"I am American."

Translation:アメリカ人です。

June 10, 2017

80 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chip195870

Thanks for making me feel like an idiot. This thing suddenly went from hiragana to light speed.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SoundOfWinter

An expansion of the course to have some katakana only lessons would probably be helpful actually

I'm just kind've staring at them and seeing which hirigana they look like to try and memorize them via association right now, it's not horrible but a katakana only lesson would still be nice.

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadlenkaSt

I agree. Now I've got the hang of it after reading the Duolingo text to the lesson at least ten times (and searching Japanese grammar on the internet xd), but at first it kind of discouraged me from learning Japanese.

June 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LameFryes

Duolingo just went from 1 to 60. Moving from simple hiragana to full sentences like that with no prior knowledge of rules or sentence structure can be disheartening and confusing to people who genuinely want to learn.

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chaos_Hawk

(For the sake of newcomers, rather than the poster)

Tip: In Japanese, the default context assumes you're talking about yourself, unless you specify someone/something else.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rose901579

Thats what I was thinking

April 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beste_Schurk

What's the difference between です and である?

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mawshica

"dearu" is a formal version of "desu"

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pedro_Santiago_

From what I understand "desu" is the formal, "da" is the informal and "degozaimasu" is the very very formal one. I never heard "dearu"

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nush_W
  • 1378

"De aru/De arimasu" is used in formal writing (newspapers, articles, etc.). It is often used to convey that something is being explained rather than just stated as fact (like with 'Da/Desu'). You will seldom here it spoken though, except for in very formal speeches.

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonH565

だ and です are the contracted form of である and であります as far I know.

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilmarien1

I just encountered an alternate correct answer that ended with "da" instead of "desu." Never seen that before.

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Wikii_

'da' is simply the more informal version of 'desu'. 'desu' however is the one that's taught more commonly since 'da' can be a bit rude in certain situations therefore 'desu' is more safe to use.

Hope that helps!

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bazanathon

Same here, except duolingo counted using "desu" as wrong.

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chelsea290357

What is 人 doing?

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nush_W
  • 1378

人 (じん/Jin) denotes nationality when appended to the name of a country.

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NinjaJenny1

Dude thanks I forgot that that meant Jin

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lopsirk

です was not an option. I put in アメリカ人 and hit enter because the other possibilities made no sense. Duolingo said it was right. Isn't what i typed just "American?" Why was this correct?

September 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leo_chaos

Same thing I came to the comments to try and work out, I'm reaching the conclusion this course is missing a rather large chunk of information pretty much required to learn properly.

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TsukuyoGintoki

Japanese relies heavily upon context. The I is implied.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewThom103479

Usually i get です, but today I did not. None of the correct answers were possible for me with the parts given. I didn't try to omit the part not possible because I assumed I was wrong.

February 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HunorCsaki

Can the desu be omitted?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas.Jenkins

Basically, no. です is the verb.

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HunorCsaki

But there was a question where there was no です card and it accepted the sentence without it

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Wikii_

I believe です can indeed be omitted in casual Japanese (which explains why your sentence was accepted) however keep in mind that this is quite informal and could be considered rude if not used properly. There are also different versions of です like:

•だ (informal) •でございます (very formal)

When in doubt just stick with です.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BAAMK

Yes this just happened to me too

October 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas.Jenkins

Yes? If there wasn't a different verb or a different form of です and the question was a sentence and not just a phrase, then it was probably an error of some sort.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReidStiver

Mines telling me である is the correct answer

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas.Jenkins

Both should be acceptable. である is another form of です。

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pazev

I wrote "Amerika jin" and it was right...

July 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell119454

Same, i was looking for "desu" but that option wasnt there

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel723624

Same for me, is it actually correct?

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SoundOfWinter

I believe it is but I also believe it's really informal so you should probably stick with using です whenever possible

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hidden_Signs

アメリカ人 (amerikahito) is just "American"

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmbassadorTigger

That doesn't mean anything, as there are languages in which you can omit the verb, and in fact there are situations where you can omit です in Japanese. If you're giving your name though, I'd wager you'd probably want to include a subject to be understood (and you should probably just include です anyway if you're in a situation in which you're giving someone your name to avoid being rude).

