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"午前れい時"

Translation:Twelve A.M

June 8, 2017

148 Comments


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

In Japanese convention, does this mean noon or midnight? 0 a.m. (which would be midnight to me) was flagged as incorrect


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

I don't know if any English speaking countries actually say "0 a.m." though?

In writing it's "00:00" in 24hr clock system, but "12:00 am" in 12hr clock system.

In speech it's "twelve A.M." (though usually just "twelve o'clock" or "midnight").

In military speech it's "zero zero zero zero" or maybe "zero hundred hours".


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

True, I can’t confirm with absolute certainty if people say “0 am” in English (in German we do say “0 Uhr”). Maybe a native speaker could comment on that?


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

I'm from the US. We do not say 0:00 AM. We either say 12AM or midnight. Like mentioned, military time you might say 0 hundred hours. But in daily life, no one says 0 AM .


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

Agreed. I was taught, possibly incorrectly, that since 12 and 12 are the meridians that you shouldn't actually say 12 a.m. or 12 p.m. you should say 12 noon or 12 midnight.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Margaret641889

I think that is the best strategy, because it is not ambiguous. In everyday speech we would probably just say noon or midnight, so much so that I have run into native speakers who have to think twice about what 12am means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/america.aph

if you know the time of day we usually don't say pm and am. at least where i live.


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

@TomRDA can't reply to you but I hope you get this comment.

As a native speaker of English I can tell you that saying "12:30" is often recognized as "in the afternoon". To indicate it being after midnight, most people would say "half past midnight". Half being a half-hour.

English sure is strange.


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

Except what about 12:30? Would you say 12:30 in the afternoon or just 12:30 P.M.


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

I'm speaking as a native Englishman who's lived in England his whole life. ^^

When I said "any English speaking countries", I meant English countries other than mine might have a different system where they say it that way—such as in Asia or Africa—but I have no idea if any do.


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

Ah I’m sorry I misunderstood you then :D Then we’ll have to wait for people from those regions to comment.

But if we leave speaking aside for a moment, would you use “0 am” in writing?


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

Brit here, never heard anyone say 0am unless theyre trying to be funny :')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krypt1x

In the usa we use the 12 hr clock, but in the military we use the 24 hr clock. In the military we say 0 hundred to express 00:00. And we write it out as 0000.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxwell.lt

As to the point about whether 0 PM could be noon, at least in the systems I've seen, a 24 hour system is 0 based, but there is no zero based 12 hour clock. While a 24 hour clock goes from 00:00 to 23:59, a 12 hour clock goes from 1:00 to 12:59, never hitting zero.


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

We use both systems, so 3pm can be either “15 Uhr” or “3 Uhr”. In the latter case we would often add a clarifying remark like “3 Uhr nachmittags” as opposed to “3 Uhr nachts”. But you’re right, we wouldn’t add something like that when using the 24-hour system either.


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

If you were to say "0 am" for midnight... would you then also say "0 pm" for noon (midday)?

There would be no need to mention "A.M." or "P.M." for zero if you only use it on one of them.

Here in England, no one would ever consider writing "0 am" for midnight.

  • 12 hour system: "12 am" or "12:00 am"
  • 24 hour system: "00:00"

A.M. means "before noon" (Ante Meridiem)
P.M. means "after noon" (Post Meridiem)

I'm assuming German doesn't use the 12 hour clock system at all? "Uhr" just means "hour", right?

11:00 = "11 Uhr" = 11 o'clock (A.M.)
12:00 = "12 Uhr" = 12 o'clock (noon, P.M.)
23:00 = "23 Uhr" = 11 o'clock (P.M.)
00:00 = "0 Uhr" = 12 o'clock (midnight, A.M.)


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

My old maths teacher would shout at anyone who said: 12 a.m. , 12 p.m. , 0 a.m., or 0 p.m. He said those things were meaningless. Time went from 11:59 a.m. to noon to 12:01 p.m. Similarly, time went from 11:59 p.m. to midnight to 12:01 a.m. But maybe time was different back in the 1960s...
EDIT .... But then I googled it. it seems that The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says that by convention, 12a.m. means midnight. On the other hand, the national physics laboratory (UK) says: There are no standards established for the meaning of 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. and as this is an American site, I shall go with the American version.


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

If you were using 12-hour system in German, would midday be "0 Uhr" or "12 Uhr"?

Or would both midnight and midday be "12 Uhr" (same as we say "12 o'clock" for both)?


