Translation:I can speak Japanese.
Particle cheatsheet worth printing out: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-particles-cheatsheet/
Someone tough me that は was basically "About...". Like, わたしはフランスじんです can be seen as "About me, I'm French." And for the が, it's like a little arrow coming from the verb to say "Hey ! this word is my grammatical subject!". は is the theme of the sentence, while が is the subject of the verb, and some verbs' subjects aren't the one doing them (e.g, "to like" in Japanese is similar to "gustar" in Spanish, the subject of the verb is the liked thing). Hope I helped a little ^^
が is subject marker and は is topic marker, and は supersedes が if the subject is also a topic. I don't think the course contributors equate these two in the whole Japanese course, but in fact in Japanese there are a lot of times we need to choose whether to use は or が.
I usually give out 2 links for the appropriate usage to は/が. First one for beginners, and second one for advanced.
I was wandering why it wasnt hanashimasu so i did a quick search~
hanaSHImasu = to speak, do speak hanaSEmasu = can speak, to be able to speak
There are 2 phrases that might cause confusion:
Nihongo o hanaSHImasu ka? Do you speak Japanese?
Nihongo ga hanaSEmasu ka? Can you speak Japanese?
Oh good god this is gonna be fun.... XD
There are a LOT of conjugations for verbs in Japanese. I find it weird how Duolingo just threw hanaSEmasu without much explanation. 話せます(hanaSEmasu) is the Potential form of 話します(hanaSHImasu) which is Present Indicative form. It takes a while to learn and is definitely confusing, but eventually you catch on.
Ga in particular is pronounced differently depending on the syllable that precedes it. Sometimes it sounds like ga nga or na. Since I don't really remember the rules, I'll let someone else explain them, you can pick them up through practice, or you can research them (a quick search by me didn't yield good results). It has more to do with the shape of the mouth or placement of the tongue naturally changing the sound slightly, so if you always try to say ga, you should be fine. Also there is a popular dialect that often pronounces it nga, apparently.
I think it's important for people to know ALL Japanese verbs forms to understand clearly each sentence.
All Japanese verbs has 2 basic forms (let's take "hanasu (speak)" as example):
-Formal (polite): Hanashimasu
When doing the potential form, we have here even two forms:
-Informal potential: Hanaseru
-Formal potential (polite): Hanasemasu
So it's normal to say "Nihongo ga hanasemasu" in a formal speech.
Anyway I leave here a link explaining the reason why we don't use the particle "o" while using the potential verb form but the particle "ga" or "wa" for those who didn't understand it yet: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/potential.html .
Verbs that take the particle を, can also take the particle が when in their potential form. When you use the particle が it puts more emphasis on the word before the particle. I.E 日本語が話せます＝ I can speak Japanese (as opposed to Korean). I believe that できる (the potential form of する) takes が almost all of the time
Desu is like the English copula to be. This a pen - kore wa pen desu. Use it whenever you want to say or ask what something is. Masu gets attached to a verb to say that you are doing. Shoukuji (w)o tabemasu - I am eating a/the meal. Shimasu is to do version and can be added to nouns that can be done. Tenisu (w)o shimasu. However desu is never attached to a verb or verbstem tabedesu would wrong.
Este caso concreto viene en la segunda parte https://www.espaiwabisabi.com/particulas-wa-y-ga-2/
日 (4 strokes)
day, sun, Japan, counter for days
••Reading•• ▪Kun: ひ(Hi)、 -び (-bi)、 - か(-ka)
▪On: ニチ (Nichi)、 ジツ(jitsu)
▪Japanese names: あ(a)、 あき(aki) 、 いる(iru)、 く(ku)、 くさ(kusa)、 こう(kou)、 す(su)、 たち(tachi)、 に(ni)、 にっ(ni-)、 へ (he)
••Words Starting with 日••
▪日記《にっき/Nikki》: Dairy; journal
▪日常《にちじょう/Nichijou》: Daily; ordinary; routine
••Words Ending with 日••
▪一昨日《おととい/Ototoi》:The day before yesterday
です is the (polite) copula and roughly translates to "to be". You'll see it in sentences equating something with something else. "A = B"
寿司が好きです・すしがすきです・sushi ga suki desu・Sushi = likeable・"I like sushi"
今日は木曜日です・きょうはもくようびです・kyou wa mokuyoubi desu・Today = Thursday・"Today is Thursday"
今は一時です・いまはいちじです・ima wa ichiji desu・(it now) = 1:00・"It is 1:00 now"
公園は静かです・こうえんはしずかです・kouen wa shizuka desu・Park = Quiet・"The park is quiet"
ます is the polite present/future conjugation verb ending.
