May 2nd Daily Reading ブラックジャックによろしく Beginner Welcomed with open arms

I was thinking of moving the activity in another sub forums. Since it’s really more of a grammatical exercise than reading. It really is an activity where people can drop in and out. The focus is grammar first story second. Basically, it’s much more active than just reading as every bit is analysed in depth which is not something I do when I read a book.

Maybe call it translation exercise, or interpretation exercise? Since it a community activity, I’d like to hear you guys out.

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I reckon you could probably just do it all in a single thread. You don’t need a new thread each day.


Claiming A:

@arlo: could you make the thread a wiki please?


《今夜『は』もうお帰りですか? 先生…》
今夜【こんや】means this evening and it’s the topic of the sentence;
もう: means soon, shortly;
お帰り【おかえり】means return;
ですか: indicates a question;
先生【せんせい】as Jonapedia commented, a general sign of respect as it can mean both teacher and doctor depending on the context. Here though, I’ll translate it as “doctor”.

Are you going to go return home soon this evening doctor?

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in the “narrator” bubble:

この間 当直のバイトをした病院の先生からだった

the letter:



(イエイ) (牛田)

  • ~様【さま】: honorific suffix, more polite version of ~さん
  • 永大出【エイ・ダイ・で】: egress from Eiroku University; that is how Ushida called Saitou.
  • 仲々【なか・なか】: (with a negative verb) “by no means; not readily​” (apparently irregular kanji usage, should be 中々. I know 仲 from 仲間 (なかま, comrade, mate))
  • つながる (繋がる) : to be connected to, to be linked to
  • ので : because
  • ハガキ (葉書) : 2. post card, 2. memo, note
  • 出す【だ・す】: (transitive) 1. to put out, to expose, 2. to publish, to submit, to send a letter.
  • 間【あいだ】: interval of time; nothing special about the word, but note the simplified handwritten form of the component 門 (similar of how it has been simplified in modern Chinese)
  • 順調【ジュン・チョウ】: favorable
  • 回復【カイ・フク】: recovery (from an illness, operation). Those last two are not new, they appeared at the end of Episode 2.
  • こいよ (来いよ) : Come! (irregular imperative of 来る+ particle よ
  • 牛田【うし・だ】: it’s the name of the man Saitou worked at night as part-time job at 誠同病院 in Episode 1.

この間 当直のバイトをした病院の先生からだった
In the meantime, (this) was from the Doctor at the hospital that I did half-time job duty

The letter from 牛田さん:

斉藤英二郎様 Mr Saitou Eijirou
元気か?永大出 're you fine? Eidai-guy
仲々電話がつながらないので As I cannot join you by phone
ハガキを出した。 I sent you a letter.
この間の患者は順調に The patient of the other time
回復してるぞ、 is recovering favourably
また、こっちにも≪バイトに≫こいよ。 See you. Come here to work

Claiming B:



I return to my apartment and a note was delivered
Q①: I think: 届いていた is in the past progressive as indicated by いた… but why? Does he mean he caught the note as “it was being delivered”, as in he caught the postman doing it? I don’t understand why the past progressive was used here.

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I think it is the ている use that shows an action and its lasting effect. The letter arrived and was awaiting (in contrast of it just arrives/arrived in case ている is not used).
And the past, because that state just finished when Saitou takes the letter in his hands.


Well there goes my understanding of the Japanese past progressive then. I’ll need to research this further. I thought v+〜ていた = Past Progressive 1:1. If your explanation is right (as I think it likely is) they don’t have the same function.

Hmm… this website also only mentions the past progressive:

Learn Japanese grammar: ていた (te ita) / ていました (te imashita). Meaning: was doing something (past continuous).

Ahh ok, there are exceptions:

When we are talking about an action that was completed in the past but continues to be relevant afterward, we use forms like “had done” in English, as in “I had finished the essay before I realized it was on the wrong topic.”

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Well, my understanding of it is not very formal, and may be completely wrong.

But I don’t think that Japanese conjugations are 1:1 with English tenses at all (plus I don’t know English well either,… so I don’t do any such link).

As for the ている, I understand it as giving the nuance of a spaning frame in which the verb has an effect. Either that the action continues all along during such span of time, or that the result does.

And the use of past or non-past having the same meaning as usual; that is, for past (ていた) the given span of time is finished, we are out of it; while for non-past (ている) it isn’t yet finished, we are in the middle of that span of time.

一枚届いている : a letter arrived (but I haven’t yet read it, it is still waiting; maybe I am not even physically there and have just been told the letter arrived)
一枚届いていた : a letter had arrived (and I’m reading it)
一枚届く : a letter will arrive (or it is a common thing that one letter arrives)
一枚届いた : a letter has just arrived

(but, confirmation (or rebuttal) from a fluent speaker would be welcome)


I'm taking D

留守番電話: メッセージは一件です
もしもーーし お母さんでーーす

D Analysis

The button he’s pushing with a click ビッsays “留守” (るす) which means “absent”, which was confusing until I saw the phrase for “answering machine” is 留守番電話 (るすばんでんわ); also 留守番(るすばん) means caretaker/house watcher.


