1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "タクシーにのります。"


Translation:I ride taxis.

June 9, 2017





Kanji newbie here...

Why did we replace the ever so convinient の with the web of strokes that is 乗?

What ever drove the Japanese to keep on writing half the language in the same manner while they found a way to write exactly what you pronounce?


One reason is that even if you don't know a word, if you know the kanji used to write it, you can often tell what it means. It's like how in English knowing the Latin or Greek roots of a word can be helpful in trying to guess what it means. I often run into words in Japanese which I don't know how to pronounce but I know correctly what they mean because they're written with kanji.

The main reason though is visual clarity of meaning. Once you recognize kanji, they stand out from the kana and help you know what's being said more quickly without having to pronounce everything. Part of the trouble here is just that Japanese tends not to use spaces between words, so without kanji it can be hard to tell at a glance where words begin and end, but also there are a fair number of homophones - I sometimes think Japanese even outdoes English when it comes to puns.

Kanji help to clarify meanings while adding visual contrast to make sentences easier to parse. It might not be the best system, but it does have its advantages.

It's also worth noting that Chinese characters are built out of parts that get reused, so learning them is not much worse than learning how to spell words in English.


I'd just like to add that in my opinion learning kanji is definitely easier than learning English spelling: while you have to learn about the 2000 most used kanji in Japanese, English pronunciation is so irregular that in order to know their correct spelling you need to learn every single word, regardless of their grammatical category or roots


English is made out of a mash of several disparate languages, it makes for annoying spelling (even native speakers mess up spelling most of the time). Japanese is nice because it is spelled exactly as it sounds


Another factor in that is that Japanese had a spelling reform in the mid-1900s. Before that, it used a historically-based spelling that wasn't nearly as close to how it sounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_kana_orthography

English spelling has a lot of history in it, and hasn't been reformed, which is a major factor in why it's so far from pronunciation.


Godan verb with ru ending, intransitive verb: To get on (train, plane, bus, ship, etc.); To get in; To board; To take; To embark​.


So, would a more accurate translation to this be "I am boarding a taxi?"


Ah yes, I can see that with the lack of spaces and not being able to indicate meaning as well on text as when you speak Japanese... I can see how writing Kanji can get a tad important here and there.

And I did know they're built out of radicals!


you did a great explaination before, so could you please explain why in this sentence there is no wa after the ni?


the other comments are not entirely wrong but here's a more straightforward answer: typically you add は after に if the verb (in this case "ride") is in its negative form. (e.g. "I do not ride taxis" - "タクシーにはのりません") You usually don't add は after に otherwise, unless you specifically want to mark "takushii ni" as the topic, although I can't think of a case where it would make sense to do so.

Duolingo doesn't really do a good job of explaining verb negation or just particles in general. Here's a pretty good explanation of how you can use particles in negative form: https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/japanese-particles-change.html


は marks the topic of the sentence, which in this case is omitted. The full sentence would be something like [わたしは]タクシーにのります, "[I] ride a taxi", but in Japanese it's common to drop the [わたしは] as it's usually clear who you're talking about from the context.

This is different from the other sentence that I'm guessing you're thinking of, タクシーにはのりません, where the topic is the taxi. It's kind of confusing because it's a distinction we don't really make in English. In the first one it's like saying "Talking about myself, I ride taxis", while the other is "Talking about taxis, I don't ride them". I recommend reading about the use of は and が as it tends to be a concept that usually takes learners awhile to really understand. Here's a site that I think does a decent job of explaining it: https://8020japanese.com/wa-vs-ga/


Kanji came before kana so the Japanese didn't invent more complicated characters - it was the other way around. Kanji are chinese characters that the Japanese borrowed and changed for their own use. From Kanji they developed the more simplified hiragana and katakana (commonly referred to as simply kana) which have phonetic value only - ie. they only convey how something is pronounced like the English alphabet, and nothing else. Kanji however convey meaning AND sound and because they are borrowed from Chinese they have different "readings" or different ways of reading/pronouncing them - some kept or changed slightly from the Chinese pronunciation. Sometimes Japanese words can be written entirely in Kanji and other times they are written partially in Kanji and partially in kana. Because Kanji convey meaning as well as how to pronounce them they can be helpful especially if you don't know a certain Kanji. For example say a word is made up of two or more kanji you might not know one kanji but you might know the others and may be able to guess the meaning that way. Kanji can either be one character or two or more characters making up one character, so if you don't know a Kanji and it is made up of multiple kanji you might be able to recognise one or more of the characters that form that one Kanji and guess the meaning that way. I have a great Kanji book with several different ways to look them up - pronounciation in romaji, number of strokes, by radical - by the number of strokes of radicals. I think Kanji is fascinating.