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abdimurato1

What is difference between しゅうしん and 人?

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

しゅっしん - your homeland, where you were born/are from

Amerika shusshin - Homeland is america

人 - literally: "person"

Amerika jin - American person

There's also から来ました

から - from 来ました - came

Amerika kara kimashita - Came from America

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Me_is_Quinn

Can anyone please tell me where that 5th symbol came from? (the one that looks kinda like a wishbone)

October 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

That symbol is the kanji 人 pronounced here "jin" but can also be pronounced "hito" or "nin" and means "Person". It is one of over 2000 chinese characters used in japanese.

アメリカ Amerika 人 Jin - "America Person" or "American"

October 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

Can someone please explain why '人' is sometimes pronounced 'jin' and sometimes 'hito'?

March 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Kanji have multiple readings
Their on-yomi (sino-japanese reading) is most often used in compound words. 人 (Jin, Nin)
外国人 - gaikokujin - foreigner,
人形 - ningyou - puppet/doll

Kun-yomi are the traditional Japanese readings, most often used when a kanji is by itself or when part of name.
人 - hito - person.

Don't stress out memorizing all of the readings like another syllabary, you'll lose your mind. (Some kanji can have over 10+ readings depending on context and many have totally irregular readings you won't see in a dictionary like the 日 "Ni" in 日本 Nihon - Japan). Just treat them like vocabulary and learn the word as a whole.

March 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/regalchae

Sometimes for the "人" they'll pronounce it like hito and sometimes they'll pronounce it like jin...is there a reason why they say it differently? How to know when to say it one way or another?

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Copy-pasted from my response right above this:
Kanji have multiple readings
Their on-yomi (sino-japanese reading) is most often used in compound words. 人 (Jin, Nin) 外国人 - gaikokujin - foreigner, 人形 - ningyou - puppet/doll

Kun-yomi are the traditional Japanese readings, most often used when a kanji is by itself or when part of name. 人 - hito - person.

Don't stress out memorizing all of the readings like another syllabary, you'll lose your mind. (Some kanji can have over 10+ readings depending on context and many have totally irregular readings you won't see in a dictionary like the 日 "Ni" in 日本 Nihon - Japan). Just treat them like vocabulary and learn the word as a whole.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/regalchae

thank you so much it's very well explained! sorry for making you reply the same thing I'll search more next time :)

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRisingo

You all should use tae kims guide to Japanese as a Supplement when learning japanese and it focuses on grammar which is something duolingo should do more

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarbonatedTurtle

Why is the answer だ? Even here it says it's です. Are both acceptable?

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RudyGuzmn

I have a similar problem. In the comments above people say "da", "dearu" and others can be used instead of "desu".

August 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raurusan92

In this sentence is better to say です, because when you are introducing yourself or you are talking with others that aren't your friends or family you have to say です is more formal than だ.

Be polite and use ます form.

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ybSJ5

人=people

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duttonwebb

Why is the male voice pronouncing 人 as "sto" and not Shin?

April 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raun710494

You're taught the Jin is also spelled with the arrow up symbol, but why is it when you hover over it for the sound, it says "Hito"?

May 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lzfilliger

Where is the subject "I" in this sentence? If you use desu by itself is it just implied?

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nush_W
  • 1378

Yes, pronouns are often omitted in Japanese. The context helps determine who is being referred to.

August 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FAlter5

They are not necessary. The かのじょ and かれ from duolingo seems so unnatural to me since you would not use them so extensively in a real conversation. The main point here is that Japanese is a topic sensitive language, which means the topic of a conversation becomes part of the grammar. Unlike a subject Germanic languages like English, a topic can "live" longer than only one sentence, so you don't need a pronoun in the next sentence. In a Germanic language you would have to say the word again or use a short word to replace it (= pronoun), so when talking about your sister, you might mention that you are talking about her in the first sentence and use "she" (or "her" or ... if it's not the subject) as long as you are continuing talking about her. Japanese you would make her the topic using the は particle and then you don't even have to mention that you are still talking about her in the next sentence. When talking about another person, you usually only use their name (which you would do anyway at the beginning of the conversation because he/she does not say about whom you actually talk). Therefore, using replacement words Is uncommon and depending on the situation is might even be rude (please don't call your boss, customer or a business partner あなた even if the dictionary says that is the formal way of saying "you"). Unfortunately, I often get "wrong" because I use I/you/we in the English translation and duolingo says it's another of them although the sentence is out of context and has not mentioned who is being talked about.

