"何年生ですか?"

Translation:What grade are you in?

1 year ago

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TrumpCard_TC

I think something on the lines of "What year of study are you in?" is more appropriate since "-nensei" applies all the way to university, where you don't really have grades anymore.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lhane
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But University students still ask if your a freshman, senior, etc. So first year, second year, 3rd, 4th, 5th still applies.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jungerstein
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In East Asia, there are no grades sitting together in universities, but there are grades as implicit identities.

Perhaps astonishing to you, in universities in East Asia, a lower-grade student is expected to obey their higher-grade fellows, and the higher-grade is somehow in charge of 'educating' and taking care of lower graders.

For example, I have a T-shirt as a souvenir of entering the university in 2006. Before 2009, unless required (as in some activities), I kept it in my wardrobe; but after 2010, I wore it almost every day in summer. When I was a lower-grade graduate student, I listened to and used honorific addressing to higher graders, but I did not need to pay when all the students in the lab dined out; when I was in my final year, I paid (the payroll evenly divided among the final-year students) the dinners. Though I am not Japanese, in Japan this is more intensive.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katso
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Wow what a different culture! So community centric, love it.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bon888918

This is astonishing.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katie864091

My elementary students say this all the time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GesiTerron

What makes this "What grade is he"? Rather than "What grade is it"? Im confused

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/a3awright

Nothing in the sentence specifies a pronoun. In a different context, it may need to be translated differently.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GesiTerron

In the app(Android) it wanted "What grade is he?" When i answered "What grade is it?" Because, exactly, there is no pronoun indicator. Its translated completely different on the site here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheJack38
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Translating with "it" does't really make sense here, so using "he" or "she" would be the correct translations. IIRC japanese is highly context sensitive, and you have to judge these things on context. "It" cannot have a school grade, so it must be "he" or "she"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mixxedyolyfe

It is possible that we can be referring to the level of the material we are looking at.

"this math test is hard." "what grade level is it?" Although it is not the most effective it is still possible.

Also, although my Japanese sucks. I'm sure there is a way to add these pronouns rather than making it this vague.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Actually, 年生 doesn't quite work like that.

As some other comments have pointed out, while in English, we can use "grade" in a few different ways even in a school setting, the Japanese word 年生 refers strictly to "students" because it has 生 in it. You could even think of it as a kind of suffix which means "student", e.g 中学生 = "middle school student", 留学生 (りゅうがくせい) = "study abroad student", 一年生 = "one/first year student", 先生 = "(studied) ahead of you student", etc

"Grade" in the way you've used it in your example would be 学年 in Japanese, and "grade" to describe your results for that test would be 成績 (せいせき).

There are definitely ways to make this sentence less vague by adding pronouns, but just like picking which translation of "grade" is most accurate, you have to consider how Japanese people would say what you want to say in the same situation. Grammar problems aside, you can't simply switch out each English word for the Japanese equivalent and expect the result to sound correct or natural. When it comes down to it, you just have to get used to the idea that pronouns are omitted very often in Japanese.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MiraJ.
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you wouldn't say 年生 for objects. the 生 is for students.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jim373739

I went with "what grade are you in?" If the subject is not specified, I assume the subject is my conversation partner.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FonzieSquirrel

You can guess on context that the one in a certain grade would be human.

In English is very rude to refer to a human as "it", lowering their status to an object.

Sidenote: animals that aren't pets are still often an "it"!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flypirat

But can't grade also mean something else? 'I got an A in the math test' 'wow, that is a good grade!' aren't those called grades, too?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/itsbecca

In English yes, but the Kanji here can not mean that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Metleon
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I think too specify 'he', you would put 'kare wa' at the beginning of the sentence. 'Kare' is 'he' and 'wa' (written as the character 'ha') is the topic particle, which I think is the correct one to use in this case.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trevettm

I said "what grade are you" and that worked.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKols
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In case you forgot how it reads, "nensei" 年生

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mariodez
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Sorry what's the pronunciation and what are the meaning of the compounds?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/developedby

To me it seems to be "nan nen sei desu ka?" Nan meaning 'what' 'Nen sei' is school grade or year 'Desu ka' is making a question

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grippygecko

In British English we say year not grade. I translated this as "what year are you in? " and it was correct . You can see that the meaning of nensei is yeargroup for students, therefore it can only apply to students not study materials or anything else. Just as you don't say in English "what year group is this test?" you don't say nensei either .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArashiNL

It was correct for you?! I answered "What year are you in?" and it got marked wrong. :/

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PPMachen

Is there any way to distinguish between asking a single person a question and multiple people?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ranggawiratno

You can use お前達は何年生ですか。 "omaetachi wa nan nen sei desu ka" which sort of translates to "what years are you guys in?" CMIIW

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anonamoose52

tachi does correctly pluralize this, but be careful, omae is pretty darn informal and could start you off on the wrong foot with people you aren't close with.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kiaros_Mokushi

あなたたち (anata-tachi) would probably be more appropriate in most cases.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DivinaAlex

Actually the best approach would be to avoid using ANY forms of "you" altogether. They are all considered rude, including "anata".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashmadux

This needs some explaining better. I'm a third-year student and I have not heard that I'm not that is something bad to say in certain situations. I'm aware of that most Japanese don't use it, as we foreigners learn at a point that many words start disappearing in Japanese conversation. However is it really bad to say anata ha? Needs clarity.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/punkdoabc
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Some of the On'yomi pronounciations sound a lot like Mandarin, such as: 生 - sei/shēng; 年 - nen/nian; 小 - shiō/xiao.

