May 26, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Why is 中 pronounced なかin previous exercises? Is it just an error?


Kanji typically have multiple pronunciationa depending on the context. Most of the time they have at least two: one based on the Chinese pronunciation of the character during the time Japanese adopted them (in this case chuu) and another based on a 'native' (not Chinese based) Japanese word (naka ~ middle).

It all depends on context and there are plenty of exceptions but a rule of thumb could be that a kanji on its own will probably have the native Japanese pronunciation (as in naka) and kanji in a compund wilk have the Chinese-based one. Beware this is not always the case, though!


It is explained in Tips tab of "Intro".


You need to know Japanese history for this one. Before 6th century there was no written Japanese language, or at least there is no evidence of one existing. Like many other languages. So then the Chinese came along with Buda and Kanji off course. So for example, before Japanese person would say tsugi no toshi when referring to the next year, and now they say rainen which is Chinese word. For us the westerners is more natural to say the first one when we translate literally the meaning.


Can we get furigana for the kanji before asking us to type them out by how they sound?


At least china's Kanji is easy to work out "Middle" "Kingdom".


I'm more specifically referring to the pronunciations. Especially because many of the kanji will remain the same but be pronounced differently depending on the context. I'm especially confused in later lessons when they start using counters for time/birds/people and they only give us the kanji to go on, but the pronunciations change.


中国 sound ちゅうごく


Should be chu(u)goku


tyuugoku is an acceptable, albeit nonstandard, romanisation IF you are from NZ/Aus and possibly some parts of the UK.... I suggest using the standard Romaji instead to avoid confusion.


Thanks! But my romaji spell is Japanese standard. I had learned this romaji rule at Japanese school. Here is the place to learn Japanese language so I am using this. I know 'Tokyo' in English. But I input 'toukyou' to the computer when I write Japanese sentences. Because to show hiragana, katakana and kanji.

If I input 'tyugoku', it becomes hiragana 'ちゅごく'. 'China' is 'ちゅうごく'. So I have to input 'thuugoku'. The 'chuugoku' is okay, too. But this way also needs 'u' for 'う'.

However, I will delete the above roman letters.


I found the websites about Japanese input method. There are multiple. So I wrote it in the forum. If you are interested. Please look.



all people should write it like that, sora. romaji should be the way you type it on the keyboard.


Depending on the word and context, you'll eventually learn whether the onyomi or kunyomi pronunciation is to be used. Duolingo should focus on teaching us kanji properly though.


I feel like kanji is something you should study on the side because theres so much that goes into it because it definitely can get confusing. Furigana isnt a bad idea but since some of these are more common i don't think you'd see a lot of furigana used irl for these? That may be why they arent included, but im just guessing.


In this program, outside of 中国 (chuugoku), 中 is pronounced naka even though they are making you mach it up to ちゅう (chuu). That in itself is rather confusing.


I'm not super versed in Japanese yet, but this has something to do with the Chinese pronunciation and the Japanese pronunciation (onyomi vs kunyomi). Unfortunately this is just something that needs to be memorized.


Definitely agreed but for someone typing on a keyboard I need to know the pronunciation to even be able to enter the answer. Also it's not like they'd have to keep including it, but maybe include it during the first lesson the kanji is introduced?


So I'm going to preface this with the following: I know the difference between the two pronunciations of "中" but my qualm here is with this series of lessons.

Given that they've been pronouncing 中 as "naka" for this lesson, this would read "nakagoku" if this was supposed to be intuitive. Except that this isn't intuitive at all. We are told "中" is "naka" and are asked to find "なか" not "ちゅう" The problem here is that なか isn't an option. So, if I really weren't familiar with Hiragana, then one may be thinking that "ちゅう" was pronounced "naka" instead which really throws off the earlier lessons.

I'll be honest, I skipped the remainder of the "intro" set after the first two kept getting it wrong since I started to second guess myself... Not something you want to have happen when teaching.


What I have gotten from the lesson is the awareness that the sound of Kanji symbols changes depending on variables that can't be explained within the teaching method used by Duolingo. Instead I'm learning them by encountering them in different variations with reminders of the differences (i.e. matching "chuu" with "naka", and then learning "chuugoku" for China and "tanaka" for the man's name). It's rote learning, but that's what Duolingo offers. I'm fine with it, personally.


