Translation:There is one bird.
Personally I would like to see DuoLingo have a section on Kanji, especially on their meanings (given that many kanji are pictograms of what they describe).
Needs to be in Beta first. Most course aren't even available until Beta. We are lucky we have Japanese.
Very few kanji are used as pictograms anymore. I've learned that 80 percent are phoenetical words. There are many good study books. Duolingo is great for learning conversation imo.
Disagree. If you said 80% of Japanese is phonetics, that would be closer. Just learn some of the radicals and see for yourself. There can be a mixture of phonetics and pictogram.
Try the book "pictoral chinese-japanese characters" it breaks down what the history and evolution of these characters
One of my professors in Japan (日本大学) was very fluent in English, and his specialty was Ancient Chinese. He had worksheets for Kanji for us that not only showed stroke order, but the Onyomi and Kunyomi readings, and where the characters originated (either because they were homophones, or because they represented something historically). It's a great way to remember a kanji if you can picture what it meant.
Get apps for kanji, helps a lot! I needed that for katakana and now I'm learning a bit of kanji too
I second this! Kanji Study is awesome. Not only can you study hiragana, katakana, and kanji, but you can make your own study sets (like the ones introduced by duolingo). There is a huge depth of information about each kanji too.
JA Sensei is also a good app, and not just for Kanji. The quizzes sometimes help more than the lessons.
Kanji Quizzer - is one of my favorites it has different levels for JLPT N5 thru JLPT N1 but it does cost 1.99 to unlock all levels
I made a Quizlet of the 80 kanji Japanese kids learn in 1st grade https://quizlet.com/297912832/1st-grade-japanese-kanji-flash-cards/
I don't know if we can share apps here, but still, I used a great app which helped me learn a lot of kanji (read, write and also how to use it in sentences)and its name begins with k and ends with study. Even the trial was great.
Yeah and the kana (correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't practiced my Japanese in 6+ years)
kana (ひらがな and カタカナ) should be mastered at the very begining of the study
So this wa is not a particle? It is the count for birds? Ichiwa is one bird just like hitotsu would be used for other stuff?
Yup. The わ in this example isn't a particle but a counter for birds. Just remember particle wa is formally written as は unless you encounter someone who likes playing with words -- some ppl intentionally write は as わ online (Twitter, etc.).
Yes, wa is the counter for birds - for example: Niwa niwa niwa niwatori ga arimasu - "There are two chickens in the yard."
Lol. That example confuses more than it explains, but it was quite amusing. Had to stop and think for that one. XD
Yes, it needs a detailed translation. You can't teach people with a frigging tongue twister.
Hello, I am still relatively a beginner to Japanese, so I tried understanding your example sentence there (which is indeed creative and funny, by the way), but I am a bit confused by your ordering of the constituents and the extra "wa" in the phrase...it is hard to envision in romaji, so this is what I imagined the sentence should be: 庭に鶏が二わあります。("niwa ni niwatori ga niwa arimasu") Is the extra "wa" a は？So is it like saying, "(As for being) In the yard, there are two chickens there." ?? Understanding the usage of the particles is still driving me crazy sometimes... Thanks.
Your understanding is spot on! The sentence @MarkErdman wrote would be written 庭には二羽鶏があります (though it should actually be います instead).
The には particle simply emphasizes the fact that you're talking about the yard, and the fact there are two chickens in it. Without the は, the emphasis would be on the chickens, which happen to be in the yard.
The example is fantastic but I'm confused about one "niwa". :D
- Niwa = garden
- Niwa = には (regarding what's IN the garden)
- Niwatori = two birds
That should be enough, I reckon. How did we get the extra "niwa"?
The fourth "niwa" is part of a compound word - i.e. Niwa - "Garden" ni wa - "(located in)" niwa - "(counter for two birds)" niwatori - "chicken", bird of genus Gallus) ga imasu - "there are"
So if I can get the Japanese IME to work right:
I forget who originated this phrase - I used to be on a Japanese learning group on a USENET newsgroup, and one of the regular posters had "niwaniwaniwaniwatorigairu" as his signature at the end of his posts, so I just remembered it an example of Japanese homophones.
I remember reading a story about a poem in Mandarin once that was only the syllable "shi" spoken in different inflections that seems kind of similar to this.
