In Japan, if you say "sake" or "osake" it generally just means "alcohol". Depending on context, it can be used to imply rice wine as opposed to other drinks, but if you want to specify that you're talking about rice wine, you might say 日本酒（にほんしゅ） which literally means "Japanese alcohol" or 米酒（べいしゅ） meaning "rice alcohol"
The kanji for both is the same. However しゅ is the on'yomi (the sinojapanese reading) and さけ one of the kun'yomi (japanese reading) of the kanji 酒. Usually, as is the case with 酒, the on'yomi is used when the kanji is used together with other kanji like in 日本酒（にほんしゅ）. The kun'yomi, however, is used when the kanji is used alone. So you cannot use the reading しゅ of the kanji 酒 if it's on its own but the reading is often used if 酒 is a part of a cimpound of severeal kanji.
Good question! After doing some digging, I found another word for alcohol, arukōru. This word can be seen at the end of isopuropiruarukōru, the roumaji form for isopropyl alcohol. It is also used at the end of the Japanese words for benzyl, cetyl, and ethyl alcohol.
It seems to me that arukōru can be used for medical and chemical alcohols, as well as alcoholic beverages. I'm pretty confident that osake, or おさけ, is only used for alcoholic drinks.
The o in front of words is common for things that are considered luxury items or things that are high quality. So tea is cha, but typically its said as ocha. It's even used with bathtub. It isn't necessarily a polite thing as like an honor thing. Like to imply that it is good/special/high quality. It doesn't really translate well into English so its hard to explain, it's a nuance that we don't seem to have an equivalent to. It's a way to put implied honor or respect on the thing you're talking about.
It is never necessary, and not really rude to not say it, but if you are giving someone somethibg you want them to think it is good so the o is how you express that, and when someone gives you something you want to appreciate that it is a gift so you use o because it has that nuance of not just alcohol but special/nice/good alcohol.
Not sure if it's actually rude to leave it out, but for example I have never seen tea on its own, always ocha, never cha, so it seems like for some words its just considered a normal part of the word.
And I think alcohol is one of the first things you learn because it's a pretty easy word (2 characters or 3 if you use o) and also one that people who speak other languages may already know because it is used in English as well (sake is specifically rice wine in English, can be served hot or cold, you can get it at restaurants and liquor stores, in the US at least). I guess if you're over the legal drinking age you are more likely to have seen the word sake before, but it is used outside of Japan.
I feel like thats how they picked alot of the early words that we see.
Just like learning sushi, manga, and emoji, early, because some of the users will already know that word even though you don't know Japanese, so now you have learned the Japanese writing and pronunciation of these words that you may already know in your first language.
It makes the course a bit more fun to find words you know and it makes you feel like you're making progress even in the beginning which is arguably the more difficult/boring part of learning since you can't make any sentences yet and you don't understand much yet, it's like a little bit of relief to have a word you already know come up. If you do happen to already know it.
Are sake and osake the same thing or interchangeable? I've always heard alcohol being called "sake" in Japanese and some of the comments say that the "o" is added for politeness... so would sake be valid too? Is it like I would use "sake" while having a drink with friends, but "osake" while at a formal dinner?
I guess that's a happy coincidence, rather than a bug - it wants an English word as an answer, and in English the word "sake" is borrowed from Japanese and so would be accepted here. Typing the Japanese word phonetically in English was pretty close, so it thought you just made a typo!
I answered this as "alcoholic beverage", but it was wrong. It could be more flexible. I mean, "osake" is the drinkable alcohol, not the organic compound. Is there a way to make it accept two different answers? (Because, of course, "alcohol" is the most common way to write, but how can "alcoholic beverage" be wrong?)
Essentialy none. "O" is the honorific prefix in Japanese. It doesn't change the meaning. However, some say it's more polite. Also, usually for your own stuff it's not necessary to add "o", but when referring to others' possession it may be added.
You'll se "furo [bathtub] and "ofuro"; "mizu" [water] and "omizu"; "bento" and "obento", "tousan" [dad] and "otousan" etc.
