"せなか"

Translation:Back

June 7, 2017

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

Senaka is back as a body part.

せなか 背中


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl_Gomes

Why did you put those letters after Senaka?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Penguinfernal

背中 is the Kanji for せなか.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl_Gomes

thank you, it's hard :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/logan812545

i highly suggest you start learning kanji immediately. its a lot to memorize, but it makes it so much easier in the long run


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clnoy

Replying to Kate.Owen

Lorcan walsh, 中 by itself can mean middle. It can be pronounced なか and ちゅう. For example China is 中国 (pro.ちゅうごく) which literaly means middle country which makes sense if you think about where Japan is situated.

It probably means middle country because of its etymology, not because of Japan's relative position to China. China in Chinese (汉子 hànzi) is also 中国,but it's read zhōngguó (in pīnyīn) instead. 中 zhōng means middle and 国 guó means country/kingdom.

Unrelated: Japan is 日本 rìběn in Chinese; 日 means sun, 本 means origin. Pretty much the same as in Japanese.

Etymology is cool, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alys.Winter

Lorcan walsh, 中 by itself can mean middle. It can be pronounced なか and ちゅう. For example China is 中国 (pro.ちゅうごく) which literaly means middle country which makes sense if you think about where Japan is situated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda.pagnozzi

No, 中国 is a loan word from China, they thought themselves to be in the middle of the world


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/namonano

What is kanji ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jake518538

you've prolly learnt the name Tanaka 田中, notice the kanji 中


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorcans13

What does 中 mean by itself?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abbyvibin

Okay so wait so senaka =せなか = 背中?

Whenever i type something on my Japanese keyboard is it showing other kanji for that word? Like when i type for example "やさい" it has "野菜" and "ヤサイ" Do those all mean vegetable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/altti.antila

Well yes. 野菜 is the correct way of writing it. やさい is just it writen in hiragana and ヤサイ is the same writen in katakana


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JubrilRidw

But what does kanji mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suraj_sama

What does that latter kanji refer to?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

背 is "height/stature" 中 is "middle/center"
The middle of your height is your back


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

@surajbelba1 (reply chain got too long so I can't reply directly to you)

Kanji can get pretty complicated and confusing at times
中 at least is pretty consistent with "middle/center" or "inside", two meanings that are also similar in nature with a kanji with an appearance easier to associate the meaning with.

Kanji can have many meanings (though fortunately they are often similar/related to each other). They also can have many pronunciations. You can figure out the pronunciation and the meaning based on the context it is used in.

For instance, 本. This one doesn't have very many pronunciations but it has a couple different meanings that don't feel related.
This kanji means "origin" (It looks like a tree with roots)
In the word for Japan 日本 you also have the kanji for "sun". Japan is "Ni-hon" (or Nippon) meaning "Sun origin"
本 "hon" by itself though actually means "book"
But combined with a number 二本 "ni-hon" it is a counter for long thin objects/cylinders.
ペンが二本あります - There are two pens - (pen) (subject) (Two long cylinders) (Exist)


One you will see very often with many meanings and readings is 生, This kanji relates to life, being alive, and birth (It is also one of the first few Duo introduces you to)
It can be pronounced "Nama" meaning "raw/uncooked", "Ki" for "Pure/undiluted"
or "Sei" meaning "life". This is used in words like 先生 sensei - teacher (before-life) and 学生 gakusei - student (learning-life)

But then when in a verb it can be
生きる - ikiru - to live
生ける - ikeru - to arrange (flowers), to plant
生まれる - umareru - to be born
生む - umu - to give birth
生る - naru - to bear fruit
生える - haeru - to grow
生じる - shoujiru - to produce

That's a lot of different sounds and meanings, but the context of the sentence and the hiragana attached to it let you know what the word is supposed to be


As for kanji with only one meaning and only one reading, there are very few of them. Most kanji have at least two readings (One native Japanese reading attached to it and one Sino-Japanese adopted reading). Some of them though don't have a native Japanese reading. These kanji with only one borrowed reading are mainly only used in compound words.
了 means "Finish/complete" and is always pronounced "Ryou"
But while this kanji has one meaning and one reading, it can be combined with other kanji to create new meanings
了解 ryoukai - consent/understanding - lit "complete-answer"
了承 ryoushou - acknowledgement - lit "complete-acquiesce"

(Also sorry for throwing a bunch of words at you, it looks like a big complicated wall but you don't need to learn every sound/meaning for a kanji all at once, just focus on the individual vocabulary words themselves as you're introduced to them and the similarities between them will just fall into place over time)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suraj_sama

Is it true that same kanji character can have more than one meanings? Are there specific kanjis refering to not more than one thing? I am confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeenanJSmi

So how do you say day?

