Actually, 日 doesn't mean "morning" at all; it can mean "sun" or "day".
Also, a more accurate and helpful explanation was already posted further down, by Rebekah, which I've taken the liberty of copying for you here:
「Funfact: 本 can also mean "main" or "orgin" besides book. I thinks thats the meaning used in 日本, orgin of the sun. I.e. land of the rising sun」
This might be more confusing than helpful because sometimes the individual meaning isn't so closely related. For instance with 台所, 台 means something like stand or pedestal, and 所 means place. So if you want to directly translate per Kanji it would mean something like the place of the pedestal, not so close to kitchen. It's better to learn the complete words. Individual Kanji can be a fun way to create stories to remember the complete words though. If you want a website that will give you great details for the individual Kanji, try https://jisho.org/. They also have an app.
I agree that, at this stage, it might be more confusing than helpful, especially for words with more obscure etymologies like 台所. But, there are interesting stories to most of them that connects the individual meanings to the final phrase; well worth diving into for those with a curiosity about kanji, which could be sparked by Duolingo telling them that "pedestal" + "place" = "kitchen".
Case in point, 台所 is actually a shortened form of 台盤所【だいばんじょ】or 御台所【みだいどころ】where 台盤, or the respectful 御台, refers to small, low tables/trays with legs on which food was served. The natural place to keep these when they weren't in use was in the same area as where the food gets prepared. So the kitchen came to be known as 台盤所, or "the place for the 台盤". 盤 itself means "platter, tray", so 台盤 becomes a pedestal platter, or a tray with legs.
Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mag.japaaan.com/archives/93943/amp (Japanese)
I'm so confused. They keep introducing a third type of character, one that isn't taught under the alphabet tab, (can't think of a better term for it, sorry.). I first saw it with the introduction of 'sensei' and 'gakusei', but it's come out of nowhere, and isn't explained anywhere! At least, not that I can find. Unfortunately, this is my first intro to Japanese, so I don't have any previous knowledge to fall back on here.
Can anyone explain to me what these symbols are, and if there is indeed a tab to practice them under, that I seem to be missing?
Thanks so much .
Japanese uses a combination of three different writing systems,
Hiragana is the primary syllabary. These are the rounded symbols that are used to transcribe every sound in the language. あいうえお
Hiragana is used for most grammatical components (particles, inflections) as well as many expressions and native Japanese words written in kana alone.
The kun-yomi (native Japanese 'meaning reading') of a kanji is written in hiragana in dictionaries.
Katakana is the secondary syllabary. This is a set of more angular symbols that cover all of the same sounds as hiragana. アイウエオ
Katakana is used for foreign/loan words, onomatopoeia, scientific terms (plant and animal names) and for emphasis. It is similar to CAPS or italics
The on-yomi (Sino-Japanese 'sound reading') is written in katakana in dictionaries.
Kanji is the original writing system loaned from Chinese. These are logographic characters that each represent a unique meaning, rather than a specific sound. Kanji can have multiple pronunciations depending on the context they are used in. Kanji are used for most nouns, adjective and verb bases. Since there are no spaces in the language and a very small amount of syllables, kanji are helpful at distinguishing where words begin and end and their meaning among many homophones. 日月火水木金土 ("sun, moon, fire, water, tree, gold, earth" are used for naming the planets as well as the days of the week)
I think the "Type what you hear" questions need to be reviewed for consistency. Some will accept kanji and reject the hiragana (like this one), while others will reject the kanji expecting only hiragana. I believe はじめまして was an example of the latter (rejecting 初めまして). There is no option to flag these questions as "My answer should be accepted" either, so I'm not really sure how to appropriately report these inconsistencies on a question by question basis.
Unfortunately it's an issue with the program that those in charge of the course can't fix. Duo can only accept oneanswer for listening exercises. This is obviously a big issue for a language like Japanese where there can be multiple ways of writing the same word. They know the issue exists. The best suggestion I have is to follow precedent of what Duo uses for the words. If they use hiragana for a certain word, then when you put it into the listening exercise you should use hiragana too.
When you say "I am an American/I am American" you have to say アメリカ
人, meaning "American person." You would have to do the same for 日本 and say 日本人 if you wanted to talk about being a Japanese person.
日本人です。 - I am a Japanese person/I am Japanese.
日本しゅっしんです。 - I am from Japan. (しゅっしん or 出身 meaning 'to come from.')