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

Noon is definitely “12 Uhr”; midnight can be either. I guess it’s possible to view the “0 Uhr” to the 24h system, but since 0 is a valid number in both that can only be proven from circumstancial evidence. In any case, as the Japanese example shows, conceptualisations can vary across languages, that’s why I asked in the first place ;)


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

In Poland we use 12/24 hour system similar to German. In a correct, formal speach it would be "godzina 23.45", but in generaleverybody would say just "11.45" or sometimes "(godzina) 11.45 w nocy" meaning "11.45 (hour) at night". It is simply quicker to say "jedenasta" that "dwudziesta trzecia" andeverybody knows that we go to school a.m. and eat dinner p.m.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris753291

Just to clarify an earlier comment, 12-hour clocks actually match 24-hour clocks and go from 12:00 to 11:59, not 1:00 to 12:59. The morning hour starts at 12a.m./00:00.


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

No in America we don't say 0 am


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

In English (U.S) 12:00am and midnight are the same. 0:00 is used in military time, not in daily dialogue.


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

But in German we use 24 hour clocks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimmyJones139368

I don't know about 0 am, but we DO use "zero hundred hours" - in the military if at all. I tried that - and it was flagged as incorrect.


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

This can be disturbing because the presence of れい, but if we read this literally, it really makes sense: Zero (れい) hour (時) before (前) noon (午)

This is clearly 12 a.m., and not 0 a.m.


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

Well, literally "zero hours before noon" -would be- noon, so no, it doesn't make sense from a literal interpretation at all.

Think about it, 12-noon minus 0 hours is 12-noon :)

I just wrote midnight and it was marked correct; no ambiguity.

At least we haven't gotten into the whole discussion of what "half-8" means yet!! (Hint: It's 8:30, in the UK. In Germany it would be 7:30. Argh!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric31539

Good point. Because, literally, "Four hours before noon" could mean eight o'clock. So a more precise punctuation (never used) might have been "4, a.m." (Hour four, before noon).

However, when we say "a.m." we think "in the morning" and, writing "p.m.," we think "in the afternoon / at night." AM and PM are never literally translated.

I've noticed that well spoken Americans are careful to use "noon" and "midnight," thus keeping things precise and elegantly simple.

Brits tend to be more slapdash. We all understand noon and midnight perfectly (though, to the sassenach English, "noon" sounds a tad more archaic than "midday") - but, at any rate down south, we are more likely to just say "twelve" or "twelve o'clock"; and then get into knots if we have to clarify.

Revellers and late risers sometimes confuse "twelve in the morning." But, for reasons given by others above, our national consensus is that "12 in the morning" should mean midnight, whilst "twelve in the afternoon" means midday.

We do not use zero with am/pm; and, if confused, we quickly drop into the 24hr clock which we all know from train timetables, etc., where "24:25" might be almost acceptable to explain last cabs home from, say, a concert or wedding - but "00:25" more commonly used and more mathematically accurate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/69wQcO

Wow you started the longest duolingo thread ive ever seen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lovely.lyndsey

In the american military its just 0000. We dont say zero hundred hours, its redundant. We also say "balls" ex . "my next watch is balls to 0400"


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

It's not possible to speak "0000", because that isn't a word. You mean "zero zero zero zero" right? If so, I'd have thought repeating the same number three times would be seen as more redundant than saying "zero hundred hours", and on top of that it takes more time to say as it's longer by two syllables. :P


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

Maybe they say "aught aught aught aught" or just "auuuught".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyuzo6

12 am and 12 pm make no sense in English. consider that both 12 hours before noon and 12 hours after noon both refer to the same time - midnight! You could say 12 noon or 12 midnight, but usually leave out the 12 altogether. As for what this means in Japanese, I still have no idea.


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

This is inaccurate. We absolutely say am and pm very frequently.

12 am means 00:00 aka midnight. AM means before noon and since the new day is seen to begin at 00:00 exactly, it before noon of that day. We very often say "12 o'clock", "12am" or "midnight" to refer to this time.

12 pm means 12:00 aka noon. PM means from noon & after, or "the second half of the day". Therefore pm is used from noon until 11:59pm (the last minute of the day). "12o'clock", "12pm", and "noon" are all common ways to say 12:00. Although, the pm is often skipped casually if you obviously mean during the day instead of the middle of the night.

Source: English is my native language. Sorry for the wall


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamiemeow99

My primary language is also English and me and my pedantic friends would disagree.

pm is post meridiem so after midday. Not including but after.

Just as am is ante or before midday.

00:00 exactly falls on a line that is both post of the day that had just ended and ante for the day that is just about to start.

It was very confusing to see this appear as I have never... never... heard anyone use this in my entire life as a descriptor of midday and midnight. Because it is ambiguous.

And just because it seems to make it valid....

Source: Native British English speaker since I started speaking close to 40 years ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxwell.lt

Your pedantic friends would probably take issue to you writing "me and my pedantic friends" as opposed to "my pedantic friends and I".

At least, that's how American English works.


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

Not using AM and PM as identifiers on 12 seems to be a British thing. As an American, its not entirely uncommon to hear noon be called 12 PM. As for the logic behind it, by the time you notice the clock has changed to 12 (noon or midnight) some, however small, amount of time would have passed, making it either part of the new day and being AM, or part of the afternoon and being PM


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kmn8nKMj

I use pm for noon and am for midnight. Native speaker of American English.