  • メッセージは message (subjectは)

  • 一件(いちけん) one 件(counter for “a matter” or “a case”)

  • です duh
    There is one message

  • ピッ BEEP!! (It’s loud, because there font was LARGE)

  • Mもしもーーし Hello-----o

  • お母さんでーーす It’s Mo-----'om

Answering machine: There is one message
Hel-lo-----o, it’s (your) Mo----om

@YanagiPablo re. Simplified kanji

Neat @ 間. I am particularly glad that 医was simplified. I already hate the one for medical treatment (in yesterday’s). When @Jonapedia said that about the bone script (or somesuch name of an ancient writing) it reminded me of when I was in the museum looking at a 1000+ year old carved Chinese Stone and I recognized characters!!)


間【あいだ】: interval of time; nothing special about the word, but note the simplified handwritten form of the component 門 (similar of how it has been simplified in modern Chinese)

Here is an image of that character : a (a bit rotated because the letter itself is rotated).

More information about handwriten simplifications, called 略字 (りゃくじ), can be seen here:

Compare also the two images (they are the same text) at the bottom of
and also one before the last on

And speaking of simplifications… our old friend 医 is actually a simplification; the original one used to be 醫.

Two main simplification ways exist when writing:

  • one, like for "医” just writes part of the kanji (and that is how katakana were created).
  • the other, is to smoothly squiggle together the strokes (and that is how hiragana were created).

Both kanji simplifications in China and Japan just used already existing handwritting simplified forms; in China they just went a bit more ahead, and actually standardized printed forms based on cursive handwriting

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Pretty much spot on! Compare to English: “when I returned to my apartment, a letter had been delivered”. When one event precedes another event in the past, both events are in past tense with the one that happened earlier in the past perfect. The difference is that in Japanese, the past tense only goes at the end of the sentence (帰ったと doesn’t work); since 届いていた in this case is kind of an equivalent to the English past perfect, it indicates that the other event, him returning home, is also in the past.

As you mentioned though, Japanese tenses aren’t 1:1 to English. Not all ~ていた-verbs are past perfect and vice versa; there’s even a difference between transitive and intransitive verbs (very simplified here, very comprehensive here) but Japanese being Japanese, there are exceptions.

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Hi, @ayamedori, will you have the honor of finishing out our day with E?

I can’t do it, because I have to go read Shin-chan for that book club!!

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If no one else wants to, sure! Have fun with Shin-chan :grin:



かい is question marker か but as familiar language (i.e. I wouldn’t use it with です・ます). Related: なんだい -> なんだ (as a question).

もうすぐ -> almost, soon

お盆(おぼん)is a yearly festival in August to celebrate one’s ancestors; it’s not officially a public holiday I think, but most people get time off to visit their families.

楽しみにする, “to look forward to”, is transitive; the を is left out.
わよ -> double emphatic particle! わ is typical for “mother speech”, as we’ve seen before (and for Kansai dialect, but that aside…).


“Eijirou, how are you~~
It’s almost Obon, isn’t it~~
I’m looking forward to seeing you again~~”

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So 〜ていた can either express the Past Perfect or the Past Continuous. I assume context is always what ends determining which one of the two is being expressed.

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While I agree that a single thread is probably a possibility (and would help keep the forums tidier), the issue is that each day/screenshot’s worth of analysis is about the length of 15 medium-sized posts long. (I understand that I’m a big contributor to the length of each thread. I’ll see if I can be more concise, or at least collapse certain sections so only interested parties will need to see them.) As a result, in the long run, someone adding a new contribution would need to scroll endlessly in order to find the screenshot currently being translated, or at least to see which panels have already been translated. (As things are, a running list of translated and untranslated panels is being maintained in the first post of each daily thread so each new contributor has an idea of what’s been done without scrolling.) The huge amount of scrolling necessary would probably discourage discussion and lead to our posting individual responses without really reading those of other contributors, particularly since the panel translations are rarely posted in order.

PS: Please don’t see my comments as hostile or defensive. I know yours was a well-meaning suggestion, and it is quite sensible. I’m just sharing my point of view based on my experience as someone who contributes translations on these threads and comments on others’ contributions extensively in order to share the little knowledge I have. I think we’re all open to further suggestions on how else we might do this. Perhaps you’ve seen something the book clubs have done? I know the Re:Zero book club holds discussions on WaniKani and reads the novel aloud on Discord.

