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

I was thinking of adding “grammar points” in the first message when an explanation is given for easy reference like the -te form or ために. That way explanations wouldn’t disappear with the thread. Feels like a shame for something so useful to be consulted briefly and then gone.

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Isn’t it just essentially a variation of the quotation と? Trying to keep things simple in my brain.

I’ve updated the first thread with more material.




:speech_balloon: “Good morning”

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Yes, it is. I’m just explaining it in case the structure wasn’t intuitive. (It wasn’t for me, even though I was sure it was the quotation particle.)




:speech_balloon: “What are you doing?”

:writing_hand: I didn’t analyse this but I’m pretty sure it’s right.




:speech_balloon: “Well doctor…”
☆ I’m aware that it’s not “well” but it felt the most natural in English for そりゃ.


Ok so going over some treaded ground here but since it sentence is slightly more complex, better play it safe.

:ledger: Vocabulary:

意識【いしき】consciousness, conscience; from Latin conscius
なくても: even with not, even without; locution
体【からだ】body; Old English bodig
汚れる【よごれる】v. to become dirty;
動かさない【うごかす】v. to move, to budge (more on this in the grammar sub-section);
床ずれ【とこずれ】n. bedsore;

Bedsores — also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers — are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin.

:exploding_head: Grammar:


Causative: 動かさせない
We touched on that concept earlier on. “To let something happen” is the idea here. Here it’s in the negative however, not to let something happen. To sum up: “not to let budge”.

『が』here doesn’t serve the conjunction role, so it’s the sentence subject then.
『は』here I think is used for:
ⓑ indicates contrast with another option (stated or unstated)
I don’t think it could be the topic since we’ve already identified the subject with 『が』

V. plain form 〜し (from Maggie Sensei with the garish fuchsia lettering):

When you list multiple verbs, nouns or adjectives.

You give one fact and add more information. (On top of that ~ )

『と』is likely an “if” と

『も』it’s hard to say without having all the elements:

ⓐ too, also, in addition, as well, (not) either (in a negative sentence)
ⓑ both A and B, A as well as B, neither A nor B (in a negative sentence) (as AもBも)
ⓒ even, as much as, as many as, as far as, as long as, no less than, no fewer than (used for emphasis or to express absence of doubt regarding a quantity, etc.)
ⓓ even if, even though, although, in spite of (often as 〜ても, 〜でも, 〜とも, etc.)
adverb (fukushi), colloquialism, abbreviation
ⓔ further, more, again, another, the other (see also: もう)

… but here I think it’s “even” as in “even possible” or “also possible”.

How should I approach this? “The consciousness even without a body”?

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What’s up with the しafter “to get dirty”? Is it some kind of adverb maker for not able to move?

At first glance just looking at the definitions, I thought they were saying “You have to move them even if they are unconscious, or they’ll get bedsores.” But then I was also wondering if it would mean “when you move them to prevent bedsores their consciousness can sense you even if they’re unconscious”. I think the first Interpretation will be during closer. It’s not fair, but sometimes U work backwards from what it ought to mean (LOL) to see whether I can make the language and grammar fit. I don’t see it, yet, though. I actually misclassified that verb form, because I was getting cocky and to lazy to look it up. (I wrongly thought it was can/able)

Totally. I need to remain vigilant to take shortcuts as I sometimes want to ignore what grammar generally states to get straight to the meaning. I mean, having “bedsores” and “not let move”, you can already connect the dots as to what the meaning is. With context, I think we instinctively fill in the gaps.

Where did you get the “unconscious” part from? Can you elaborate?

To potential helpers: don’t give the answer please, provide hints :).

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It’s definitely a particle: plain form + し. I’d like to list the possible functions I’ve found from this website: They seem to overlap a lot so I don’t know if the multiple points are warranted.

1) “and”

When you list multiple verbs, nouns or adjectives.
You give one fact and add more information. (On top of that ~ )

2) You can list two different things/ matters to show the contrast

3) Giving a reason and leading to the conclusion

4) Also you finish the sentence with し ( = shi) to make your point in colloquial Japanese

In our case, it’s clearly not 4). The nurse is answering Saitou’s question (“what are you doing”) and justifying her action, so the し here seems like a good choice. We/I just need to demystify the general meaning of it.

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Switch “consciousness” and “body” and you’ve got it! The が means that 意識 is the subject i.e. the thing that’s not there.

The が is in a different clause, 体 is the subject of 汚れる. The topic and subject aren’t necessarily the same thing by the way, though they are here.


