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"I am from China."


June 9, 2017



"I am from the U.S." = "アメリカから来ました" but somehow "I am from China" = "中国しゅっしんです"

I am in a state of confusion. What's the difference they're trying to teach here?


The first verb means to come. The sentence then means literally 'I come from America' as in 'Before being here I was in America'. The second verb means the place of someone's origin. The sentece means 'I am from China', as in 'I am native to China'


This is confusing because Duolingo for some reason uses both in its interpretation but only gives one right answer :/


Dl introduced the new phrase to show an alternative to using "kara" which we just learned. Not always the case, but I find that the first translation in the drop-down is often what dl wants you to use, and the ones following are to make you aware of other uses of the word. They are not to be understood to ALL be answers for THAT particular lesson.


It seems like a bad translation for the first then. In my experience "I am from ... " always means "I was born/grew up in ... ". They should probably change it to reduce confusion.


Not exactly bad, but certainly imprecise. "I came from..." (から来ました) doesn't really convey how long you were there before coming to where you are now. You could have been there all your life or for just a week.

出身 (しゅっしん) - which is a noun, btw - seems more appropriate to indicate where someone was born or spent a significant part of their life since it means "person's origin".


How do you spell the kanji letter in kara_moshitha


Then your experience is very limited. Many of us who emigrated to different countries where we spent more than half our lifetimes say I am from <country we are living in and citizens of>


Oh good god. He's not having a go migrants, he's pointing out a flagrant logical inconsistency in the translation of comparable sentences. Give the man a break. If this is normal usage, one must suppose that people who "were in China before" are colloquially assumed to have been born there (ie. no migrants in China)? My experience is limited - but my experience of Chinese people in Japan is that many of THEM were not born in China. So WHY the semantic inconsistency?


If a Chinese couple moves to Japan and has a child, that child would say "I am Chinese," but not "I am from China."

If a Japanese couple moves to China and has a child then brings the family back to Japan, that child would say "I come from China," but not "I am Chinese."


Does that mean that you can use the first verb in a sentence like "I come from the supermarket"? Or is it always used in reference to a country/city or such?


The verb kuru 来る means 'to come/arrive' and can be used anywhere.

スーパーから来ました。(suupaa kara kimashita) I came from the supermarket.

この手紙はシカゴから来ました。(kono tegami ha shikago kimashita) This letter arrived from Chicago.

バスは前5分に来ました。(basu wa zen go fun ni kimashita) The bus came five minutes ago.


That should be 'kono tegami wa shikago kara kimashita.'


I though "I" was "Watashi" So how is this so different? If it's "I am" Please answer, and don't judge, I'm a noob at learning languages.


That's the same. You can say "中国しゅしんです" or "中国からきました"


(Place) から 来ました means you just came from that place

(Place) しゅっしんです means that you are native to the place


OK, "shushin" is NOT an option from the word bank. I've finally figured out how to write this sentence with the kanji from the word bank ("Chuugoku kara MYSTERY KANJI mashita", but: 1) there is one mystery kanji that never gets pronounced, so I don't even know how to say it (nor would I therefore be able to type it out on my computer, rather than use the word bank, as I have no idea what sounds/syllables are associated with it); and 2) Duolingo has not introduced that particular kanji anywhere else except when they do this type of question. Why hasn't it been presented in the "What sound does this character make?" or "Match the pairs" questions? Why is Duolingo not actually teaching us the kanji? If this is the correct way to say something they think is so important we have like 45 lessons on it, why is there no way to actually learn what the character is, and how it is different from using the hiragana "shushin desu"? What are the distinctions between the two varieties of sentence, etc.?


来 is pronounced "ki" or "き" as in kimasu (来ます) or kimashita (きました) and means "came from" or "arrived from".


しゅっしん ー 出身 ー shussinn


Super helpful! Thanks! But why is it "しん" in kanji and "ssinn" in romanji? It's pronounced with a "sh" sound, right?


Yes, it is more of a "sh" sound, though when typing you can get し with both "shi" and "si" as it falls under the "s" column (sa, s(h)i, su, se, so) and Japanese doesn't really have a separate 'si' sound. There are multiple ways of romanizing Japanese, which is why it is important to learn the proper kana early on and move away from romaji which can be inconsistent from one source to another.
There is a double "s" because of the small っ before it, which doubles the following consonant っし "sshi" or "ssi"


Yes! I'm just as confused as you that shushin is not in the word bank, and the weird kanji after "kara"


Can someone please let us know how to pronounce 来 in this context?


Pronounced Ki, when used in the masu form or Ku when in the dictionary る form


Please help, this just suddenly appeared without having taught me how to pronounce it.


I think sundeimasu is i live in vs from (kara).


I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to recognise the kanji for China without being specifically taught them because I have been using wanikani for kanji learning and China's kanji the first one means 'middle' and the second one is the radical meaning 'king' in a box, which seemed to go well with 'Middle Kingdom' which is what the name is to people from that area.


i am new to Japanese. What is wanikani?


It's a paid but great SRS program for learning kanji. It uses (primarily) story mnemonics, which are often funny and/or memorable. It begins with radicals (kanji parts), then kanji and (mostly) onyomi pronunciation, then vocabulary and (mostly) kunyomi pronunciation. Rather than teach vocab by level (as most programs do), it teaches by associated radical/kanji, so you could have JLPT5 & JLPT1 vocab taught at the same time. It starts off a tad slow. The first three levels are free to try out if you like it. Then you can do monthly, yearly, or forever, IIRC. And there's a significant discount every new year. Worth checking out. I think it's great. That and Duolingo are my primary learning resources.


