Reading ブラックジャックによろしく manga exercises (p14-and up)

Off-topic post to share a site I thought might be useful:

It’s supposed to be a free site on which you can record yourself doing speech practice and send it to a coach who will evaluate it and give you comments. I’ve never tried it, but it seem interesting. And you only need to pay if you want ‘unlimited’ coaching, because it’s a non-profit, so they just need money to keep the site running. Japanese is one of the languages.

Guess I’ll do J


だったら なんで 手術 なんか した んだ……?
be-TARA why surgery something-like do-past [emphasis/attention]


In that case, why did (they) do something like surgery…?
だったら: if + to be (so something similar to ‘if that’s’). Can be combined with other words to form a full conditional block e.g. (This came to mind because of the manga’s contents) 医者だったら、なんで助けてあげなかった? = If (you)'re a doctor, why didn’t you help (that person)? Heads-up: ったら (with the little っ) can also be used to reinforce a statement (especially an order), or to emphasise one’s focus on a person/thing e.g. あなたったら、いつもこんなふうね!= You, I say, you’re always like this, huh? 早くこいったら!= Come quickly, I said!
なんで: Written with kanji, it would be 何で=what + [means]. Thus, it means ‘by what means/based on what etc’ = ‘why’
なんか: it means ‘something like’, but it can also have a slightly condescending connotation. Here, it might help to express Saitou’s disapproval and anger towards the pointless surgery.


No (the idea is that it could be added by anyone, not necessarly the one that made the first post);

It’s true that the real wiki “home thread” is missing; but I want to be sure the whole idea makes sense before requesting for it.
This is how I think that wiki “home post” should look like.

If enough people likes the idea, then the content of that post could be copied into the wiki post, and improved.
(I am even thinking to do a thread for the whole manga; the first message presenting the whole manga, the author, etc. Then one message per episode.
But I don’t know if several messages can be made a wiki in a single thread)

現実←の→日本← の→医療費

I think here it is (現実の)(日本の)医療費 (both attributes of 医療費) rather than ((現実の)日本の)医療費 (現実 attribute of Japan).

Of course, technically both are possible, but “real medical fees of Japan” makes more sense than “medical fees of the real Japan”.

I recently read that one big difference between 小さい vs ちいさな is that while in 小さい山の鳥, “small mountain bird”, it is ambiguous what is small; in 小さな山の鳥 it is unambiguously the mountain that is small (birds from the little mountains), as those な forms can only be directly before the noun they modify.


Well, I would be this thread isn’t a wiki so I can’t. :slightly_smiling_face: This is the problem with the current setup, it’s less community driven than before. It went back to one person in charge like before with a non-editable first message which is not the spirit of the community principle.

The sooner we have an editable first message wiki the better. This is something fundamental for me (as a person). I hold very strong democratic beliefs and I’m strongly against any sort of pyramidal schemed organisations regardless of the context. :yum:

I think we can give the home thread a try now. Unless you ask for a vote. There won’t be a way to know if people like it enough so I propose that you create it and then the community will edit it to it’s needs.

I also does; but here there it is followed by a は; can we have a te-form followed by は ?

But I would like to know if there can be several wiki posts per thread (as that would completely change the way the “index” will be built, one thread with wiki-messages per episode; or one thread per episode)

Who could we ask about this ?

If several wiki posts are possible; then the ideal would be:

  • 1st post (wiki) : presentation of the whole book, the author, the goals of the exersices, general tips and ideas
  • a new post per episode, made a wiki too: if current, a big link to the current thread. Then presentation of names and places appearing, and the sentences+interpretations done so far (with a link for each one to the post were it is explained)

As we are at episode 3 now, there would then be 4 wiki posts.

If several wiki posts for a single thread are not possible, that would mean 4 separate threads, each with a single wiki post.





Japanese English
無駄な【むだ・な】 futile 〜な adj.
延命治療【えんめいちりょう】 life-prolonging treatment
会社【しゃかいあく】 Social ills

I was looking forward to deconstruct this.

無駄な is an adjective which describes 延命治療, life-prolonging treatment and that’s the topic 『は』of the sentence. Life-prolonging treatment is futile and that’s a society ill.

Life-prolonging treatment is futile and that’s a society ill.

Edited: to fix mistake regarding 社会悪.

Not 会社悪い but 社会悪 (しゃかいあく)
Before looking into a dictionary I thought it meant “antisocial”; but it’s “social ills” (the bad things of society)

Life-prolonging treatment is futile

You properly identified 無駄な as a (na-)adjective… why do you translate with an attributive phrase instead ? It is “Futile life-prolonging treatment”

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I think that since we have collapsible triangles at this point it’s a moot point whether or not we can have multiple wiki posts. Clear headings and separation lines, it’d be easy enough to keep things organised without having to recreate new posts for each episodes. If it turns out that we want a new post for each episode we’ll vote on it and decide together, this is a decision we make as a community, not as an individual. I know you mean well and you think it’d be the best way to do things but the sooner you relinquish management to the group the better :+1:.