I want to say gym lingo like "it's back day today".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukeLozier02

今日は背中の日です


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtemisFow2

Sorry, my Japanese is rusty, but I'm confused by your statement; I read 「今日は背中の日です。」 as "Today, the day's back." as in the physical, anatomical back of a day.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtemisFow2

Correction: "back's day". I'm sorry that unsure how to say gym terminology such as "Today's back day", but I doubt that that is how you say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukeLozier02

Probably 背中の日


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BIMBOyt

The kanji means "Sen-aka"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

背 se - height 中 naka - center/middle


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elisabeth3210

I would really love it if duolingo also showed the right stroke order for the characters :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheCinnabu

There is an app called kanji study that has some hiragana, katakana, and kanji on it and it has stroke order as well. You should check it out :3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeonMarkov

I always confuse せなか and さかな :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danarizer

さかな : fish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Boringjorn

せなかにさかなをもっています。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PALewis88

Learn the kanji for those words and it will be easier to distinguish them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Boringjorn

Won't help much when hearing them spoken.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnimeKitten100

Whenever I hear this word, I think of Seneca Crane from the Hunger Games. I just imagine him turning his back on Snow! That is how I always remember this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicola526448

I think of someone with a sore back saying 'send a car' because they can't walk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nodeliemt

Thank you haha ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trezapoioi1

Back as a body part? Or a position?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HoroTanuki

back as a position is うしろ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ndoroputri

Thanks. This was what I questioned myself. Because when duolingo said 'back', i immediately think of ushiro, rather than senaka.


[deactivated user]

    How about writing it in Kanji first with Hiragana in parentheses afterwards? I find it confusing if it's just Hiragana.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gita-ji

    At this point in the Japanese course, we have not yet come to Kanji, only learning Hiragana characters.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/10G.University13

    後ろ (うしろ) [behind]


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nnnaomik

    it would be easier for me to remember the characters if i knew if there was a pattern, but it's hard to tell. does anybody know of a way that explains this better? (what i mean is, in korean for example there are consonants and vowels and you can put them together, just like n + o makes no. in japanese it seems more random)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yukinaki

    I think there is no almost pattern at all. Yes, it seems more random. It's kinda like chinese(?), like.... just like that. I'm bad at explaining www


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Josu-Kun

    For curiosity, the top part of "せなか" (北) was a pictograph of two people back to each other, adding too the phonetic value (at least in Chinese), the bottom part (月) is a "meat" radical and means that is a body part. The second character (中) was a drawing of a flagpole with a drum on its middle part.

    Kanji isn't cool?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sungodtemple

    背 means back 中 means center (at least in chinese)

    I have no idea what you mean by the drum thing


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    He's talking about the etymology of the original pictogram; why the character looks the way it does and means what it means.
    The character 中 believes to have originated from a picture of a flagpole with a drum attached that would be placed at the center of a field to gather people and detect wind direction. "In addition, the pronunciation of 中 (OC tuŋ, tuŋs) is reminiscent of the beating of a drum."
    One of the images we have of this character from the Shang Dynasty supports this theory
    Over time it became simplified to what we see it as today.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BesstheKraken

    Is she saying "shenaka?" I might be confused, because I thought that first syllable was "se," not "she."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

    Excuse me.(´・_・`)

    I wrote "se na ka" as an explanation of hiragana "せなか". It does not indicate correct pronunciation of a person of English native speaker.

    I think 'せ' of 'せなか' is similar to 'Seneca'. I would like to hear your thoughts on "Seneca".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meanders-us

    As a native English speaker, "se na ka" is what I hear. I do understand how a person might hear "she", as there is a little slurring of the "s" into the "e" sound (sounds like a long 'a' in English).

