by nature is so relaxing. :relaxed:

It might not be appropriate for just any company, but it seems to be done for small businesses, if only certain kinds. I’ve seen it done for owners of book stores or grocery stores and other “traditional” sounding shops. Maybe not tech startups though lol

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I’ll be referring to Zuckerberg exclusively as フェイスブックさん from here on out.

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@matthewsa I think I have see さん used with big companies like Nintendo etc. So I don’t think it’s really about small businesses or families owning the shop.

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Like “game developer” + さん? I know that employees are often called by their job titles, like 課長 or 社長, but it seems different to be called by the name of the business itself. But I could just be thinking really small on this?