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  5. "今は午前れい時です。"


Translation:It is twelve A.M. right now.

June 5, 2017



So, gozen zero is midnight, right?


Correct. I've also seen midnight taught as 12 AM similar to any other hour--i.e. 午前十二時 (ごぜんじゅうにじ for anyone not up on their kanji readings yet)


No, it is legally '午十二時' in Japan. When Japan's timekeeping was shifted to the modern one, in 1872 the act '太陰曆ヲ廢シ太陽曆ヲ頒行ス' (Use solar calendar and abolish the [traditional] lunar calendar) was established. If you can read classical Japanese, please see https://ja.wikisource.org/wiki/%E5%A4%AA%E9%99%B0%E6%9B%86%E3%83%B2%E5%BB%A2%E3%82%B7%E5%A4%AA%E9%99%BD%E6%9B%86%E3%83%B2%E9%A0%92%E8%A1%8C%E3%82%B9 for the original texts. The act is still in effect. It includes a table to standardise midnight as 12 PM and noon as 12 AM.


That would be precisely the opposite of the rest of the world, in which 12 a.m. is midnight, while 12 p.m. is noon.


If by "the rest of the world" you mean the English speaking world, then sure. Most of the rest of the world would disagree.


In Russia we don't say "pm" and "am", instead we say "of the morning", "of the day", "of the night" etc. So noon would be "12 of the day" and midnight would be "12 of the night", which is at least slightly less confusing than the "am/pm" notation. The 24 hour notation seems optimal.


In Hungary, France and Russia, 12 a.m. is midnight, or at least used to be. Those are the places I am most familiar with. Of course, the 24-hour clock is more common, so it is usually now simply 0:00, but in all 12-hour references I have seen, it is 12:00 a.m.


Well, i am from Spain and i understand it as 12am as midnight and 12pm as noon


In latinamerican countries we refer to 12am and 12pm this way as well


That seems odd. AM and PM aren't English, they're Latin. AM = antemeridian and PM = postmeridian, which respectively mean "before noon" and "after noon". If noon was 12 AM, then 1 minute after noon would be 12:01 PM.

Unless you're referring to much of the rest of the world using the 24 hour clock? (Which I really wish was the standard everywhere; it's so much easier to use!)


In Spain 12 am is noon and 12 pm is midnight, if you use 24h time you can use 00 am for midnight and 12 pm for noon tho, but it isn't as common, and in spoken language nobody uses it


I know a bit of a few languages here and there, and none of them have "am" and "pm" that I can recall off the top of my head. They each have their own system and some are closer to English and some are very different...

I just did a quick check and Spanish and Portuguese both use am and pm too. Spanish is my second language but I wasn't ware of this. I'd only ever used "de la mañana/tarde/noche".


This act is indeed more interesting. It actually prescribes a Julian calendar but whose dates are arranged so they were same as the common (Gregorian) calendar between 1872 to 1899. In 1899 the bug was surfaced (why English / French calendar is 1 Mar 1900 and the prescribed Japanese calendar is 29 Feb 1900? ) and they had to hot-fix the February issues.


Luckily I live in the 24-hour clock country because I don't understand the am and pm system. Am means ante meridiem, or before noon and pm means post meridiem, or after noon. In my opinion, 12 hours before noon and 12 hours after noon are both midnight, so 12 am and 12 pm would logically both be midnight.


Being a foreigner, this 12AM/PM is very confusing. Why not use (like the Russians) 12 Midnight (MN) or 12 Midday or noon, or MD?


Or better yet, use 24-hour notation. 12:00 noon, 0:00 midnight.


I am from the United States (New York), and was taught in school that 12 a.m. is noon and 12 p.m. is midnight, and that it switches over at one minute past the hour. Usually it's best to just avoid both and just say midnight or noon, however, to avoid confusion. I personally use the 24-hour clock whenever possible.


Would tomorrow therefore begin at 12:00 p.m. (00:00:00) or 12:01 a.m. (00:01:00) ?

00:00:59 would be 12:00:59 p.m. ?