At the moment, what I’m thinking is that, in order to do this as a single thread, we would have to 1. be able to change the first post to reflect the screenshot that is currently being translated (which we can do) and 2. replicate the previous screenshot only at the end of the discussion of the translations for that screenshot (which is more difficult, since some contributors might come in later and ask questions about previous panels). Now, that might not be an issue if we stop doing one screenshot a day and instead only move on when every panel on one screenshot is finished, but not imposing a certain pace on ourselves might slow our learning.

Ultimately, I leave the decision to everyone else, since I see my main role on these threads as commenting on others’ contributions. I will translate things myself as well, but I often run out of time for translations because I feel the need to detail my thoughts when responding to questions or doubts.

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That’s correct, with certain exceptions for verbs expressing ‘point actions’. For those verbs, it’s much, much more common for the progressive tenses (past or present) to indicate a continuous state (present perfect) rather than a continuous action (present continuous). Also, @YanagiPablo’s remark about Japanese tenses not corresponding 1:1 to English tenses is correct. I’m not a fluent speaker, but I had the same misconception as @Zizka a while ago, until my friend corrected me. I had a discussion with him about this almost 2 years ago, one month after I started learning Japanese. I was confused by something that had come up in my textbook.

By the way, you might want to know that this is reflected in the terminology used for Japanese tenses: for example, for Japanese, we say ‘present progressive’. For English, unless I’m wrong about the terms used in the rest of the English-speaking world, the term is usually ‘present continuous’, so there’s a difference. (Ok, I just checked the dictionary, and ‘continuous’ and ‘progressive’ are usually synonyms in grammar. Oops. Still, I believe there’s a reason for the slight difference in preferred terms. I very rarely see ‘continuous’ in the names of Japanese tenses.)

I’m not an expert, but one example of an exception that comes to mind is a (horribly) stereotypical anime meme: 「お前はもう死んでいる。」「何?」It’s from Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳), and it’s a conversation between two fighters: one of them strikes the other and tells him that he is already dead. The other is shocked and says, ‘What?’, before his body explodes. (I’m sorry if I’ve discomfited anyone; it’s not as gory as it sounds, though there is some blood. It’s one of those typical ‘old-school anime’ fight scenes with a dramatic ending. That’s all.) Anyway, the point is that there, 死んでいる is used to express the fact that the other person was already dead, or at least, as good as dead. I’m not sure if the fact that the person in question died only after he was informed of his demise makes 死んでいる more appropriate than 死んだ, but in essence, 死んでいる very clearly expressed a continuous state. You’ll also find that in EN-JP dictionaries, 死にかけている (which is probably closer to ‘on the verge of death’ in a literal sense) is more commonly used to mean ‘to be dying’ (but again, notice how かけている is used to express a state of being close to death). The only example I have of 死んでる being used to describe the process of dying is 今死んでいます, which my friend said might be used to complain about exhaustion from work.

At the end of the day, the conclusion my friend and I agreed on that day was that context is king. Even the person who proposed this classification of verbs noted that it wasn’t always that easy to tell which type of verb each verb is. 行く and 来る are most commonly used as point action verbs, but Japanese typhoon warnings still say 「台風が来ています」for an approaching typhoon. Whether or not a verb is more of a ‘point action’ verb or a ‘state’ verb is something we can only learn with experience. At the point I discussed this with my friend, he had already got his N1 with a pretty high score, but he still told me that he had ‘recently’ been taught about this difference, so it seems he had only been able to rely on intuition and observation up to that point. Some verbs are fairly obvious though: 生まれる (to be born) is almost definitely a point action verb. Even in English, we say, ‘giving birth’, but not ‘being born’, or at least, not for human beings. It’s possible, but generally quite strange. I’d say 折る (to snap/break/fold) is another one, since the action is generally fairly rapid. For these verbs, 〜ている would translate the present perfect. Sometimes, we can guess; other times, only experience and context can help us.

PS: I have a question for all the past contributors, especially @Zizka @Shannon-8 @YanagiPablo @ayamedori: are we going to finish panels F and I for the May 1st screenshot? What’s our ‘policy’ for panels we can’t finish for a particular day? (I can probably do them this time because I had a look and I understood F, at the least, but I’m rather tired, so I won’t be very detailed. Still though, I’d like us to decide on a general plan for the stuff we can’t finish, and whether we move on to the next screenshot or not.)

Also, on that note, congratulations for finishing today’s screenshot!


I’ll reply in greater depth about the rest of your explanation. I appreciate you handling Belthazar’s complaint, it was very diplomatic.

I used to think we could transfer over unfinished content to the most recent thread but some disagree with that and I don’t mind. So we could keep each reply self-contained.