Actually there is another '中国' in Japan, 'Chūgoku region'. That is the westernmost region of the largest island of Japan. It has even the same pronunciation and kanji with 中国(China).

They can be distinguished by context or in order to avoid confusing the Chūgoku region with China, it is also called 中国地方(Chūgoku-chihō).


I wrote 私は中国人です and marked as wrong, now I'm sad :(


Well. I am Chinese isn't quite the same thing as I am from China.


I know, it's just that whenever I heard the word "I am from X", my mind automatically associates it with ethnicity.


中国 から来ました is the answer


I would agree it could be the answer if the program would also agree.

This is another trap.

The previous question - which it presented to me 3-4 times to make sure I was properly impressed that Duo is in control - was one of those match-the-hiragana-to-the-transliteration thingies that insisted ”しゆつ” is pronounced "naka."as if the hiragana was ”なか” I get that they may mean the same thing, but you're supposed to be matching syllables to the concepts for this exercise, and "naka" was simply not there for me to read. AND it didn't allow any discussion or reporting that would help flag the bug. Sorry to complain about it here, but (see above) I had no other way to report it.


You are right. Reading ”しゆつ” as "naka" was confusing. And all of us had to deal with this.


One of the 'quirks' of Japanese that makes it difficult to teach and learn is that kanji will often have at least two (and I've seen up to 20) different pronunciations, depending upon how they are used (and in what combination, etc.). Typically, you have onyomi pronunciation, which is an approximation of the Chinese pronunciation in Japanese (usually used when they are combined kanji characters), and kunyomi pronunciation, which is mostly original to the Japanese language (usually when the kanji is paired with extra hiragana characters). Example: 人 (person) could be ひと or じん, depending on the context. Furthermore, due to a phenomenon called "renadaku", the sounds could change further, such as to にん. (There are rules regarding this that most beginning learners don't need to worry about yet, but Google it if you're interested. I'm the kind of person who likes to know the 'why' of something.) Ex: 女の人 (おんなのひと) vs. アメリカ人 (アメリカじん) vs 3人(さんにん). It's confusing, but one of the better examples I've seen to explain it is how we have some homophones in English. Wound/wound, for example, are pronounced differently (due to having different language origins) but are spelled the same. We don't really think about because we're are so used to it. But if an English learner said, "How do you pronounce 'wound'?", you'd need to know the context in order to be able to answer the question correctly. This is a similar situation. When 中 has been introduced, Duolingo taught one pronunciation (なか). Now we learn there are multiple possibilities, including ちゅう. This may be partly intentional, partly a limitation of the Duolingo learning system, and partly the intrinsic difficulty of learning Japanese. But this is just one of the things that makes Japanese so fun and fascinating. :)


Don’t get discouraged! To type it you’ll need to type しゅっしん it as “syusshin” which creates the small tsu by doubling the first consonant of the sound following it


What's the difference between中国 しゆしんです or just 中国です?


中国しゅっしんです means "I am from China". 中国です just means "it is China"


If someone was born in Japan but was ethnically Chinese, can they say both "I am Japanese" and "I am Chinese" without using the 'shushin' word?



...と思うかなぁ。( ,,`・ω・´)ンンン?


Should I write 中国出身です or 中国しゅっしんです? Duo seems to accept both, but which one is used by native speakers?


they're the same thing 出身 is the kanji for しゅっしん


I'm kind of curious why you wouldn't use the particle が to mark the subject, which I'm fairly certain is 中国 in this example.

In other words, would 中国が出身です be incorrect here? And if so, why?


The way I understand it, you are the subject of the sentence, so the particle would come after 私. 私は is not included in the answer because it's contextually understood you're talking about yourself so is unnecessary.


What is the difference with 住んでいます?


As I understand 住んでいます is "live" and から来ました means "came from".


Yeah, I'm in my 3rd year of learning Japanese as an English native speaker and this is true.

住んでいます means to live somewhere. So saying 「アメリカに住んでいます。」 means "I live in America". 「から来ました」means that you come from somewhere. So, for example, if you're from Canada but you live in America, you could say something like 「私は、アメリカに住んでいます。でも、カナダにから来ました。」


Is the に after カナダ required?


For some reason, it doesn't accept 國.


國 is an out-dated kanji mainly now only used in names. The simplified form 国 is the jouyou (daily use) kanji.


Would a the literal translation be "i come out of china"? I see the exit kanji here


That would use a verb like 出る to exit, such as in 出て来る "to come out" (lit to leave and come)
出身 is a noun meaning "origin" in terms of one's hometown, one's educational/occupational background and one's ancestry
Made of the kanji 出 exit, leave and 身 person, oneself, one's station in life - in a sense this describes the place that you are rooted to and the place that made you the person you are. Your self came out of this point.


Ah thank you for the detailed response


I don't think the locals will accept that very well considering the past year


I really wish they would show the sentences literal translations as well, so we can learn the difference between saying the same thing differently and sentence structures


i have a question please.

my answer was 私は中国出身です. it was wrong, and the correct answer was simply 中国出身です.

can anybody tell me why 私は wasn't included in the correct answer?


I want to learn these type of characters. Is there any way?

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