Hmm, 酒, that's a difficult one. Technically, I'm told, rice wine is 日本酒 (nihonshu), as opposed 焼酎 (syoutyuu, hard liquor from rice, barley, or sweet potato but also common in other countries besides Japan), ワイン(葡萄酒) and ビール(発泡酒, etc) and whatever all the time. The English is a bit strange to me as only ethanol (was ethyl alcohol) is not likely to make you blind (like propanol, "rubbing alcohol") or kill you. おさけ can mean spirits in general or rice wine in particular both depending on the context I figure . . .
Just like a smile expression is universal no matter which part of world u r from a smile geture is understood universally. Same goes with alcohol i suppose, its a universal thing, teaching it so early can help u use it often (i use it often as a code with friends- its osaki time...!!! ) and stay connected to the language..hehehe..
It is translated to drink here in the same sense that if you "go drinking" it implies you are specifically drinking alcohol as opposed to something else. "A drink" is often used in English to refer to an alcoholic beverage; it all just depends on context. It is not actually the general word for 'drink' (noun). That would be 飲み物 "nomimono"
If you check the other comments in this thread, your question has already been answered.
[Edit: This exact question has already been asked by John-McQuirck and ValeriaSmithEst and been answered above. Asking the same question is spamming the sentence discussion and making it more difficult to find information. This is a useful guide about using the sentence discussions: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/12159900]
I believe alcohol is an optional word that teachers can disable if they choose, but it is also a common word in everyday life so personally I find it silly disabling such things. It isn't having you learn to ask for it here, just the using the word itself...
Just saying while I was practicing this word in Hirigana 2 after I had mastered it and all the answers weren't おさけ they were all not the answers. The closest one to the real answer is さけ which also does mean alcohol but when I choose that as my real answer it says that I am wrong. That was my last question to complete the practice and it kept saying I was wrong to the point where I am all the way back at the beginning. I think this is a bug but I think we should get other people to test it out to see if it is a common issue.
I hope your Japanese teacher did not tell you that, because it is definitely incorrect.
In Japanese, the word sake (kanji: 酒, Japanese pronunciation: [sake]) can refer to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called "sake" in English is usually termed nihonshu (日本酒; meaning 'Japanese liquor').
Japanese has a very limited amount of syllables so there are many many homophones. Context, pitch, intonation and kanji are how to tell the intended meaning.
Both Alcohol and Salmon are さけ with alcohol using the kanji 酒 and salmon using the kanji 鮭
The honorific お is only used for alcohol though, so alcohol is the only correct answer in this context. Notice if you hover over the お in the word "salmon" doesn't appear on the list, and when you hover over さけ it appears slightly to the right below 'alcohol' with a faint line showing that it does not include the お at the beginning as part of the word.
Wine is a type of alcohol, they are not the same thing. Wine is alcohol but alcohol is not wine.
'alcohol' is any drink that contains ethanol. This includes fermented drinks like beers, ciders and wines as well as distilled drinks like gin, vodka, brandy, rum, etc made from a wide array of ingredients.
What we know in the west as "sake" is called rice wine even though its fermenting process is more closely similar to beer, but in Japan that is referred to as 日本酒 nihonshu
"osake" (especially with the honorific) applies mainly to beverages,
Ethanol/Ethyl alcohol in a scientific setting typically uses the loan word エタノール , "etanooru"/ エチルアルコール "eteru arukooru"
Rubbing alcohol would be 消毒用アルコール "shoudokuyou arukooru" literally "Alcohol for neutralizing germs"
If when signing up the child is under the age of digital consent certain vocabulary/lessons in the course as well as functions of the website (forums, profiles) are not accessible. This is also the case for the Classrooms feature where teachers are able to limit what lessons the students can and cannot do.
Other than that, this is a word they're likely to see in everyday life from the adults around them and various media. It itself is just a common word, and one they'll see on pretty much any restaurant menu. Do you expect them to not even know what the word means until they're old enough to drink it? How do you explain to someone they can't have something if they can't even be told what that something is? Many schools teach their students what alcohol is and why it's bad for them in health classes as early as primary/elementary school.