Seems I’d already forgotten most of what I read when the book was nominated. It all felt very new.
I really like the feel of the story telling so far, and how we slowly get to know a bit more about the circumstances of both our protag and the 博士. There’s this quiet in the way things get told that I really like, if that makes sense.
I don’t think there’s any spoilers in here?
Marked some stuff to look up another time with more daylight and or brain power, mostly the math stuff. I really appreciate that our protag does not know these things either to begin with.
We usually don’t do that in the Intermediate Book Club as the levels of vocab knowledge vary widely between the participants. Thus it would be really difficult to determine which words to add and which to leave out. Of course, if you’d want to create one, then nobody would object, but I’m not sure how many people would be willing to contribute (and would use it in the end)…
In terms of determining which words to add, my rule of thumb was to add the words I personally didn’t know. Each person can determine for themselves which words these are. However, if you’re the only person who contributes, filling out the spreadsheet can seem like a waste of time (unless you plan to use that information later somehow).
And that in a nutshell is how I went from ‘spreadsheet queen’ 2 years ago to ‘look it up during bookclub’ now.
Anyway, hope the book is good - I don’t have time to read it until next year, so might be back to bug you with late questions then.
Oh man, this book is kicking my butt. Is this pretty representative of the difficulty for intermediate books? I only have Kiki and the first Harry Potter (both of which I’m still reading) as a reference and this seems like quite a step up.
I’m reading on a kindle, so I have no idea how many pages I’ve read, but I finished 1%! I have a couple questions.
On loc 8 Said by the professor after petting Root’s head :
From my understanding:
これを使えば - If you use this (referring to his head, I think)
無限の数字にも、目に見えない数字にも - infinite numbers, invisible numbers (is this referring to imaginary numbers?)
ことができる - is possible/able to do
ちゃんとした身分を与える - to give a respectable social status
Which leads me to:
If you use this, it is possible to give a respectable social class to infinite numbers and numbers you can’t see … does this make any sense to anyone? I feel like I went wrong somewhere.
Starting in loc 8 and ending on loc 13:
I think I understand most of it, it sounds like it’s just a list of examples of things the professor taught them but I don’t understand the last bit “そうしたものをいくら動員しても、博士と一緒に過ごした時間の密度には釣り合わない”
I think it means something along the lines of them spending a lot of time with the professor but I don’t see how some of these definitions fit in:
動員 - mobilization
密度 - density
釣り合わない - either not to suit or not to be in harmony.
So for that segment I get:
but no matter how many such things were mobilized、it doesn’t suit the density of time we spent together with the professor . I’m not sure how mobilized makes sense here, the other two seem kinda awkward in english but they seem to make sense.
And then on loc 42:
かつて私が関わったうちで、最高記録だった。This happens right
after the protag is talking about how she could tell the professor would be hard to work with due to how many complaint stamps there were on his card
I’m completely lost here, something about a new record but that’s about all I’ve got.
There are a few more sentences stumping me but I’m going to try to see if rereading it helps.
I’d say so, yes. What especially are you finding difficult? (I’m genuinely curious here.) Is it just that you need to look up more words? That would be pretty normal for any book, I think (including Harry Potter, no?)… Or is the grammar much more difficult?
For loc 8: I’d probably have said “you can give…” but that’s the same thing in principle. Otherwise, I read it the same as you.
For loc 8-13: I checked a monolingual dictionary for 動員 as I could not make too much sense from it either, and from definition 1 I gather that it is meant in a sense of forming groups for a common goal (especially for people who need physical exercise). So I guess this has the meaning of “put to action”?
Overall I’m also puzzled with the exact meaning of that last bit. I have hunch that it means they are slow learners and so the professor had to take a great amount of time teaching them, no matter how many mathematical concepts he activated for the teaching?
(I’m probably completely off here, though…)
loc 42: I think this is (with うち being 内)
かつて私が関わったうちで、- in the long time that I had been [working at that place]
最高記録だった。- this was the highest record
Yeah, I have to look up a ton of words in all the books I’m reading, but for the most part in Kiki and Harry Potter I can just look them up and immediately keep reading. For this book, there’s quite a few sentences that I need to read over and over again and physically break down before I can understand them (and then there’s ones where even when I feel like I know all the words and the grammar, they just don’t click). There’s not a huge amount of them (I only had to break down 10 sentences for that 1%), but enough to significantly affect my approach to reading (not that that’s a bad thing…).
Oooh interesting, I could see that meaning from the words, but conceptually it still seems strange to me since some of those mathematical concepts don’t seem particularly easy to grasp? Like how does the biggest number that was used in a mathematical proof explain other stuff? Perhaps they’re just examples of great things (like how that one was in the Guiness book), and despite they’re greatness they’re still slow learners
Ah, yes I think I still need to get used to how 関わる can be used. Thanks for the help!
How does a respectable social class look like on a number? I’ve been thinking of it as giving an otherwise undefinable/inconcrete number a concrete shape or form. My math is not the best, so does this make sense at all?
What are imaginary numbers? Like, theoretical or abstract?
You missed a に before the は, it’s 時間の密度には釣り合わない
I read this part as 'no matter how many of these things got brought together (considered in their entirety maybe?), it didn’t match up to the density of time spent with the professor. ’
I initially thought this meant something like that there was much more to the time spent together than just learning all these things.
But having read your thoughts I think maybe, ‘even using ('putting to action’s as nicole put it) all these things (formulas and knowledge), they can’t explain/proof/make sense of the density of time spent with the doctor’ makes more sense?
I’m not the best at explaining why they’re a thing (they are apparently useful in real life applications like electricity), but imaginary numbers are essentially the result of √-1, usually denoted as i, so i^2 = -1, (5i)^2 = -25, and so on. They pop up pretty often in quadratic equations too, since the basic formula to solve them includes a square root.
This actually makes a lot of sense if it is talking about imaginary numbers, because without a squareroot, you can’t really define them. If that’s the case, I’m still not sure what mathematical concept he’s referring to with infinite numbers.
I think my trouble with this sentence is with “density of time”. Is it referring to the time spent together being chock full of stuff (e.g learning about math)? Did spending time together feel so dense that even that long list of things doesn’t fully account for everything? That actually fits really well with your translation, so maybe I just answered my own question
I’m having a similar experience! I think the author uses a lot of poetic imagry and detail/nuance in her word choice that I’m not used to reading before in Japanese. So after a couple times rereading a sentence I’m like WOW THAT IS BEAUTIFULLY DESCRIBED but it takes effort
I feel exactly the same way as @morckyl. In fact, I struggled with the same parts, except without sufficient leftover energy to write up questions (so thank you for asking them! )
For me, the difference is that, even with looking up unfamiliar words, I am left with only an imperfect sense of what is going on. With Kiki, I get the sentences completely 90% percent of the time. This book is more… Abstract? Metaphorical? It uses words in non-literal ways, and without the context of knowing those words’ literal meanings really well, I’m pretty confused. I’m relatively okay with being confused, but it’s significantly different.