Translation:What picture will you draw?
Ah, thanks for that. I wasn't sure if "no e" was together as a word or not, but I figured it out in the end due to the words Duolingo provided me to select. I just used my best logic from there, thinking that "no e" was "noe" and meant "a drawing/drawings".
Duolingo really ought to put in a lot more kanji so that reading will be a lot easier. After all, we don't want people to think that the sentence says "writing a drawing" and use the incorrect kanji character.
Kanji can have "furigana", which is writing the hiragana for the kanji next to it, so anyone who doesn't know the kanji can know how to read it as well. They use them a lot in books for kids and manga for audiences up to high school, and I believe that it would be very beneficial here. If we had kanji + furigana we would start becoming more used to some kanjis and would still be able to know how to read them
I prefer not having furigana. When they are included, it can be difficult to ignore them even when you know the kanji. I use a plugin for chrome to hide them. Not that I know tons of kanji, it's just that I end up reading them unintentionally even when I don't want to and I actually know the kanji. I think if duo was going to include furigana, it should be optional.
It links the two words together to make it mean something more like "What KIND OF picture." の has other uses than indicating a posessive; it can sort of be likened to the word "of," only the description would come before the object it's describing (e.g. 犬のえ would translate as "picture of a dog" or "dog-related picture").
Great explanation. の is usually described as the possesive particle but really it shows that the two nouns are connected. Like saying 'the japanese book' would be nihongo no hon, Japanese doesn't own the book, and the book doesn't own Japanese, one describes the other.
It's only always shows a link, it just happens to usually be possession, but it can be other stuff. It's another thing you just kind of get from context. Because Japanese is ridiculously difficult. Lol.
Like the example of saying picture of a dog, it would be weird if it means the dog owned the picture or it drew the picture, right? So even though no can be used in that way it makes no sense in that case. Lol.
It means "picture of", so with the "nan" before it means "picture of what"
"picture of what" (+direct object particle) + "draw" = "draw picture of what". If you add "ka" to turn it into a question, it becomes (with proper English phrasing): "what do (you) draw a picture of?" or, more simply, "what do you draw?"
I am not very sure of it, but I'd say that when it's pronounced as "nani" it's the central part of the syntactic unit (the part of the sentence), so it usually has a particle indicating a function in the sentence right after it. For what I've seen, when it is pronounced as "nan" it is complementing a noun
It links 何 onto 絵, similar to "of" or "....'s", joining them into a noun phrase "what picture/picture of what". In English the word "what" functions both as an adjective e.g. "What time is it?" and as a pronoun e.g. "What do you want to do?", which makes us overlook the subtle difference between the two, "何の" and "何" respectively in Japanese. See Nathan Dale's explanation above.
The standard answer is that 書く is used for writing, while 描く for painting/drawing pictures. But that is not the end of it.
The problem is that 描く has two kun'yomi readings, かく and えがく. We also have another かく / えがく kanji, and that is 画く. This mess is due to etymology of all the Chinese characters in combination with historical Japanese and all of them likely have their distinct nuances. Note that I am not a native speaker and so I probably don't know all of them.
As a rule of thumb it goes something like this:
書く (かく) is used for writing, i.e. putting words on paper.
描く (かく) is sketching, drawing something, depicting something.
描く (えがく) is painting something (since it evolved from えをかく). But it can also mean to imagine something, to picture it in one's mind.
画く (かく) can mean painting or drawing something, but I would say it has a more artistic feeling due 画 being used in composites like 画家 (painter).
画く (えがく) - again, painting but also imagination.
So it boils down to the overall distinction between かく and えがく and that is かく cannot be picturing something in your mind. It is more literal, it means putting something on paper. えがく is more abstract and includes the imagination part.
No, because that kind of question is asked using どんな. There are three types of basic interrogatives:
どんな, "what kind"
なんの, "(of) what"
When you're using なんの, you are using a noun interrogative, so the answer must contain a noun in place of 何, so for example:
When you are asking どの, you are basically asking the listener to choose something from some known, finite amount of things:
どんな ("what kind") gives you the largest freedom of choice in answering, but is also not used in the Duo sentence above, so it shouldn't be translated as "What kind of...".