にわとり means chicken. There needs to be a の between 2わ and にわ鳥. OR you can move 2わ to between が and います.
I see. Thank you so much. So it always goes: counter の noun? when it isn't: noun が counter verb, as we've been learning?
Yes, although the particle isn't always が. Could be を as in パンを１枚 食べます - I eat one slice of bread.
Ah, yes, right, thank you, and for the example. You're so generous, thank you so much.
I hadn't ever heard of people using わ as the particle. Is there a particular reason they do it on Twitter?
...Oh God, is it a bird pun?
It's not a particle it is the suffix counter for winged creatures (birds) and apparently also for rabbits.
Is わ always used for "count" or are different words use for counting different things?
Nah, a lot of different things use different counters. Its daunting and difficult to remember all of them but you get used to it! Perhaps look up "japanese counter words"?
What... Lol. That's pretty funny. I'm not excited about having to memorize all of the different counter words.
I had a teacher tell us a ghost story about a maid two was killed for stealing plates. She could be heard at night counting the plates, sure that nothing was stolen... Ichimai... Nimai... Sanmai... Yonmai... Insert ghostly wails of despair. Ill never forget the counter for plates lol
Its not as bad if you consider that we do sort of have the same thing in english. Like slices of bread or ears of corn. Its not for everything thank god but we do do it.
Puts it in perspective, definitively. Like right now, I feel like there are so many irregular pronunciations with kanji, but come to think of it, English is fairly irregular as well.
Many different ones. E.g. "hon" for things ling thin things like pencils, carrots etc. "Satsu" for flat things like sheets if paper..... There are many counters.
Yes, ~さつ is the suffix counter for books. while ~まい is the suffix counter for flat things like paper, slices of bread etc.
Excuse me, is it more word (わ) to count animal? I know that (ひき-use for count small animal) and (とう - use for count big animal), am I wrong ?
No, you're right, 匹 (ひき) is for small animals and 頭 (とう) is for large animals, but 羽 (わ) is specifically for birds and rabbits.
Rabbits apparently. Something to do with their ears being wing-like, or that's what I've heard.
no it actually had something you do with the rulers deciding that only birds could be eaten certain time period. But b/c of certain religion who ate rabbits, rabbits became classified as a "bird", to avoid conflict with the law and that religion. Hence (rabbits, classified as a "bird") use the counter for birds. In this way eating rabbit was not illegal.
Sorry, I didn't read that question properly - I meant to say here (above) that ~わ is the suffix counter for birds and rabbits.
I believe that the counter for little animals was hiki or iki 匹 or that kanji is only for little animals and わ is specifically for birds?
Yeah, 匹 (ひき) is for small animals, and 羽 (わ) is specifically for birds and rabbits.
The reason why わ can be used for birds and rabbits (兎、ウサギ、うさぎ, Japanese often write words for animals in katakana) is a long story. Buddhism has influenced Japan for a long time, and Japanese Buddhists are prohibited to eat meat of animals with four legs. But this was difficult for some people, so they proposed that "Rabbits have two long ears, these ears look like wings. So rabbits are birds, and we can eat them!" Actually the explanation is controversial, but this is a serious viewpoint www
This is a stackexchange thread about the topic: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1316/why-is-the-correct-counter-for-rabbits-%E7%BE%BD%EF%BC%88%E3%82%8F%EF%BC%89
But but but that is so very confusing ! I can't wait to learn all those counters. insert sarcasm here どもありがとうnonetheless !
The blades of a fan or a propeller are called wings? And it also means feather? That's interesting. I get the feeling "feather" has a somewhat harder, sharper feel in Japanese - I've seen feathers depicted as weapons occasionally.
Nah, Alcedo. It's kind of more complicated than this. For example, a feather arrow is "矢羽",¹ and a "quill" (i.e. a "feathered" pen) is "羽根ペン"², so 翼 is not the only term used for feathered ones. Meanwhile, answering Boringjorn's question, an airplane wing (and aircraft in general) is a "翼"³. Both flying squirrel and thorny devil have no feather at all; anyway, they have 翼.
