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