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

Not to invalidate your experience at all - because there are as many different versions of English as there are people - but to me and my own pedantic friends it does not seem ambiguous. If you could look at the position of the sun and innately tell that it would be exactly midday for about another minute, I might see the beginning of some ambiguity, but there's no such phenomenon. As you point out, meridiem is a line: it has no duration. 12:00:00 is as much PM as 12:00:01 is, and likewise 00:00:00 is AM.

It's possible digital clocks are to blame for this difference in dialect. They've definitely been around more than 40 years, but I don't know when they first started displaying the time in the almost-conversational mode of 12:00pm, rather than, say, a separate LED indicating am or pm.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kie.ran

So infuriating to see the mass downvotes from American English speakers


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

I don't see why the downvoters would necessarily be American English speakers.

I'm an Englishman, and not much younger than jameschatt2, but I disagreed with him.

In my exerience I have heard people here in England say "twelve A.M." and "twelve P.M." on occasion, and I've also seen "12 am" and "12 pm" written down without any sign of concern that anyone is going to misunderstand these times.

It's used the same as how digital clocks set to 12-hour mode will display "12:00 AM" at midnight and "12:00 PM" at midday.

I do think it's much rarer that anyone uses these times rather than just saying "twelve", "twelve o'clock", "midnight", "midday", "noon". The 24-hour clock is used most of the time in writing; and, even when 12-hour clock is used, often the "am" and "pm" aren't written, no matter what the time, if obvious from context.

I think it just isn't all that often a situation ever arises where one would consider saying or writing "12 am" or "12 pm". It's not that these don't ever get used though.

I wasn't one of the people who downvoted jameschatt2's comment, but I don't see why it would only be American English speakers who did when there are native British English speakers like myself with this experience. ^^


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

What is the point of れい here?


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

It means zero.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davis887489

It's a kanji ”零“,which means zero. I think they don't show it here because it's too comprehensive at this stage.


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

Why is it that 'twelve o'clock a.m.' would not be accepted? Or should it be?


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

To me "twelve o'clock a.m." sounds very unusual.

However, "twelve o'clock at night" sounds normal (although "midnight" would be more expected instead of saying it that long way).


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

Saying 12 at night often implies emphasis on the fact that it was at night, as if that is an usual aspect of what you are describing.

For example if you were complaining about your neighbor being loud at 12oclock at night it implies feelings like "why does he need to be doing that so late!? I want to sleep! Grrr!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nazish647727

That's not an accepted way of saying it in English. It's usually either "twelve o' clock" (with maybe further specification as to day or night), or "twelve a.m." Not both.


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

Can someone tell me how the "zero" its read in Japanese? Thanks in advance


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

Either zero in katakana or rei in hiragana.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Note that the Japanese pronunciation of zero is different from the English "zero". In Japanese, it sounds more like "zeh-ro"


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

Which one do they usually use in conversation? Is it katakana "zero" or hiragana "rei"?


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

I think "rei" is slightly less usual in conversation.

Using "rei" tends to make words which have homonyms, similar sound but different meaning. For example, 0回, I can say it as "zero kai" or "rei kai". And there are some homonyms of "rei kai" like 例会(regular meeting), 霊界(spiritual world).

And also, using "rei" tends to make unclear sound. 0円, If I say it "rei en", it sounds like "rēn". It's hard to listen to the word as 0円. So, I (and almost of all Japanese, I think) say it "zero en".


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

I've never heard anyone use this phrase (and I lived in Japan for 5 years) - usually they say 午前十二時 or 深夜(しんや - midnight)


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

really? I often use this. and there are songs, novels using this phrase. e.g., https://youtu.be/EuzL-RpBmmA?t=45.


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

Songs especially tend to use phraseology that are not common in everyday speech. Novels may use similar terms to bring emphasis to a subject. However, in daily conversation, I have never seen 零時・れいじ either written or spoken (and even my computer was very confused with my typing it just there!) It could also be dialect though - I lived in Northern Japan and Tokyo, so maybe in Western Japan it's used more?


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

It's interesting. I hadn't thought it was dialect for over thirty years. So, I googled a bit. Let me share them.

http://jjy.nict.go.jp/QandA/FAQ/12am-or-0pm-J.html

This page is a document written in 1989 by JST(Japan Standerd Time) group belongs to NICT(National Institute of Information and Communications Technology). This page says that they (JST group) needed to decide a consistent answer of the time notation of noon(12pm), and what they decided.

Yes, This is slitly different from we are talking about (we're talking about 12am not 12pm). But in this page, there are some things about this topic.

This page has three section. 1.Legal basis, 2.Notations in our society, 3.Way of thinking.

