Learning through Translating: ブラックジャックによろしく episode 4: 夏雲

いいも悪いもない is not complicated ( good [neither] bad [neither] there.is.not );

I don’t understand however the 死に方に ; I would have expected 死に方は or 死に方が

( 死に方 is a compound word; not 死+に (particle) but the 連用形 of verb 死ぬ + 方 ; like 言う -> 言い方, 使う -> 使い方, 死ぬ -> 死に方)

共働き is, I think, the fact of both persons of the couple working, and not the two persons themselves (it is 共働き and not 働き共; so the main concept is 働き, work).

And in 共働き だ し (dual.work to.be [justification]) it is a an explanation/justification of the situation (like in French we would say “on travaille tous les deux”)

I wonder if the idea of:
共働きだし / どうしよう
could be rephrased as:
共働きだから / どうしよう
(I understand it like that)


I understand it as:
‘But, even if he is saved, if he is bedridden, as we both work, what could we do?’

死はみんな同じで、良いのも悪いのも選択肢に入っていないという意味です。 (自分の死に方は選べるものではない)
The subject isn’t really 死に方, but いい and 悪い act a bit as nouns here, so they are the de facto subjects instead. Usually you don’t see も directly following an i-adjective except for expressions like this.

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~と言われた = “it was said that ~”

Other way around; their guilty conscious was the reason they felt they couldn’t come to visit (out of shame). Because as a working couple they wouldn’t have been able to take care of him, stopping the life-prolonging treatment/letting him pass away would in a way be a relief to them, and that thought had them so ashamed they couldn’t bring themselves to face him.


Ah ok so 『も』acts as “neither” here because the sentence is negative.

87. 死ね『ば』皆同じだ

:speech_balloon: “Dying is all the same”

:writing_hand: “If we die we are all the same/we are all alike” (edited in following @YanagiPablo comment)


:speech_balloon: “I couldn’t save that patient”

(I noticed the kanji this time around as ayamadori pointed last time so I didn’t confuse it with the kanji for teach!).

88. 斎藤先生 君『は』ずっとそんな事『を』繰り返すのが

:speech_balloon: “Doctor Saitou, you have been repeating such things”


:x: My verb is not nominalised;
:x: I’m using the present perfect continuous which might not be accurate here;

☆ New Vocabulary ☆:

ずっと: throughout;
繰り返す【くりかえす】v. to repeat;
のが: nominaliser;

In this instance, only ずっと is not completely clear to me:

ⓐ continuously in some state (for a long time, distance), throughout, all along, the whole time, all the way (ずーっと and ずうっと are more emphatic)
ⓑ much (better, etc.), by far, far and away
ⓒ far away, long ago
ⓓ direct, straight

The reason it’s instinctively unclear Is because I want to treat it as attributive to そんな事 when really as an adverb it describes 繰り返す. We ran into something similar before and we had the conversation with @Jonapedia. Thankfully I understand better now.

89. この先

:speech_balloon: “From this point on…”


:speech_balloon: “You will meet this type of patient as many as you want”


:x:今回 is missing in my interpretation;

☆ New Vocabulary ☆:

この先: from this point on;
今回: this time;
いくらでも: as many as you like;

pre-noun adjectival (rentaishi), word usually written using kana alone
ⓐ like, similar to (see also: ようだ, ように)
expressions (phrases, clauses, etc.), word usually written using kana alone, colloquialism, abbreviation
ⓑ (I) think (that), (I) have a feeling (that) (at sentence end; short for ような気がする, see also: ような気がする)
word usually written using kana alone, colloquialism, abbreviation
ⓒ feels like, feels similar to, feels as if (at sentence end; short for ような感じ(がする))

出会う【であう】v. to meet, to come across;

90. はい まだ当直のバイト『に』使っていただけたら『と』思いまして

:speech_balloon: “I’m thinking I could still make use of that job”

Potential Issues:

:x: (Some words are missing like いただけたら but I figured it could be connotative to the sentence (I’m hoping for that job) as opposed to being written literally);

★ New and Old Vocabulary ★

まだ: still, has yet;
当直: being one duty; Weblio defines as “being in watch” and I like that.
バイト: part-time job;
使って is the verb 使う in 〜て form to likely link to the auxiliary that follows;
いただけたら is the potential + 〜たら conditional of the verb 抱く.
抱く【いだく】has the following meanings:

Godan verb with ‘ku’ ending, transitive verb
ⓐ to embrace, to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby), to hug
ⓑ to harbour (e.g. grudge), to harbor, to bear, to have (e.g. ambition), to entertain (e.g. hope, suspicion)
Godan verb with `ku’ ending
ⓒ to have sex with, to make love to, to sleep with
ⓓ to sit on eggs

I’ve put the matching definition in bold.