I was thinking that! Wasnt it 十二??? Whats ねい meaning?


い (not い) means "zero", as many other comments have pointed out.


What I've found is that if you hit that lightbulb button that shows up when you pick a lesson, it breaks down the whole thing for you, so you don't have to do complete guess-work while you learn.


News to me, definitely haven't come across this before. Makes sense after research and how Japanese also uses zeroes in hour counting. Thanks for the info.


Instead of all of this confusion wouldn't it just be easier to refer to them at midnight and noon; rather than 12 pm and 12 am?


Seems like using a 24 hour clock would make the most sense. I thought that was standard as train schedules and the like are shown this way.


That might be fine if Duolingo taught only written language instead of conversational spoken language. Speaking "00:00" isn't exactly straightforward...

"zero zero zero zero"? "zero zero"? "zero hundred hours"? "zero minutes past zero"? "zero past zero"? :D


maybe that's why an easier lesson had like 12 in a row:
"zero = ゼロ" questions ?


How bout midnight? We use 24-hour clock and for 00:24 for example we say midnight and 24 (minutes).


In the US, we would say 12:24 a.m., which may be why midnight is a.m. and noon p.m. After midnight, you have entered the wee hours of the morning.


It's great for o'clocks but 12:35pm sounds weird as "noon thirtyfive".


Noon only refers to 12:00 anything past that we would say tewlve o' one (12:01) twelve, ten (12:10) and so on.


so twelve thirtyfive?


I forgot how so you read this 今? And if im in a normal conversation and someone asks me 今何時ですか i can just answer for example: 一時です。 ?


It's pronounced 'ima' and means now. And yes that's a good response.


So does the "れい" essentially mean "at zero hours into" when used with 午前 or 午後?


れい (0) wouldn't be used with 午後 (pm), only 午前 which is equivalent to 0am which is midnight. Japanese commonly use the 24 hour system so 0 pm isnt a thing, they would say 12 (pm) or 正午(shyougo) which means noon - source: my japanese mother


my source confirms yours :D fistbump


If れい is zero, why do they correct my sentence with twelve?


Japan is on a 24h clock so '0'am would be 12am for everyone else that uses 12h clock, like English speakers. And it's having you translate into English.


The reading is too fast for me to follow. れいsounded like ていto me when it was read out so fast.


That could be because 'r' sounds in Japanese sound like a mixture of English 'r', 'l', and 'd' sounds. Here, I think it sounds similar to てい because of the nasal ん sound in gozen immediately before it.


Why is 'ima' (今) followed by 'wa' は in this case? Can 'now' be the topic?


Yes, "now" can be the topic. Time clauses are often followed by は to emphasize the time something is taking place.

In this case, you can also think of 今 as a kind of abbreviation of 今の時間 ima no jikan, or "the current time" (lit. "now's time")


Can someone break this sentence pronunciation down? The word for ‘12' is confusing the heck out of me.


In fact, it's not the word for "12" (which would be "juni" [十二]) that's being used. It's the word for "zero" ("rei" [零]) that's being used. So, "午前れい時" stands for 0:00 a.m. (i.e. 12:00 a.m.).

As for the entire pronunciation, it would be: "Ima wa gozen rei-ji desu".


Ultimately duolingo needs to allow synonyms for the english. Having a single opinionated and usually US centric translation is really starting to dissuade me from using this otherwise excellent app.

I want to learn japanese, not an english dialect.


Do remember that it is private individuals putting these programs together. They always start with the translation that is most familiar to them. What you should do is click the little flag and indicate that your answer should also be accepted. They will then begin accepting that answer as well, and the next person who speaks your dialect of English will not have to go through that frustration. The older Duolingo programs, because of this, accept quite a wide variety of English translations from dialects spoken all over the world.


Ok, so I didn't know they already had the capacity for synonyms - it's not something I've seen/been aware of in my usage of Duolingo so far (it's always been a 1:1 translation).
Still, it would be good if I could add an alternative (set of) answers for my own use which then may or may not be pushed out to the rest of the community (via some moderator group).

