Doggy Detectives! Week 8 Discussion 🐶

Pages 52 - 56

Story 2: バラと天ぷら 事件

Start Date: 1st June
Last Week: Story 1 Finale
Next Week: Case Part 2


わんわん探偵団 Home Thread

Vocabulary List

Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

Discussion Guidelines

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Some quick background for the couple of people joining us from this point:

In the first story, Spitz helped to solve the case of the vanished Telescope Goldfish (デメキン) for 金山かねやま.

I’d highly recommend reading the character list at the bottom of this post. If you have time, reading pages 6 - 8 of the first story will introduce you nicely to the protagonist, Spitz.


Initial thought with p52: people leave their dogs behind a lot in this town, it seems!


Hello! I just joined, having caught up with Case 1 last week. Question, did you guys stick to the 1 page per day format for asking questions, or can we ask questions about any of the 5 pages?


Welcome! Nope, you can ask questions about any of the 5 pages :slightly_smiling_face: that was always meant to be a system for the first few weeks when there are a lot more comments.

Nice work catching up on story one too :+1:


Well, as a first comment on grammar… I was initially confused by:


Partly because I tend to see いけない and have a knee-jerk reaction to assume it means “must”, when in actual fact it just means what it means here; “must not; can not; no good”/

But also because of ひっこしさきに. It’s the verb 引っ越す, “to move house”. I thought it was the ます-stem of the verb combined in some exciting way with 先に to mean “before moving” or “in advance of moving”… which doesn’t really make any sense.

But then I discovered that there is a word 引っ越し先, which means “destination of a move”! So it’s just a location plus the location target particle に - “his owner couldn’t take him along to where they were moving”.


That makes a lot of sense! I also couldn’t figure out the さき part!

My question is about P56. I can’t quite figure out the nuance behind 「こりゃ?’’」 says it means hey there or see here, but ‘see here’ doesn’t really fit with the ’「あれ、なんだ’’」part from the rest of the speech. I’m sure I’m overthinking it though!


Well, こりゃ is a contraction of これは. I’d describe it more generally as an expression of surprise - “I say!”.

But more helpfully, なんだこりゃ or なんだこれは is its own expression meaning “what on earth is this?”

なんだ on its own is also a general expression of incredulity, like “what the heck” or just “what the…”. So combined with これは it fairly literally gives you “what the heck is this?”


Oh I see! I hadn’t even considered it might be a set phrase due to the punctuation, but that clears it up for me! Thank you :blush:


Line breaks, much like commas, are never to be trusted :grin:

Edit: I’ve just seen that you are probably referring to なんだ。こりゃ? in the dialogue; I was looking at the handwritten text. Sorry :grimacing: but anyway, the point about the two halves still stands - it’s like saying “what the… this is…?”


Pg 54

I’ve been staring at だが、金山さんの知り合いなら、きっとお金持ちにちがいない。for ten minutes now. Where’s the verb? I guess it’s ない but then what’s the subject? Is he saying even if 金山wasn’t a friend, he was certainly rich? What am I missing?

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I haven’t started reading this chapter yet, so I’m responding without context here.

I get the impression the subject is the person the speaker is talking to. Rather than ending in a verb, this sentence ends in the adjective ちがいない.

There’s also the clause before なら, which is essentially 「金山さんの知り合いだ」.

My translation (based on no context) is: "Still, if you know Kaneyama-san, surely you must be rich.

Edit: If you’d like me to break down how I came to this translation, just let me know!


Ah…I see! That makes sense in the context. Thank you!


Woah, we seem to have a bunch of extra people! :wave:

Please feel free to comment on the plot / story as well as asking questions :slightly_smiling_face: and questions themselves don’t have to be specific - you can just ask whether your understanding of a sentence is correct, or ask for somebody to break down a sentence that you’re totally lost on, etc.