:top:separation line:

Episode 1: title

content with possible indented collapsible content"


Well, since you asked… yes, we can! It then becomes something like a conditional statement. The extra は turns into into a sort of topic for consideration. If I were to explain it without the ‘conditional’ idea, I would say 〜ては indicates that we are considering the action called ~, and given that it happens, we then think about the rest of the sentence. In fact, ては is used in a very common structure for obligation (=must/have to): 〜なくては ならない (I/you/he/they/we must do ~; literally ‘not doing ~ does not become’) In English, we sometimes say something is ‘unbecoming’ when it is improper or not right. You could say there’s a similar idea here. (There are two ways this expression can be modified, with a slight difference in nuance: 〜なくて→〜なければ and ならない→いけない. I’ll leave you to research that if you’re interested. You should find it if you search ‘expressing obligation in Japanese’. Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese probably covers it.)

Another more general example, taken from an anime (this stumped me the first time I heard it. Had to ask my friend what was going on): 「死んじゃ、ダメー!!!」A character said this just before stabbing a monster that was trying to kill her companion. Brief analysis: 死んじゃ=死んでは; ダメ=undesirable/useless/unacceptable etc So she was saying ‘it’s not acceptable if (you=her companion) die!’.


Claiming K:


I won’t delve too much into the vocabulary here as it’s mostly things we’ve seen before.

[Life-prolonging treatment] is the subject of the sentence as indicated by 『が』. I think society ills (社会悪) is followed by the copula (だ). So it’s a repetition of what I just did in I.

I had a hunch 言い+切る were to be parsed together… and I was right. It’s a verb and it means “to declare” 言い切る【いいきる】.

なんて is something I’ve been exposed before. I never quite understood what it did, my first intuition being that it was related to 何 in some way.

I’ll be using Maggie Sensei (and her annoying dog pictures) for that one:

  1. When you emphasize the word or sentence which comes before なんて( = nante) and express your feelings such as surprise (either positive or negative), disgust, admiration, happiness, disbelief, etc.

I think Saitou is disgusted (he’s crying) by the situation which is why he is using なんて.

くらいなら remains. It’s probably:

  • くらい【暗い】hopeless, gloomy;
  • なら which means “if that is the case”

To declare that life-prolonging treatment is a society ill is depressing if that’s the case is the general idea of the sentence I think.

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Claiming L:



なんで: I’ll keep this one for later.

教授 (professor) +『の』possessive + 指示 (indication or instruction):
The teacher’s indication or instruction.

Now an interesting bit about 指示 (well interesting to me because I’m a language nerd):

My dictionary gives the following definitions:

indication, denotation, designation
ⓑ instructions, directions

While ⓑ are both synonyms, I don’t think ⓐ’s indication and designation have the same meaning, I interpret a difference between the two.

Both of the following definitions are from Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Indication: something that is indicated as advisable or necessary;


Now you might argue that the (1) of designation is the same as indication but I find that the nuance of “advisable” is absent in designation.

Just for the fun of language analysis as it doesn’t cause a problem here as both ⓐ and ⓑ are similar enough not to risk misleading one way or another.

The last bit is:
[…] 逆らわなっかたんだ
There’s のだ/んだ st the very end preceded by 〜なかった which is, quoting Tofugu:

Verbs that end in 〜なかった, like 食べなかった (did not eat), 飲まなかった (did not drink), and 来なかった (did not come), are both past tense and negative. In other words, verbs in this form refer to the past and something that did not happen. In contrast to the verb ending 〜ませんでした, it does not show politeness. So when it is used at the end of a sentence, that sentence is casual rather than polite. It can also be used in the middle of a sentence, in which case it doesn’t usually show whether the sentence is polite or not, but simply gives information about whatever comes next.

So what is in the casual negative past? 逆らわ is or more precisely:
逆【ぎゃく】…which is not listed as a however:
I actually took the plunge and used @Jonapedia’s dictionary link this time around:

So, all in all, “it wasn’t the opposite” because it’s plain past negative form.


Why isn’t the teacher’s indication not the opposite
…is my interpretation.

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Claiming M

M:. 僕も同じだ……
M Interpretation

In hirigana: ぼくもおなじだ……

(Me also)(the same) is

I am the same.

Yay!! A fast one! Now I can read a bunch of yours, too, in my hour. ^^-

Off Topic @Zizka

Étienne, I went to change my Avatar profile picture… To insert a profile picture, Wanikani sent me off-site to set up an account with Gravatar (which I did); who sent me off-site to set up an account with WordPress (which I did). I uploaded my profile pic to Gravatar, and then restarted Wanikani, and I’m still a light blue soccer ball!! WTH!!
Maybe I’ll try updating from this Board directly instead of through my Wanikani account?

EDIT: YES! That was the trick! In preferences up on “me” directly on this board.

Wow!! We can BOOKMARK posts (hopefully of others) so I can bookmark particularly good grammar discussions that I’ll want to refer back to in the future.

