Natsu (なつ、夏) means summer, and yasumi (やすみ、休み) means rest/ break. So natsuyasumi (なつやすみ、夏休み) means summer vacation. In Japan students have a long break in Summer from July to August, depends on the region. By the way, please don't give this kind of comments downvote, it makes you learn more!
as far as i know, hindu calendar is split into 6 seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter and winter. also, medieval romance cultures had 5 seasons, once spring was considered two: prīmavēra (prīmus “first” + vēr “spring”) and vēr - the actual spring. although summer was called aestās, some languages adopted the vēr root as "summer" instead, as portuguese verão, spanish verano and romanian vară while most of them kept spring following the prīmavēra root :)
well, kinda. The vowels 'u' and 'i' at the end of words are devoiced when after a voiceless consonant. They kinda sound like they are being whispered. Its very weird, japanese is the only language i know of that perposely whispers vowels. The same thing happens when those two are between any two voiceless consonants, like, k,s,t,sh,ts,h,f. Its why words like 'sasuke' sometimes sound like 'saske'
Like English, we can use an adjective before a noun to describe the noun. There are certain adjectives which needs a な between the adjective and the noun in this case. For example:
- 元気（げんき）な 子供（こども） An energetic child
- 新鮮（しんせん）な 魚（さかな） Fresh fish
- 頑（かたく）なな 老人（ろうじん） A stubborn old person
Yes, this is the Katakana form of summer (direct import from English). We tend to use Katakana form to describe something western, and use the Hiragana one for normal use or describe traditional things.
e.g. サマーフェスティバル vs 夏祭り(なつまつり). Both means summer festival, but the former one gives a more westernized feel e.g. it may be referring to a department store campaign. The later one gives a feeling of traditional Japanese festival where people wear traditional clothing called Yukata.
No, it would usually be written in kanji 夏
The majority of noun/verb and adjective bases will use kanji. Hiragana is mainly used for grammar parts (conjugations, particles, etc), expressions and furigana (the kana that show how a kanji is pronounced). Most children's books are also mainly in hiragana since it is the first writing system they learn and spend their entire school life learning the kanji. Similarly Duo is teaching some basic easy vocabulary words to practice your hiragana before diving into more complicated systems where you'll learn the kanji.
So, I noticed that なつ is translated to summer here, but in the exercise it says it's Summer. With the ふゆ exercise, it is written as being translated as winter on both the "Correct!" section of the screen, and the discuss page. Is this just an error on Duolingo's part? Or does summer get a specific treatment in terms of capitalization? I'm not that far into Japanese, so I'm not entirely sure.
There isn't anything special about the capitalization. It isn't graded at all, nor does it exist in Japanese.
In English we don't capitalize the names of seasons since they aren't proper nouns, but in a sentence we do capitalize the first letter. When inputting individual words without a full sentence often the contributors will input the word with caps as if it is the beginning of a phrase, other times and other contributors won't. Don't get too hung up on solo nouns with or without capitals; it isn't really an error nor does it have any effect on anything aside from giving you a hint for which word to start with when inputting a full sentence from the word bank.
With winter the EN->JA has it with caps https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27519873/Winter
And the reverse JA->EN has it without https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23033248