I have a feeling this story’s canine friend is going to find a new home by the end :grin:

Also, I’m loving the use of a different dog each time. It’s interesting how it’s such a different approach to Kitty Detectives, though I’m sure the level of “involvement” by the starring dog will still vary from story to story. Intrigued to see what アルプス brings to the table!


Hi guys! My very first time posting here, so please be kind and let me know if it shouldn’t work this way - I promise I read the rules and will try to follow them.

I have just joined for this story, and my japanese is still very basic, so sorry for it.

I don´t really understand the construction Hi guys! My very first time posting here, so please be kind and let me know if it shouldn’t work this way - I promise I read the rules and will try to follow them.

I have just joined for this story, and my japanese is still very basic, so sorry for it.

I don´t really understand the construction しばらくたったある日

  • しばらく means “for a while”
  • たった is past plain for たつ, “to pass (time)”
  • ある日 I´m guessing is something like “exist days”

So all together is: “several days passed”?


Hello and welcome! I’m very honoured that this is your first post :blush:

I think your post copied and pasted itself halfway through :thinking: that happens to me sometimes - I have no idea why. Anyway.

Page 52

You’ve made a pretty good go of it, to be honest - it’s not the friendliest first sentence.

Are you familiar with relative clauses? They occur all the time in Japanese, and are basically clauses that modify / describe a noun. The equivalent in English would be things like:

A book that I read yesterday
A man who lives on my street
A house which is blue

In Japanese, the descriptive clause instead goes before the noun, and is written in plain form. The descriptive clause itself can be fairly complex, and it can end with an adjective or a verb.

This is all a very long-winded way of saying that that phrase you’re asking about is a relative clause. ある日 is a common expression meaning “one day”. It’s actually a very mini relative clause all of its own, which you could understand literally as “a day that exists”.

So ある日 is effectively a noun itself.

Then we have しばらくたった, which you’ve identified correctly. Together I’d interpret it as something like “some time has passed”. It’s important not to dissociate it from the beginning of the sentence:


So it’s time that has passed since (から) the incident of the vanished goldfish.

Altogether, we’re describing “a certain day” which occurs some time after the incident of the vanished goldfish:

「消えたデメキン事件」からしばらくたった ある日

In nice English:

“One day a little while after the Case of the Vanished Goldfish…”

that was so long, sorry - does that help?


Some of the sentences this week were a bit tricky for me! :grin:

Page 52:
Thanks @Radish8 for the pointer about 引っ越し先 – I was reading 引っ越 and 先 as separate words and couldn’t make sense of it :sweat_smile:

Page 55:
Thanks whoever put 代 in the vocab sheet – I didn’t know that meaning, so was trying to make sense of dog food + era/generation/representative :thinking::sweat_smile:
Is this definition the right one for ばかにならない? (I checked the vocab sheet before asking, but these lines have an empty meaning cell)
So that would give something like The cost of dog food is also ridiculous/not insignificant (continuing the thought from the previous pages, about the dog costing a lot to keep, and the old man surely being rich if he knows 金山さん)?

Page 56:
I only found the “hey there” definition for こりゃ on Jisho, thanks @Radish8 for the tip on なんだこりゃ, and thanks @kmurgs for asking!

Time to re-read volume 3 of Flying Witch!



Related reading on this use of 先, for the curious:

I still haven’t started reading yet (so I have no context), but in the sentence you provided, that sounds like the right definition to me.


I completely forgot Makoto even said that, you have a much better memory than me! But I will definitely remember 先 for destination from now on, thank you so much! :blush:

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I found the first few pages of this case tougher than anything in the previous one, but to my relief the last page of this week’s reading was back to my normal level of comprehension.

Thanks once more for the vocab sheet and for the questions and answers above. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I am also enjoying the active participation of the dogs in solving the cases (though the lack of Capone’s involvement could just be reflective of the fact that he’s a cat :pouting_cat:), as well as the breed descriptions after the conclusion of each case.