In Japanese it's kinda the opposite of English. In English we say "comics" as a general term and "manga" to mean Japanese comics. In Japanese you say "manga" as a more general term, and "comic (or komikku コミック)" would generally be used to refer to western comics. Side note: the word for comic is written in katakana (which you will learn in later lessons), as it is an imported word. まんが is often written in hiragana, since the word is of Japanese origin.
No idea why you're being downvoted. It's a valid question that I would like to know the answer to, as well. There is a distinction in English, as we use the loan word "manga" to imply something slightly different than the word "comic" would, so it isn't too far-fetched to think that there might be an inverse.
"Manga" is HUGE for the exposure and influence of Japanese culture and language for the fans that read them. It is one of the things that make so many interested in the culture and language to begin with. That is why it is important to non-Japanese people that read them.
So, yes, I would say it is important in this context. Anything that inspires people to want to learn a language (and let's be honest, we are were all inspired by something that made us want to learn here on Duolingo), is important here.
Usually in the western world, manga refers to Japanese comics such as these (they're read right-to-left):
Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 hagane no renkinjutsushi)
Vinland Saga (ヴィンランド･サガ vinrando saga)
Planetes (プラネテス puranetesu)
Monster (モンスター monsutā)
The Ancient Magus' Bride (魔法使いの嫁 mahoutsukai no yome)
But in Japan manga can be used for all comics and caricatures. You use コミック if you want to specify western comics, I believe.
The first uses kanji. The second is purely hiragana, which is all this Duolingo course teaches. Both are valid, but I believe people like using Kanji if that shortens the word.
The third uses katakana, which is usually reserved for loan words, so this is the least likely to be used for an original Japanese word.
Oh goodness, okay so I've been reading the comments to see the people who doesn't know what the word means, the people who think anime and manga are the same thing, and the people who think manga and comics/graphic novels are the same.
The word "manga" refers to a Japanese graphic novel/comic. People may be confused what the difference between a manga and a western graphic novel may be. Manga is the word to describe graphic novels made in Japan, these are usually read from left to right. komikku (comic) is referring to western comics and are usually read from right to left.
Manga and anime are two different things A manga is the word to describe Japanese graphic novels Anime is a cartoon made in Japan
Putting in "Japanese comic" does NOT mean the same as manga, they have the same description, but not the same English pronunciation.
I hope this cleared things up, also I swear if this gets downvoted I'm going to scream.
If it is genetic for any kind of comic, why is it not translated as "comic" or "comic book" ? In ENGLISH manga, I guess is Japanese style comic? So to translate to this word implies that the Japanese definition for this word is Japanese style comic only. I think there is done kind of break down in this translation.
Yes, that mark is called a dakuten. It is used to turn an unvoiced consonant into a voiced consonant (voiced meaning there is a vibration in your vocal cords). You will see it again used to turn "h" sounds into "b" sounds, "t" sounds into "d" sounds, and "s" sounds into "z" sounds. (ie. ひ hi -> び bi, と to -> ど do, す su -> ず zu) Similarly, there is the handakuten, which turns "h" sounds into "p" sounds. (ie. は ha -> ぱ pa)
manga is the Japanese word for comic books/graphic novels
but in English we typically call any Japanese-made/styled comic "manga' in order to distinguish it from western comics
Similarly in Japan "anime" covers all animated media, but in English we use the word "anime" specifically to refer to Japanese-made animations
The letter か looks a bit like an axe, with an extra short line to the right of it, and it is possible to cut, or kat something with an axe (yes I know, technically chop or cleave, but it's close enough). If you add the two small marks above, the k-sound is softened to a g-sound.
At least that's how i remember it.
Helpful resource here: https://www.japanesewithanime.com/2018/09/mimetic-words.html?m=1
Japanese uses all three writing systems simultaneously.
There are no spaces so the use of hiragana, kanji and katakana help distinguish where one word ends and another begins.
If you get books intended for small children learning to read, those will usually be entirely in hiragana since they won't know many kanji yet.
It was because of manga and anime that I was first hooked on the Japanese language. I will never forget some of the best moments in manga and anime (subbed or dubbed), especially "Kaguya-Sama: Love is War" when Chika Fujiwara says the Japanese word "chinchin" (which was translated to "wiener"). I almost died of laughter over that part XD.