食べます・たべます・tabemasu・(I, you, he, she, they) (will) "eat"・informal present/future dictionary form: 食べる taberu
飲みます・のみます・nomimasu・(will) "drink"・from 飲む nomu
します・shimasu・(will) do・する suru
話します・はなします・hanashimasu・(will) speak・話す hanasu
話せます・はなせます・hanasemasu・(will) can speak・話せる hanaseru
*Note that if the plain form doesn't end in iru/eru (such as taberu, becoming tabe + masu, and hanaseru becoming hanasemasu); the last kana changes to its い form before masu is added (nomu becomes nomi + masu, hanasu becomes hanashimasu)
I d'know...as i understand it, Kanji isn't meant to be phonetic, so even if it'll make the right sound, it won't have the same meaning.
It'd be like spelling 'fish' P-H-Y-S-H; it's the right sounds, but that's not a real word.
At least, that's how I understand it; I admit that I could be wrong.
When we click the が particle it says it's the "subject particle", but the subject is not 日本語. The subject of the sentece is infered from context ("I").
I believe calling が "the subject particle" might not be appropriate or accurate. Can anyone more advanced comment on this? Ty
There is a subject and a topic, in this case the topic is implied to be yourself as in 私【わたし】は and the subject is the language you can speak 日本語【にほんご】が. You are the topic and not the subject because what's important in the sentence is what is being done and not who does it, in this case "being able to speak Japanese" is the information that need to be transferred as "Japanese" being the subject.
You can also use 私は日本語が話せます and declare the topic (I) and the subject (Japanese) and is grammatically correct but a little awkward in Japanese.
No, because this sentence (including the omitted 私は) has two subjects.
There can be multiple subjects in a sentence. This is the so-called は～が structure in Japanese. It is used to describe traits owned by someone or something.
私は背が高いです I have a trait that my back is high. => I am tall. Both 私 (I) and 背(Back) are subjects (same as the English sentence).
私は英語が話せます。 私 is the larger subject and 英語 is the smaller subject. "I have a trait that English is being able to be spoken"
It is the conjugated potential form of 話す - hanasu - to speak (plain dictionary form)
話します - hanashimasu - to speak (polite -masu form)
話せる - hanaseru - to be able to speak (plain potential form)
話せます - hanasemasu - to be able to speak (polite -masu potential form)
Would a more literal translation be 'Japanese is spoken'? 日本 means 'Japan' and 語 means language, and combined it means Japanese. が is a subject marker, therefore 日本語 is the subject, not me/私. 話せます or はなせます means to speak. If the sentence was full (including 私) would the sentence be '私は日本語が話せます' (meaning 'As for me, Japanese is spoken')? I know in English it would be more appropriate to say 'I speak Japanese' but if you were trying to give someone a more direct translation, would I be considered correct? Thanks.
It is a literal translation as I have discussed above but it is too literal to be called as a good translation.(And I don't really think a translation can be classified as "correct" or "incorrect." It should be how good or bad it is, and in terms of scale, not clear cut.)
It is the subject marker putting emphasis on Japanese being the language you can speak.
Wa: "(On the topic of) Japanese - I can speak it" Ga: "Japanese (is the language) I can speak"
Since the verb is in potential form and intransitive (does not take a direct object) you would not use を here, though in some cases it is becoming more common to. It changes the nuance a bit- putting more emphasis on the active effort put into being able to do something as opposed to a natural ability to do something. I'm not sure Duo accepts this though as it's not standard.
I have this tips icon in my android app, although I have not received the Tree 2.0 yet.