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"なっとう"

Translation:fermented soybeans

June 4, 2017

119 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cyzaki

Is this a useful Japanese word, or just one to use the characters we've learnt so far?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelipeKail.an

It is so popular, but it has a terrible flavor!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lethal_gnome

What does it even taste like?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanOkushi

It's just really stinky and kind of bitter. I don't mind them, but a lot of people (foreigners particularly) don't like them. Takes getting used to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

It is WAY WORSE than stinky tofu. But it is very healthy. I love stinky tofu! And I like natto. Sort of. With a lot of rice to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Do_roboty

I ate なっとう. This fermented soya looks tasteless, stinky and very sticky. With some sauce quite tasty. Delicious for Japanese. They encouraged me to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/narcister

It tastes like rotten soy beans (which is what it actually is...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrJizzy181

Fermentation and rotting are not the same thing. Fermentation is caused by bacteria. Rotting however is caused by fungi. Like blue cheese or Salami for example. That is controlled rotting. And now I am hungry...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azouras

This is meant as a reply to MrJizzy181: fermentation can be caused by bacteria or yeast, the latter being a kind of fungus. Likewise rot can be caused by both bacteria and fungi. The main difference between the two as far as I can tell is that fermentation applies to the breakdown of carbohydrates specifically (and is often desired), whilst rot can apply to any kind of organic decomposition done by bacteria or fungi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CRLoper

Nattō has a really nice flavor. It's actually not a very strong flavor, but it's a bit... different. If you like things like ripe brie and other moldy/fermented foods it might increase the chance that you'll like nattō. It has a somewhat similar smell and flavor, which comes from the chlorine made by bacteria. For me the hurdle was the texture. Once I got used to that it became delicious!

But you shouldn't eat it by itself at first (I usually don't ever). My recommendation for anyone who wants to try to like it is to take the little styrofoam box of nattō (they usually come with a packet of soy sauce and からし, yellow mustard paste) and mix it in a bowl with a roughly equal amount of rice, as well as a heaping tablespoon of chopped green onion (小ねぎ). The flavors blend really well and it makes it much more palatable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris753291

A bit like slightly bitter, full-bodied edamame (which is also soybeans). I like them with Japanese mustard. The texture takes getting used to more than the taste.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyDHill

I dont like it but it is really popular in Japan. Like one of their soul foods.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AyumiUK

It's an acquired taste. XD Very useful, indeed. Even if you dislike nattou (or are unfortunate enough to be allergic to soy...), knowing the word means it's easier to avoid eating it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkyOwlKey

It you liked it but ended up allergic to soy, umeboshi is fermented plums and are similar, both being pickled/fermented things Westerners wouldn't normally think of pickling. Personally I prefer umeboshi over nattou. :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AyumiUK

Iceland has Hákarl, China has the century egg, Germany has Sauerkraut... so maybe it's whatever staple food they stored for too long?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanOkushi

Exactly! There are a few origin stories, but the one I'd heard of was the one that some guy long ago had decided to wrap some soybeans in straw to preserve the leftovers, and when he'd opened them up a while later, they had become stringy and stinky. There's a good source in Japanese here and another ok one in English here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gea123gea

yes it tastes like old cheese, swiss cheese or coffee with milk, it is very good for you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeverlandOnce

Its actually a dish eaten by Japanese for breakfast


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavitas

What does the second character change regarding the pronounciation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pwlandoll

Best I can explain is that doubles the start of the next syllable. "Nat-tou" rather than "natou."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/polyluxus

It's more like a pronunciation break. If you would speak it to a beat, then every character (treating きょ as one character, because it is one syllable) would be on a beat. The small っ is silent. It's therefore rather [na| |to|o]. The doubling of the consonants is a helpful transliteration device.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0x24a537r9

A good equivalent for English is how we pronounce finesse and fineness differently. Note the extra emphasis on the n, almost said twice. Consider also how you would say the middle Ts in the phrase "taught Toby".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ycUvuSap

It indeed doubles the start of the next syllable. This is also what many (I think the hard) double consonants do in Finnish: kuka versus kukka, tapaa versus tappaa, kato versus katto, and so forth. So nothing special.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

"So nothing special."

