10 Minute Biographies Chapter 7 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

I agree with you on もの - 者, I didn’t think of that. いません should have put me on the track.

But deepl still translates
なかなかアジアへたどり着く者はいません
to
It’s not easy for anyone to get to Asia.

For the full phrase, DeepL gives “But it’s a very long way to go, and not everyone makes it to Asia.”

I needed to use it for help when doing my translation. Surprisingly tricky phrase considering how short it is. Oh, and isn’t machine learning weird? I’m not sure what sort of training they do for DeepL but it’s amazing the translations it can accomplish, and then equally amazing what can make it fall flat on it’s face.

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p. 103

「地球丸い。『西』へ進んでも、アジアへ行き着くはずだ」と、海の地図(海図)や、星の動きなどを勉強したコロンブスは、考えました。
Columbus, who had studied maps of the oceans (sea charts), the movement of the stars and the like, thought: “The Earth is spherical. Even if you go to the ‘West’, you should end up in Asia.”
それは、誰も試そうとは思わないような考えでした。
It was an idea that nobody had ever thought of trying out.
そのころは、西の海に行けば、悪魔がいると信じられていたくらいですから。
The reason was that in those days it was believed that if you went to the western sea, the devil would be there.
一四九二年、コロンブスは、サンタ・マリア号という船に乗り、他のニ艘の船と共に、海に出ました。
In 1492, Columbus boarded a ship called Santa Maria and, along with two other ships, set out to sea.

According to deepl, this did not happen in 1492, but in 1942!

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This was a trickier sentence. I’m reading ためそう as the volitional of 試す (ichi.moe is determined that it’s ためる verb stem followed by そう).

I’m understanding とは as this grammar point from Bunpro meaning “that”. This bunpro example sentence is similar, also using 思わない:

image

So perhaps I can break the sentence down like this:

それは、考えでした。
That was an idea.

それは、誰も 思わないような考えでした。
That was an idea that no-one thought.

それは、誰も試そうとは思わないような考えでした。
That was an idea that no-one was thinking that let’s attempt it - or more naturally: that was an idea that no-one thought to attempt.

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I think the key thing is that なかなか is being used with いません, so we know that the predicate will be “[there] is hardly anyone.”

With that in mind, I would translate the full sentence as,

“But, because it* is such a roundabout way, there is hardly anyone who has made it** to Asia.”

*going around the tip of Africa
**or “makes it”

(In reality, not a single European made it to Asia by going around Africa until Vasco da Gama did it—a few years after Columbus’s first voyage. So make of that what you will.)

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This seems right to me, with maybe one added nuance:

それは、誰も試そうとは思わない考えでした。
As for [reaching Asia by going west], “Let’s try it” was an idea that nobody was considering.

それは、誰も試そうとは思わないような考えでした。
As for [reaching Asia by going west], “Let’s try it” was an idea that was of the kind that nobody was considering.

(More naturally:)
Trying to reach Asia by going west was an unthinkable idea.

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I’m trying to figure out what nuance くらい adds. I think it’s something like this:

This was because in those days, if you went to the western sea, it was the place where the devil was believed to be.

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p. 104

船は、西へと走ります。
The ships run towards the west.
海の地図にもない、誰も知らない海です。
It is a sea that nobody knows, which is not even on the ocean maps.
来る日も来る日も、青い海に青い空。陸地は見えません。
Day after day, the blue sea and the blue sky. Land is not in sight.
やがて、船で働く水夫たちはみな、不安になってきました。
Eventually, all the sailors working on the ships became anxious.
「もう、港へ帰りたい……。」
“Dammit, we want to return to the port …”
そんなある日のこと、船が動きを止めました。
Then one day, the ships stopped moving.

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p. 105

見ると、船の周りが、たっぷりの海草で埋め尽くされています。
Looking at it, the surroundings of the ships are completely covered with plenty of seaweed.
「海の悪魔だ!船が引きずり込まれるぞ!」
“The devil of the sea! The ships will be dragged in!”
水夫たちは、海の中から悪魔が出てくると思って、大騒ぎしました。
The sailors, thinking that the sea devil would come out of the sea, were in uproar.
「航海をやめて、船を引き返してくれ!」
“Stop the voyage, turn the ships back!”

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p. 106

「慌てるな!このまま航海を続けて、名誉と黄金を手に入れるのだ!」
“Don’t panic! We will continue the voyage this way and obtain honor and gold!”
コロンブスは、水夫たちをひっしに励ましました。
Columbus frenetically encouraged the sailors.
それからまた、船を走らせました。
After that, he made the ships run again.
でも、青い海と青い空ばかりです。やはり、陸地は見えません。
Still nothing but blue sea and blue sky. There was still no land in sight.
水夫たちは、また言いました。「お願いだ、船を引き返してくれ!」
Again, the sailors said: “Please, turn the ships back!”