In the first section, they say that there is a law which defines 午前 and 午後 announced in 1872 (seems to be not changed so far) and it defines 午前 is from 0時 to 12時, 午後 is from 1時 to 12時(That's ridiculous!). So, according to this law, if we mean midnight, we should write 午前0時 or 午後12時 (not 午前12時).

In the second section, they say that notations are different in domains or industries.

A funny story is, one day, a primary school student asked their teacher about the correct notations. The teacher couldn't answer, so the teacher escalated this but nobody could. Finally, this question reached to Education Ministry and they asked this to JST group. And they announced "Since this problem is deeply related with our customs, it is too early to decide a consistent notations soon." This story is in 1970's.

So what I mean is, we have definitions but nobody care. We use different ways in different places.

I want to add a bit. These are samples they use 午前0時 if they need.

http://www.koho.or.jp/useful/qa/hyouki/hyouki07.html

This page is written by Japan Public Relations Association. This association supports organisation's activities of publication. You can see an example list on the bottom of the page.

http://www.mlit.go.jp/report/press/road01_hh_001077.html

This page is written by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Government documents look like to be written following the way. This page is written Sep 19th this year.

https://www.nhk.or.jp/bunken/summary/kotoba/gimon/050.html

This page is written by NHK (Japan's largest broadcasting organization). They seem to use 正午 to mean noon, and 午前0時 to mean midnight and sometimes use 夜の0時 or 夜の12時. They never use 午後0時 and 午後12時.

And these are recent news articles.

https://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S13567464.html https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO35071070W8A900C1EE9000/ https://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/article/227754


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Freyr456924

Really interesting, thank you!


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

In English, (I am a native speaker with a degree in English) it is traditionally incorrect to say either "am" or "pm" for either 12 o'clock, because the "m" stands for "meridiem", meaning "midday". So "am" means "before midday" and pm means "after midday". Midday IS "m". Usage is changing, but because different native speakers are adopting different strategies, if you say anything other than "12 noon" or "midnight", it is ambiguous. I think this has now evolved to the point where we can no longer just say "that's wrong!!" (as I realise I am doing!) but still, I will never refer to the middle of the night as "am" implying morning, nor will I say that midday is after itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yasmine564562

So i wrote it's 12 am and it said i was wrong :/ .. idk why .. maybe because i wrote 'it's' or 12 xD


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

It's because you wrote "it's".

午前れい時 doesn't contain "is" or any verbs at all. It's not a sentence.

  • 午前 = a.m.
  • れい = 0 (zero)
  • 時 = hour

This might help make it clearer:

  • 午前れい時 = 12 am
  • 金曜日 = Friday
  • いぬ = dog
  • 車 = car

↓ ...made into a sentences... ↓

  • 午前れい時です。 = It's 12 am. / It is 12 am.
  • 金曜日です。 = It's Friday. / It is Friday.
  • いぬです。 = It's a dog. / It is a dog.
  • です。 = It's a car. / It is a car.

です = "is". (です is essentially the Japanese equivalent of the "be" linking verb / copula).

Those four Japanese sentences don't say the subject, since subjects aren't necessary in Japanese when easily understandable. English needs a subject to sound normal though, which is why the word "it" has to be added to fill in for the subject in the English translation. Hope this makes sense. ^^


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

Here's something for people still not sure about AM and PM to try — change your computer/phone from displaying time in 24hr format to 12hr.

On Windows 10:

  1. Right-click the date on the taskbar.
  2. Click "Adjust date/time".
  3. Scroll down to "formats" and click "Change date and time formats".
  4. Change "Short time" setting from HH:mm to hh:mm tt.

Then either stay up late until midnight, or turn off the "Set time automatically" setting and manually change the time to 23:59, then watch what happens as it ticks over from "11:59 PM" to "12:00 AM". ^^


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

例:本日のツールドフランスの放送時間は22:30から25:30までです。 Example: Today's broadcast time of Tour de France is from 22:30 to 25:30. *In this cace 25:30 is 1:30 A.M the next day.:D Only in Japan?


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

Why is "it is 12 am" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielWaec1

Because there is no です, it is just "12 a.m."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S1442
  • 1034

Is this right"Gozen de ichi"? or am I missing something


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

It should be gozen rei ji, but I can see where you might have misheard. The れ is pronounced re, but Japanese "r"s are notorious for sounding like a mix of English "r", "l", and "d".

Also, it's not a hard and fast rule, but I find it helpful to separate the romaji into vocabulary words, i.e. 午前 = gozen, れい = rei, and 時 = "ji". I mean, strictly speaking, れい時 should probably be considered one "word" but for clarity, I've separated them here.


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

I have never heard anyone in Japan say this, or read this anywhere and lived there for several years.


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

What was it that you heard people say instead of this?

