🌿 Prologue | 薬屋のひとりごと 2 ⚕

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Finished this week’s reading (I started it early). it’s sooooooo hard, and reminds me of when I first started reading light novels (SAO of all things :sweat_smile:). I would definitely be lost without checking the translation (which varies between helpful and “that’s not what it says tho”). I’m hoping it will start to feel easier in coming weeks, between absorbing some vocab and getting used to the style.

Note, anything below may contain spoilers:

A small question

In the part about Jinshi coming to buy her out, the translation adds “- thankfully -” to the translation

The eunuch, with his very particular proclivities, had - thankfully - heard the words Maomao had spoken half in jest and taken them in earnest.

Is “thankfully” being inferred from the くれた, or is it just the translator’s projection? My impression was that Maomao seemed pretty mixed about going back to the inner palace.

Unless くれた is supposed to imply that(?), it seems like a projection on the translator’s part

translation/context question

It might not sound very humble, but Jinshi was confident in his own looks if nothing else.

Would it be a more accurate translation to say “It might sound crazy, but Jinshi was only confident in his own looks”? If not, why not?

Either way, it’s interesting to learn see that Jinshi thinks so lowly of himself!


That’s what I remember feeling about the first book when I read it, for what it’s worth. It never became “easy”, but I got used to it. That’s another reason it’s taken me so long to start book number two; I was so mentally tired after that that I was like, “let’s just take a short break…” and never got back to it for fear of the difficulty, haha. But I’m hopeful now that enough time and other books have passed to ease the reading experience. We’ll see when I sit down and start, though.

A small question reply

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, and maybe there’s more context that the translator took in consideration here, but my guess is that the translator is stretching just a bit to add the “thankfully”, insofar as it’s not said outright, but it matches the impression I get when I read the Japanese: ~てくれる indicates that someone is doing something for the speaker, and presumably Jinshi is helping Maomao here, so even if she doesn’t state it outright (which is pretty par for course for her), the implication of being grateful is there. That’s hard to indicate in English without the “thankfully” imo, so everything looks right to me.

Granted, I guess it depends on Maomao’s feelings about going back to the palace, but perhaps the scope should just be narrowed to, “Jinshi helped me, even if I’m not particularly thrilled about the final outcome of that help” type thing?

I think I’ll need to read more context around this first to make sure; hopefully I can give a better answer when I get to the reading. At first glance your translation looks right in a literal sense, though.


Thx - that makes sense. As usual with JP, the difficulty lies in what’s not written

Yeah, kinda worried about that tbh / am grateful for the relatively relaxed pace we’re taking here. In any case, it does feel a bit easier than when I tried book 1 back in November. Yomichan definitely helps (tho not as much as I’d hoped, since its ocr doesn’t always get things right)

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Might as well start my own list of questions as I go through the chapter.

  • First page: is that 尊いかた supposed to be 尊貴かた? Although 尊貴 is supposed to be a na-adj, so maybe that’s not right…
translation/context answer

What do you mean by “bear” here?

So after reading through this section, I kind of fall on the side of not 100% liking “humble” here. Jinshi seems to be saying that, despite what you might assume about his position at the royal court, he really only has confidence in his looks (being useful, presumably), and so closer to the original JP, “it might sound odd/funny, but…” fits a bit better in my head, since Jinshi seems more self-deprecating here than boastful.

Typo… should say beard. Edit: I didn’t even mean to include that sentence in my post, so removed it now.

Sounds like we agree on the 2nd point

First page: That seems like it makes sense (I couldn’t say re: the grammar tho). You have a typo btw, should be 尊きかた, assuming you mean this sentence: 誰よりも尊きかたと同席する壬氏だが、非常にゆっただりとくつろいでいた。

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Ah, gotcha. What’s the question in general, then? “Would it be rude of Jinshi to suggest he didn’t like it?” → Didn’t like the emperor’s beard? Where are you getting that?

Ah, sorry; thanks for catching that.