PS. Your ‘シャンオンcan you read this?" comment the other day made me smile. I totally had to look up the compound kanji for “proposal”.
Also, I think you’ll find it more Democratic as we do it, because anybody will be able to put the reference letters on that days’ pages, and nobody will have to re-write that top wiki “from scratch”. You’ll have at least 15 more minutes to study!!


@Shannon-8, I’ll look into it. Give me a minute and I’ll see what I can do.

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Explanations here...

①Click on your current avatar in the upper right:

②Click on the little person symbol and then preferences:

③Click on the little pencil icon next to the picture:

④Tick one of the circles which represent the avatar you want and pick “save changes”.

That should do it. If it doesn’t work, you can simply upload a picture from your computer.

Edit: you got it! I can see your avatar now, it’s some woman person wizard. Looks like a character from Zelda, the video game.

“ I totally had to look up the compound kanji for “proposal”.”
(Psst… I had to look it up and copy/paste it from the dictionary).

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THANK YOU, Zizka! That was A WELL DONE TUTORIAL on profile pics on this board!

Off topic: Shannon raving about her profile pic

@Zizka Looks like a character from Zelda, the video game.

You got it!! It’s Impa–the young warrior version in Nintendo Wii “Skyward Sword”. Now that my daughter is graduated from college with a Video Game Design degree (I dream of her working at Nintendo someday), I decided to “blow the dust off” our old Wii and try a game I’d never played. SKYWARD SWORD WAS SO AMAZING!! Now I’m a “Legend of Zelda” drooling mega fan. I played through all of “Breath of the Wild” on my daughter’s Switch (BEST. GAME.EVER. IMHO) Impa is the wizened old crone!! Now that I want one for myself (since the sequel is coming out soon) NO NINTENDO SWITCHES ARE AVAILABLE (Thanks, Mr.C sob).

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Off topic:


about ゼル:

I was going to guess Skyward Sword as I’ve never played it and couldn’t recognise the character which reminded me of Zelda’s disguise in Ocarina of Time.

Before doing the manga and starting the manga at Duo Lingo, I was translating Link to the Past remake on the Switch. It has furigana and the text is very concise and doesn’t use that many kanji (which I didn’t like). I learned English playing video games, I remember asking my mom to translate the text to French for me for Zelda: The Adventure of Link on the Nintendo. That’s how I slowly built up my vocabulary.

I’m currently designing a video game. I think it’s a good time for your daughter to get in the trade as the “crush time” practice before game release is getting so criticised, it’s starting to change.

I don’t see why she couldn’t work for Nintendo. After all, it has branches all over the world and if your daughter speaks Japanese it can’t hurt.

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Good on you for using the dictionary to learn about 逆. It will be useful when you come across compounds that use it in the future.

This is very close, but it’s not quite right because 逆らう doesn’t mean ‘to be the opposite’. That would be 逆だ, which is a noun + a verb. 逆らう is a verb (which I just learnt today, thanks to you) that means ‘to go against/in the opposite direction to’ or ‘to disobey’. It carries the idea of resisting by going in the opposite direction. So 逆らわなかった=did not go against. (I’m translating as generally as possible so you can put the pieces together yourself.) The thing being resisted is designated by に in the sentence, so 指示 is what was not resisted. This also means that 指示 is not the subject of the sentence.

Perhaps it might be helpful to know that は doesn’t always indicate the ‘topic’ of a sentence: it can also be used to emphasise something. You could say that it indicates the ‘point of focus’ or the ‘context’ of the sentence. Saitou is therefore focusing on 指示に, which is to say how 指示 was acted upon (given that we are using a verb that uses に in its construction). Do you understand what he’s saying now?

Well, I think he’s sad because he didn’t go against the “orders” of 白鳥(しろとり)?

And by the way: 指示 what does it mean exactly? It’s “orders” or “directives”? I’m not sure I follow what it meant by that word exactly.

@Zizka: I think that, since the sentence is about 教授の指示=the instructions of the professor, he’s actually angry with 白鳥先生 for not disobeying the professor.

As for what 指示 means… OK, literal meaning first: 指= noun finger//verb to point (with a finger) 示=to show. So if you ‘show with a finger’, you indicate, you point out. That’s the fundamental meaning. However, when you point something out, you also direct a person. That’s why the second meaning, by extension, is to direct or to instruct (as in ‘to give instructions’). However, what I just said is how it works in Chinese, because in Chinese, it’s a verb first, then a noun. In Japanese, it’s a noun, so you have to take the ‘noun version’ of everything I just said:

  1. Indications/advice i.e. things that help someone find something or do something
  2. Instructions/directions i.e. things that come from an authority, like a doctor or a superior at work (so yes, ‘orders’ and ‘directives’ are valid translations here)

Is it clearer now?


Well, I think he’s sad because he didn’t go against the “orders” of 白鳥(しろとり)?


Doesn’t mean the same thing? I mean we use a different emotion but my reading is the same as yours from what I can tell.