I'm not sure if there's a pattern at all. But maybe 翼 is the general sense because it seems more like a single symbol than the clear two wings of 羽, which would be used for specific wings. One example helps me to think this is the case; fan wings are "羽根" (which is the plural of "羽", but reads the same "hane"), but there's a type of fan called "多翼扇"¹¹ [lit. multi-wing fan, although I don't know it's proper name]; it description says it has 羽根 (not 翼), though.
I'm not 100% sure yet (I'm not a native), but I think general (tsubasa) x specific (hane) works here. I'm very close to 100% after looking at "鳥類" in Wikipedia¹². It says: "それでも現存する鳥類のすべての種が翼を持つが" [Still all species of existing birds have wing]. The articles uses "羽" and "羽毛" to refer to the feathers.
天使 [angel] article¹³ is even more helpful because I could find both 翼 and 羽 as "wing". Ex 1.: 今日の絵画では天使に翼が描かれることが多いが, 聖書には天使の翼に関する記述はなく [Although angels are often depicted as having wings in modern's paintings, there is no mention of angel wings in the Bible]. Ex 2.: "多数の羽根を持つケルビム" [A cherubim with many wings].
True, it's indeed more complicated (it's Japanese after all), but since the majority of people here are either already studying Japanese properly (and thus only seem to complain about lack of kanji) or are so new that they're still struggling with hiragana (and thus shouldn't be trying to "learn" Japanese on Duolingo, i.m.o.), I figured it wasn't worth delving into to the extent that we're discussing flying squirrels and such. That being said, I appreciate the in-depth comment with links!
Still, I'm not sure as to what your point was (other than it's complicated / exceptions exist), since the fact that "feather arrow" and "feather pen" have the word "feather" in it is pretty much in line with my previous comment and the Wiki quote seems to confirm it too: birds' wings are 翼, feathers are 羽.
For reference, the actual dictionary - the 広辞苑（こうじえん）- lists 翼 in the sense of "airplane wing" only as option no.4 in which case it is not pronounced as つばさ anymore (like NeonMarkov initially 'asked') but rather as よく.
I had no point at all. I was just curious when I read your affirmation that "はね means ... 'wing' in the general sense" and "翼 is 'wing' only for feathered one". (For me, it appears to be the other way round.) By chance, I was listening to "Zankoku na Tenshi no Teeze" and the lyrics say at some point: "Hane ga aru koto". I then just wondered about it and did some research (and then wanted to share).
Wow, interesting about the "yoku" pronunciation. I didn't know it. So yet another word for wing. More complicated haha. Aircraft-related terms appear to frequently use the "yoku" reading. I've just found that "airfoil" is "翼型" [yokugata] and "wingspan" is "翼幅" [yokufuku]. Always learning!
Why is there a word for counting birds? Do all nouns have a special word for counting them? If not what makes birds special? What the heck is going on?
All nouns need a counting word, I think, but there is not a separate counting word for each noun. Indeed, for some nouns, I believe more than one counting word can be used, with varying meaning. They are a kind of category. So, for instance, I might say five "sheets" of paper or six "lumps" of coal, but I could not talk about lumps of paper or sheets of coal. Honestly, I don't know how anyone could learn these things without hearing them or reading them on a daily basis. Anyway, I think the Wikipedia article here presents a discussion that at least gives me some sense of it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_counter_word
It's definitely easier learning and remembering them living in Japan. For some reason I found they seemed so much more logical when living in Japan. Regular use maybe? I think they're kind of cool and help to clarify what you're counting.
I just found out, if anyone is confused: あります [arimasu] is used for an inanimate object, like a yard [にわ] and います [imasu] is used for animate objects, like a person [じん or 人]. Because a bird [とり] is a living, moving, breathing thing, they use います. Because a yard [にわ] is not, they use あります.
Japanese people always told me that it was because "Rabbits' ears look kind of like wings," but I'm not sure if that's an actual explanation or just a rationalization after the fact for a weird grammar point. XD
Somewhere...possibly in this thread, someone explained that it was a "legal" rationalisation (an exception!) where rabbits were deemed honorary birds so that Japanese people would be allowed to eat them. Not sure what the reason for not being allowed to eat rabbits was or why birds were so special by comparison.
Actually, ー人 (read hitori, ひとり), referes on counting humans, it is different from ーつ (hitotsu, ひとつ)... This is due to the kanji jin 人, that means something like human or person, don't know exactely... But consider taking a look on hitotsu and hitori counting, just for the know!
