"かんじはとてもむずかしいです。"

Translation:Kanji is very difficult.

June 10, 2017

67 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lilah953088

I feel like "Kanji are very difficult" should also be an acceptable answer here, since there are many kanji.

June 14, 2017

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

Even though "kanji" can be a countable noun and refer to multiple individual characters, the way it's used in this sentence, I think of it as an uncountable noun, like "information".

Still, while "Kanji are very difficult" sounds funny to me in a way I find difficult to explain, I think it's valid.

September 20, 2017

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

In general they really need to make sure that it pretty much always accepts both singular and plural translations of nouns - except of course where context already dictates that there's only one of something.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bernard.01

It's a generalisation. E.g. Kanji (in general) is difficult.

Just like how you would say food (in general) is tasty, pokemon (in general) is fun, exercise (in general) is good for you.

August 21, 2017

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

Counterexamples: dogs (in general) are cute, mathematicians (in general) are lazy, rocks (in general) don't taste very good. It doesn't have anything to do with whether the noun is general, it has to do with whether the noun is countable. Since kanji is used as countable by some and uncountable by others, it should (and does) accept both versions.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john990735

You are a retard, in ALL of your counter examples you used plural form of the word which is why you use 'are'. The op did not use words that are strictly plural and as such was correct. (Notice that all of the words in the counter examples had s at the end where as the op's words did not, therefore your counter examples are wrong examples). When using words that can be used as plural or singular the op is correct and you are wrong in your correction.

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rose508286

jeez you're a real pleasant fella...

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cvictoria42

Kanji can be both singular and plural, therefore kanji is and kanji are should both be acceptable. When referring to kanji as a whole, plural seems far more natural to me.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/woa7dSD5

How old are you, John?

January 30, 2019

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

Kanji is, like fish,a word that is the same in both its singular and plural forms. "Fish are in the pond." "Fish is tasty." "Thousands of kanji are hard to learn." "The system of kanji is hard to learn."

June 12, 2019

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

I think "is" is more correct because a verb is implied, like "(learning) Kanji is very difficult."

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamScott794079

I think it would be kanji charachters are or just kanji is

June 30, 2017

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

The 字 in 漢字 already means "character(s)".

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamScott794079

No, but in english, it's like saying LEGOs, it is lego bricks/pieces of LEGO.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

Only according to the company. Plenty of people use "Lego" as a countable noun rather than just as a description. The company's legal team just wants to be overly cautious to protect their trademarks.

December 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

That's a very interesting thought.

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deact1vated_User

THANK YOU! I'm so glad someone else gets it!

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tara166383

Yeah, but it woukd be nice if they taught us more of them :P

June 21, 2017

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

The irony when you don't use kanji to say kanji is difficult

July 14, 2017

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

That'd be the opposite of irony though. It would be ironic if you used hiragana to say kanji is easy.

July 14, 2017

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

another is: 漢字は使いません

May 12, 2019

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

漢字はとても難しいです

July 19, 2017

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

Not accepted 10 Jan 2019... And with these listening questions, there is no "my answer should be accepted option"... So I just have to copy/paste the correct answer a million times, hoping that they have some internal metric of how often questions are incorrect... and after doing that for 10 minutes, I'll post what they're expecting to get it marked as complete.

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

06 March 2019. It seems that the listening questions only allow answers without Kanji, so I have to just type Kana and press enter to avoid auto transformation into Kanji. Most of other questions, however, accept answers with Kanji now.

March 6, 2019

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

It would sure be nice to be taught more kanji. It starts to get confusing without breaking up all of the hiragana.

July 10, 2017

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

それでも、漢字はとても難しいですよ!笑

July 11, 2017

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

Given that this sentence was entirely in hiragana, could it possibly be interpreted as 感じ i.e. "Feelings are very difficult"? e.g. in the context of a robot trying to understand human interactions - or would that be gramatically incorrect?

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

That's a funny idea... Japanese comedians make use of homophones all the time for wordplay like that. However, for a case like "feelings are difficult", むずかしい feels odd. I'm not even sure it's possible at all, but 難しい感じ sounds more like they're troublesome or hard to express. If you really want to say "difficult to understand", you normally use 分かりにくい.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

PS: the kanji for ~にくい is the same as that of むずかしい though: ~難い. It's a construction that can be added to any verb, to make it mean "difficult to X". E.g. 聞きにくい 'difficult to hear' or やりにくい 'difficult to do/pull off'. That makes for another fun pun, since the word for "ugly" is みにくい (醜い), which sounds the same as 見にくい "difficult to see".

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

You should note that the suffix ~にくい is usually written in kana alone.

December 5, 2017

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

No, not really. In natural speech, the context of the statement would establish the meaning of the word, and only someone who didn't know there was a homophone would make that mistake.

And anyone who hasn't learned 漢字 before 感じ (or at least who can't understand the usage from the context [setting aside intonation] isn't actually studying Japanese, and is relying more on anime sound bytes than any linguistical resource.

August 24, 2017

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

But there's no context here, and the sentence is written in hiragana, so I don't think it's unreasonable as a potential translation. I can find plenty of examples online of it occurring as a sentence fragment with that sense at least (not in hiragana, just with 感じ) -- usually it's made a little clearer which feelings are difficult.