Well, it might not be special if you are Finnish. But remember that most people on this page will not be Finnish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zylbath

It is not a glottal stop. It is a gemination. This sign is used to indicate that the following consonant is spoken twice as long, i. e. held for a short period. Like in Italian were you have a difference between peto and petto, you hold the consonant for twice the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wudang08

The small "tsu" means that the consonant that follows is doubled. In this case the t in to becomes tto.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_existing_

To anyone confused, you'll realize when I say つなみ and なっとう the 'tsu' in "tsunami" is bigger than the one used in "nattō". From now you should infer that when the 'tsu' is smaller than the other characters it is silent and you have to make a short pause in between the characters that come before and after it. You can minimize other characters too. (I'm not gonna type in kanji btw to avoid confusion.) If you wanted to type 'Shounen' it wouldn't be "しようねん " that would be pronounced 'shiyōnen' but when I fix it to this "しょうねん" it would be pronounced correctly. I highly recommend that you download Lingo Deer if you want to learn Japanese quickly. Because of that app I'm saying stuff like 今年の夏は とても暑かったですね?(it was very hot this summer wasn't it?) Not from out of memory but bc I know how to say it. I'm only 13 and I'm doing better in Japanese than I am I'm Spanish XD. Hope this helped.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alalalanna

This was incredibly useful, thank you!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioTau5

Oh, that's why. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kenny727039

I’m starting to see a pattern. When the question is “Type this in Japanese” the hiragana and kanji is accepted. However, when the question is “Type what you hear”, only hiragana is accepted. Is it a fair observation that hiragana is what you hear and kanji is what is written?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yes and no, Hiragana is used to show the pronunciation of kanji, though in this case the "Type what you hear" questions are auto-generated and due to Duo's programming aren't capable of accepting multiple answers. This means the typing questions derived from the hiragana course require hiragana answers but questions derived from later skills will require their proper kanji.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomaash

And handily there is absolutely no indication whether we should answer in kanji or in hiragana, so that we will get it wrong over and over again, get sweetly frustrated and eventually just leave the platform very angry.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

These are the hiragana lessons so hiragana can be assumed.
The kanji is not taught until Home 2 in Checkpoint 6 of the course


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0esL5

なっとうは英語で何と言いますか


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanOkushi

アメリカとイギリスには納豆がないので、特にちゃんとした名前はないけど、ただ「腐った枝豆」という意味で "fermented soybeans" と言える。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexythepotato

How do you pronounce this? I feel like the woman just say na-too is the u just silent?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulKramof

Having a u after o lengthens the o sound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graphite

A small tsu infront of a consanant is silent. It means its a double consanant.

In hirigana a small tsu after a vowel extends it. However, in katakana it is replaces with a dash for elongated vowels.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graphite

I messed up. It's U not tsu for a longer O or U. It's I for E or I. Not tsu. @_@ sorry


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zigerions

Why is the translation not written nattou instead of natto? Seems like all words ending in "u" (i mean the hiragana), the translation never has the u at the end


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flish32

The "u" seems to be an extender of sorts. In English, we don't use "ou" at the end of words that I know of, so it makes it a slightly longer "o" at the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ycUvuSap

The transliteration would be "nattoo" (u after o means long o), but since long vowel at the end of a word is not used English (a lot or at all, I don't know), it gets shortened.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/decodendemon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWqmHPoHa2Q Remember this song when you think about なっとう.


BONUS: Rin pronounces "never never" as "neba neba" ねばねば. It is an onomatopoeia and means "sticky sticky". Some ねばねば foods include okra, Japanese yam, and of course, なっとう.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZenBunny7674

I'm a total noob, so please bear with me... I'm so confused about this lesson! Everything up till now has been easy to understand. But this lesson is turning what's been taught so far on its head. She says "natto", but based on previous lessons it should be "na-tsu-to-u"?? I've read the comments saying the tsu is silent... But how would we know this since it's never been taught? And how can you tell when it's silent and and when it's not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pikachu025

Hi, I hope you've got to know by now.

If you haven't, it's simple. If you look closely, you can see that the TSU in "nattou" is smaller than the normal TSU.

In the next line, you can see the normal TSU and small TSU next to each other.

