Translation:I eat between my father and mother.
Japan didn't have a writing system before the Chinese brought over their own, the character system called Hanzi. The Japanese had their spoken language and adopted the Chinese Hanzi that represented similar meaning(s) and concepts to their own languange. Kanji is the Japanese pronunciation of Hanzi characters. 間 pronunciation pretty much depends on where and what kanji it's used with.
時間 (Time/hour) = jikan
年間 year/during a period of one year - nenkan
人間 human being, man, person, character of a person -ningen
It's really no different than learning pronunciation of an English letter based on where it's placed next to other letters.. except English is bonkers and constantly inconsistent. bake, baked, take, took, boot, shake and shook (not taked and shaked.) Naked= nay-ked. small sample of the inconsistency. Any foreigner that is even slightly capable of understanding and talking with native speakers, even on basic things, deserves all the respect.
The Japanese didn't invent Kanji. They ADAPTED and used the Hanzi to represent meaning/words in their language. I repeat, they ADAPTED it. I will try to make an English equivalent of it. xD Oh jeez this will be bad.
A cord is a cord. A dog is a dog. Put the cord on a dog and go for a walk. What's the cord called now?.. A leash!
"Why not call it a dog cord? Why are you changing it to something else?"
Because "dog cord" is not the word or words used to describe what performs that function. Most people thought "leash" the moment it was put on the dog to walk. They knew without needing to have it spelled out.
Kanji is no different. You learn, you remember, you know the what they represent and the sounds that go with them. It just takes time and effort.
Because in this case, rather than travelling to some destination or just "being" in a specific location (in which cases you would use "ni"), you are doing something (eating) at a location, so the location serves as context for an action rather than the purpose of an action (so you use "de").
The problem is that kanji usually have multiple pronunciations, depending on the context. If it's a compound word consisting of several kanji, a so-called on'yomi (sound reading) is often used. If the word stands as one kanji on its own (possibly surrounded by kana) it's often kun'yomi (meaning reading). For example: You have the word China. It consists of 2 kanji, 中(middle, inside) and 国(country). Put them together and you'll get on'yomi readings: chuugoku, meaning 'china'. But if you want them on their own to get their seperate meanings, the readings change drastically: 中 on its own becomes 'naka' and 国 becomes 'kuni'. Often kanji have several on'yomi and kun'yomi readings. That's why it would be very tedious and not a lot of fun to many to remember all the readings before leaning the meanings. So it's actually not a bad idea to get used to a meaning of a kanji and get a feel of how it might be read depending on context before actually learning the readings.
Noun と noun の間 means in between the two nouns. However, I would be careful of your understanding of で with verbs.
Location で verb means do the verb at the location. For example: 外で食べる (To eat outside.)
However, noun で verb can also mean to perform the verb by means of the noun. For example, 手で食べる (To eat with ones hands.)
If you look at that, the kanji 間 means a gap or interval. Like in English, it's a concept you can apply to different kinds of things - time, space, relationships (in the sense of between, anyway)
So in this sentence, you have "father and mother's between" - the space between the two people, right? That's where you're eating. I'm not sure if it could imply "eating between Dad's mealtime and Mum's mealtime" if there's already some context (you're talking about when people eat), but with just this sentence alone it pretty much just reads "person A and person B, between them"
(remember の is the possessive particle for something belonging to or connected with another thing. So Xの間 means "the gap/interval etc of X" in a general sense)
I put "I am eating between my parents" and got rejected with the correction of "mum and dad" over "my parents". I thought I remembered putting in "my parents" before and it worked. Either way, would this be an accurate translation, or are you not allowed to make the jump from father and mother to parents?
の for Possession. In English we give direction possession and without possession.
"To my right. To your left." = possession.
" To the left of the building." "I sat between mom and dad= no possession.
In Japanese, the area around an object(s) is possessed by it/them. My left = 私の左
Above the desk? 机の上 (tsukue no ue)." to the left of the desk? 机の左 (tsukue no hidari). To the right of the desk? 机の右 (tsukue no migi). Below/under the desk? 机の下 (tsukue no shita). The 間 Kanji is "aida" in this case for "between, in between, a few other meanings/uses", the space between that belongs to the two things/objects.
父と母の間 = literal: dad and mom's space/in between. Their space in between them
で = particle to mark 父と母の間 as the location where the action takes place.
食べます = eat/will eat
You get used to it over time. I Only made this long in case others had thoughts on direction and such. Sorry.)
I found this sentence is odd in both Japanese and English. I sit between my father and mother. is more suitable. or I sit between my father and mother. (父と母の間「に」すわります）because even for my Japanese ears, 父と母の間で食べます。is very unusual. i.e. 'It is eaten between my father and mother.' (iそれは/それを 父と母の間で食べます。) But I guess important thing is about learning 'between' 間.
父 - father
と - and (addition particle)
母 - mother
父と母 (father and mother)
の - noun linking/possession particle
間 - interval/space/gap
父と母の間 - The space of father and mother (the space between them)
で - means particle (marks the location of an action, "at")
父と母の間で - (In the space between father and mother I -verb-)
食べ ます - Eat
父と母の間で食べます - I eat between my father and mother
It should be あいだ here. Unfortunately automated systems are still imperfect at considering a word in their entire context. Google translate is also just notoriously bad at it.
The older voices on Duo pronounce it correctly, but the new voices will still need some fixing (especially since the new TTS is from google and the old TTS is from amazon so its differences and incorrect pronunciations are less predictable than in the past updates)
間・あいだ・means a gap or interval with a definitive starting and end point and can be thought of as "between". "Between my mother and father" "Between 8:00 and 10:00"
間・ま・is used for a span where the start and end is more flexible and can be thought of as "space". This can be used when talking about the floorplan of a room, or about a period of time. "There is a 12 year gap between the events" (there is a space that exists that is 12 years long but the start and end of that space is not mentioned),
It is also common in compound words and set expressions. 間に合う ma ni au - to be in time for (meet in the interval), 昼間 hiruma - daytime (noon/day + span)
Knowing a language by the book/proper and everyday talk are both important. Everyday talk vs professional. Plus, people can't imply something they don't understand or know about. If you don't learn how the の particle and possession work and are used, you have no concept of where it should be if it were excluded.
(I'm a bit under the weather. If that came out more garbled than I think it did, I apologize.)
No - this doesn't work at all. What are your mother and father doing in this sentence? Whom are you eating between? The correct order is I eat between my mother and father. In this order we know whom you are eating between and mother and father are not seeming out of place and superfluous.
Japanese tends to drop words that are implied by context while English usually doesn't. The subject of a sentence is generally assumed to be "me" if not explicitly stated. Though I can imagine situations in English where "I am" might be dropped (posting a selfie on instagram captioned "eating between mum and dad") or situations in Japanese where the dropped subject is someone else (just been asked about a particular person etc.)
According to some other comments,
に is used to indicate either a location where something is/stays/stands or a destination, while
で is used to indicate where an action takes place.
When it is not referring to a place, で indicate the means by which something is done (for example, 手で食べる or "to eat with one's hands"). So, で is either "where something is done" or "by which means something is done".