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  5. "ぎんこう"


Translation:a bank

June 8, 2017



Random comment - I guessed this correctly the first time only because of the "Ginkgo" biloba leaf - a bright green which makes me think of money and therefore a bank. No idea why. Now it's how I recall it!


I also think of ginko biloba but I automatically equate to the bank. I didnt know it was a green leaf. Good to know that is what it is. Now that will reinforce the word for me


Yes, and their leaves turn a pretty yellow color in autumn. Fun fact: the gin in ginko and the gin in gingko are the same morpheme (銀)


Ginko biloba is supposedly for helping your memory. so i think of it as a memory bank.


And their leaves turn gold in the autumn, like little coins.


銀行 = ぎんこう


I just want to compare with Chinese, a word 'bank' in Chinese is 银行(simplified) 銀行(traditional) (yín háng)


What is the difference between simplified and traditional?


Orthography difference. Simplified characters generally have less strokes, but many characters are still the same.


I don't understand


I thought ぎ is pronounced with a hard 'g' sound, like how the start of 'get' is. But in the recording provided I can't hear that at all.


It's there, just really, really hard to hear.


It's hard to hear (get it)


Duolingo sometimes does that, it cuts off the very beginning of the audio. I've heard it a couple of times in French, but in Japanese course it's everywhere, I hope they'll fix it before PC/web release.


This is a great point to bring up! This is one instance where I think the romanization can be misleading...we romanize "ぎ" as "gi", but it's not exactly the same sound, it's more that this romanization was chosen because "g" is the closest match to the consonant, not that it's an exact match.

There is a broader range of sounds in Japanese that are perceived as "g" than in English. Some Japanese pronounce it closer to a hard "g" sound like in English (rarely as hard) but others pronounced it more like a "ng", a consonant that is not used to begin words in English, but is common as an initial consonant in Vietnamese and several other languages. The "ng" sound can sound very soft. There are also a range of subtle variations kind of intermediate between these two sounds. The way the sound is pronounced also depends on context, like the surrounding syllables, and the person's mood or speed of speech, so one person might pronounce syllables we romanize as "g" harder in some words or settings than others.

The way the computer voice pronounces this particular syllable, actually sounds pretty typical to me relative to how I have heard native speakers pronounce it.

In order to understand spoken Japanese, you will need to start perceiving all this range of sounds as corresponding to the sounds we romanize as "g". You will definintely hear numerous native speakers who pronounce it even more softly than in this recording, so this is something you need to address if you want to have good listening comprehension.

Speaking the other way, it's less of an issue because if you use a harder "g", Japanese people will usually understand you just fine...but being aware of this difference and softening this consonant can help you sound more natural or like you have less of a foreign accent.


Sorta like "ri". It doesn't really sound like an r is pronounced in English


If you have a Mac, go to System Preferences > Dictation & Speech > System Voice > Customize... > then choose a Japanese voice and just highlight the text you want to hear pronounced, right click it, go down to Speech > Start Speaking and voila, instant pronunciation guide. (Though from the looks of it, Japanese isn't all too hard to pronounce, but whatever.) You can obviously do this with whatever language you want if Apple has the TTS for it.


Some Japanese dialects pronounce g with a nasal sound, like the ng at the end of "sing". That's whats going on here.


銀行 in case anyone wants to at least be exposed to the Kanji.


Duo usually shows you the Kanji if you hover over or tap a word.


Currently not accepted as an answer for this audio question, yet is for translation questions in this lesson with the text. Boo.


It made me think of Gringotts.


Why do the U sound like an O?


Because here the う doubles the お sound in こ. In romaji this would be written koo or ko̅. Another common example is To̅kyo̅ とうきょう. い has the same function for え ending syllables.



Ginko kind of sounds like Gecko; which reminds me of the gecko who wants you save money on car insurance :)


Does gin mean gold? I seem to remember something like that from Gintama


Nah its silver, its like a joke they played in gintama, since historically his character is name kintoki instead of gintoki


His name is Gintoki. Kintoki was that evil copy. The joke was if that evil copy replaced him the show would be called kintama which is slang for...uh...testicles. Not sure if I can put that here but it's true. Gintama is soul I believe. Silver ball.


