Neither. The literal translation of おはよう is "[it's] early". It's just (mostly) used similarly to the greeting "good morning" would be in English. おはよう is not strictly used in the morning and is sometimes used between co-workers at the beginning of a shift, even if it is not the morning.
う is romanised as "u". In this case, this mora modifies the pronunciation of よ into a long vowel. These are often transcribed into latin letters with a macron:
おはよう = Ohayou = Ohayō
東京 = とうきょう = Toukyou = Tōkyō
It's hard to hear the difference at first but you will need to learn the correct pronunciation to speak Japanese and to write them correctly in Kana (e.g, typing "Tokyo" won't map to 東京 with an IME).
Half-width and full-width do not quite matter. Normally people use full-width, but if spaces are limited, then half-width can be used.
For large and small kana, they are different though. Large ones have their normal pronunciation, but small ones are used to modify the pronunciation of the previous kana.
To type small kana in most of the IMEs, first type "l" or "x" first, then type the romanji of the character.
- や ゃ (lya)
- ゆ ゅ (lyu)
- よ ょ (lyo)
- あ ぁ (la)
- い ぃ (li)
- う ぅ (lu)
- え ぇ (le)
- お ぉ (lo)
つ っ (ltu)
パーティー (type: pa-teli- ; read: paa-tii)
- レボリューション (type: reboryu-shonn ; read: re-bo-ryuu-shon)
- チューニングフォーク (type: chu-ninngufo-ku ; read chuu-nin-gu-foo-ku)
Since Keith took my question, I'll answer his XP
Both the small kana and the dash are used to achieve different effects on the pronunciation. Sometimes one function is necessary, but not the other, and vice versa, and sometimes both need to be used together to achieve the desired effect.
As he mentioned, small kana modify the pronunciation of the previous kana. So in the case of ティ, the テ (te, sounds like "teh") is modified to become ティ (ti, sounds like "tee"). On the other hand, パ doesn't need any such modification; if you wanted it to say "pi" or "pe" instead, you could just used ピ or ペ.
But, in Japanese, these "syllables" (more accurately, "morae") are all the same length of time, so パティ will sound more like "pah-ti", or the name "Patty".
The dash is only used in katakana words, and it indicates that the previous vowel sound needs to be elongated, technically to precisely twice the length of a normal mora. You can think of it as an extra wildcard vowel character. So パーティー sounds like "pah-ah-ti-i", except without re-enunciating the second, and fourth, vowel sounds. In other words, you hold the "pah" sound for as long as it would take you to say "pah-ah"; and "ti" as long as it takes you to say "ti-i".
To an American ear, I imagine this sounds nothing like the English pronunciation of "party", but as an Australian, it sounds similar enough :P which is the usually the idea behind katakana words, though be aware that they also use katakana for words from other languages.
In katakana words, the dash is used to create this lengthened vowel effect, but if you're using hiragana, the vowel is repeated (sort of). As @kelsi602 showed earlier in this thread, Tokyo is actually pronounced とうきょう, with "to" and "kyo" being elongated by う. And the only way we can get the sound "kyo" is by modifying it with a small ょ ;)
@KeithWong9, thanks, got me digging a bit. I use my IME in ひらがな, so I had to find out how to do the small characters differently: cycling through gave me the answer. One more thing I do not understand is why sometimes we have to use the small character, other times the dash, yet others both the small character and the dash. From one of your examples: パーティー, why both ィ and ー?
@JoshuaLore9, I could not reply to your comment, thanks for the correction. Somehow though I cannot find a way to write a small katakana 'u' with my keyboard (Swiftkey app / Android tablet). Only the half-width is available to me it seems.
Also could you expand on the meaning of half-width & small versions of a given character?
I'm no linguistics expert, but when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's-a morae :P get it? Because while the phrases can be separated musically into groups of three syllables ("when the moon"), each group is actually four mora long since the last syllable of each group is "heavy" or long/bimoraic ("big" is an exception; in normal speech, it's a "light" syllable but it gets elongated to match the pattern/rhythm of the other groups).
Analyzing morae in English is much harder than in Japanese; not even considering the regional variation of English pronunciation, spelling doesn't have any indication of syllable or mora length. In Japanese, each kana (even ん, I think, even though it's generally not considered a syllable) represents one mora. So you just count the number of kana it takes to make a word, and that's how many morae it is.