Also, check out the radio station I sometimes listen to, ラヂオきしわだ, when the time is just coming up to midnight JST.

http://www.radiokishiwada.jp


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tara496363

Would it not be more correct to teach us "midnight" rather than "12 a.m."? Twelve a.m. is not really used in any English-speaking countries.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IN5diKQw

English and American usually use A.M./P.M. time system. And they aren’t zero A.M./P.M. But Japanese time system is zero A.M./P.M. Because it is series to time.

24 hours time system, A.M./P.M.(English and American) and A.M./P.M.(Japanese)

00:00(24hours) is 12 :00 A.M.(English and American) midnight. 00:00(24hours) is 00:00 A.M.(Japanese)

00:00(24hours) is 12:00 P.M.(Japanese) custom.

00:01(24hours) is 12:01 A.M.(English and American)

00:01(24hours) is 00:01 A.M.(Japanese)

00:01(24hours) is 12:01 P.M.(Japanese) custom.

01:00(24hours) is 01:00 A.M.(English and American)

01:00(24hours) is 01:00 A.M.(Japanese)

11:59(24hours) is 11:59 A.M.(English and American)

11:59(24hours) is 11:59 A.M.(Japanese)

12:00(24hours) is 12:00 P.M.(English and American) noon.

12:00(24hours) is 00:00 P.M.(Japanese)

12:00(24hours) is 12:00 A.M.(Japanese) custom.

13:00(24hours) is 01:00 P.M.(English and American)

13:00(24hours) is 01:00 P.M.(Japanese)

23:59(24hours) is 11:59 P.M.(English and American)

23:59(24hours) is 11:59 P.M.(Japanese)

So Japanese time system, 00:00 A.M. is 12:00 P.M. , 00:00 P.M. is 12:00 A.M.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

There is NO SUCH THING, in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, America, Canada, Japan, Papua New Guinea or the Central African Republic, as either "12 A.M." or "12 P.M." People who say or write "12 A.M." or "12 P.M." are simply making mistakes - that's all there is to it. A.M. stands for Ante Meridiem - Before Midday - and P.M. stands for Post Meridiem - After Midday. Obviously midday itself is neither before nor after midday, and midnight is to an equal extent before one midday and after another. It's not quite accurate to say that the expressions "12 A.M." and "12 P.M." are meaningless, because when people mistakenly say them we know perfectly well what they "mean", but they're WRONG nonetheless, and should not be used in a language course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Just playing devil's advocate here, but:

when people mistakenly say them we know perfectly well what they mean

Isn't the whole point of language to make people understand what you mean? In that sense, it's not "wrong" at all; it achieves its purpose "perfectly well".

Obviously, this gets into the prescriptivism vs descriptivism argument, which I don't really have a strong stance on (not being a proper linguist). Just thought I'd throw the idea out there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric31539

I was taught in the early seventies (at the age of six) by VERY pedantic teachers that 12am was quite correct for midnight, as everything which follows is morning, and that 12pm was equally acceptable for midday, as everything which follows was afternoon. Not only did my English teacher think this, so did the Radio Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and, as I remember, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I could extend the list, but you get my point. DerrickMcClure has got a bee about what is "WRONG" in his bonnet. But I believe the bonnet is mostly Derrick's.

Certainly, Midday or Noon would seem more elegant — but there are circumstances (such as TV listings) when the replacement of the digits and abbreviations found throughout with the written word, "noon," would seem out of place.

Literally, there can be no such phenomenon as exactly twelve o'clock, anyway, since time doesn't stand still - and even an instant of time involves the passage of it.

But, more to the point, what was widely understood, widely used, and conventionally correct for all of the pedants and editors in the British Isles for at least a century and a half before Derrick was born is surely not "WRONG."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

Sorry, folks, but I don't buy into the notion that the correctness or incorrectness of an expression (or of anything else) is affected by its frequency of usage. "Midday before midday" is nonsense, and therefore patently incorrect, no matter how many people say "12 A.M." And recall that what we're discussing here is a language course, and that language courses are NECESSARILY prescriptive. Native speakers of French don't always say "Je ne sais pas", they say "Chais pas"; and learners can get off with saying that once they're advanced enough to converse fluently. But "Chais pas" is not included in introductory French courses. Incidentally, how does Eric31359 know when I was born?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

And recall what we're discussing here is a JAPANESE language course, aimed at native English speakers. *cough*


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

It's aimed at speakers who know enough English to follow a course, but not necessarily at NATIVE English speakers: it's pretty obvious from the comments that a lot of the people taking the course are not native English speakers. I'm also using Duolingo for Polish and Swedish: I could follow a course in either of those languages if it were given in French or Italian, and if I did, I would expect not only to further my Polish and Swedish but maybe incidentally to improve my French or Italian - and I certainly would not expect to find BAD French or Italian used in the course. Hope your cough gets better soon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric31539

Noon originally meant the ninth hour after sunrise — which varied considerably from winter to summer, but averaged at around 3 P.M. Midday has always had a haziness to it, as far as I'm concerned: "I'll be there around midday" implying lunchtime. Indeed, during British summertime, the sun is at its zenith at 1 P.M.