銀/银 means silver in Chinese (pronounced "yin"), not sure if it's the same in Japanese though.


In Japanese it's ”ぎん.” They are closely related, though.


Does anyone know if there is a relationship of this word to name of main character of the manga/anime Mushishi?


I doubt it. Ginko, or ギンコ, is a name of Mushi-shi’s protagonist. Ginkō, or 銀行 (ぎんこう) means bank. As you can probably tell, the word for bank has an accent bar which differentiates the pronunciation between the two.

Of course, Ginko’s name could be a reference towards bank, but I’d doubt it. I’m not caught up in the manga though, so maybe it could be valid.


I hear ぎんこう as income, thats how I remember it


How come the Kanji (銀行) is not accepted for a translation here?


This is in the Hiragana lessons.


So everything "G" is more or less modified "K" And they say japanese is hard? Really!?


The hirigana and katakana are easy-peasy. It's the kanji that you need to watch out for.


So, these two lines up in the right corner of き affect its sound, from "ki" to "gi"? And do these lines affect other letters' sounds as well?


Yes, that's correct. Those "two lines" are galled dakuten (though more commonly called tenten), and they "soften" the consonant element of a character by adding voicing to otherwise unvoiced consonants. They can be applied to the ‹K›, ‹S›, ‹T›, and ‹H› series of characters, but not to any of the others.

かきくけこ → がぎぐげご = ka ki ku ke ko → ga gi gu ge go

さしすせそ → ざじずぜぞ = sa shi su se so → za ji zu ze zo

たちつてと → だぢづでど = ta chi tsu te to → da ji zu de do

はひふへほ → ばびぶべぼ = ha hi fu he ho → ba bi bu be bo

There is also another diacritic that takes the form of a small circle in the top right. It's called handakuten (though more commonly called maru). Handakuten can only be applied onto the ‹H› series and makes them pronounced with a ‹P› sound instead of an ‹H› sound.

はひふへほ → ばびぶべぼ → ぱぴぷぺぽ = ha hi fu he ho → ba bi bu be bo → pa pi pu pe po


I have a question,う is a mute letter/hiragana, like "h" is sometimes at spanish?


O u ya Sa bar jug in de


How can you tell bank from banks?


You can't without context, as there is no plural form in Japanese.


たち is a plural marker. 私たち is we, etc.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard that たち is only ever used for people. And since a bank is an institution and not a person...


Is the ginko derived from silver in any way? Seems too intentional.


So can someone explain me why they use an extra "う" after "こ". Doesn't "ぎんこ" already mean GiNKo? Is it to lay an accent on the "O" sound? or is it Ginkoo in romanji?


Yes it actually is pronounced "ginkoo" or more accurately "ginkou" instead of just "ginko". As I said elsewhere in this discussion, it's a good idea to go to Google and search "Japanese long vowels" (and while you're at it, look up "Japanese double consonants" too) before you go any further. Unlike English, which is a syllable-stressed language, Japanese is rhythm-timed; it doesn't have stressed syllables (at least not in the same way as English) instead you tell similar sounding words apart by the verbalized length of their vowels and consonants.

[deactivated user]

    Which bank is this? A bank where money is put? Or the river bank??


    How can I say the bank and not a bank?


    Japanese doesn't use articles, so it would entirely depend on the context it is used. If you needed to clarify a specific bank you could use demonstratives like "this, that, that over there"


    What is the pronunciation


    Splicing the individual mora, either "gi-n-ko-o" or "gi-n-ko-u" can work, though "gi-n-ko-u" is more common.


    ginkou or ginko~ ?


    It's "Ginkou". Breaking it apart: Gi - N - Ko - U


    I clicked this cant listen button to see what would happen


    The "can't listen now" button will skip the listening question and turn all other listening exercises off for an hour.


    "ぎんこう" is pronounced "gi-n ko~u"


    Just because I didn't put "A" in the answer I got wrong even though I type the answer "blank"


    "bank" should be fine but "blank" is a different word

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