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Dude, how hostile were the Duolingo forums :joy: pretty sure Belthazar was just giving a suggestion. Most clubs here use either weekly threads or one thread per volume, which seems like it would alleviate quite a lot of the pain you’re experiencing with having to create a new thread every day and get it turned into a wiki etc. I can see that the specific way your club works means there are some issues / disadvantages to that approach though.

That said, could you not use a single thread (maybe per chapter? I’m not sure how this manga is structured), and then include links in the OP to let people jump to the current point in the discussion? That would be pretty easy to keep up-to-date. You would just make a post at the beginning of each day featuring the screenshot of the page, and add a link to that post in the OP to let people jump straight to that point. You can still edit that particular post to keep a record of which panels have been tackled.

(and you could encourage people in the OP text just to jump straight in at the current point)

I can see the issue with the conversation getting broken up if you haven’t fully finished a page before the 24-hour limit though. I’m not sure what to suggest on that front, I’m afraid, as I can sympathise with the desire to keep momentum going and not delay until a page is finished. I think we usually just don’t worry about it too much, because Discourse lets you follow the thread of replies to a particular post, and you can quote and so on.

I would definitely recommend creating a “home thread” though. That would let you advertise the club more steadily and comprehensively (though I still think you’ll be lucky to get many extra people when you’ve already started), and you could use it as an archive space. Plus you could have conversations such as this about how to manage the club without polluting your discussions :wink:


Oh I thought he was saying that there were too many threads and we should stick to one. Sorry, @Belthazar, I misread your intention. I mean, I could have understood why he/she would have complained about it, I mean it is a lot of threads.

In today’s thread, I’m trying to find a way to make a thread per 26 pages episode.

Shannon on *how we could make our threads easier*

I had a light bulb go of upon reading everyone’s comments. TBH, I didn’t really think @Belthazar was “complaining”; we asked for advice, and he succinctly and neutrally gave some. Radish8 (we share a family name, LOL) made me LOL with their crack about the other board ROFL! It really wasn’t horrible (no seriously active “trolls”), they mostly ignored us; however “down votes” causes mods to delete threads. I’d expect some “growing pains”/cultural issues joining this board. This is “small potatoes” not hurtful.

That being said: if I were the mod who had to wiki the top post every day, I’d be a smidge annoyed. Radish8’s suggestion of a weekly thread is an acceptable balance. I think the whole episode may be toooo long! If the top post each week has the current screen shot for the day, then the “first responder” (unintended pun) could copy that labeled image link in their reply. The next day, new top graphic (keep the “Available” and use the “Done” key as “Taken” so we don’t have that "black hole of question before Analysis is complete. All responses for that days’ work has the reference graphic within a few posts above (OK, our average is probably 15 to 30 posts per day. We “cray”@ like that) Then, as you scroll down the thread you see the page, it’s comments, next page, next comments…

Those of us “sharing the load hosting” would still have to reference label the screenshot, but we wouldn’t have to put together the summary etc.

It may be slightly less confusing if we switch between reference NUMBERS one day and LETTERS the next, then back to numbers etc… Just to ease the reading and cross-referencing. I’m still giggling over YanagiPablo’s attempt to incorporate Japanese “letters” for reference. (Nice try, man! sigh)

I think Jonapedia nailed it! THE FABULOUS COLLAPSING TRIANGLES!!!
If the only things that showed not in collapsing triangles was the Transcription (I’m softening on requesting furigana IF you say how to pronounce everything in the Vocab/Analysis section–even if it’s in kana or romanji in parentheses). Thank you, Zizka for posting another furigana link, I haven’t fooled with it, yet (it linked to a mapping site(?) that also had Japanese commentary)

We know not to use blurring (in case someone had to copy it), but could put the Interpretation in a separate triangle (so if you are scrolling through to read the Transcription you don’t accidentally see the Interpretation). ?? It seems like there are A LOT of advanced readers here on Wanikani who like to challenge themselves by reading without immediately being fed the answer.

Re. Unfinished days… This weekly plan might be a tad easier to merely continue if we aren’t done. I used to like to go back and finish old threads, even if my Analysis was weak. (I like ORDER and FINISHING things LOL) (Nb. So glad my husband doesn’t read these threads!!!)

Do those fancy “quotes” work inside “details” collapsing triangles?

Testing quote from Radish8: Dude, how hostile were the Duolingo forums :joy:

Seeing whether one can keep responding…A Yup!

So, TLDR if a Reply was as follows and comments collapsed under a summary title (like “Concerning ので”)

Then WE WOULDN’T NEED TO PASTE THE FINAL TRANSCRIPTIONS AND TRANSLATIONS into the first part, because you could fairly easily SEE that Summary on the scroll.
AND I usually read ALL of your ramblings and stories about grammar or vocabulary or kanji or whatever (and probably other lurkers do, as well).



You really didn’t want me to blah blah more


Kanji and Katakana here.

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