December 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PedroBlaze

Heyyyy.... I said わたし、アメリカ人です。 and it marked me wrong. It's technically correct!! And I was on my way to 5 tests in a row without errors! ☹

November 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crazy_plant_lady

It marked you wrong because it's wrong. If you're using the word わたし you have to follow it with the particle "wa" so it would have to be わたしは ("ha" is pronounced "wa" here)

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis705650

It's correct but o don't belive its natural

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anine622692

It would be better if you learned how to say what country you are actually from (I think the app asks you when you first download it where you are from..?) Instead of learning how to say i am American when i am not.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateFahr

My name isn't "John" or "Maria", either, but you don't see me kvetching about it, now, do ya?

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ybSJ5

アメリカ(あめりか)(america)人(じん)(jine)(another pronunciation=hito)※in this casu…america jin =one word) です(desu)(when you politely say word)put on

March 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/10G.University13

Would'nt わたしわ アメリカ 人 です。Actually be correct?

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crazy_plant_lady

I think it would, but the spelling of "watashiwa" would be わたしは ("ha" is pronounced "wa" here)

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mikketo

But, where is the subject of prayer?

私はアメリカ人です

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deivisony

In japanese the subject is omitted. Você é brasileiro? "Oração" kkkk

November 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexa_bagoo

does "jin" mean i am?

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

人 "jin" means "Person"
The copula です at the end is the part that translates to "to be/am/are/is"
アメリカ 人 です
Amerika Jin Desu
America Person Am
"I am American"

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexa_bagoo

thank you !!

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fifkee

こにちは。I'm a bit stumped on when I should use "は” in a sentence that states my ethnicity. And, I haven't really found a post that answered my question (unless I haven't been looking hard enough?)

Please, explain it to me as if I were an idiot. I get lost easily.

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

は is a topic marker in a sentence and is used to mark what a conversation will be about. Often this is information that can be dropped if it is understood through context.
In sentences like this the speaker (you/I) is (usually) the topic. The full sentence would read as
私はアメリカ人です
(I) (topic marker) (America) (Person) (am)
"On the topic of me - I am American"

Since the listener probably already understands that you are talking about yourself though you can drop the 私は portion of the sentence to a much shorter and easier アメリカ人です "(I) Am American"

You will mainly use は when clarification of a new topic is needed. If you were previously talking about someone else, saying アメリカ人です may lead the listener to believe you are still talking about that original person; so you would require a 私は "On the topic of me-" at the beginning to alert the listener that you are now talking about yourself instead. Or another noun/pronoun like 彼は "on the topic of him-" to change the conversation to be about someone else.

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janneke307347

Why does "人" have two different pronunciations​ when it's the man or the woman?

June 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeeSummer

So this can with only 人 without です?

June 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axel595595

You should search up and learn all hirigana and katakana . Its not that many and if you know them it will be so much easier to learn. Helps me so much when i can read the most sentence and kinda figure out the meaning of the word

June 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedAndBlueFlower

Don't forget punctuation, ya'll.

July 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Purple1736678

Why is Duolingo treating me like this? It wants to jump straight to katakana and kanji without telling us about grammer in japan, ect. And when i get it wrong it wants to take my hearts away and make me feel like an idiot :{

August 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PricelessMemory

i think that for this, you can add 私が before since japanese is a topic-prominent language so it doesnt matter if you add 私が before the verb and noun if you're talking to one other person, if you're talking to a group of people and stating something, you add 私が at the start of the semtence. i typed that at the start of the sentence and it said i was wrong but i'm pretty sure i was right.

August 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

You'd more likely use 私は with the topic marker は rather than the subject marker が here. Though が wouldn't be incorrect, it changes the emphasis a bit.
私はアメリカ人です - (on the topic of me) I am American
私がアメリカ人です - I (am the one who is) American (and not someone else)

August 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NguyncQuan3244

Nice

August 14, 2019
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