This is actually one strip that showed up in the first episode. I remember because I had done this one and had asked a question about this but got no answer so it’s a good opportunity to analyse it again.
Long message incoming
You are a doctor
That’s fine I have no issue with that part.
The sentence then continues and this is where I have some questions. I’m really going waist deep into this one so bear with me.
新人 means “a newcomer, a rookie” and the sentence ends with a non-formal copula だ so this is clear to. The director of the hospital is telling Saitou that he thinks Saitou is a rookie and well, he is.
This is a good opportunity to tackle だろう. I always pass it by, barely grazing it but now dang it I want to understand it. Not understanding something and letting pass by depresses me, it feels like I’m cutting corners. So let’s take that bull by the horns and ram it in my head.
Shannon previously provided a link about this but I wasn’t sure I understood and decided to google it on my own.
According to this article だろう expresses uncertainty. First Eureka moment was that I read it was the non-formal form of でしょう which I did not know. Quote:
Darou is a plain form of deshou , and means “will probably.” The adverb tabun (“perhaps”) is sometimes added.
Bold for emphasis. In the sentence at hand, I don’t think the director is saying that Saitou ‘will be a rookie’ it just wouldn’t make sense so this makes me question the veracity of that article.
Further on, another quote:
Darou or deshou are also used to form a tag question. In this case, you usually can tell the meaning from the context.
Again, in the article, I don’t think the director is asking a question. I think he’s stating a fact and the だろう is there to express a “pretend” uncertainty as a form of politeness so that it doesn’t come across that he’s accusing Saitou of being a rookie.
A difference source seems more plausible:
So basically, it’s something which is hard to translate in words. It’s not a “hard” I think in the sense that’s he’s thinking about it. It’s more like he considers that Saitou is a rookie from my understanding of things. Am I on the right track with this?
が comes after, as part of the は✚が construction, going from something general to something more specific.
You’re a doctor but you’re also a rookie I believe
Then, for the second question, 半人前… what does it mean? The dictionary lists: “half a man”. I don’t even really understand what that means in English. I can picture it as an insult to a man but other than that, I don’t know and I feel like it carries a specific meaning which I can’t quite grasp. It could mean that he’s still wet behind the ears or just out of his teenage hood.
I googled it and this wiki says it can also mean ‘half a person’s work’. Is this what the director is saying here? Saitou is doing only part of the full job of a doctor?