"アメリカ人です。"

Translation:I am American.

June 5, 2017

141 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/vivalaashutosh

This is the first sentence with hiragana, katakana and kanji, nice.

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/royalt213
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I don't even know what the last two things are.

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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Hiragana is the first syllabary that you have learnt. あいうえお this is Hiragana, the syllabary is round. です is the Hiragana part in this sentence. I recommend that you learn ひらがな from this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p9Il_j0zjc=515s


Katakana is the second syllabary needed to be mastered to know how to read Japanese. アイウエオ this is katakana, the syllabary is more pointy. アメリカ is the katakana part in this sentence. Katakana is used to write animal and plant names, foreign names, and loan words. I recommend that you learn カタカナ from this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6DKRgtVLGA


Kanji is Japanese logogram. A character represents a concept or a word. It originated from China. 人 this is the Kanji part of this sentence meaning person. 「ひと」 is the Japanese reading (kunyomi [you call a Japanese person with -kun suffix :P]) and 「じん」is the Chinese reading (onyomi) that is used in this sentence. You should check out https://youtu.be/sspUdoV9Il0 and wanikani for the quickest way to remember 漢字.

I hope that answers your question. :)


Bonus: Both the hiragana and katakana video have been fused into this 2-hour video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wZHqOghvSs! :)

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NicholasRu214667

I feel like this course just escalated from crawling to rock climbing, but your comment helped clear it up a lot.

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ainu00
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One should not just start learning japanese (and not only japanese) through similar apps. Experience shows, mostly they do not provide rules necessary to actually set a link within what's going on. Though it could be even useful when it comes to independent conclusion making.

First I would recommend to read some book material in the Internet. Teaching sites would be somewhat more useful as they often provide the most necessary shortcut info not dipping into details. Same applies to Wikipedia.

September 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TwinKiki
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Yes, Duolingo can be very frustrating when used alone. It's just a tool among others.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JorionEdwa

@ianterrell You can try reading children's stories.

http://life.ou.edu/stories/ in particular contains the Japaneese and English versions of traditional tales, as well as the hiragana readings for the kanji used.

March 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ianterrell

Book material such as?

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sonia215804

Could you suggest any good website?

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Demise_NL

The best way to master Hiragana and Katakana is still using pen and paper and retrieving the characters from memory without looking. The more you do it completely from memory the better it will stay there.

After you've mastered Hiragana and Katakana, this might be a good place to continue alongside with Duo:

https://www.edx.org/course/japanese-pronunciation-for-communication

and https://www.openlearning.com/courses/introductory-japanese-language-level-1

The JapanesePod101 and FreeJapaneseLessons.com sites are also helpful. I feel getting exposure from as many sources as possible is the best way of learning.

April 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ToniMarco

Thanks!

October 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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Glad to help. 頑張ってね!:)

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Enedlammeniel

What do you mean by the Japanese vs Chinese reading? Why is it using the Chinese here?

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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The Japanese reading is usually used when the Kanji is on its own.

Chinese reading is usually used for compound words or multiple Kanji with a fixed meaning such as this one meaning a nationality.

Example: あの人は日本人です。「あのひとはにほんじんです。」(That person is Japanese.)

Be aware though as there are exceptions especially those concerning body parts and their "analogy".

Examples:

左/右手「ひだり/みぎて」(left/right hand)

手首/足首「てくび/あしくび」 (wrist/ankle [lit. hand neck/foot neck)

出口/入り口「でぐち/いりぐち」(exit/entrance [lit. exit mouth/entrance mouth])

Bonus: The first syllable of the 口 in 入り口 and 出口 is voiced. This is a phenomenon called rendaku and I encourage you to look for it.


Historically speaking, Japanese was only a spoken language. Japanese then borrowed the Chinese logogram along with their reading. But a problem arose. They had had the native readings (kun'yomi) for a long time. "Should we get rid of kun'yomi in favour of the Chinese reading (on'yomi)?" they asked. "No!" "Let's use their symbol but say it the way we want!" "How about the on'yomi then? Should we get rid of them?" "No! Let's have both instead because why not!" they answered. So yeah....

Also, the on'yomi reading is very old, because it represents how the old Chinese language sounded like (not is) to the Japanese long time ago.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ishana92
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i think im gettong waay over my head here

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JacintaHu

Why does the kanji 人 have two different pronunciations and when do you use each one?

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ema467434

Actually, another fact is that kanji is read in onyomi only when it's put together with another kanji. For example : 電車 ( でんしゃ) - electric car 電 - でん - electricity 車 - くるま / シャ Also another fact : In Japanese last names, kanjis are read in kunyomi. For example : 山口 山 - やま / サン / ザン 口 - ぐち / くち (the readings that are written in katakana are the kun yomi readings)

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/eugrus
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In the same way as English has many synonyms with Anglo-Saxon and French roots.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Amitraksha

I did some lessons in chinese a few months ago. And 6 days ago when i started the japanese i saw many characters like chinese character. I had no knowledge about it then. I used to see the comments and learned that those were KANJI. Kanji characters orijins from the chinese characters

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kimiko_Sensei

In Chinese the characters are called Hanji or Hanzi. And in Japanese they are called Kanji.