Every Kanji character has its own meaning and pronunciation. If you replace 乗 with の, you only preserve pronunciation part of the whole information. It might cause confusion with some other words with same の pronunciation (e.g., 載る). Thus, in my honest opinion, it can be an elegant way to represent the origin and delicate nuance of a vocabulary within itself in a simple manner. (Disclaimer: I'm not Japanese, so I'm not sure whether they actually feel it in this way.)


I think you've recognized an integral aspect of 日本 culture, particularly language & art as represented in 漢字。 There is also something quintessentially japanese in their appreciation of the complexity of using 4 writing systems. Inscrutable indeed.


Because if I say "はやいですね" it has meaning: "it is fast, isn't it" and "it is early, isn't it" but if I write "速いですね" it can only mean "it is fast, isn't it" and if I write "早いですね" it can only mean "It's early isn't it". It actually reads much faster, because the many strokes makes it more distinguishable, but both is said "はやいですね". Japanese is very context-dependant. When they say it, you can see the context clearly because if it is late and you are in a fast car it doesn't make sense to say "It's early" so then it only has one meaning. But in text it gives context directly thanks to the kanji. I hope this answer helps.


I ride a taxi is broken english. I ride in a taxi.. I take a taxi, yeah.. But ride a taxi? Is that like riding a horse?


Nori translated to me as 'get on'... I get on a taxi? Get in a taxi? Whats with this ride business?


It's "to get on/in" but it's also used in the same way as "to take" is used in English when it comes to transportation.


it told me that the correct solution is "i'm going to take taxi"..... fp


What is the function of the "ni" particle in this particular instance? Is it indicating location or something else?


It is indicating the vehicle that you are getting in/on.boarding. Also certain verbs as a rule often work specifically with certain particles. に is that for 乗ります.


Thanks for the explanation!


Why ni instead of wo?


ni - in or on - used with noru to mean to get in or on (or ride in or on) a vehicle.


There is an extra space in the english answer, and it's correcting me even if my answer is exactly the same, minus extra space (it accepts the answer though)


Still an exta space, but it accepts it now.


Why are they not accepting my use of 乗る kanji as correct?


What about "I get into the taxi"?


My answer was accepted - I put "I take a taxi".


Yet i get a taxi wasnt


Could be any pronoun, or none at all... this is not always I


I would get into a taxi, not get in a taxi - and I would ride in a taxi, not ride a taxi. There is not an exact English equivalent, so the range of acceptable answers should be broadened.


I agree that "I ride a taxi" is not natural sounding English, and gives the impression of riding on top of the taxi roof. Possibly the reason we "ride" a train or bus, but not a taxi, is that, traditionally, you had to step up to get on a bus or train, so you were in a sense mounting it like a horse. "I use a taxi" was not accepted as an answer to this question.


"I ride the cab" wasn't accepted...


" i get a ride in a taxi" was disallowed but I think it's ok


Would this best translate to "I take taxis" as a general statement about transport habits, or is it about a particular taxi ride as in "I took a taxi" / "I'm taking a taxi" / "I will take a taxi"?

The broken English of "I take a taxi" is unhelpful.


I ridw taxis? Wierd English!


It does sound odd - I think Duo is attempting to convey the meaning of のります better in English but it's not working out so well.


Someone can help french people ? What's difference between take and ride .. it isn't the same thing ?


Why "I take taxi" is wrong. Sb help me please.


It's not a good English sentence. In English you need either "a taxi" or "the taxi". (Or you could make it plural and say "taxis".)

[deactivated user]

    i mean taxi


    I like taxis? But this sentence doesn't say anything about liking taxis.


    The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!


    I drive taxi should be accpeted.


    No, it should not. English requires a or the before taxi. Also the Japanese is not saying drive but ride in or take a taxi so your answer should not be accepted at all.


    In England you would never say that we "ride" a car or taxi or anything but an animal or a bike. We "get", "call", "drive" or "use" them... This sentence confused me and made no sense at first


    Translation from any language is tricky - Japanese is tricky I think because the Japanese conveys more than the English equivalent is able to - for instance 乗る can mean to get in/on, board, ride, ride in/on etc. This one Japanese verb conveys all these possible meanings at once but the English rough equivalent " I take a taxi" is comparatively flat. It just can't convey all that the Japanese does. So it's hard to show that you understand what the original Japanese is saying without sacrificing natural sounding English. I think this is why Duo has so many odd sounding English translations - I suspect this is not just the case for Japanese either, although I will say that because Japanese is able to convey multiple meanings at once it does seem to happen more in Japanese lessons.

    Btw - うんてん する means to drive.


    Why is " I take the Taxi" is not accepted as an answer?


    It's uncommon to say take the taxi since that's a specific taxi But it's not incorrect it just depends on the context


    i thought it was "i will ride a taxi" not "I ride taxis" i just think its more grammatically correct but k


    Both of these sound like you are riding on top of a taxi like a horse.


    タクシーに乗りますmeans "I take a taxi" ffs, it definitely doesn't mean "I ride taxis"

    Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.