Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, even if you think it’s a silly question. Helping each other learn is what book clubs are all about!
When asking for help, please include the ‘chapter page number’. This makes it easier for others to help you and it makes the information in this thread more searchable. The ‘chapter page numbers’ are the ones in between the panels on every page, not the ones that occasionally appear at the bottom of the page (those would be the volume page numbers).
Please blur out major events in the current week’s pages and any content from later in the book/series by using spoiler tags: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler].
What to look out for
@ChristopherFritz helpfully compiled a list of phenomena that we will be coming across in this chapter and that you may not be familiar with, because they are often not explained in textbooks:
Replacing some れ/る sounds with with ん.
Katakana for some words.
Replacing some long vowels in hiragana with ー (as normally seen in katakana).
All sorts of sentence-ending particles (including combinations thereof).
Shortening じゃない to じゃん.
All kinds of helper verbs, such as れる, ます, and ちゃった.
Please feel free to ask loads of questions and get the conversation started!
This is my first time joining the book club, and first time posting on the forum in general so hello - just started on WaniKani properly a couple of weeks ago and started getting into grammar over the past few days. Thought it would be a good opportunity to put what I’ve been learning into practice (though I’m having to lean pretty heavily on the vocab spreadsheet for now) and learn some new things. So far I’ve only read the first two pages of the chapter, but I think I’m managing to get the gist of what’s going on which is nice. Hopefully that keeps up haha
I’ve got a question though:
For the sentence 「何してんの？」would something along the lines of “what are you doing?” be roughly what’s being asked? I’m not really too familiar with の yet, so not quite sure what it’s doing there, and I’m not too sure about the ん here either
What are you doing? (NB: ん ending)
Nothing special… (lit: Nothing special… nothing…)
Good, a spring. (NB: wiki. Katakana form)
By taking that into this box, (Q: Don’t understand おとはこれを. Lit: “I’m taking this”)
the surprise box is complete.
Watch this, Takagi-san. (NB: ろ → imperative; よ → soft imperative)
Always you tease me. (NB: やがる → contempt. Strong feelings about the teasing.)
Today I will make fun of you. （NB: やる → “to do”/“to give a piece of my mind”, casual)
p3 (first two panels)
What is it?
いやー（？）箱があかなくって。(Q: What’s the missing kanji?)
No… The box won’t open. (Q: Why あかなくって instead of あかなくて)
Few questions here:
p2: I don’t understand おとはこれを. Is it “I’m taking this”?
p3: There’s a kanji I can’t parse on page 3. Anyone know what it is?
I interpreted this as: afterwards, if I insert this into this box
あとは is just あと marked as the topic. If you take a more literal approach, you could translate it as: regarding after. I feel like afterwards is a bit more natural of a translation though.
仕込めば is the provisional form of 仕込む, which denotes a conditional. The conclusion of this conditional is the next sentence, so it’d literally be something like “afterwards, if I insert this into the box, the surprise box is complete”.
(Due to typing at the same time, some of my reply overlaps with @BIsTheAnswer’s response. It’s like getting two for the price of one! I wrote a bit extra beyond the questions as well.)
Looks like you’ve done well in your translations, @Abigael.
I think may be him chuckling to himself (in his head).I could be wrong, though. I haven’t seen the anime adaptation, but if this line appears in it, that’d make it easier to tell.
As @Michikusa mentions, we have an あ rather than お here. The two look similar, so it’s something to keep an eye out for.
I read this あと as the meaning of “remainder”, similar to when we say “(now) all that’s left” in English. With that set as the topic (は), the rest of the sentence is a comment on that topic. “As for the remainder, […]”
Note: Since Japanese and English are quire different, dictionary translations such as “after” and “remainder” are simply two different English words whereas in Japanese one word covers both meanings. Thus, no need to concern ourselves too much about “which English word is right” for the Japanese word =D
If we set aside the verb ending in えば, we can this part of the comment as 「これを箱に仕込む」. “To insert (仕込む) into the box (箱に) this (これを).”
The verb ends in えば, letting us know that it’s joining two clauses. That means the next sentence is likely to be joined with this one. This isn’t always the case, but the comma at the end of the first word balloon in the panel, and the use of periods at the ends of sentences lets us know these two panels are one sentence.
(It’s so wonderful to have a manga that uses 。 at the end of sentences! My Japanese isn’t good enough to always know otherwise whether two panels are one sentence or not!)
The えば ending on the verb makes it what is typically called “provisional”. I think of this like “Providing that Clause1 is true, then Clause2 is true.”