Ideally there should be a "literal" translation, as well as a set of "meaning" translations.

So in this particular case, "Now it is 0'o'clock in the morning." would be the literal translation (even though I've never personally heard that used in english), followed by alternatives such as: "It's 12am now"; "It's midnight now", "It's 0-hundred-hours now", etc etc - whatever makes sense in your local region as well as permutations on the sentence structure ("It's now X o'clock", "It's x o'clock now", "It is now x o'clock"). And all of that could be stored as macros and sentence formulae rather than actual strings.

Ultimately we want to learn the meaning of the japanese sentence, not the wording of the english translation.

I also forgot that the Japanese is still in Beta (mostly using the phone App, which doesn't display that tag).

Getting a tad off-topic here, sorry.


I guess it's off topic, but it's a topic I have found most enlightening on a number of these discussion fora. I'm not a tech person, so I am not entirely following the distinctions you are making. I think it would be not only onerous, but also nearly impossible for the person designing one of these courses to include all possible translations in English from the beginning, because there are so many varieties of English spoken in the world, many of which are spoken by people using Duolingo. The education section, for instance, always has people upset because the vocabulary used in the US or Ireland or Jamaica or India or some other part of the Anglosphere is not accepted. All it takes, though, is reporting it and explaining it to the moderators and it is eventually accepted, though it can take years, depending on the language. I am, for instance, currently trying to convince the Welsh program to allow the American term study in "I am studying for the big test" instead of requiring the British term "I am revising for the big test." They are disagreeing at the moment, but I assume eventually they will allow it, or at least my note will be there, so that frustrated Americans will know why they were marked wrong.


Obviously it's too much work for the originators to add all possible nuances - which is why the content creation should be open-sourced!

And that was exactly my point. The system should allow "personal" alternatives. I should be able to add translations which I think are correct/more appropriate, and have the system allow them -for me only- as soon as I enter them, no waiting for moderators or admins or whatever.
These alternatives could then be flagged for review by moderators and if they agree they could be made "public", but even if the moderators disagree, they should still remain available for me. In fact, if enough people add a particular alternative, perhaps the system could then automatically decide it's a valid alternative and make it public automatically, or at least flag it to moderators to expedite the review.

From a technical perspective it's fairly trivial and I'd even offer to help code such a feature in, but as far as I know, Duolingo isn't open-source.


That's a pretty decent idea, but then you'll end up with a program that you teach, instead of a program that teaches you {/insert "in Soviet Russia" meme}

As it stands now, Duo might correct you to "It is 12am now", which might seem strange depending on what flavor of English you prefer, but you can interpret it and somehow come to an understanding of what the Japanese is saying. In other words, Duo makes you think about what you're learning.

If we were to implement your suggestion, I could just say nah, I think that's a bad translation (even if it's actually correct), but I've watched enough subbed anime to know that it actually says "there's cheese in my shoes."

That was an extreme example, but theoretically, there's nothing in your system which would prevent me from learning 今は午前れい時です = "there's cheese in my shoes", or something equally incorrect.

It reminds me of my ongoing campaign to downvote anyone trying to "explain" that おきません means "I am not awake/up", because, despite how convinced they are that it makes sense, it simply isn't how the word is used in Japanese. It actually means "I do not/will not wake up", but if people had access to a "personal alternatives" system, they would only end up reinforcing their own misunderstanding.

I don't mean to sound overly harsh or negative, and I agree with you that Duo's system is far from perfect, but wouldn't you agree that a limited and cumbersome system is preferable to a (potentially) wildly inaccurate one, particularly for the purposes of learning a language which you theoretically could have no knowledge of?


That sounds clever to me, if it is technically doable. There have been some instances where the team for a particular language, which may not have included native speakers of English, put out a program maybe a little too quickly, and I had to remember precisely what ungrammatical pseudo-English sentence was the only one required. I imagine this could help with that extremely frustrating problem.