    My personal struggle with this word is it sounds very close to Seneca, a producer of apple juice from my childhood. My first instinct is to translate the word to "juice", haha.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orchestefa

    A juice producer? Holy heavens, it's really funny thinking that the name of an important author of the past could be used like this XD poor Seneca XD


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OsoGegenHest

    I despair of this generation. The name of the great thinker Seneca reminds you of the Hunger Games or brands of supermarket products.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meanders-us

    Let me help you down from your high-horse.

    Word association is an old memorization technique. It's just as old a marketing technique for the same reason.

    I have strong association with the juice brand because my family was poor growing up and juice was an uncommon treat. Seneca juice 1) tasted great and 2) it came in a glass bottle that we could re-use for all sorts of things.

    So what if another user thinks of Hunger Games? I don't consider it especially great literature but that's my personal opinion; at least s/he read a book.

    We are not the superficial people in this conversation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

    @meanders-us

    I had to written thank you. I didn't know about your memory of Seneca juice. ( ; ; )


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    I know a good amount of Seneca's work but still had to look up who he was.

    For me I grew up in the Seneca region of NY named after the Seneca tribe of Iroquois, and where the apple juice brand's name is from.

    But yeah you have fun insulting people for recognizing names they've grown up with associated with something other than your personal favorite. Let people find mnemonics that work for them.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin539971

    I believe it's "senaka" because せ Is pronounced "Se" not "she"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TadhgODalaigh

    Seneca's letters on living can be seen as a kind of pat on the BACK to his friend.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlimboarDeluxe

    I remember this because it sounds like "cynical" and old people are always cynical when talking about their back (pain)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rinda569023

    背中 แปลว่า​ หลัง​(ร่างกาย)​ back แปลว่า​ กลับ


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ava28345

    It makes me think of the country Senegal which is on the back of West Africa!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim392399

    When someone is taking behind your face... "Se" that to my face lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EriLyGar

    Sat behind a senica in school, always saw her back


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shiv79568

    I could say think of it like a soldier.. in hindi translation, senaka means soldier, and a soldier will always have your back!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacDeAltom

    For those who speak italian: senaka is really similar to "schiena" which is the Italian word for "back" aswell


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orchestefa

    Mitico, ed io che riuscivo a pensare solo al grande Seneca XD Grazie mille


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sasha_beth

    せなか (send a car) i broke my back and need help


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikartix

    I'll be seen, aka I'll be back


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphagachg

    Im still getting confused about how many words there are to remember and I'm starting to think this app is for writing and not learning how to say it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    These hiragana sections are for teaching the syllables found in the language. These are all the sounds that you will use when speaking. If you know what sound the syllables make, aside from the occasional pitch accent, you'll know exactly how a word is pronounced.
    The sounds very rarely ever stray from their standard pronunciation, unlike in English where one letter can have a whole array of sounds depending on context. (There are roughly 100 syllables in Japanese compared to English which has about 15,831 unique sounds).
    It introduces you to some simple vocab words that use the specific kana in each lesson to help you practice using those syllables.
    As for how many words; the goal is to teach you an entire language after all.

    This app is mostly reading/writing and some listening as it is a quiz-based program. If you want to focus purely on speaking it would be better to find someone in person or in a program online you can chat with who can hear you and correct you as needed.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-ebi-

    it sounds like Seneca. I think of Seneca Crane, from the Hunger Games.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirados8

    How do you say せなか as a position


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iravii

    It's this one うしろ (ushiro)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RujiHaj-ei

    "Ven Pa Ca" is usually what my grandma says when i turn my back to her because i assumed she was finished yelling.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Munkhbayar136171

    Isn't backside the same thing? I mean the kanji consists of back and inside


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    'backside' is more like the entire backside of someone/something from head to toe. The opposite of their front. This 'back' is for the part of the body on the torso, between the neck and the butt. The opposite of chest. The kanji can also be interpreted as "height/stature" and "center/middle", with the middle of a person's height being their torso/back


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poppy222447

    I remember this from a website we use in school called "seneca" and black is assosiated with death, and it makes me want to die

    Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.