It is, but 一人 and 二人 have the irregular pronunciations, ひとり and ふたり respectively.
にんげん is the word for human. Just incidentally にんじん is the word for carrots - not to be confused with the word for human ; )
Hiki (sometimes pronounced irregularly) is the counter for most small animals, but not birds.
Given the context you know 一 is being used as a one and not a vowel extender. However If in some instance you wanted to avoid confusion would you be able to use 1 or 壱?
"There is a chicken" should be accepted. If とり is written in Kanji as 鳥 then it means bird, while if 鶏, it means chicken.
No, in this context, とり would only mean "bird". The word for "chicken", 鶏, is pronounced にわとり.
とり only means "chicken" when it is in compound words which refer to chicken meat, for example 焼き鳥 (やきとり, lit. "cooked bird").
So とりにく would always refer to chicken. Could you say the same thing while referring to another bird, by using the generic 鳥 kanji?
I hope it doesn't end up being as bad as English with a different name for every type of group of animal too. Rookery, pod, congregation, herd, flock, pride, battery, etc.
What kind of pattern is there for subject markers? I've noticed that some words useが and others use は as markers, but I can't figure out what uses which.
It is not that some nouns take one particle and some take the other. Rather, these have a slightly different meaning. The particle ga indicates essentially what we would call the subject, although the subject of the verb can often be something we would not expect. The wa particle is often called the topic, so it has a much more general meaning, something we might not even think of as a grammatical category. It is often actually the subject of the verb, but it can also be the object or an instrument or a number of other things. I sometimes think of it as something like "as for X" so "As for X, it is big" or "As for X, it swims," but also "As for X, we eat it" or "As for X, I hit the ball with it." I don't know whether that makes it any clearer, but it does help me.
Strictly speaking, "bird" can be バード, but it is only generally used that way in other loanwords like バードウォッチング ("bird-watching") or バードサンクチュアリ ("bird sanctuary"). Japanese people may be more likely to use it this way when speaking to foreigners, but it isn't a part of typical usage.
It's also worth noting that バード can be (and probably is more commonly used as) "bard", as in a common character class in RPG games.
Why is it not "I have one bird"? The い in the last lesson meant do you have Also there's a counter just for birds and rabbits? Japan I don't understand you
You're right - it can also mean that. Yes - there is! : ) Someone explained somewhere (maybe on this thread) that a law change was made to make rabbits sort of honorary birds so that it would be ok to eat them? And that's why the counter is for birds and rabbits. I think it's up near the top somewhere.
FYI, a lot of you are getting this marked wrong because you typed dash (ー) instead of いち(一). They look almost exactly the same, but they are actually not the same character, and the system will not register this correct if you type a dash instead of properly entering the kanji for "1."
Can this be used to say I have one bird (as in if asked if you have pets)
I put in 'It is one bird." and it failed. It said I used the wrong word, "It's a bird." and now it says the translation is "There is one bird." I am so confused...
"It is one bird" is incorrect because います means "to be/to exist", so とりが一わいます literally becomes "bird (=とりが) one object (=一わ) exists (=います)". In normal English, that is "One bird exists" or "There is one bird".
Note that a bird existing is different from equating a specific thing "it" to "one bird". To do that in Japanese, you would need to say (それは)一わのとりです.
As for the "It's one bird" correction, I suspect that is a bug resulting from Duo's software recognizing that "It's" can sometimes be "it is" or "it has". As @Pavel_Greshnykh noted just recently, "I have a bird" is (correctly) accepted by Duo. This sentence, とりが一わいます, can indicate ownership because there isn't a topic specified (by a は), so it can be implied and the particle が becomes the complement particle. So if you say (それは)とりが一わいます, it means "one bird exists for it", which can be interpreted as "one bird exists among its possessions" or in more natural English, "It has one bird".
Shouldn't the third character be pronounced as "ga"? It's the "ka" symbol with the thing that looks like a quotation mark (I have no idea what it's called or if it even HAS a name), doesn't that make the "K" sound into a "g" sound? Am I mistaken?