つ っ

Now, the big TSU is as you expected it. The small one makes the syllable that comes after it stressed in pronunciation.

So,「なっとう」is "Na-ttou".

Hope you understood. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azuranyan

I like to to remember なっとう and ねばねば (slimy) together because なっとう is slimy & gross (in my opinion). I remember them like this: I will ねばねば eat なっとう!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kryptoiid

Other languages: "Hello!" "Goodbye!" "Thank you!" "Sorry"

Japanese: "Fermented soybeans."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jim138176

i feel confused with the little tsu character ... i will assume it's silent


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nopinopa

This baby tsu means, that next consonant is double. You see: かた — kata かった — katta

さか — saka さっか — sakka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jade_UwU_Shark

What does fermented mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

It is something that has gone through the fermentation process where things such as bacteria or yeast are used to chemically break down something and turn it into something else.
It is the process used to turn milk into yogurt and cheese, cabbage into kimchi and sauerkraut and soybeans into natto, miso and soysauce. It is also how alcohol is made. Beer from fermented grains, wine from fermented grapes, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yashirovibez

You dont need to do a literal translation of Natto in english by the way. Its probably just for definition purposes. We don't translate all foreign words ie bento, sushi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobMantz

Autocorrection: When using the Japanese keyboard, and typing "nattou" (or "なっとう"), there is an autocorrection default of "納豆". Does 納豆" mean something other than fermented soybeans?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

納豆 is the kanji for "Nattou"/fermented soybeans. It should be an acceptable answer in the JP->EN question (though this is specifically in the Hiragana skill so I can understand if it'd want you to stick to Hiragana).

It is made up of 納 - ナッ- Store/Supply/Obtain and 豆 - トウ- Bean/Pea/Legume


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalebHaggerty

So does the っ represent a glottal stop? And it's not to be confused with the full-size つ, "tsu"?

(Also do you call them half-size and full-size, or would you call them uppercase and lowercase?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Not necessarily a glottal stop, but a gemination - it doubles the consonant that follows it. Turning "Nato" into "Natto"
The っ is called a 促音 "sokuon" or less formally 小さいつ "chiisai tsu : lit. ""small 'tsu'"

the kanji for 'sokuon' is made up of 促 - "demand, incite" and 音 - "sound, noise", so the small tsu 'demands sound'

It CAN however be a glottal stop at the very end of a sentence. Commonly in writing a っ will be at the end of a phrase to indicate a sharp cutoff in speech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaneHawkin2

Can anyone help me with my pronounciation with this one. It's pronounces Na-tu-o but according to my notes its should be pronounced Na-tsu-nu-o. Why is it different from the characters?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

なっとう is "Na-tto-u"
The small つ っ marks a gemination; a doubling of the following consonant sound. It turns the と "to" into "tto"
The う "u" at the end is used to lengthen the vowel sound of the と "to" into "tou" or "tō"
(I'm not sure where you got the 'nu' from...that'd be ぬ )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smuxkyduxky

im very confused, now im reading these posts so i understand why the word is in here but i go to google translate and apple translate and all three of these translator apps ( duolingo, google and apple translate) have completely different translations, which one is the right one? google: 発酵大豆 duolingo:なっとう" apple: in kanji so idk but ill do it in hiragana: こそそ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MajaO5

Is the "tsu" silent here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nopinopa

Kinda: this baby tsu means, that next consonant is double. You see: かた — kata かった — katta

さか — saka さっか — sakka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacKinzieRob

can ANYONE explain why natto (fermented soy bean paste) is OK but shoyu (fermented soy beans) is not. Both are in common usage in English speaking countries. Why does DL Japanese pick some as OK and some not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/azuranyan

That's because natto and shoyu are two completely different things. Natto is a traditional Japanese breakfast food made from fermented soybeans. Shoyu is what we English speakers call "soy sauce". Both involve fermented soybeans, but they are two different food items.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vogelprincesa

Do we seriously have to put fermented soybeans each time? Why isn't just "soybeans" ok? So annoying for such a short word...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

"natto" is also an acceptable answer.
You can't put just 'soybeans' because that's not what the word means. It's one of many specific foods made from soybeans.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceAndWar208