May 21st 2020: End of Episode 4:

:star: Total time spent: 14 days

Episode 4: 14 days
Episode 3: 10 days
Episode 2: 9 days
Episode 1: 16 days

:star: Average days per episode: 12

:star: Pages of episode 4: 34

Pages of episode 3: 24
Pages of episode 2: 26
Pages of episode 1: 60

:star: Pages translated average (for episode 4): 2.4 pages a day;

Pages translated a day (episode 3): 2.4
Pages translated a day (episode 2): 2.8
Pages translated a day (episode 1): 3.75

:star: Number if panels in this episode: 137 panels

:star: Panels done per day (for episode 4): 10 (9.7)

:star: Panels with text (for episode 4): 76 panels (55%)

:star: Characters per page (by character I include kana and Kanji). I will also take a sample and determine an average after as otherwise it would be too time consuming: 57


P. 1: 25
P. 2: 8
P. 3: 95
P. 4: 66
P. 5: 94
P. 6: 31
P. 7: 90
P. 8: 111
P. 9: 0
P. 10: 51
Average of: 57 characters per page.
I took a small sample though so that number is probably not super accurate.

死ねば is conditional form of the verb (eg: “if/when dying”).
Also 皆 is “all”, but for people ( “is all the same” in English sounds as if the conditions are all the same; but as 皆 is used, it should be “it’s the same for all/everybody”, or “we are all the same”)

I think it would be more like “a lot”, “as many as you can imagine”; I don’t think he actually wants/likes to do such encounters.


Actually 今回の様な : similar to (the one of) this time

I think 様な alone would be strange, as it will lack the answer about “similar to what?”

抱く【いだく】has the following meanings:

Oh, it is not いだく but いだく …

As a helper verb (which is the case here, after te-form) it is a humble speech verb with the meaning of getting someone to do something.
It’s defined in weblio as:

in the “~te itadaku” form, it attaches to the renyoukei of verbs

represents a meaning of: receiving a behaviour/action like that of favor from someone else
(could be better worded probably… but the idea is that it express that the action of the main verb, gets the nuance of being a “favor done from someone else”)

ⓐ その動作が動作者の意志に基づく場合。
a) in the case when that action is due to the will of the do-er of the action

I got also praised by my teacher

(someone) will knit a sweeter (for me)

(NOTE: I’m not completely sure I parse/understand correctly those sentences; please correct me if I am wrong)

ⓑ その動作が受け手の意志に基づく場合。
b) in the case when that action is due to the will of the receiver of the action

Go back to your house if you don’t like it
(帰っていただこう in volitional and plain (not polite) form; the fact of going home is marked as a favor done to the speaker; なら = “if/when” form of だ (I had to look it up))

(please) slowly relax / I want you slowly relax
(いただきたい uses the ~たい ending (I want to …); eg: “I want to receive the gift of you slowly relaxing”; Please do me the favor to slowly relax)

Here we have (バイトに)使っていただけたら
I think the subject of 使う is the Seidou hospital (誠同病院) that does 使う (“will use”; here “will employ”) Saitou.

バイト ・ に ・ 使って ・ いただけたら ・ と ・ 思う
job [purpose] to.employ+TE be.able.to.receive+cond. [quote] to.think

I think/wonder if I could be able to receive the gift of you employing me for the job.
=> I think/wonder if I could be employed for the job

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I was going to wait to create the thread for episode 5 since I’m done for the day so if someone wants to take charge and create it go for it.

Episode 5 has 22 pages, the shortest so far. I think it should take us 9 or 10 days to do depending on the participation of course.

For the curious:
Episode 6 also has 22 pages.
Episode 7 has 21 pages.

This means that on average an episode has about 30 pages.

Episode 5: 第5話 外科と内科と医局と斉藤
(I think @YanagiPablo likes to do titles so I can let him to do it otherwise I’ll do it tomorrow.

I thought you wanted to make a break and read some other kind of texts (NHK easy news) for some days…

I think it may be a good idea to take a couple of days to have the time to re-read all that has been done; there is a lot of interesting things that would be beneficial to take the time to be read and understood.

What about starting Episode 5 Monday ?
And do an NHK article in between ?

Well, only ayamadori responded when I brought up the conversation, I didn’t know how you felt about it (and to some extent still don’t :sweat_smile:).

I have been thinking and I think to tackle on something more difficult wouldn’t be a good idea (for me). I’m still challenged by the sentences in the manga, enough that I’m still learning daily.

I agree about NHK news article. I’m curious about the participation so we can take it from there.

NHK articles (at least the “easy Japanese” ones) are easier than the manga I think: no spoken language, no feelings and extra long TE TE TE verb chains…

Well, we’ll find out tomorrow. What title should we pick?

NHK news [article title] translation exercise?

I was thinking about this one.