Maybe it's just me, but I'm hearing the "ga" particle after tori being slurred into a "wa" sound, is that how the sentence is supposed to be pronounced or should I use the "ga" sound when pronouncing this sentence?
I hear it pretty clearly as "ga", though it is pretty fast and I am comfortable with listening to native-speed Japanese. It may also be your listening device or which version of Duo you're using (desktop, Android, or Apple) too.
That said, the Japanese "g" tends to sound quite nasal, like "ng", to English speakers, although this varies by person and by region. As for how you should pronounce it, I would recommend listening to as many native speakers as you can and copy them. In the meantime, just a regular English hard "g" sound will do.
Shouldn't the third character be pronounced "ga"? Why is it pronounced "na"?
I can hear ichiwa very clearly. Just a matter of getting used to hearing another language and the speed as well.
二わ doesn't appear in this sentence at all. It is 一わ. And it is 一わ and not 一つ because 1. 一つ refers to inanimate objects/things and a bird is not an inanimate object so you would never use this counter for a bird or any other living creature, 2. ~わ is a suffix counter for birds (and also rabbits).
Why can't I use kanji in the "type what you hear" sections? 鳥が一羽います is correct and would be marked corrected on any other non-listening question.
とり is mostly used to refer to chicken, so I got confused when it said there is one bird. I know that is correct, but then what is "chicken" supposed to be??
鳥・とり can be used for chicken but it also means just birds in general.
鶏 ・にわとり ("yard bird") is the specific word used for domestic chickens
I agree though I don't think "chicken" should be counted wrong, since either kanji can be used to mean chicken and both can be pronounced the same.
とり is used for birds in general, 鶏肉 for chicken (ie. meat), にわとり for chicken.
Do you mean - dj you need to know the meaning of わ in the sentence, or do you need to translate わ in the English sentence or something else?
The わ here is not a particle but a suffix counter used specifically for counting birds and rabbits. Also, now its position - after the number one いち (一) and directly before the noun - it's clearly not the particle 'は'.
It won't accept it unless you use the kanji for ”one“ but it won't accept it if you use the kanji for ”bird."
It depends only on whether or not the exact quantity is relevant to the sentence you're trying to say. Consider the following:
- There is a bird here = ここはとりがいます
- There are birds here = ここはとりがいます
- There is one bird here = ここはとりが一わいます
- There are five birds here = ここはとりが五わいます
- There are more birds here = ここはとりがより多くいます (より - "more than", 多い【おおい】- "many", より多く - "comparatively many")
- Are there birds here? = ここはとりがいますか？
- How many birds are here? = ここはとりが何わいますか？(何 - "what", 何わ - "what number of birds")
Many people have already asked this here. You should be able to find detailed explanations here. But if you just want the short version: hitotsu is the general way of saying that there is one of something. But the Japanese use specific counters for certain things. For birds the counter is 羽/わ/wa. Therefore, "one bird" translates to "一羽" (ichi wa)
Btw, welcome to the hell of counters :D
In one of the comments I saw someone mention that it's similar to the English "one loaf of bread".
So how come in other examples I can use kanji that they taught me but in this one I have to type out everything but "一" in straight hiragana? Both "鳥" and "羽" get flagged as incorrect.
It's a counting word. Unfortunately, in Japanese, as in many other East Asian languages, you cannot simply apply a number to a noun. Rather, you need a counting word, which differs depending on the word. It's "one wa of birds," a bit like we might say "one loaf of bread" or "one bowl of rice," as opposed to "one bread" or "one rice." This kind of counting word is needed for every word in Japanese, though. You might think of it a bit like memorizing which words are masculine, taking "el," and which words are feminine, taking "la," in Spanish, except in Japanese there are not just two classifications, but many. At least the adjectives and pronouns don't change, though.
It is a suffix counter used for birds and rabbits only. There are other suffix counters in Japanese for specific objects/things - there are counters for round things eg. Apples, cylindrical objects eg. Legs of a chair, animals (not birds and rabbits), flat things eg. Paper, cds, slices of bread, photos, also counters for books, people and general objects to name a few.
If you read the Japanese it says 一わ (いちわ) - ONE bird, not two (ニわ). Also, 二つ (ふたつ) is a general counter for things/objects so it would not be used for birds or animals or any other living creatures and that's why it's not used here.