豆腐 tofu

納豆 nattou

these two words seem to have a character in common! 0_o


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

As well as 枝豆 edamame and 豆乳 soy milk

They're all different forms of 豆 "beans"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trashboystinkman

I keep seeing people say glottal stop. What is that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

A glottal stop is when you use the cutting off of air to make certain consonant sounds. It's a bit tricky for me to put into words but I think this short video does a decent job.
Despite that though, those who are saying that the small っ in this is a glottal stop are incorrect. Here it is used as a gemination, the doubling of a consonant sound. Making "to" into "tto". It's similar to a glottal stop, but where a glottal stop would replace the "t" sound with a pause like "Na-o" , っ actually puts more stress on the "t" sound. "Nat-To"
It can be used as a glottal stop at the end of a sentence though; to show speech being cut off/shortened similar to how we may end a word or part of a word with a "-" to show an interruption


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColtonFish6

Why is there a (u) at the end of the word if its pronounced natto? Is it like an english "e" at the end of a word? (Sorry i dont have a Japanese keyboard)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

The u elongates the 'o' sound before it. While it is romanized to "natto", that last sound should be held an extra beat. Similarly you'll often see an い after an e sound to elongate that e sound. The difference in vowel length in many instances can completely change the meaning of the word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwlDimtell

Is the "つ" quiet? And why is it quiet in some words but not in others?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Note the size of the つ here, it isn't a full-sized "tsu" it is a small っ
The small tsu is used to mark a gemination in a sentence; where the following consonant sound is doubled. It turns "natou" into "nattou", and きぷ "kipu" into きっぷ "kippu"    When typing you create this small tsu when you double a consonant sound “tto" becomes "っと“ or by typing "ltsu" or "xtsu" っ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cantouche

Bug : I answered soybeans like the logical learnt me just before. The logical answered me I'm wrong , the good answer was "fermented soybean" but it hadn't suggest "fermented". I don't understand what happened.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Natto is a very specific food made from soybeans, it is not the word for soybean itself.
Soya bean would be 大豆 daizu, soybeans 味噌豆 Misomame or green soybeans 枝豆 edamame


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngeloZaba1

Guess just soybeans isn't a valid answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

なっとう is a dish made from fermented soybeans, it is not the actual soybean itself. It is no more a soybean than yogurt is the same thing as milk or sauerkraut the same as cabbage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guimo87

so the つ and う are silent? How do you know in advance when syllables are supposed to be silent and when not? Experience?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

They are not silent
The つ here is small っ indicating a gemination. This means that the following consonant sound is doubled. "tt"
The う at the end doubles the length of the お sound before it. (い doubles the length of an え sound like in 先生・せんせい・sensei, teacher)
They make the word "Nat-tou", four beats long, rather than "nato", two beats


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guimo87

I get it, thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YouMu6

question: why does this have tsu in the word but doesn't get read? is tsu supposed to be a silent character? or is this more like a rule in the Japanese language?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Please read the comments before posting a question

From above:

Note the size of the つ here, it isn't a full-sized "tsu" it is a small っ
The small tsu is used to mark a gemination in a sentence; where the following consonant sound is doubled. It turns "natou" into "nattou", and きぷ "kipu" into きっぷ "kippu" When typing you create this small tsu when you double a consonant sound “tto" becomes "っと“ or by typing "ltsu" or "xtsu" っ

and

The っ is called a 促音 "sokuon" or less formally 小さいつ "chiisai tsu : lit. ""small 'tsu'"
the kanji for 'sokuon' is made up of 促 - "demand, incite" and 音 - "sound, noise", so the small tsu 'demands sound'

and

The small "tsu" means that the consonant that follows is doubled. In this case the t in to becomes tto.