It means the Han Characters. The Han Dynasty was when the standard form of writing came out to all of China as a means of mass communication for all across China under one ruler.

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

Kanji literally means "chinese character"

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Davedavido

Is there any situation in which you WOULD pronounce 人 as ひと?

August 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PholaX
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Yes. When you mean a person, you say "hito". E.g.: ano hito - that person(man). But when you say a composed word (like "englishman") you pronounce it like "jin". Google about on-yomi and kun-yomi to understand that better.

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarvinAndres

Thanks so much lol

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

So when i read the sentence out loud, should i say hi-to or ji-n? Seems like it should be ji-n, but does anyone say America hi-to desu?

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Eromeon
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No, because America - Jin is a composed word and compounds use the Chinese pronunciation.

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/xLynchiex

When kanji is used together with other characters, you use the on reading. So アメリカ人です would be america jin desu. When you use the kanji on its own 人, meaning person, you would say hito.

October 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Afifatuzzahra
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The last two are で (de) す (su), so they adding "I am ..." to the アメリカ人 (Amerikajin)

August 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/veganmangivevery

o i love coment but cant giv lingot so sorrow love so much i!!

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gerlonm
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人 = hito or jin?

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Airichann

It can also be read as hito, but in the sebtences used in this exercise, the correct reading is jin

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaelJime60317

Both, one is onyomi and the other one is kunyomi

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

What is that?

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FonzieSquirrel

Chinese reading and Japanese reading.

The characters originate from China, but the Japanese have their own pronounctiation. They are both used for their convinience and our confusion.

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dtUyaD
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So hito is the Japanese reading and jin the Chinese?

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chase621144

Yes

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kimiko_Sensei

This character turns to the pronunciation “jin” when used after the name of a country one is from:

アメリカ人 American

カナダ人 Canadian

中国人 Chinese

フランス人 French (person)

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FonzieSquirrel

ドイツ人 German

オランダ人 Dutchman

日本人 Japanese person

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/xLynchiex

The kanji alone is pronounced hito, but when used in a compound word it's pronounced jin

October 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ColorOMagic

it is both. this is the chinese reading. every kanji has japanese and chinese reading

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Grant30
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Just to clarify with the transliteration, "America jin des" = America person is/am. Jin is the word referring to people, in this case nationality.

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sxr13
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Since 私は doesn't start the sentence, is です supposed tell us the sentence is reffering to "I"?

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KiritsuguZFC
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No, です does not necessarily imply that the subject is "I". However, Japanese often leaves their pronouns out and you will have to infer from the context what the subject is supposed to be. So, this sentence could also mean " He is american".

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Lin
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Well, です does not necessarily imply that the subject is "I", but in many cases Japanese people tend to guess that the subject is "I" if the subject is omitted. However, it is true that this sentence can imply anyone being American, depending on the context. Japanese might be the most context-dependent language I have ever learned.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JesseGreav1

yeah, i thought so too, as there was no topic indicator at the start of the sentence. Normally, you'd say "Watashi wa america jin desu" having "watashi" (I/me) as the topic indicator. I think if it were obvious as to what you were talking about (ie. if someone asked you what nationality you were) then it would be acceptable to just say "america jin desu", but without that previous context, you would start with "watashi wa"

January 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CaioFranca2
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Isn't 人 the Chinese symbol person?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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Yes it is! Japanese borrowed the Chinese logogram. :)

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dheeraj71

Japanese use 3 script in writing hiragana ,katakana and kanji .. this is a kanji word.. kanji words are borrowed from Chinese language

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

Yes it is a kanji character, and kanji characters means chinese characters, "kan = Han" and "ji = character"

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/chrisdidit

What's the period-looking symbol at the end of the sentence?

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Untitled_Name
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That's how periods are in Japanese

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

It's a period :)

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tomas.linper
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Shouldnt it start with 私は so we now it means 'I am'?

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/k8bit

Japanese is highly contextual and you often don't use pronouns at all. That said, you could.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

You can, but you'll probably stand out as a foreigner if you say that because by context, people know you're talking about yourself, America jin desu already means I'm American

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mick.eins

or he/she/they/us/you is/are American. To answer I'm American we need watashi/boku wa because there's no other context here. Otherwise anyone and not only I is American.

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/xLynchiex

You can, but it's not necessary as unless specified, people will assume you're talking about yourself anyway. A lot of Japanese relies heavily on context.

October 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sirconnorstack

Why are there no spaces between the words?

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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Because that is how Japanese is, that's why it's important to learn kanji and katakana alongside hiragana. IfJapanesedid'thavekanjiandkatakana,thisishowthewrittenlanguagewouldlooklike.