Hello! As you might remember, we said て is a verb linker, and you clearly remember that ~ても means ‘even if ~’. However, since て is meant to join two verbs, that also means it can’t join a verb directly to a noun without some help e.g. with an additional の. That means …なくても doesn’t modify 体 (at least not directly). Remember how the other day, we said depending on where an adverb is in a sentence, we might get the impression that it modifies an entire clause? Try seeing if there’s verb further down that the て-form can link to, and try seeing how the two clauses work together. EDIT: Also, yes, what @ayamedori just said is correct. I didn’t notice that you had switched the two in your translation.

@Shannon-8 @Zizka About the し after 汚れる (this verb has two readings, BTW: kega reru and yogo reru), I’d say it’s #3 on Zizka’s list of functions. Personally though, I’ve always thought of it as the ‘justification marker’. That’s how I learnt it, and so far, that interpretation has always been applicable.
EDIT: As @ayamedori said below, it’s probably #1. #3 is just closest to my usual ‘justification marker’ nuance.

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See, I knew I was wrong but wanted to stick to grammar.

なくても: means even without…
and it’s attributive to 体… shouldn’t it mean:
なくても体 = “even without a body”?

Edit! Oops, we posted at the same time, will study your reply @Jonapedia

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I don’t understand your explanation @Jonapedia.

You seem to break down the て from なくても but my dictionary lists it as one word:

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Ok then, time for an elaboration… First of all, I personally do break it down in my head, since, like I said before, the て-form just lists an action and joins it to the next one in the sentence. So when I add も to [verb/noun]なくて, it becomes ‘including the situation where [verb] doesn’t happen/[noun] doesn’t exist’. That’s why I break it down. The other reason it’s helpful to break it down is because the て-form is still a て-form, even with a も after it, so the grammatical function is the same.

In the simple examples we’ve seen so far, て always joined one verb directly to the next, essentially creating a ‘verb 1 and verb 2’ situation. Here though, 体 very obviously isn’t a verb, so what’s happening? My answer is that the て-form is often used to join clauses. You could see it as the て joining the first verb to the one in the next clause. Also, this is why I called the て-form ‘given that Action 1, [rest of the sentence]’. Try it. Translate everything up to も the way your dictionary says, then read the rest of the sentence.

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I think it’s #1 :thinking:
Translation + reasoning in spoiler: “even if they’re unconscious, their body still gets dirty and if you don’t move them they will develop bedsores”. Bedsores don’t develop from being dirty and in the picture the nurse is washing the patient, so they’re two different events rather than reasoning-conclusion methinks.

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I haven’t read your reasoning yet, but yes, my bad, I think you’re right. It makes more sense to translate it as #1. The reason I said #3 is that it’s the closest to my ‘justification marker’ interpretation, because it really is a justification here, since she needs to tell Saitou why she’s moving the patient.

@Zizka: I added something to my explanation in my previous post, about the ‘clause joining’ function this time. You might want to read it.


Alas you didn’t answer my confusion regarding なくても体, I am therefore selling all of my ayamadori stock.

Did you know?

ayamadori means “to take shelter from the rain”, to be interpreted literally and metaphorically.

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OK, I’ll try to focus on this only, but I might end up giving you the translation instead of just ‘how to approach’ it. The grammatical breakdown is
なくて も 体 は…
without even/including body [topic]

So first of all, なくて is still a て-form. Therefore, it cannot modify a noun. In order for a verb to modify a noun, it needs to be in its dictionary form, be that in the present tense, present progressive tense, past tense or past progressive tense. That means that 体 needs to be considered separately from なくても. What is it there for then? The answer is in the は. 体 is the topic of the next clause.

@Zizka Here’s the rest of my explanation: As a result, and this is what I meant here:

If you translate it this way, you’ll get ‘Even if consciousness does not exist, body は…’. So you’re considering the body, but given that fact that the body has no consciousness. That’s all!


Ah, I see where you’re coming from. If it’s listed as one word it might be a bit confusing, but なくて is still a verb which has a subject; since the verb is always at the end of the clause, the only possible subject for なくて is 意識. 意識がなくても、[the rest]. The next clause is 体は汚れる, of which 体 is the subject. Even if there’s no consciousness, 体は汚れる.


Ironically I didn’t even know that :sweat_smile: 文目鳥(あやめどり) is an obscure name for the lesser cuckoo, which is more commonly called ホトトギス but that’s also the name of a haiku magazine that I’ve never read and didn’t want to feign any association with haha.


Ok so なくても isn’t attributive to 体 then? This really shakes my understanding of how attributive phrases work in Japanese :disappointed_relieved:.

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