Fun fact: Learning Kanji can help you read many Chinese words, even though you might not know its Chinese pronunciation.

For example, the kanji for school is: 学校 (がっこう)And chinese word for school is: 学校 (Xuéxiào) Same with Korean Hanja.


GUYS DO ALL KANJI HAVE THE SAME MEANINGS AS CHINESE? cuz ik at least 500 chinese characters and phrases and that might make this easier to learn


Not all but most. Yes it makes it a hell lot easier. (for me as well)


For the most part, yes; but for some, no, and they are called "false friends".

Japanese meaning: alright/fine
Chinese meaning: big husband

元気 Japanese meaning: fine/good
Chinese meaning: an ancient philosophy relating to vitality

本当 Japanese meaning: really
Chinese meaning: this word doesn't make sense in Chinese

上手 Japanese meaning: excellent/good at
Chinese meaning: to get your hands on

私 Japanese meaning: I
Chinese meaning: private


There is also 先生 (literally: before-born), meaning "teacher" in Japanese (sensei) and totally including female teachers, while in Chinese, it means "mister" (xiānsheng).

And not to forget 手紙 (literally: hand paper) meaning "letter" in Japanese (tegami) and "toilet paper" in Chinese (shǒuzhǐ).


And let's not forget 勉強. It means study in Japanese but it means to force someone to do something in Chinese. 哈哈哈


This is not correct, OP was asking for kanji, not compound words. Compound words have more leeway when it comes to inventing new meanings. And btw 先生 can also mean teacher in many Sinitic languages.


What are all the different kinds of japanese writting? I know there is hiragana and kanji , but i hear some people say furigana and romanji and now im confused


Furigana are Hiragana written in smaller size next to a Kanji to see how it is read. You will find that in Japanese children's books a lot. It looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wLxwYxTrB4 "Romaji" is the Japanese word for "Latin letters".


For those who are confused why 中 alone is pronounced なか (naka), 中 is commonly translated as "during", "inside" or "in the process of".


中国 is pronounced as ちゅうごく(chuugoku) in Japanese, well in Chinese 中国 is pronounced as 'zhong guo'. The pronounciation is quite similar to each other.


Not that helpful but japan has the character that looks like a mountain with a sun and the box with the symbol on it. I know that nihon means sunrise land so mountain-with-sun should be sunrise. So the box character must mean land and that is why i chose this one.....i was right...


Actually, "Japan" literally means "Origin of the Sun".
The character 日 means "sun" (and also "day"). It used to be a round circle with a dot in it, but has become a square with a line in it.
The character 本 means "origin, source, root". It is made of the character for "tree" 木 with a small line that indicates the root.
中国 means "Land of the Middle".
The character 中 means "middle". You can see a square where a long line indicates the middle - or a pearl that has a hole in the middle where the thread goes through.
The character 国 means "land". In the center, you can see the character for "king" 王 or rather "jade" 玉 (the king with jaden amulet on his hand) and around him the country borders.


Is there anything special about the 国 kanji? It is the only one I've run into that I could not find in the online keyboard I use.


No. Nothing special about it. It's read くに and こく.


I figured out its called "koku" instead of "goku" and wikipedia says "The koku changes to goku as an instance of rendaku"


Rendaku is also explained on the tips tab for "Intro" lesson on Duolingo.


I've always wondered, why do English-speakers call it China? Or Japan? I'm an English-speaker myself and I don't understand how that works exactly. If the Japanese call it Nihon why don't we?


The name "China" comes from the First Emporer - Qin Shihuangdi. He united many different countries to a large state with the name of "Qin". Together with a unification of Chinese characters, measurements, weights and many more, the base for what we today know as China was laid.

For Japan it is more complicated, have a look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Japan


Why does china not show a landmass when like most other countries? Mexico looks like Mexico on the map, same with america and so on. Is it because duolingo doesn't want to show it with taiwan or without it?


Fun fact: PRC is 中華人民共和国 in its full name in Chinese, so 中国 is an abbraviation to some extent. While PRC indicates only the governmental body founded after WW2, 中国 is also used for the area entire regardless historical periods.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.