It should be のか, I think. It’s just another one of those question sentences. Also, I suspect that 繰り返す here is actually the future tense: ‘Will you be repeating such things all the time in the future?’ I know it’s kinda ambiguous: I still have trouble detecting when to interpret a plain-form verb as the future tense, but it’s the only sensible interpretation here. ずっと really just carries this idea of being really extended. It’s for stuff that lasts for a long time, or which is greatly… something or other. (Random side note on my mental images: mentally, when I hear ずっと, I just imagine something stretching, like a strip of rubber or a measuring tape. It’s in the top left-hand corner of my head, it’s squishy, and it’s at a ~45º angle. I see it in perspective, like some purplish rubber strip being stretched along a running track.)

I’m sorry, I think I missed this. What ‘conversation’? Was it the one about studying texts other than the manga?

Or we could keep ‘learning through translating’ and use that instead of ‘translation exercise’. The article you selected looks decent. Grammatically speaking, I don’t think it looks much harder than the manga. Of course, ultimately, you should pick whatever interests you, and whatever you’re comfortable with. I think NHK News Web Easy is a good tool since you can choose whether or not you want furigana, and you can also listen to the article. Plus, you can choose to take a look at the original article if you want.

PS: just tried out Japanese.io, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive. I didn’t realise it had a feed for articles on various topics, along with a library of classics. It provides furigana and definitions for words in articles, along with their JLPT level. Might be worth a look.


Yup that one. I was asking what you guys thought about it.

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Well, I guess there’s what I just said here:

That aside… I’m fine with switching to other texts, especially if you guys feel certain texts might be more appropriate. I think it might be interesting to do so, and since not many other people are joining in, there shouldn’t be any major issues if we choose to move on to something else, provided those who are already involved agree. I’m also fine with continuing the manga, but I honestly doubt that we will finish the story, even if it was once (I believe) a bestseller in Japan.

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That Japanese.io is very cool! I’m wondering if the tools wouldn’t make me lazy however as there’s a risk to rely heavily on them. Good resource though, good catch.

Well the idea is to have the community drive the thing so it’s not so much what would be interest me so much as what would interest most people.

I actually tried that activity at Duo Lingo. The participation was very high but no one picked up the mantle after the first time I launched the activity. I thought people would start hosting the activity but no, no one tried the activity after even if it was working well.

NHK has the advantage that it’s fairly popular, people know about it. I’m thinking this would play in the favor of participation and people getting involved. It doesn’t take much to scare away potential participants and bringing a new website could be too much for some people. Personally, I’m willing to try just about anything but it’s not the case for everybody.

I was thinking of providing that article this way, as an image:

…as well as provide the link to the original. I’m hoping this would encourage people not to copy/paste into google.

By my account there 7 sentences in the article. I’ll do one for sure and so will @YanagiPablo I’m pretty sure. @Shannon-8 don’t know if you’ll do one?

I personally think if two or three other members would be good enough as far as community involvement is concerned.

I don’t know if I should provide a vocabulary list. I think it might be too easy and require little effort if I do.

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Fair enough. However, I figured it would be good if you chose something that you found interesting, in the hope that everyone else would find it interesting too. Haha. Texts chosen by one member should of course be submitted to the community in order to see whether it engages everyone.

I guess what would really seem unfortunate if we switch texts is that we would leave the story unfinished. We started as a sort of ‘book club’ after all, even if reading wasn’t really our primary activity. Although… well, I have the impression that Blackjack isn’t all that popular or well known among Japanese learners, so perhaps the change would pass unnoticed by those who have yet to join our group. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Another way we could do this would be to alternate between the manga and relatively easy, short articles, which is what you essentially suggested earlier: manga on weekdays, short texts on weekends.

It isn’t a bad idea, especially since that will encourage people to attempt to read the article before looking anything up, but I think the ability to copy and paste words into dictionaries is one of the biggest plusses of reading such online content. (It’s also significantly faster than transcribing keystroke by keystroke, even though I know some people will prefer to do that for practice.) Also, even though Google Translate has been getting better at translating Japanese, the output is useless for learning unless you have an idea of how to parse the Japanese sentence yourself. I guess it’s really up to individuals as to how they’ll use the link to the original article.

The main challenge I foresee in switching to articles is that it’s harder to split sentences between members, because it’s really quite troublesome to number them all. (However, I see that you’ve already done that, which is great.) Also, as much as I can see how the translation practice has been helping everyone progress, I sometimes feel it may be slowing us down? Covering every sentence probably isn’t necessary for everyone, and I’m starting to wonder if it would be better to focus on chunks (paragraphs, for instance) and discuss what they mean while asking questions on whatever isn’t clear. I really don’t know. I’m just throwing this idea out there and sharing my view. Ultimately, I’m mainly here to help answer questions while picking up and researching things I still don’t know.

EDIT: I don’t think a vocabulary list is necessary. We should probably look words up ourselves and ask questions if we can’t find a definition that fits. We’ll learn more that way.