Translation:Nice to meet you, I'm Tanaka.
Watashi is mainly used by women and boku by men, and in these exercise Tanaka is always presented as a Mr. But to answer your question, no. 'My name' is and 'I am' have two completely different Japanese translations. In this translation it would simply me Tanaka desu, as that means 'I am Tanaka' (excuse me for not using Japanese letters, can't get this keyboard to work w Japanese)
In Japan, it is a legal requirement that your name must be able to be written in kanji - if you're foreign and working on obtaining Japanese citizenship, you must change your name to something that can be written in kanji. You can write your name however you want, of course.
I don't think this is the case. My partner is Japanese, and her legally recognized first/given name is written in hiragana. Granted, her name is able to be written in kanji, but none of those kanji are her name. We also know several people with Japanese citizenship whose legally recognized names are written in katakana, in lieu of their Western names.
Perhaps it used to be a requirement that names had to be in kanji, but I suspect that hasn't been relevant for at least the past 100 years or so.
"-er" last names are also pretty common in English. Hunter (same meaning as Jäger), Miller, Potter, Archer, Baker, Cooper, Carver, and so on. Sometimes they're spelled as "-or," like Tailor. "-er/or" indicates that someone does something, like "Hunter" being "one who hunts" and "Baker" being "one who bakes."
Place-based surnames are also pretty common in English. To use Tanaka as a reference, "in the field," you could just use "Fields," or "Fielding." It's how we have last names like "Forest," "Ford," "Rivers," "Cliff," and so on. It gets a little more complex, like with "Clifton" meaning "cliff town" and "Caulfield" meaning "cold field," but it's the same concept. Kind of like if you lived near the upper part of a stream and were thus named 川上.
Is there a reason why the 中 is pronounced differently in different circumstances? In Tanaka it is なか but elsewhere in the same lesson it is ちゆう. Of course this is a characteristic of Kanji generally, but there are hundreds of characters in the language. Is there really no other way to figure out the nuances than finding and learning every single character?
Not trying to sound like I'm complaining - it is what it is - but I'm used to being able to see and utilise patterns in language. I'm not seeing anything like that here just yet.
There are rules which can help you figure out which reading to use, but that involves you learning what the possible readings are for each of the thousands of characters and when to apply the different rules (and the inevitable exceptions!)
Roughly speaking, you might have heard of on'yomi and kun'yomi. Which one you use is largely dictated by whether the kanji is combined with other kanji, in which case, on'yomi is used, or if it's on its own or connected to okurigana (that's hiragana or katakana which are essential parts of a particular word) when the kun'yomi is typically used.
Personally, I've found that memorizing vocabulary words (and each associated reading) was much more useful in my study, and (eventually) helped me get a feel for when to use which reading, which readings tended to be for exceptions, etc.
Because Tanaka's family probably lived in the middle of fields...
Many cultures picked up descriptions of a person's job or location and turned them into names. It isn't unusual at all.
In English we call names derived from a person's origin or residence a toponymic surname; names like Moore, Ford, Hill, Norton (north-town), Shaw, Townsend (towns-end) all describe where a person or their family lived. Then names like Baker, Smith, Clark(e), Fisher, Gardner, Miller, Taylor, etc all describe the occupation of a person. As PrmExr2487 stated above the surnames "Fielding" and "Enfield" mean pretty much the same thing as "Tanaka"
Ok, so in the previous lesson we learned a few Kanji. In this specific example we use Ta and Naka. However, I thought if you use a kanji in a compound you use it's Onyumi reading. so why isn't Tachyou? (I don't know how to type with characters ;). Same question for an earlier example when we got the character Naka alone, so you would use the Kunyomi reading Naka, yet the answer was Chyou. Someone please explain this to me :)
What you described about on'yomi and kun'yomi are general rules of thumb to help you figure out the reading of a kanji. However, much like English, there are many exceptions to these rules.
田中 is an exception because it's a name, specifically a Japanese name which must have existed as たなか (or the rough phonetic equivalent) before kanji were introduced to Japan.
中 on its own should be なか, so that is probably a result of Duo being inconsistent with its recordings.