I dont know how long ago you poated this but the app supports tapping the characters to see their alternate meanings Although when part of a sentence its harder to figure out.


AFAIK, am and pm comes from some latin about ante (before) and post midday. So IMHO, 12 before midday makes more sense as noon and 12 post midday as midnight...


Yeah, the word you are looking for is "meridiem". However, I disagree with you. Think of it: for one o'clock in the morning, would you use 1:00 am, right? And, for one o'clock in the afternoon, wold you use 1:00 pm, right? If both answers are "yes", so it's logical to use 0:00 am for midnight and 0:00 pm for noon.

Another way of thinking about it, is the following: how would you call the minute after midnight? 0:01 am, right? So what is the minute before 0:01 am? 0:00 am.


I am so very confused about the zero part can someone explain?


Well, "rei" [れい or 零]) means "zero". So, "午前れい時" stands for 0:00 a.m. (i.e. 12:00 a.m.).


I can't hear how zero, after GOZEN, is pronounced. Can anyone help?


It's pronounced rei, as in "ray" in English.


So basically, 午前 means forenoon (AM), and れい is used because as it is 0 (zero) combined with the kanji for forenoon (AM,) it is the same as 12AM or midnight.


re-i (sounds a little bit like de-i )

0 a.m (hour). = midnight (12 o'clock am)

gozen (am) rei (0)
ji. hour/o'clock

0 o'clock AM = midnight


the kanji for zero (零) is not being accepted for this question, and I don't have the option to report my answer as acceptable


I answered this with "now it is 12am" and it said I was wrong


Well but... What is "twelve A. M"?? Sorry, I'm not a native english speaker


Twelve A. M. is midnight.


I don't like it. It's very confusing. There is a word (kanji) for Midnight it's 真夜中 (mayonaka) and it make more sense to me. The second kanji is the night kanji (夜 yoru) and the last one (中 naka) means middle. Bonus: the first kanji 真means accuracy (exactitude) For me it make more sense.

The PM and AM afternoon(well it's more evening in the exemple... Midnight is not afternoon) or morning are confusing and no one use them in Japan I guess. I learned japanese in faculty for 2 years and we used midnight and noon, and used the hours in 24h format!


I haven't really noticed 24h times being spoken in Japanese all that much. At least not on Japanese radio anyway. What I believe I've heard most often uses 午前 and 午後, or just the 12h time on its own if the period of the day is thought to be obvious from the context.

What I mean is hearing times like にじゅうじ (二十時) for 8 pm (20:00). I think what I most often hear instead is either ごごはちじ (午後八時) or maybe more often simply はちじ (八時) for this. Are you sure it's more normal to say にじゅうじ?


@Anita986126 Thanks for taking the time to write your long reply! I have read every word of it. ^^

(I've had to write my reply here instead, because Duolingo forums don't allow the number of nested replies to reach six deep.)


  • I quoted your own words as carefully as I could, and purposely made sure to keep the "I guess" part on the end of that sentence -- making sure it stayed clear you didn't say Japanese don't use it.
  • I don't think really anyone was confused by the Japanese phrase 午前れい時. People were confused by the English translation.
  • I agree that the English word "midnight" is easier for people to understand than "twelve A.M.".
  • "Midnight" would probably be better as the translation to show for "午前れい時" instead of "twelve A.M.".
  • etc. (There's a lot more I want to say...)

One thing I will add though:

まよ中 is how the word 真夜中 would have been written in kanji in this course if it had been used. This is because the course was only teaching N5 level for kanji at the time this sentence was added. Both 真 and 夜 are usually classified as N4 kanji and would have been replaced with hiragana, resulting in this strange looking "まよ中" if they had used this word...

The only thing I actually asked about was simply how often you've found 24h times are spoken instead of 12h times in Japanese.

Funnily enough, just last night I heard 24h time used in an anime film! For the time "3 PM" (15:00), which was the plan for when to begin an operation, the character said じゅうごじ (i.e. the 24h time, 十五時).

