June 8, 2017



When you tap the hint it says "obento" in hiragana, but the voice and choices to pick are "bento"


This confuses me so badly, too


Bento is a noun which is typically prefaced with the 'o' honourific, though it can be shortened to bento it is usually more polite to say obento.

At least that's what I remember my teacher saying when I studied Japanese in High School!


Can anyone tell me what Bento means?


Lunch tray with small compartments for different things .


Why does that word have to be honorific japanese? It's an object.


Japanese often add honorifics to even objects (mostly お). You know, for politeness.


Certain Japanese words have the お- prefix normally used for honorifics/word beautification, even if there's no special "honor" being bestowed upon them. It's just customary for those words.


That are absolutely lovely. The lunches the children bring to school, I am told, are in Bento boxes prepared by their mums.


A bento is basically a boxed lunch to go.


Why is it spelled "bento" and not "bentou" since it has the hiragana for "u" at the end?


When an 'o' type of letters (そ、の、こ et cetera) is followed by a う、it elongates the 'o' sound. Thus you should pronounce it "Bento" with long vowels.


The hiragana for "u" simply draws out (or emphasizes) the vowel sound that it follows.


I was wondering the same. Hoped I'd see an answer.


The English word is "bento", the Japanese is "bentou". It's the same with Tokyo, where the actual Japanese is "toukyou". Long vowels tend to get dropped when Japanese words enter the English language.


It think that it may be a matter of mutation and congregation.


There are a number of different ways to write Kana alphabetically, in "Hepburn" it would be "bentō" duolingo appears to ignore the macron that indicates a long vowel.


It's not writing it that way because it is giving the English word and asking for the Japanese translation, and the English word does not show the elongated O sound, it is simply spelled "bento."


The "u" on the end after the o is just there to make the o sound longer. Phonetic writing may vary because there is no perfect way to represent their pronunciation with our alphabet


Was just wondering about this.


Why does it randomly switch from having the answer be the translation to having the answer be the phonetic sound? Anyone else find it strange?

[deactivated user]

    Sometimes translation is not possible so they just make the answer the phonetic sound. You can find what it means in the comments, usually


    It's still a translation, it's not the phonetic reading which would be bentou or bentō. Bento is actually a word in the English language.


    Aahhhh thats why the transalation includes an "o" sound but the answer is just bento!


    what is bento? food?


    kinda a lunchbox


    Read the other comments please.


    Wouldn't boxed lunch be a better translation, or is bento a specific type of boxed lunch? Like bento is specifically a boxed lunch with compartments, and then there are other types of boxed lunches.


    弁当 (bentou) refers to both the container and the food inside, comes in square and round varieties, and other cultures don't really have anything that is perfectly equivalent, but I think "boxed lunch" is an okay translation and should be accepted if it's not.

    [deactivated user]


      • 1493

      Just about to ask, thank you. Is this form more common than hiragana? Also, those characters look simplified?


      Yes, you're more likely to see 弁当. Both of these kanji are learned in elementary school, so even kids can read them.

      Do you mean simplified in relation to traditional Chinese hanzi? Japanese kanji were simplified at some point, but are different from Chinese simplified characters.


      It didnt give me the option for the answer it only had two options and they were both wrong i didnt have the choice for the correct answer

      [deactivated user]

        lunch box


        This question leaves me a bit confused, shouldnt they be asking for the translation of "lunch"instead of "bento" and then the answer would be べんとう, i feel this would be a more pertinent question to translate both the meaning and the phonetics but maybe theres something im not getting ? or maybe its just meant to be this way?


        If you read the other comments you should be able to find your answer, but I think the main source of confusion is that "bento" is an English word (a loan word from Japanese). The English translation of べんとう is bento (or boxed lunch or lunch box, depending on the context). If you're transliterating べんとう into romaji, it's bentou or bentō, not bento.

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