Most people understand Kana as a syllabic writing system which is almost true. Mora is the linguistically correct term for the sound each (large) Kana character represents. Often is is very similar to a syllable but there are some particular differences, including よう(yō) and こん (kon) which are syllables which are each composed on 2 mora. Japanese mora are all pronounced the same length so these are used for long sounds.
That is perfectly true -- but I think it's not very helpful of duolingo to ask, on the very first occasion the character is introduced, "what is the sound of は?" and then require the answer "wa". That should have been left until after the fact that the particle "wa" is written は ("ha") has been explained.
Yes, and no. Duo are pretty slow to bring out the kanji in this course, so for a long time you will get away with just writing the hiragana. However, those hiragana on their own are how those words can be pronounced, but generally, things like "tooth" should be written in kanji (歯) for clarity, even though it still sounds like ha.
Personally, I can understand why they chose to do it, but I feel like it creates more confusion than picking just picking words with easy kanji for us to learn first.
おはよう＝ Good morning (informal)... おはようございます = Good morning (formal)
You don't have to pronounce "う". Actually, the right way to say that is: "ohayõ" (the sound of the "o" is long).
But if you want to say that formally: "ohayõ gozaimasu" (the sound of the "o" is long, never forget it).
The extra character on the end is actually "u", so if you were to romanize it, it would look like ohayou.
The reason why it's there is to lengthen the "o" vowel sound. In this particular case, the length of the vowel sound isn't strictly important (and in casual speech, it is often short), but in other cases, the vowel length can result in huge differences in meaning. For example, 高校 ("high school") is pronounced こうこう, with long vowel sounds. If you said ここ instead, you would be saying "here".
Yes, but: (copied from one of my earlier comments)
From a translation persective, I agree, but this is just a learning exercise and to teach おはよう = "hello" makes things needlessly confusing, especially since that particular usage is only applicable in specific scenarios which differ significantly from the normal usage if "hello" in English.
There is no 1 to 1 mapping between English and Japanese for Hi or Hello.
"Hi" is closer to よう, うっす
"Hello" is closer to こんにちは (good day), もしもし (over the phone).
Having ございます is more polite and formal. I think it is fair to compare this to tu/vous although one is a greeting and the other is a pronoun...
It is like hello vs yo! Which one is more common? You can't tell because it depends on the person you are greeting. If he is your boss's boss, will you use "yo!"? No unless you want to mess up with your career... Always use full form おはようございます if you are talking to someone not a friend of yours.
The same as any other language: you learn and practice. You go from matching characters with sounds, to recognizing groups of characters as "words", to learning a bit of grammar, which is the same as recognizing groups of words, to recognizing sentences.
I'm not saying it'll be easy, but the approach is not unique to Japanese. Well, Japanese has some challenges (e.g. having 3 scripts) which make some parts more difficult than other languages, but every language has their own challenges (I'm looking at you, gendered verb conjugation).
There is nothing in おはよう that literally translates to "good" and "morning." Remember, languages do not translate 1-to-1 and it is usually a bad translation if you do this. I suggest not to try to drill into any "literal" meanings in the beginner courses. Learn phrases as a whole so that you learn the natural way that native people speak.
p.s. the literal translation is "It is early" and this has been discussed in one of the comments above.
"Good morning" isn't a literal translation (There is nothing here that actually translates to "good" or "morning" individually), it is just a conversational equivalent.
おはよう is a traditional honorific form of 早い・はやい "early"
ございます is polite form of the formal verb "to be, to exist"
おはよう and おはようございます both more literally mean "it is early" with the shorter being casual and the longer being polite form
No, it isn't. "Good morning" matches up more closely with the general usage of おはよう.
While it's possible to translate it to "hello", tesching おはよう = "hello" makes things needlessly confusing, especially since thid particular usage is only applicable in specific scenarios which differ significantly from the normal usage of "hello" in English.
"Yes" doesn't appear in the phrase. In Japanese, "yes" is はい (pronounced hai), whereas this word contains the sound はよ (pronounced hayo) which might sound similar.
But English has a lot of this kind of thing too, e.g. "yes" appears in the word "yesterday" even though it's completely unrelated. I suggest that you approach language learning with a more open mind; forget what you think you already know about Japanese, and just take in what it is, not what you think it should be.