and

This baby tsu means, that next consonant is double. You see: かた — kata かった — katta
さか — saka さっか — sakka

and

The つ here is small っ indicating a gemination. This means that the following consonant sound is doubled. "tt" The う at the end doubles the length of the お sound before it. (い doubles the length of an え sound like in 先生・せんせい・sensei, teacher) They make the word "Nat-tou", four beats long, rather than "nato", two beats

and

If you look closely, you can see that the TSU in "nattou" is smaller than the normal TSU.
In the next line, you can see the normal TSU and small TSU next to each other.
つ っ
Now, the big TSU is as you expected it. The small one makes the syllable that comes after it stressed in pronunciation.
So,「なっとう」is "Na-ttou".
Hope you understood. :)

and

なっとう is "Na-tto-u" The small つ っ marks a gemination; a doubling of the following consonant sound. It turns the と "to" into "tto"

and directly from the Tips&Notes for this skill

Putting a っ (small tsu) between two hiragana syllables doubles the letter right after っ and introduces a short pause between two sounds.
See some examples below:
きて (kite) | きって (kitte)
もと (moto) | もっと (motto)
あさり (asari) | あっさり (assari)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/siri335922

Whats the difference between fermented soybeans and unfermented while writing.can you please let me clear my doubt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Normal Soya bean would be 大豆 daizu, soybeans 味噌豆 Misomame or green soybeans 枝豆 edamame
If you specifically had to say "unfermented" you would probably use 生成り, which would mean "unfinished/unripe". There are many different ways of saying "Ferment" depending on context though.
There is nothing in なっとう though that specifically means the word "fermented", it is just a food product made from fermenting soybeans. Just as yogurt is fermented milk, and wine is fermented grapes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leafydude

Soybeans and soyabeans are technically the same right?i always write soyabeans


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yes, "fermented soybeans" and "fermented soya beans" should both be correct (Though soya bean is usually written as two words)
"Natto" is also an acceptable answer, since it is the name of the food item with no good direct translation to English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vaibhavic1307

Fermented Soyabean are two words but in japanese is it only one??? What to say only Soyabean in japanese or fermented food in japanese????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Natto is a specific food made from fermenting soybeans (natto is also an acceptable translation)
Things like soy sauce, miso and tofu also come from fermenting soybeans but take on a new form (whereas natto are still in original bean form just...slimy)
Fermented food in general is 発酵食品 hakkou shokuin
発酵 hakkou meaning "fermentation"
Normal Soya bean/soybean would be 大豆 daizu or 味噌豆 Misomame or green soybeans 枝豆 edamame


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CheekyScrubQueen

Teaching how to read natto without context is sort of weird. Unless you already know ehat it is "fermented soybeans" is just going to confuse most people. It would be like calling ketchup "tomato based sauce"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/asuineko

NOT THE FERMENTED SOYBEANS: use this to remember the spelling :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daftpunkitrash

why do i need to know this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

It is a common traditional food in Japan as well as a simple example word for you to practice the hiragana small っ and long vowel とう


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioTau5

Why there's a tsu in Natto?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanVR07

It's a tiny tsu that is used to extend the sound of consonants in Japanese.

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete/more_sounds#Hard_Consonant_Sounds


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ayylmao354125

pretty sure nattou isn't a typo, but an accepted alternative spelling? lots of instances of it being spelled as such. even in the comments here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

"nattou" is the proper transliteration of the word into romaji,

When English adopts Japanese words into the language though it often drops the long vowel "u", so in English the common spelling is "Natto"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natto
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/natto


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/specialkylika

i don't understand why when i write it in kanji it labels it as incorrect but only in the listening kind of exercise…


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamoffs

(Google T.):  I'm Brazilian, and in Brazilian Portuguese "doesn't exist" this "double consonant".  It seems to me that the vowel "a" is slightly prolonged or there is a small pause between "na" and "to".  In BR-PT the written form of the pronunciation would be more or less: [náá-tôô] or [ná-tôô].  The hyphen indicates a short pause or "syllable separation".  PS: Here in Duo it seems to me that the pronunciation is as if there is a pause between "na" and "to" (ná-tôô), but I hear a lot in anime (mainly) the vowel before the double consonant being prolonged in instead of this short break (náá-tôô).  Well, that's how it sounds to me. :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosevienaLo

"Fermented soybeans" sounds very long and boring to type, so try using "natto". It works and was not wrong tho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nyambe10

❤❤❤!! I just pressed soyabeans of which in japannese is nato


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Natto is a very specific food made from soybeans, it is not the word for soybean itself.
Normal Soya bean/soybean would be 大豆 daizu, 味噌豆 Misomame or green soybeans 枝豆 edamame
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