I don't think anyone was proposing "midday before midday"; 12 A.M. rather implies "midNIGHT before midday," which is as logical to me as "one o'clock before midday" (1 A.M. — or, as most would say, "one o'clock in the morning").

This language course ought to be teaching what is most commonly used in speech and writing — regardless of your concept of logic, Derrick. And, in the UK and the US, wherever the 12 hour clock is used, a majority have long agreed that 12 P.M. represents midday and the immediate thereafter.

There was an American who proposed dropping the "P" for midday, and just writing "12 M." I expect you would have approved. But it didn't catch on.

The British decided, where precision was required, to use the 24 hour clock and drop the antiquated Latin tags. However, as I point out, radio and TV listings, and many other programmes for events, all tend still to use the 12 hour clock — and, by convention, write 12 P.M. to represent the start of the thirteenth hour after midnight (the first hour after midday, and the first of twelve before the following midnight).

I see no reason to try to change this — especially when teaching English as a foreign language.

I suppose you could make a case for 2.5 being rounded down to 2 instead of up to 3 (or, perhaps, for simply not being rounded) — but mathematical convention says, if you're going to drop the decimal, then 2.5 gets rounded up. I expect you could make an even stronger case for counting in base 12. But convention has come to dictate that we count in tens.

And sorry to presume your date of birth, Derrick. I was born in '66 — one hundred and fifty three years after Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. I suppose it's reasonable to assume you were born after 1905 — and English was already standardising from the publication of the first dictionary in 1755 (indeed, ever since the popularisation of the printing press).

To be fair, though, time was not standardised here until the middle of the nineteenth century (starting with "railway time" in 1847 — and moving swiftly to Greenwich Mean Time). So one hundred and fifty years may have seemed insulting. I did not mean to imply you were Generation Z.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yung-ramon

bro you got roasted, delete internet


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

That's why everybody should just use 24-hour time format and there would be no misunderstandings or inconsistencies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tara496363

Totally agree! Well put argument. Translation to English should be Midday or Midnight.


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

i thought the word twelve is 十二 / Ju Ni ... why is it rei ????


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

れい(零) is zero in Japanese so the litteral translation would be 0 am


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

Is the "rei" pronounced as "rē"? Because it seems to me according to the audio.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxwell.lt

"ei" can be pronounced as "ee" in some cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenryPeter98

when you add an い to an え sound it just makes the え sound longer. so basically "ei" is "ē" it's also the same deal with with adding an う to an お sound


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

But why would you need 時?


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

It basically means “o’clock” here. But in Japanese – unlike English – you can’t leave it out.


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

I realised something, when the kanjis are pronounced individually from each other they sound different but they sound different when they are in one sentence. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxwell.lt

Most kanji have multiple readings, each used in different contexts.

A very (very) simplified explanation is that some of the readings are from Chinese (on'yomi) and are used in compound words, and some readings are from Japanese (kun'yomi) and are used when the kanji is alone or combined with hiragana (the hirigana used in that way are called okurigana).

There are exceptions to that rule everywhere, plus many kanji have a multitude of each of those two types of reading, but it can be helpful to keep in mind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ingrid469895

I answered 12 noon. Does anyone have an explanation as to why that was marked as not correct.


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

12 noon would be 12pm 12 midnight or 12 in the morning is 12am


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndiFarida1

Er, i am not live in English country, so can someone explain to me why 00.00 means 12 am? If am is first half of the day and 01.00 is 1 am, then doesn't it means that 12 am should be noon? Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testmoogle
  • A.M. is the first half of the day.
  • The first half of the day starts at 00:00.
  • 00:00 is pronounced "twelve o'clock" when speaking in 12-hour time.
  • In 12-hour time we talk about which number "of the clock" ("o'clock") the hour hand is pointing towards.

"12 o'clock" at the beginning of the day = "12 am" = 00:00


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

it is midnight, why do not acept?


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

If you mean you wrote "it is midnight" (rather than simply "midnight" on its own), then Duo is right not to accept that.

The Japanese text just states a time. It's not a sentence. ^^


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

Just so you guys aren't confused, numbers change depensing on their application. Numbers are different from abstract counting, counting money, telling time (correct me if I'm wrong)

So that's why it is rei and not "十ニ"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeNesbitt1462

The drop down explanation is confusing, it seems logical to this British English speaker that 12am is one hour later than 11am and is therefore midday.


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

By that logic, wouldn't you also have to say 12:30 am is one and a half hours later than 11 am? ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IN5diKQw

Time display are based on 「時刻制度(in1872)」as Japanese time system. a.m. is zero to twelve. p.m, is one to twelve. Both there are twelve.

a.m. twelve is noon twelve. Midnight twelve is zero a.m. or twelve p.m

And this Japanese time system do not exist zero p.m

This is Japanese local rule.


