Translation:Yes, I am fine.
Agreed. I wish there was an option to turn on full Kanji. Of course, it depends on the word...there are some words for which the Kanji is rarely used, and others for which the Kanji is almost always used, and still others where it is common to see it written both with Kanji and with just hiragana.
So far though, the course has been presenting a lot of stuff in Hiragana that is rarely written out like this...and I don't like that, because I think it delays the learning of the Kanji and creates extra work for us to do later on.
I really wish the course developers would take this to heart and adjust accordingly. I'd rather they wait on releasing the course, and address concerns like this first, and I also would feel better if I could hear a commitment from them that they were planning on addressing these concerns.
Because genki means health or well being. You wouldn't be asking after the well being of a thing. For fine in that sense of the word you would use kekkou - although kekkou is often associated with a negative response eg. りんご ほしい の - Do you want an apple? いいえ、けっこう です - No, I'm fine.
My teacher personally asked each and every one of us at the beginning of the class each day "おげんきですか。" and we had to answer "ままです。" (I'm so-so) or "はい!げんきです。" (yes! I'm doing fine) or "きぶんがわるいです。" (I'm not feeling well/I feel bad) those are loose translations but we treated "おげんきですか。" as more of a "Are you feeling well/fine". My teacher also told us that the question was usually used to refer to someone's state of health.
Because it's not very common to tell others about themselves. Actually, "Yeah, you're fine" might be a good translation in e g the context of a nurse having checked the person they are speaking with for symptoms, but "I'm fine", "he's fine", "she's fine", we're fine" and "they're fine" are by far the more common phrases. Duolingo shows the first of these as the "main" answer, but probably accepts the others as well.
If the sentence was being specific then it would use words to make clear that specificity, ie. it would use かれ for he or かのじょfor she or some other specific word to show who or what the sentence is talking about. In the absence of a specific subject/topic then it is assumed that the speaker is talking about themselves 私 - I, and if the speaker is asking a question then they are asking the question of the listener, あなた - you. Hope this helps.
You can in certain contexts (like LordOfTheAndain's neighborhood dog or nurse examples).
Culturally it is considered presumptive (maybe arrogant or dismissive) to discuss the wants, motivations, or state of others. You use very different sentences to describe the appearance of what others want or how they are doing.
I think this is an issue of the phonemes (sounds of a language) more than anything. The closest sound we have in english is "de" even though it is not 100% identical. "re" would be a lot closer to the Japanese sound れ which is very different from で. It is very common to pronounce "desu" as just "des" (a silent or very subtle "u" sound) except in certain dialects.
In the question, "げんきです" uses the same "です" that has been used countless times before. It is pronounced the same way, "des", as it has been before. To an english speaker's ears, it might not always sound exactly the same, but if you pronounce it the same, you'll be considered "correct". Using "res" on the other hand might be understood but wouldn't be "correct".
watashi is implied - when a subject is not specified it usually means that the speaker is talking about themselves. The only exception to this would be if you were previously talking about someone and say the listener asked how that person is doing and this sentence was in response to this question.
In Japanese, vowels can sometimes be dropped from the pronunciation of certain words. 'Desu' is one of the most common examples of this. Though spelt 'desu', the 'su' is shortened when pronounced at the end of a sentence (ie., the 'U' is dropped). That is why it sounds like "...des".
Heres a tip that many of you guys may know, but it helps me a bunch! Japanese sentences go Subject Object Verb, unlike English
GwenllianM, can you please refresh my memory for me - was this a translate to English or translate to Japanese sentence? I'm not exactly sure what youre trying to say - I would think that Eh would not be an acceptable translation in either Japanese or English. If you were translating English to Japanese you would type your answer in kana thus ええ、and if it was Japanese to English then it would be Yes. Even if you wrote your answer (English to Japanese) in romaji ええ would be 'Ee'. So I'm not sure what you're trying to say?
Also, if you haven't heard ええused before it's probably because it's a softer version of yes typically used by women.