Here, the “provision” is “Providing I insert this into the box, then”–and finishing with your translation–“the surprise box is complete.”
Because Japanese and English are very different languages, and there are different ways to say the same thing, here are some other ways one might write this in English:
"Once I put this into the box, the surprise box will be complete.
"When I’ve put this into the box, the surprise box will be complete.
My best guess is she’s straining her speech a little as she’s trying to open the box, but I’m not certain.
First off, after reading these first couple of pages, I was confused about who is who. The English title says “master Takagi”, but Takagi is the girl. Properly confused. Then I realised, the title doesn’t mean “[unnamed person] teasing (as a verb) Master Takagi”, but actually Takagi is a teasing-master, as in expert! Lightbulb!
Okay, to the Japanese…
からかい - teasing 上手 - good at
の - possessive particle?? In any case, connecting it to Takagi-san
高木さん - our hero
So, is 上手 acting as a suffix here? If you are an expert at football, for example, can you say サッカー上手 to mean expert player?
Starting from the left, we have 恥ずかしい. There are two things to know about this word concerning what is attached to it:
The word is an adjective. It’s a word that describes something.
The word describes a feeling.
In Japanese, as I understand it, you cannot state what someone else is feeling. So, you cannot state that another person is 恥ずかしい. Instead, you have to say they appear to be 恥ずかしい, or they show signs of being 恥ずかしい.
This is what the helper verb がる does. By saying 恥ずかしがる, we can say that someone else shows signs of being 恥ずかしい. (Note that we remove the final い before attaching the がる.)
(If anyone sees an issue with this explanation, please let me know!)
By the way, you can find 「恥ずかしがる」 in J-to-E dictionaries as its own entry.
That covers 恥ずかしがる, but we have more added onto it.
Next is the せる helper verb. This is the “causitive” form, which means to “cause” something to happen. (In English, this translates to both making someone do something, and allowing/letting someone do something. The idea is that you’re causing the action to occur.)
がる because がら then せる gets attached, resulting in がらせる.
Now we have 恥ずかしがらせる, which means to make someone show signs of being 恥ずかしい.
But wait, there’s more!
After all that, we’re linking verbs together, which requires the first verb to end in て. Some verbs have something of a special usage when attached, such as いく, くる, and やる.
In the case of やる, when following て it has the meaning of one person doing something for someone else, but there’s an implication that it’s something undesirable.
For this, our がらせる drops the る before adding て＋やる. This brings us to:
“Will make (someone) show signs of being 恥ずかしい.”
(Of course, this is just part of the overall sentence.)
Japanese doesn’t really have the sense of past, present, and future tense the same way English does. Instead, they have incomplete actions (ending in the う sound) and complete actions (ending in the た). Since this word ends in る (and う sound), we know it is an incomplete action.
This doesn’t tell us whether the action has started yet, only that it has not completed. It can be an action which will start in the future.
An action that is currently taking place is written differently (verb＋て＋いる), so a verb without ている is more likely to be a future action. (I’m speaking very simply.)
If you ever see me mention the English title of the manga, you’ll find I write it as “Teasing-Master Takagi-san” for this very reason. The “missing a dash” is the official English release title. (In these modern times, proper punctuation is dead. )
I was initially confused on who’s who for the same reason as you were.
When we have multiple words chained together, the last word is always the “main” one. Everything to the left of it is a modifier.
In the case of 「からかい上手」, the main word is 上手, “good at”. But there are many things one can be good at. Is this Takagi-san who is good at playing piano? Or is it a Hikari Takagi-san who is good at playing soccer? Does it refer to Takagi-san who is renowned for being good at learning foreign languages? What kind of thing is this Takagi-san 上手?
The modifier からかい limits that 上手. This Takagi-san’s is good at からかい.
Thank you so much again @ChristopherFritz ! You really are a star!
And who’d have thought that my first main point of confusion would not be with the Japanese, but with the English! lol! You’re right, punctuation matters!
I somehow do not get what the page numbers are. The page number is in between the panels, right? The first appearance of “別に” is on a page with a “2” in between the panels yet the excel sheet says “page 4” same for “何”. Next to the title page with “消しゴム” is a small “1” on the right side but a big bold “3” at the bottom left side of the page.The excel sheet sayy “消しゴム” appears on page 3. Now I am confused…
Excellent. This was my question too. I couldn’t work out the の at the end of the sentence. It sort of reminds me of the French rhetorical No? at the end of a sentence. Thank you for the detailed explanation. I’ve only been exposed to formal grammar through Genki so all of these conversational contractions are really new.