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

Ha, just the image I was going for. Though you’re off by about 350km :shushing_face: Compared to the size of London though, might as well be a village…

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I’ve seen advertisements for it on the Japanese cable channels back in my home country. It looks like it would be really interesting to watch. She’s very business-like, and she stands up for what she believes in. She reminds me of my mother, actually. :joy: I guess Saitou might find someone like that inspirational, but I can’t see her fitting into Blackjack’s universe.

Anyhow, yes, indeed, politics are a headache. Interesting change of pace nonetheless. Hope everyone’s finding the manga easier and easier to understand. (I’m starting to feel like most of the grammatical structures that are turning up now have appeared earlier in the manga, たとえ aside.)

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I pictured you to be a Russian at first, getting extra early to stand with a your hand on your chest and singing your national anthem for the Mother Land on a daily basis.

You have unusual fields of interest for a young student. I don’t know any students who have learned Japanese and who know that ayamadori is a type of bird. I mean Jonapedia is pretty unusual too speaking many languages as he does.


By the way you guys are not updating the first thread when you pick a number, I don’t want to have to do it like a mom picking up a dirty pair of socks left laying on the porch :triumph: Everyone’s responsible for their own translation around here.

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I find your comparison quite amusing. :joy: I’m still used to the times when the first post wasn’t editable. Sorry. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve removed 32 and 33 from the list of untranslated speech bubbles. I’m currently wondering if there’s really a need to paste the translations in the first post as we go along though… but I guess it’ll make compiling stuff on the home thread easier, so I’ll go post the translations for 32 and 33 up there. It would probably be good to post instructions somewhere on what to do each time we translate something, in case somebody decides to join us. Maybe on the first post (or on the home thread). Then we can link the home thread to the first post and vice versa. Just an idea.

As far as languages and I go… well, I was exposed to etymology very young via Merriam-Webster dictionaries, but I didn’t really try to be multilingual until after my immersion trip in Paris, which was followed by my discovery of Assimil. That’s when I found I really enjoyed learning languages, and it seems I wasn’t too bad at it, so I wanted to see how many I could learn. I guess I’m just lucky that my first three languages were English, Chinese and French, because that way, I got three major language families/writing systems straightaway: Germanic languages, Romance languages, and the Chinese writing system (which helps since Chinese was like the Latin of East Asia at some point).

EDIT: OK, added translations for #31-33 to the first post.



More gender-equal close-up:


どうせ:in any case;
()ぬなら: if death (if he is dead);
(はら) stomach (I believe like in the samurai ritual of hara-kiri);
()けろ: open in the imperative! He won’t get me twice on that one, last time I didn’t know but know I could spot it with my eyes closed.

:speech_balloon:In the case that he will die, open the stomach
Note :eye:‍:left_speech_bubble:: I think this is a sentence we did before in episode 2.


なら usually applies to the whole clause/block before it, and 死ぬ is the verb ‘to die’. ‘Death’ would be 死(し). I usually think of なら as meaning ‘in the case that/of’. So it needs to be parsed as [どうせ死ぬ]→なら. Your translation is missing the meaning of どうせ. The other interpretations seem just fine though. :slight_smile:


But I put “in the case” at the beginning of my translation. Maybe I should’ve put “in any case” instead.

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Hm… How else do I explain this… another way of translating ~なら is ‘if ~’ i.e. ‘if ~ is true’. Also, どうせ comes from どう and せよ, which is the written imperative of する, and is often used for hypothetical things, like いずれにせよ (roughly ‘whichever (one) choses’, from the structure ‘~にする’, which means ‘to choose/decide on ~’). Therefore, どうせ literally translates to ‘however (one) does i.e. acts’. That might help you understand, along with parsing the sentence as I said: [どうせ死ぬ]→なら. That is, translate どうせ死ぬ first, then add the meaning of なら.

Here are two possible translations of everything up to なら if you don’t quite see what I’m getting at:

‘If (he) will die no matter what,…’[/spoiler] OR [spoiler]‘In the case that he will die no matter what,…’

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Oooh… so it is closely related to どうして then ?

36., 37. & 38.

Still remembering the words of Dr Hattori:


It's better than doing nothing

なんにも しない より マシ だ
nothing not.do more.than better is.

なんに = emphatic version of なに (何), and with no it makes an absolute, with negative verb -> nothing
A より B = B rather than A;
マシ = better; 増し is the nominalization (trough the 連用形 form) of verb 増す to increase, to grow. So 増し means actually increase, growth. And from there, in comparisons, the meaning of “better”. In such use it is common to write in katakana.