By the way, 中国 is pronounced ちゅうごく and transliterated as "chuugoku", not "chyougoku" ;) "chyou" implies ちょう which has completely different meanings.
No. The use of です at the end of the sentence indicates that you are stating that someone (either you or someone else) is Tanaka.
If you were talking to Tanaka, you wouldn't say です, and (typically) would include an honorific suffix.
Consider the following exchange:
- 田中: はじめまして、田中です。"Hello, I'm Tanaka."
- ジョン: はじめまして、田中さん。ジョンです。"Hello, Mr. Tanaka. I'm John."
- 田中: ジョンさんですね？よろしくおねがいします。"So you're (Mr.) John? It's nice to meet you."
Notice how "am/are" only appears in the English translation when です is in the Japanese sentence. That's because です is used to state that something is something else.
John and Tanaka also only use さん on each other's names, but not on their own name. That's one way you can tell which person the です is referring to.
In Japan, this phrase is nothing, but following meaning. "はじめまして、田中です。 " = How do you do, my name is Tanaka, Conversation goes like this, English, 1. How do you do? 2. My name is John. 3. Nice to meet you.
Japanese, 1. はじめまして 2. ジョンです (you can say, 2, 1 order) 3. よろしくおねがいします
We usually follow with, 'よろしくおねがいします。’ with bowing, and it convey as, nice to meet you, or it is my pleasure to meet you.
so, はじめまして is always used only once to a person we have never met before to introduce yourself, and once we meet, then it is very awkward to say this phrase again.. if you say that again, it could be taken as an insult (which a person may think you don't remember me or they may think you are not smart enough to remember me... ), that is why exchanging of business card comes in handy.. so you don't make a fool of yourself if you don't catch their names at first time...
In English, how often do you use 'how do you do?" to a person. it is very similar idea. So you would probably never use 'はじめまして' to acquaintance or friends again. On the other hand, よろしくおねがいします can be used when you are asking to a person (ex; friend or co-worker) to do a new favor/task for you , then it is like, 'I beg you' or 'please do it for me' that concept.
also, one more point.. since you are meeting with a person at very first time, it should be honorific form. so.. if you are meeting with elders or higher positioned people , we use はじめまして、マリアともうします。 (it is like, may I present my name as Maria' ) If you are introducing yourself to fellow school mates at first day of school, マリアです is acceptable form.
This is called 'rendaku'
When a consonant sound comes later in a word it will often become voiced, turning 'ta' into 'da', 'ka' into 'ga', 'su' into 'zu', etc.
This is mentioned in the Intro 1 Tips & Notes
So why isn't it ちゅうこく？This is due to a phenomenon known as "rendaku" or "sequential voicing." Syllables that come later in a word are sometimes voiced and marked with a dakuten. This is often rather unpredictable, so rendaku words should be memorized individually.
Katakana is mainly used for foreign words. As far as I know kanji is used whenever possible. However there may be some cases where it depends on your target audience. If you're a doctor, giving a presentation you might use more than a teacher talking to a high school student.
No, there isn't anything gender specific in this sentence.
I suspect that, because Duo wants you to learn です = "I am" and といいます = "my name is", it marked your answer as incorrext and gave you the "closest" alternative in its answer bank. Since you ended with "is Tanaka", it probably thought you meant "Ms Tanaka" ┐('～`;)┌
は is quite a complicated particle, called the "topic particle". However, it's relatively straightforward when the sentence ends in です, which is the verb "is". When you want to say "A is B", Japanese grammar dictates that you structure it as "AはBです". The "Bです" effectively means "is B", and the は indicates the topic or the thing you're talking about.
The actual full sentence here should be わたしは田中です. Notice this follows the "AはBです" structure from before, where A is わたし (which means "I/me") and B is 田中. Since it follows that structure, the English version is "A is B", or "I am Tanaka". However, Japanese also has a frustrating (for beginners) tendency to omit the topic (along with the topic particle) when it's obvious from the context. In this exercise, we can assume the context is someone introducing themselves, so who else would they be talking about besides themselves? That's why we're left with just 田中です; it's up to the listener to figure out that they mean わたしは田中です.