But 学 is spoken very differently: "gaku/xué". Why is that? Does this On come from Cantonese or something?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

This is a really interesting question, which I had to look up too. I found this great explanation on Tofugu https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/onyomi-kunyomi/

Essentially, your guess was pretty close. The "gaku" reading comes from another form of Chinese that was predominant during the Wu Dynasty, whereas I believe modern Mandarin stems mostly from the Han Dynasty, from which many Japanese on'yomi are also derived.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBest_F-22

I still think that "In what grade are you?" should also be accepted...

Note: it is NOT accepted at the time of this writing!. ...
-_-; ...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RodrigoRequiao
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なにねんせいですか?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barak.gur
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What is the difference between nen and nensei? I thought the first is grade and the second is grader, but now it seems wrong

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielYuji96

"Nen" is year in a general sense. For example, if it was "nan ne desuka?" it is like "what year is it?" (or "What year are we in?"). As for, "Nensei" it means "school year/grade" referring to people (the students), so it's not applied to not objects like "first-year content".

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex76659

i hope all the chinese americans,brits,canadians,etc. agree that learning japanese is relatively easy

sorry if i offended anyone

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chebal
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We do not say 7th grader "七年生"

We usually say 中学一年生(junior high school 1st grader)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arctic_Line

何年生 is pronounced なんねんせい for you wanting to know.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_emilymcn
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the 年 in 年生 isn't very clear

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/henry.fenb

I would like a UK English translation, US english I find confusing

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkOne6

'what grade are you in?' also ok? Flagged

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielYuji96

Why it shouldn't be ok?

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ANSHAYAGARWAL

How to remember kanji? A different symbol for whole words...!! Is there a way to remember and recognize the kanji or a trick to it? Or do people just get used to it?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PholaX
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You can learn radicals from which kanji are composed and look up similar kanji and their pronunciation and meaning. Then write it down for a hundred of times, until you really get used to them.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JherekLazo

How is 生 pronounced?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

In 何年生, 生 is pronounced せい (sei). It sounds like the English word "say".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mimi459612

Why wasnt "In what grade are you??" right?? Its almost the saaame

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lycantis
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Because no one speaks like that anymore unless they happen to be doing a Shakespeare play. Though technically correct, people would look at a foreigner if they spoke like that in a lot of English-speaking locations.

I cannot speak for UK English.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lycantis
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*look at a foreigner funny

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xiang-yu
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I thought 何年生でしか means "In which year did you born" as 生 also mean birth/bear.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DarkShadowX

I accidently types "ate" instead of "are" give me a break.. :(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J-D20

so would ”何年にですか?” mean "what age are you in?" :D

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LVRtObCh

Why does 'grades' only apply to elementary school? In middle and high school there are grades as well. At least here (Holland) there are.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandomnessElla

Romanji please?

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlixTomasz

生 is, if im not mistaken, is always silent in the context of this level. Why is that

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Natalie432187

What grade

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielYuji96

School year

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pine542141

I think "school" is redundant.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricReyesP

Is it wrong to say "in which grade are you?"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielYuji96

"Which" usually is used when there are only just two or three options. For example, "Which grade are you in, third or second?". "What grade are you in?" is a wide-range question. Also, "in" in the end is the more natural order in English.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josshouse

I think "What grade in school are you?" should be accepted. Sounds correct colloquially to this English speaker

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLostKooper

Duolingo seems to be strict on prepositions, even though it's not about へ or に -- even English prepositions exclusive to English, e.g. "I'm IN ...th grade" seems to be stressed about even though the Japanese equivalent doesn't use a preposition. This seems like it's unnecessary to put an "if answer is exactly as the translation, correct it" logic gate in this question.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Just to be clear, へ or に don't strictly need to correlate to a preposition in the English translation, and vice versa, prepositions in English don't necessarily need to include a particle in Japanese. It often does correlate well, but in cases like this, judging the correctness of a translation requires understanding common usage in both languages.

However, Duo isn't a program for translating; it's a program for learning. At this point, it's even still in Beta for this course, so acceptable answers, like "What grade are you?" (standard Australian English), may not be fully set-up yet.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oliver_francais

I wish you could click on each letter for pronunciation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick577594

Shouldn't 'what year level are you in?' work as well?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dranem
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So then how would you say "What year is it ?"

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Slash513421

My English language is not so good thats why i often ask the same question like this...what grade are you?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Natalie432187

What fade

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neolit1
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Why is "what is the grade" marked.as wrong and it corrects me to "what is your grade". for me tge sentence seems to be working both ways

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079
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2017

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MegaWordGuy
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Ew, end-of-sentence prepositions... Also, it should accept "In what grade are you."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarianoAlipi
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It's perfectly valid to end sentences with a preposition. English is not Latin.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenia94

This is something up with which you will not put ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonFries2

If we are going to get picky about nonexistent grammar rules for English your sentence should read "In WHICH grade are you."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeff.suter

Fairly certain, regardless, of any school systems country of origin that one student asking another student or even a group of students "Which grade are you in or In which grade are you?" is perfectly fine and appropriate.

1 year ago
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