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

If the time is ten minutes past noon, what is the most normal way to say this time in 12-hour clock?

午前12時10分 ?

Is there no common way to express ten minutes past noon with 午後 (P.M.)? Have to use the 午前 (A.M.) expression even though noon was ten minutes ago?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IN5diKQw

Thunk you for your report

About a.m.(午前) and p.m.(午後)

If It divide one day in half and noon is basis. Then “a.m.” is before the noon. And “p.m.” is after the noon.

But Japanese law says

正子(しょうし) = midnight =0:00 a.m. = 12:00 p.m.

正午(しょうご) = noon = 12:00 a.m. only

Then It is a reason the name called “0:00 p.m. will not legally. Though noon past ten minutes unwillingly is twelve past ten a.m. legally.

If the introduction of time system from Europe and America in those days.

Then 正子(しょうし) = Twelve a.m. / 正午(しょうご) = twelve p.m.

Because it was intention of introduction of “0:00”.

But Japanese usually say noon = twelve or zero omit a.m. or p.m.

I referred to © NAOJ


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

Thank you for your thoughtful, detailed reply. ^^

https://www.nao.ac.jp/faq/a0401.html
^ Was it this page on the NAOJ website?

By the way, I found the following Wikipedia page very interesting too:

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/午前と午後#12時過ぎの時刻表現


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IN5diKQw

Thank you for your advice

I referred to this page on website

国立天文台>暦計算室>暦Wiki>要素>1日とは?>午前と午後 http://eco.mtk.nao.ac.jp/koyomi/wiki/CDD7C1C72F1C6FCA4C8A4CFA1A92FB8E1C1B0A4C8B8E1B8E5.html

I read the Wikipedia very interesting. It is 12:20 a.m. (It means noon past 20 minutes) 国立天文台 says “0:20 p.m.” is better than “12:20 a.m.”.

To begin with a.m. defines for 12:00 p.m. to noon. P.m. defines for noon to 12:00 p.m. But I think 12:20 a.m. past noon.

And I am interesting definition that is 24hour format. Then one day divide two. Morning(a.m.) is 00:00 to 12:00.

Noon is 12:00 to 13:00.

Afternoon(p.m.) is 13:00 to 24:00.

But, this is three parts, isn’t it ?


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

So れい時 is just 00:00 since Japan is based on 24 hour time? What does れい translate to exactly because I noticed if I used a different number between 午前 and 時. It would be the kanji of the number and not hiragana like in this case.


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

Anyone can help me? That's mean twelve a.m. but i've been confused why it should be "twelve"? Does the word "rei" means twelve?


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

れい (with the kanji 零) means 'zero', so seeing as it's the beginning of the day, it's like saying '0:00'


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

In japanese 午前れい時 = 午前零時 is literally midnight, not Twelve A.M


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testmoogle
  • 真夜中 = "midnight" (24hr: "00:00")
  • 午前零時 = "zero hours, A.M." (24hr: "00:00")
  • Twelve A.M. = "twelve o'clock, A.M." (24hr: "00:00")

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

Given the devious ambiguity of 12 am/pm, I would expect Duolingo to accept midnight... Edit: Oh seeing testmoogle's answer below it's true that midnight in Japanese is 真夜中… Should have not reported it then.


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

Listening to the sentence as a whole it sounds like "go sen de ji". But the hiragana spells "re i"? Are my ears to weak to hear the r or is the pronunciation wrong? If it is right, is this some kind of rule where re makes the sound de? Confusing!


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

I see there has been a lively discussion here. For those of us who lack the time to read through it: is "twelve a.m." now midday or midnight? Thank you! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akira1014

Ok れい sounds like she says でー and i got so confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

れい is pronounced rei, but Japanese "r"s are notorious for sounding like a mix of English "r", "l", and/or "d". It depends on the word, what other sounds are around it, and what sounds you're used to in your native language.


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

Why its sounds so different when you click on each word than when you hear the whole phrase?


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

Kanji have different readings when used separately and with other kanji. These are on'yomi and kun'yomi readings. Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough to know which is which.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trinity189189

午前-"TV in the morning." (looks like a T.V)

午後-"Go, go to bed."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JSnow20

I mark 0:00 just to see if it worked and it did! : )


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

Interesting, when i using kanji 零 instead hiragana れい i get wrong answer. why? And that not only here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomerdavid5

Is that "Gozen-rey-gi"? Cause it is really hard to hear what he says..


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

In a more regular transcription system “gozen rei ji”, but yes, you heard correctly.


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

Am I the only one that has never seen 12am representing midnight anywhere in his life? I can't find a logical way to do so! 12am must always be midday, because after 12am comes 1pm (13:00). Ive used 24h clocks all my life and my country (portugal) uses the 24h clock. But even when I look at my casio digital watch it clearly goes from 12am to 1pm (or 13:00 if I change the clock back to 24h).