On the other hand, を is called the "direct object particle". It is used to indicate what the verb of a sentence acts on. For example:
- "I eat (=食べる) hamburgers (=バーガー)" becomes バーガーを食べる because the act of 食べる happens to the バーガー
- "Sometimes (=たまに), I study (=勉強する) Japanese (=日本語)" becomes 日本語をたまに勉強する or たまに日本語を勉強する. In both sentences, because を follows 日本語, we can tell that the act of 勉強する happens to 日本語, even though the words aren't directly next to each other.
No, both should be equally acceptable. Some people may argue that "I'm (name)" is more casual and thus shouldn't be accepted, but 1) English politeness/formality isn't as clear cut as it is in Japanese and 2) even if it were, English politeness/formality levels don't necessarily have a one-to-one relation with Japanese politeness/formality levels so it's notoriously difficult to say for sure, especially without any context or tone or body language to help us figure it out.
Well, first of all, there are actually three different "groups" of symbols in Japanese. There's hiragana (e.g. です), katakana (e.g. ジョン), and kanji (e.g. 田中).
- Hiragana is a syllabic scrpit, meaning that each symbol represents one "syllable" (technically, each symbol is one "mora" but for the most part, they work similarly enough). It has a wide variety of uses and is generally thought of as the "basic alphabet" of Japanese. The pronunciation of each symbol seldom changes, except for some voiceless consonant groupings. There are some combined hiragana (e.g. きょう) which alters the vowel sounds (of き "ki" to きょ "kyo").
- Katakana is another syllabic script and has exactly the same features as hiragana. However, katakana is largely used for foreign loan words or visual emphasis (similar to CAPS in English).
- Kanji is an pictographic script, meaning that each symbol represents an idea/object. The vast majority of kanji come from Chinese and have two or more different pronunciations, called readings, coming from the (ancient) Chinese pronunciation(s) and/or traditional Sino-Japanese pronunciation(s). Which reading is the correct way to pronunciation a character depends on the kanji itself and what other symbols are around it. Unfortunately, these all come down to memorization to figure out. Once you've been exposed to and understand a lot more Japanese, it helps you make better guesses about kanji pronunciation, but even native speakers can get uncommon kanji wrong.
I highly recommend memorizing all the hiragana character first (there's only about 50 of them) and being very familiar with them and their pronunciation before continuing further.
I can't understand it now, I checked the types and there was saying that kanji doesn't mean sounds but words and ideas, it means that the simbols are named different from the way they sounds, and I got it, but the kanji the means kanji means "ta" and the next "naka", broking what was said.
No, there is a difference between what a kanji means and what it sounds like. These kanji 田中 sound like "ta" and "naka", but they mean "rice field" and "center", respectively (but it's also just the surname of a person called "Tanaka"). For example, the reason why "Smith" is such a common surname in Western cultures is because it used to represent someone's job, like "blacksmith" or "locksmith"; it used to mean something (and still kind of does), but it's just a name now.
On the other hand, kana (such as hiragana and katakana) usually don't mean anything by themselves. They only represent sounds. They also behave as particles, which don't actually mean anything but they indicate the grammar of a sentence.
はじめまして is a form of 初めて "for the first time". This is a greeting you can only use when first meeting someone and it is the closest to "nice to meet you" and is usually said at the very start of your introduction.
よろしく is the adverb form of 宜しい the adjective "well, fine, good"
おねがいします is the polite form of the verb 願う "to wish, to hope, to request"
よろしくおねがいします more literally means "please treat me well" or "please be kind to me"
This is said at the end of your introduction as a way of saying "I hope our relationship from here on is well". Since there is no good English conversational equivalent of this phrase though it just gets translated to "nice to meet you" again. This phrase is not exclusive to introductions though and is common when asking for favors.
Yes, both surname and first names are usually kanji. But there are some cases when first names are written with hiragana, but I don't think that is common.
In anime, they often want to have cool names with cool kanji, so they want to explain to the viewer which kanji are used (since several kanji can have the same sound).