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesjiao
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Spaces are an indoeuropean thing.

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/xLynchiex

That's just how it is. As you get more advanced and learn more kanji, you'll notice that kanji will make up nouns, adjectives, etc, while hiragana will make up the grammar. Of course there are still words that will have hiragana in them, but the kanji you learn, the easier it will be to read as a whole.

October 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Madcircus

No nitpicking, genuinely curious: Does that also apply to South and Central Americans? (There isn't a "North" there.)

October 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Phoenix87
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Is the japanese jin similar to the chinese ren?

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Airichann

Japanese kanji is taken from chinese characters so many kanji will have similar meanings to the corresponding chinese character but usually with different pronounciations

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KrouwCrow
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They both come from classical chinese. It's similar the way vit- is to "la vie"... But yeah, you got it....

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/-Neon_Cat-

If someone's confused with this sentence, the Japanese put the subject first, then the action. So for this, "アメリカ人" means "American", and "です" means "I am" in this sentence.

This is also cool that this is the first sentence in Duolingo that uses all three Japanese writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. "アメリカ" is Katakana. "人" is Kanji. "です" is Hiragana obviously.

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Trinth

Does です always mean I'm? At least in these early lessons?

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/k8bit

It literally means "is". The pronoun is omitted entirely. You can assume the one being talked about is yourself for learning purposes in the lessons, but it's unrelated to です and the sentence could technically refer to any number of things.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtShoe
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Now that we are seeing kanji, I thought I would share with everyone my discovery of an Android app called Kanji Tree.

Kanji Tree is completely free and allows you to practice the entire 6000+ list of kanji taught in Japanese schools. It introduces the kanji organized in groups by school grade. The interface is perfect: simple and efficient. It employs multiple-choice game-playing, just like DL. It starts at the beginner level, smoothly and easily, and in no time at all, with only an hour or so of practice, I found myself being able to recognize over a hundred kanji with translations. Recognition of individual kanji is trained first, then you move on to reading practice. You can practice drawing each kanji at any time, stroke by stroke, until you get it right, and the app shows you how good you drawing gets as a percentage of the perfect picture. You choose at the beginning if you want to see romaji or only Japanese scripts. According to the developer, the app used to be nagware and went freeware only in December 2018. There is still a paid version that allows you to compile lists of difficult kanji and gives you audio, but those are the only differences mentioned.

Hope this will be as useful to you as it was to me. Good luck!

Dear DuoLingo Japanese course authors, please take a look at the app and see if you can find inspiration in some of its ideas.

January 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/valen380304

Isn't correct the traduction "I'm from America"?

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Carlos_Valenti
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No, the 人 character stands for ¨person¨, the correct translation thus would be ¨I'm American¨

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MelodyLu2
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I put "I am from America", and it corrected me to "I am American". Is there a difference in Japanese ?

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mann185

I am from America would include the word "shussin" as in: America shusshin des. (I am from America).

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kidkuma

What's the difference between ( アメリカしうじんです ) And ( アメリカ人です ) Why do they both mean "I'm American" Is there a clear difference in meaning? I scrolled around and didn't see the answer so forgive me for my stupidity if it's been answered.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NakamuraFF

Amerika-jin means ”an american person” and ”amerika shusshinn” means ”originate from America”, when describing a person. It is often used to answer the question ”where are you from?” (Doko no shusshinn desu ka) and doesn’t need to be a country. ” Toukyou shusshinn desu” or ”ishiyama shusshinn desu”. Using ”naninani-jinn” is more often used to in connection to a larger geographical area like a country or a prefecture (nihonn-jinn, kannsai-jinn, etc.) but it feels unnatural with a name of a remote village. Shusshinn can also be used with the name of a small village.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NakamuraFF

しゅっしん can even be used for the school that you graduated. 東大出身 (とうだいしゅっしん) - toukyou university graduate.

May 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Soushii2

so...in romaji its "Amerika jin desu"? I know romaji is hated alot but its helpful for me to remember the characters-

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CavernosaSpider

Yes, amerikajin desu

November 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/9HzZ4

Why is "人" in "I am American" and its not there in "I am John/Maria"?

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Keniko1
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It means 'person', so the sentence is something like 'I am an American person'.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia35743

I don't mean to sound like a idiot, but what does アメリ力人です。 Translate to in English???

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ColorOMagic

it means "an american person"

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
Mod
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アメリ力人 by itself would be "American" or "America-person"
The copula です means "is/am/are" making this a complete sentence
アメリ力人です - "(I/you/he/she) am/are/is American"

January 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaGhosttt

It means "I'm American."

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SereneJohnson

I'm not American so this is insulting. Maybe change it for location?

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaz421725

This is fun and challenging!

February 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KestrelSB

I thought since "I" is there there would be watashi wa. I wrote "I'm American" and got it wrong :(

March 6, 2019
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