I can't make sense of this, seriously. If japan uses a 24h clock, why wont the english translation do the same? Not all english speakers in the world use 12h, in fact I'd wager most probably don't.

I'd suggest adding an option to switch from 12h to 24h in the exercises, as this makes it extremely counterintuitive to a sizeable part of the users.


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

AM is from the beginning of the day (00:00) up until the final moment before noon (11:59:59.999...).

PM is from noon having happened (12:00) up until final moment of the day (23:59:59.999...).

The "twelve" in this sentence refers to the hour on a clock. When the little hand is on the "12" or "XII" on the clock, then the hour of the clock ("o'clock") is pronounced "twelve".

If your watch is still under warranty, I'd suggest sending your watch back to Casio if you're sure it's doing what you said. ^^;


As for this Japanese sentence, it is written in 12 hour format.

Japanese doesn't use the term "of the clock" (o'clock) but rather uses "hours" (時). English refers to the hours numbered 1 to 12 on a clock face for its 12 hour time system. Japanese instead refers to the number of hours that have passed for its 12 hour time system.

  • 午前 = "AM"
  • 02:00 = 二時 (2 hours) = "two o'clock" (little hand on the "2" or "II")
  • 01:00 = 一時 (1 hour) = "one o'clock" (little hand on the "1" or "I")
  • 00:00 = れい時 (0 hours) = "twelve o'clock" (little hand on the "12" or "XII")

So, 午前れい時 = "twelve AM" (we don't usually say "o'clock" if we are saying "AM" or "PM").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berto29441

Perfect, but my question is: do they say twelve hours before the middle of the day (=meridiem) or simply noon (= 正午 ?) ?. Thanks


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

On the Japanese radio station I sometimes listen to, every hour they have an interlude where they read out the time. When the time reaches 12:00 noon, the way they say that time is actually just as you've said: しょうご (正午). ^^

I also hear them say れいじ (零時), but I think this is actually only in 午前零時 (i.e. midnight, not noon).

These time anouncements are the same prerecordings that are reused every day, and this is only for that one specific radio station. So this isn't much evidence to go by, seeing as this is really just one single instance of anyone saying that time. Also, time announced formally on radio stations might simply not be a good indicator of how it is said in everyday conversation.

Doesn't help that noon Japan time happens at 3 am UK time... I don't often get the chance to check out midday Japanese radio or TV. xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berto29441

Very kind of you (another difference is that they have not summer time, so now the Japan noon is at 4 am UK time...). Thanks a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyuzo6

Are you saying your Casio digital watch gives the time as 12:59 am a moment before 1:00 pm? That cannot be right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brent.ptaz

Is it common for Japanese to write this way? I understand that れい is zero and that '0 a.m.' sounds weird, but if they don't write this way then why use it? I wouldn't take a child who is learning to read and write '0 a.m.' then expect them to say "twelve a.m.". I am not sure if this is just a kink that will be hopefully ironed out before this course graduates from the beta or if I am wrong and they actually say it this way.


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

They actually say it this way. 午前 means exactly the same as AM. For the hours, in Japanese they say how many hours have passed (zero), whereas in English we say what number of the clock face the short hand is pointing to ("XII" or "12" = twelve).

(The word "o'clock" = "of the clock"; not how many hours have passed.) ^^


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

There'd probably be a lot less confusion, in this comment section and the world over, if clocks had a zero on them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adnan162547

You can also answer with "midnight" seeing as the kanji represents midnight


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

You can, but there is no such thing as "a kanji that represents midnight" in Japanese; it's always expressed as some combination of other kanji:

  • 午 represents "noon"
  • 前 represents "before"/"front"
  • れい is not a kanji, but it represents 零 which represents "zero"
  • 時 represents "time"/"hour"

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

In what world is just saying "12 AM" correct, and not "its 12 AM." Is someone just screaming out "12AM!" At random?


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

If it were a proper sentence, it would have a full-stop at the end. If it were a person screaming out, it would have an exclamation mark. So it is neither of these.

If a friend says "What's the time?", it's perfectly fine to say "twelve AM" without saying "it is" and without making a full sentence out of it. ^^


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

Because the sentence says "12 AM", not "it's 12 AM". That would be "午前零時です" But since it's not that, that's not the answer. This is not conversational. It's trying to teach you the specific word for "12 AM".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lasse681253

? Why is it wrong now when i answerd so and got it right so many times???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bt9IY

I put "It is 12:00 am" and was told my answer was incorrect "twelve AM".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxwell.lt

That's because there was no 「です」at the end of the sentence. 「午前れい時」isn't a sentence, in the same way as "Red car" would be an incomplete sentence (as opposed to "It is a red car.").

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