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These pages make me think of how the crew of the Santa Maria are, for all intents and purposes, nameless to most people while Columbus is extremely well known. They’re painted almost as the antagonists here, urging Columbus to turn back, but I assume the journey would’ve been impossible without their involvement.

There is a list of the full crew.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_María_(ship)#Gould’s_“Crew_list”_for_the_Santa_Maria
(Wikipedia’s source is an old blog, so not sure it’s the most reliable)
Looking at it reminds me of Return of the Obra Dinn, if anyone is looking for a good detective/puzzley/insurance-adjuster game to pass the time. That game had you looking at a ships manifest and making deductions to try and figure out who is who on the boat.

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p. 107

水夫たちは、不安で堪りません。
The sailors don’t bear the anxiety.
「わかった。しかし、あと三日だけ待ってくれ。」
“Okay. But wait only three more days.”
コロンブスも、覚悟を決めました。
Columbus had taken a resolution.
(あと三日のうちに、必ず見つけてみせる。)
(I will discover it certainly in three days.)
すると、次の日の夜のことです。
Then, the following night.
前を行く船が、大砲の音を轟かせました。
The ship that went ahead made a thundering cannon sound.

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て-form plus たまらない is used to describe extreme and uncontrollable situations. Here it’s something like „to be extremely worried“ or „to be very anxious“.

覚悟を決めろ seems to be an expression meaning „to prepare oneself (for the worst)“.

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Thanks for that て たまらない tip. I found these examples here and also this reference :

悲しくてならない - can’t help but being sad

緊張でならない - can’t help but being nervous

So perhaps our sentence can be translated: The sailors can’t help being anxious.

It can also mean - to resolve oneself (Jisho)

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p. 108

「陸地が見えたぞ!」夜空に歓声が響き渡りました。
“Land in sight!” - the shout of joy resounded in the night sky.
身を乗り出したコロンブスの目にも、はっきりと見えました。
Columbus leaned forward, and he could see it clearly with his own eyes.
月の光に照らされた山の輪郭がーー。
There was the silhouette of a mountain illuminated by the moonlight …
(私の考えに、誤りはなかった……。)
(My idea was not a mistake …)

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p. 109

コロンブスは、胸を震わせました。
Columbus breast was shaking. (? Columbus was moved?)
海に出て、ちょうど七十日目のことでした。
It had been exactly 70 days since they set out to sea.
そこは、のちにアメリカと呼ばれることになる大陸の、そばにある島でした。
It was an island near the continent that would later be called America.
勇気を持って西に進んだことで、ヨーロッパの人たちが知らなかった新しい大陸に、たどり着たのです。
By going courageously to the West, they had reached a new continent that was unknown to the Europeans.

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Yes, I think “was moved” is a good translation.

From reference, synonyms are:

強く感銘を受け、印象に残ること感動する ・ 感銘を受ける ・ 強く印象に残る ・ その後の人生を左右する ・ ジーンとする ・ 心を打たれる ・ 心打たれる ・ 胸に響く ・ ガーンとなる …

(Deepl translation) To be strongly impressed and to leave a lasting impression To be moved - To be impressed - To leave a strong impression - To influence the rest of one’s life - To be touched - To be struck - To be touched - To be touched in the heart - To be galled …

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p. 110

ジパングから黄金を持ち帰るという夢は叶いませんでしたが、コロンブスは、ヨーロッパの人たちに、とても大きな驚きと感動をもたらしたのです。
The dream of bringing back gold from Zipangu did not come true, but Columbus brought very big surprises and excitement to the European people.

クリストファー・コロンブス(一四五一〜一五〇六年)
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
アメリカをインドだと勘違い
Mistaking America for India
コロンブスは、死ねまでアメリカをインドだと思っていました。
Up to his death, Columbus thought that America was India.
初めに着いた島は、インドの西の方だと、コロンブスが信じていたことから、そこは西インド諸島と呼ばれるようになりました。
Because Columbus believed that the first islands he had reached were to the west of India, that group of islands came to be called West Indies.
アメリカという名前は、後に、ここがヨーロッパの人たちの知らない大陸だと気付いた、アメリゴ・ベスプッチという人の名前に因なんで、付けられました。
America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, who later realized that this was a continent unknown to the Europeans.

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Page 110

Summary

ジパングから 黄金を 持ち帰ると 言う 夢は叶いませんでしたが、

コロンブスは、ヨーロンパの人たちに、とても大きな驚きと感動をもたらしたのです。

The dream of bringing back gold from Zipangu didn’t come true, but Columbus brought great surprises and excitement to the people of Europe.

I forgot all about small shrift :frowning:

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Chapter 8 starts today.