So I'm starting to think maybe 24h times might be spoken a bit more in Japanese than I previously noticed. ^^


The kanji after "ha" is confusing me how is it pronounced again? I think the audio is wrong


To elaborate on gil's comment, the majority of kanji have at least one Chinese loanword reading (onyomi), which is used when you put two kanji together. They also, most of the time, have native Japanese readings (kunyomi) which is used when the kanji stand alone, or are coupled with kana characters. All of this on a "most of the time" basis.

When you start getting serious about learning kanji, you are going to learn both types of readings together.


Kanjis can be pronounced in several ways. The two kanjis after "wa" are pronounced "gozen" when together


So where did れこ come from and what does it mean literally?


れい Means zero (0) but in this case 12 a.m is the same as 0:00 a.m. So れい時 is basically time 0


Ah okay, thank you!

So it's just interchangeable with ゼロ then?


I don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure. I think れい時 is understood in Japanese, but ゼロ時 sounds strange.

I don't know the rule for when to use which one though.

[deactivated user]

    日本語話者で、午前・午後を着けて話をするときは大変気を使うものです。また、本文のように午前0時(通常は夜中の0時と理解される。)と言っておきながら、twelve a.m.(日本語では午前12時と書くので、通常は、お昼の12時と理解される。) が出てくるとは混乱の本ですね。なので、混乱を避けるために、時間を相手に伝えるときは(午前や午後を使わずに)24時間制で話した方がよく伝わると思います。


    Why is rei not zero? Jyuu ni is 12 not rei. It doesnt make since.


    Just because 0:00 am is not a common way to say midnight in English, but 12:00 a.m. is. "Jyuu ni" is not used because "Gozen rei-ji" is the most common Japanese way to say it. It's a cultural thing, there's no logic at all.

    Note that, in Japanese, 12:00 am would be "午後12時", not "午前12時".

    It's in Japanese, but I think the table is understandable for anyone: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/午前と午後#正午・正子付近の時刻の比較表




    I don't understand these 午前れい, gozenrei, it is followed by 時 so I asume it refers to time, but I need to understand what this means


    go (午) noon, zen (前) before, rei (零) 0

    • 1428

    I'm Japanese... We using 午前0時 = 0/24 A.M. not 12 A.M.


    12 A.M. is 00:00 (真夜中)
    12 P.M. is 12:00 (正午)

    • 1428

    If we use ”午前12時”, it means equal 12 P.M.(正午)


    Yep. I know. ^^

    The reason for this is because "o'clock" and 時 mean different things.

    "12 A.M." in English is short for "twelve o'clock, A.M."

    O'clock is a short form meaning "of the clock". This refers to which number on a clockface the hour-hand is pointing towards.

    時 is a counter of the number of hours that have passed.

    In Japanese, 午前0時 makes perfect sense, because it means "zero hours" or "hour zero" in the 午前 period (A.M. period).

    In English, we don't say 0 A.M. because that would be short for "zero o'clock A.M." We don't say "zero o'clock", because there is no number "0" on an analogue clock. The hour hand at midnight is pointing at a twelve, not a zero.

    午前零時半 = 00:30 = "twelve thirty A.M."
    午前零時 = 00:00 = "twelve A.M."


    What does "れい時" means?


    The right is "It is now midnight."


    why is no one talking about the lack of the number twelve in this sentance


    Idk I think it's a japanese thing. Instead of 12 am its 0am like military time. I think thats how military time is. I felt the same way though when i first saw this its like asking do you know how to say this one thing that they only ever say or use in japan! How are we supposed to know?? I put 0 oclock and it was wrong.


    But if this is true that its meant to be military time the gozen and gogo would be omitted.


    I wrote " it is 12am right now" and got it wrong.


    We only use the 24 hour standard here in algeria, we say "rendez-vous à quinze-heure" which would be "15h" 3pm in the US.


    My proposed solution was '今は、午前零時です。' But that was marked as wrong. I don't quite understand, as 零 (れい) means zero, or am I misunderstanding something? Can anyone help me out?


    A "type what you hear" exercise?

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