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

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.

Not even on 再来週 再来年 ?

Now that you mention it, I had seen it before. It just kept a stronger impression from Chinese.

I’ve added a new proposal in the home thread. Again, remember to vote otherwise you’ll let others decide for you.

Re: 40

輸血【ゆけつ】blood transfusion; and it’s the direct object 『を』of やらせて (which is in the 〜て form to link with 下さい).
やらせて is the 〜て form of やらせる.
やらせる is an ichidan v. (and obviously transitive) which means “to allow”, “to let (somebody)”;
Ichidan is the romaji of 一段 the second group of Japanese verbs.

:speech_balloon: “Please let mister Kaneko (that’s his name) do the dialysis and the blood transfusion”
To answer my own question, I think 『や』here implies there are other treatments which would be required for Kaneko besides the dialysis and the blood transfusion.




なんだ/なのだ: “it is assuredly that”, “can say with confidence that”;

:thought_balloon:Here, I think he’s saying this in the sense of:
“Spit it out, stop beating around the bush”


:speech_balloon: “What is it, doctor Saitou, what do you want/what is your purpose?”



何度【なんど】How many times;
言わせる is the causative if 言う, “to say”;
I’ll be hardcore honest, the causative is still unclear in my head and I require more explanations.

Japanese Causative Form is a set of conjugation patterns used to describe either making/causing a person (or animal) to do something , or letting a person (or animal) do something .

Source: https://kawakawalearningstudio.com/all/how-to-make-and-use-japanese-causative-form/

Why is it in the causative here? 白鳥 is letting Saitou say what? How he feels? (気だ)

Because a peritoneal dialysis and blood transfusion aren’t the only things he wants to do. Our little idealist wants to resume the 延命治療 as a whole; 腹膜透析 and 輸血 are just two parts of that. And having just typed that I now see you’ve answered your own question already :sweat_smile: so yes, you’re right.

[verb]気 = “feel like doing x” (for example やる気 = “motivation”). The 言わせる refers to Shiratori himself. Translation: “how many times are you planning to make me say this?”

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But where do you get the “planning” part from? Is that your own wording as you transpose the meaning in English?

The 気 part; I first typed “how many times are you feeling like making me say this” but felt that sounds a bit weird.

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:speech_balloon: “Life extension measures are a social ill/evil”

I don’t like “social ill” as an expression. It’s something I’ve never heard in worded that way). Is this how you would commonly say it in English. In French we’d say: “problème de société” I guess although that defines ill as a problem…