You are a doctor


Whether you are a newbie or yet inexperienced, you are a doctor

(to Zizka: actually those same words keep coming back from Episode 1 :slight_smile: )

半人前 (はんにんまえ) : that word is still difficult… I think the meaning here is the idea of “unfinished”, “unpolished”; so inexperienced.
(人前 is a portion of food; so 半人前 reminds me of French “demi-portion” (the meaning is different however, but the word making similar)

The construct with two parallel … だろうが (cuppola in a form expressing uncertainty + “but”) is kind of “whether … or …”

…なんだ on the contrary expresses big certainty (at first I had written “you are for sure a doctor”; but the natural way to put it on English wold be “you are a doctor” with an emphasis on “are”)

Saitou says:


I am a doctor!

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Hm… I think that if I tried to transform it literally, it would be closer to どうして . どうして is rather different since it’s usually used as a question meaning ‘why’. Also, technically, して is just a request form, because ください is implied, even if it’s more polite to actually say ください. It’s not the imperative. しろ (spoken) and せよ (written/formal) are the imperative forms for する i.e. the forms for giving orders.

Anyway, I went and did a search, because I was trying to figure out why the imperative is used in these hypothetical forms. It’s not intuitive to ‘order’ something when you don’t want it, right? Well, actually… this is apparently a form of the 放任用法 (‘non-interference’ usage) of the 命令形 (imperative). An example I found online said something like ‘imagine a spy in an enemy country who’s been caught, and who will be killed if he doesn’t reveal state secrets. He might say, 「殺すなら殺せ!」(“If you’re going to kill me, then kill me!”)’ The spy doesn’t actually want to be killed, but he’s expressing the idea that he doesn’t care what happens. It’s the same thing in the structures I mentioned earlier (like いずれにせよ). Also, it helps to remember that these expressions only make sense when used to describe something that hasn’t happened yet, which is rather hypothetical in and of itself.


Yes, I didn’t say it was the same meaning, but both made from どう+a form of する
While for どうして it was evident; for どうせ I was unaware of it.


The next page:

The home summary


I’ve added the instructions as requested.

I’ve also started a grammar section. I’d like to archive grammar points explained by people there for quick reference. Like @Jonapedia mentioned, we’re inevitably starting to see the same structures again so it’s likely we can refer to that grammar point.

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A section in the first message of the home thread would be a good place for that I think (grammar points are independent of the episodes).

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@Zizka (you did 35 actually, not 34)


*stopping a medical treatment due to medical staff circumstances is an error...*

医療 (いりょう) : medical care
側 (かわ) : side (read がわ here); so 医療側 the side of the medical care = the people on the medical care
都合 (つごう) : circumstances
治療 (ちりょう) : medical treatment
やめる = to stop; it can also be (ambiguosly) written 止める
間違い (まちがい) : error

I don’t know how to interpret で here… as particle of means of action; as a te-form of だ

In first case, it is something like “with the (those) medical staff conditions, it is wrong to stop…”
in the second, it is something like “(those) are the medical staff conditions, and it is wrong to stop…”

but both give more or less the same meaning.

I thought the “medical conditions” being, the only 1% chances of recovery.

But with ayamedori info on how to interpret ~側 it changes…




:speech_balloon:Please, resume (old man’s name)’s life prolonging measures again!

I didn’t look up anything for this one. It was all vocabulary I had seen before except for 再 which I knew from Chinese.

Reason. 医療側(いりょうがわ)is the side that performs the medical care, i.e. the hospital and its staff; ~側 usually refers to people/organisations. He’s saying that stopping a treatment because of circumstances on the hospital’s side (instead of the 患者側) is wrong, even if that treatment has little chance of succeeding.

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お願いします 金子さん『に』腹膜透析『や』輸血『を』やらせて下さい

What precedes the 『に』is straightforward and requires no explanation. We’ve seen 腹膜 before,

  1. the serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal organs.


of, resembling, or producing serum

I feel that providing definitions is necessary in this case so that everything is clearly explained. We still end up with a vague idea as to is going on but it’s better than nothing.

透析【とうせき】“dialysis” which is also a word we’ve seen before:

In medicine, dialysis (from Greek διάλυσις, Dialysis , “dissolution”; from διά, dia , " through ", and λύσις, lysis , “loosening or splitting”) is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally.


Why is there a 〜や there? I learned that 『や』is for a non-exhaustive list.

A section in the first message of the home thread would be a good place for that I think (grammar points are independent of the episodes).

It’d be optimal from an organisation point of view. I want to wait until I get the approval/permission from @Jonapedia first to archive his explanations.