Ah, and speaking of typos, you’ve got one here. 官官 → 宦官

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Mistaken inclusion, however:

Sentence breakdown

Previous sentence: 帝は美髯を撫でながらにやりと笑う (talking about emperor’s beard 髯)
Sentence: 食えない、そんな言葉が似合うと言えば非礼にあたるだろうか。だがそれがとてもよく似合う、決し亡て勝てないおかたなのだ

[Jinshi]: “I can’t stand it”, saying something like that + if asked “does it suit me?” + would it be rude?

is how I’d break it down. The official translation is what I put in my comment before)

Sorry to keep nit-picking; the bolded should be 髯. And remove a kanji here:

Ahem, anyway, back to the thought at hand. Jinshi’s not referring to the Emperor’s facial hair specifically, he’s just saying that the image of the Emperor stroking said hair as he smiles suggestively makes the man look crafty/cunning, and that even though it would be rude to describe the Emperor as such, it’s apt.

食えない → crafty/cunning
そんな言葉が似合うと言えば → if he [Jinshi] said that that word suited [the Emperor]
非礼にあたるだろうか。-> it would probably be impolite/rude
だがそれがとてもよく似合う → but they [the description cunning/crafty] really suited [the Emperor]
決して勝てないおかたなのだ → a person he [Jinshi] could never win against

Edit: modified that sentence breakdown slightly to be clearer

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Ahh my bad, mokuro (ocr) got it wrong, and I didn’t check. However the 2nd kanji is in my edition (2nd to last sentence)

screenshot of scan

Hmmm, I see your point. Also realizing I misunderstood the と言えば when I read it yesterday. What is 皮肉なものである、本当に自分が欲しいものはなかなか手に入らないのに。 then?

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Alrighty, just finished week 1 myself. :partying_face: Been a while since I felt my brain dripping through my ears like that, haha. It wasn’t too bad all things considered, though; had to look up a lot of the more dated terms since it’s been so long since reading the first book, but I’m definitely feeling more confident about it all. My understanding of grammar has definitely improved since then, and I think that’ll make the biggest difference.

Ah, I just meant that the kanji 亡 slipped in somehow and shouldn’t be there.

I read it as something like, “Although ironically, the thing he wanted most was what he couldn’t obtain.”

皮肉なものである → The ironic thing is
本当に自分が欲しいものは → the thing he truly wanted
なかなか手に入らないのに。-> there was no way for him to obtain (のに here referring to: despite the fact he has a pretty face it doesn’t help him in this situation).

Looking at jisho, it gives another definition of the adverb なかなか as “not readily”; I’m not sure if that applies here, and how to determine if it does. I typically just read なかなか in a very definite, “you-can’t-do-this” sense when paired with the negative.

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I give up on the typos for now :sweat_smile: … I’ll fix them later when I’m feeling better :cold_sweat:

That’s how I understand it too, but what thing? Like what specifically is being alluded to?

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Ack, I hope you’re doing okay!

It’s not stated, sadly. :frowning: I want to know, too.

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There are a lot of messages already, so sorry if it has been answered already :sweat_smile:

It sounds wrong to me, but it might just be because I am misreading the nuance in your English translation? 自分で言うのもおかし is a standard phrase meaning “it’s strange to say so yourself”. Adding the connective な plus 話 turns it into “it’s a strange thing to say oneself”. And indeed, it is a bit strange, but he is right :stuck_out_tongue:

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What? No he is not. The だけ here is for emphasis. He has complete confidence in his looks, which is not very humble in my opinion :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oh, I see how the translator arrived at “might not sound very humble” then… sdo you have a source for that btw? I’ve tried looking it up in multiple dictionaries + google, and couldn’t find it. Your explanation makes sense, just wondering if I could have arrived at it on my own somehow. I see now, it looks like 自分で言うのも is the set phrase

I think @eefara meant the rest of what Jinshi is saying, not that specific sentence (like about his intelligence and w/e else)

feeling somewhat better now, thx :slight_smile:

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No, I meant in the sense that he’s apparently self-deprecating in regards to everything besides his looks. The “humble” translation choice just seemed a bit odd to me since the sentence in question was about how Jinshi believes he has no superior qualities besides his looks, not about how superior his looks were, if that makes sense. I was just nit-picking the translation, which is still fine.

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But that part only comes after. I doesn’t sound humble (and it is not), yet … (all the things that come after)

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Fair enough!

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