August 24, 2017

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

I wrote "Chinese characters are very difficult." and it didn't take it. 漢字 literally means "Chinese characters". It seems weird that it would want a transliteration.

Edit: Before you downvote me, maybe try looking up 漢字 and especially 漢 in a dictionary.

http://jisho.org/word/%E6%BC%A2%E5%AD%97

I'm very aware that the roumaji transliteration "kanji" can be used directly as an English word. It's just that when the goal is to actually translate stuff, just transliterating the words doesn't seem like the most likely expected response to me.

July 2, 2017

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

Knife, spoon and table (ナイフ、スプーン、タブル) are transliterations into Japanese despite other concise words (出刃、匙、表). Even if a dictionary says one thing, context is more important to understanding and translating.

After all, do you say "I want a pressed coffee from the coffee shop" or "I want an espresso from the café"?

November 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cvictoria42

Except that kanji are almost never called "Chinese characters" in English when referring to their use in Japanese. The Japanese word "kanji" has been borrowed into English. Translating 漢字 as "Chinese characters" would be like translating 東京 as Eastern Capital instead of as Tokyo

October 11, 2018

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

Of course even kanji invented in Japan and never used in China, such as 駅 are still called "kanji" but it seems odd to refer to them as "Chinese characters".

"Kanji" is simply a word that has multiple meanings. In English it means something like "Characters in written Japanese that are neither hiragana nor katakana and which either originated in China or mimicked Chinese characters". Or just "Chinese style characters as used in Japanese writing".

May 14, 2019

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

agreed, i did the same thing. reporting.

July 15, 2017

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

I wrote "Kanjis are very difficult" shouldn't it accept both plural and singular forms in this sentence?

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

No, it's a Japanese word that doesn't have a plural. You also wouldn't say "I eat sushis", right?

June 23, 2017

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

No Japanese words have a plural. But when they are borrowed into English they also become English words and then they may or may not gain English plurals: sushi did not gain a plural, futon did gain a plural.

I personally don't say "kanjis" and I even dislike it pluralized that way. But many people do in fact prefer to use it that way so I think both should be accepted despite my dislike. It's even in some dictionaries: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kanjis

May 14, 2019

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

I supoose its like how "sheep" doesnt have a plural?

June 24, 2017

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

Almost but not quite. It's a bit more like "fish" or "fruit". Nobody says "two sheeps" but there are contexts and/or people for using each of them with and without the -s even when referring to multiple of those things.

July 29, 2019

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

I agree with Steven. Also, 'kanji' can be seen as a singular writing system rather the individual characters themselves. That's why "Kanji is difficult" maybe be more correct. According to Duolingo that is.

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bernard.01

It's a generalisation. E.g. Kanji (in general) is difficult.

Just like how you would say food (in general) is tasty, pokemon (in general) is fun, exercise (in general) is good for you.

August 21, 2017

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

Nihongo is comprised of three symbol sets.

Kanji-originally symbols from Chuugoku representing nouns/ideas/feelings, which some meanings and readings for the characters have changed to be unique for Nippon.

Hiragana was originally made from Kanji by Nihonjin aristocrat women to write poetry, have their own langauge to express themselves as fems weren't allowed to use kanji at that time. Today hiragana is used for completely culturally Nihon nouns/ideas/feelings and sentence particals. Hiragana is the default, first taught in schools.

The katakana is used for foreign words and was based off hiragana.

June 24, 2017

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

so pretty much if fems were allowed to use kanji back then, japan today will be full kanji style

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Medusa747

漢字 is a helluva lot more simple than 日本語の文法.

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sangare021

Which is why I'd prefer them to use more kanji. Of course, introduce it to us in hiragana but afterward, use the kanji; it'll make the learning process go faster. And plus, who can deny; learning new kanji is fun.

June 3, 2018

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

つまんないこと聞くないよ!

May 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex950702

No kidding Sherlock.

May 14, 2019

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

Any way to learn kanji quicker? I want to watch anime with English sub, but I can't find anywhere to download.. Any suggestion?

July 2, 2019

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

知っているよ! (しっているよ)

September 1, 2017

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

Kanji are a lot easier of you actually study them. I have been using the Nihongoshark.com system to learn the entire 2200 Joyo in the last year.

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.Lias

Now you tell me

July 28, 2019

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

If it were only one kanji I would use either the kanji or a kanji. Kanji is very... sounds awkward.

July 24, 2017

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

Just gotta get used to not thinking about Japanese from an English context. It was not invented with any consideration for western languages, and should not be thought of as though there is always or ever a true English equivalent.

It's not awkward to say that "Economics is a difficult subject," is it? It's the plural form of a word used as a singular encompassing noun. Rather, it would be awkward to say "Economics are a difficult subject" or, worse, "Economic is a difficult subject." Again, Japanese is not remotely English, nor is English remotely Japanese.

August 24, 2017

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

They can't be that hard. I mean I'm almost finished the course and duolingo must have taught me at least 5 already...

May 8, 2018

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

The thing is there are about 2000 needed to be literate. Not to mention their multiple readings.

May 8, 2018

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

And I've been learning them through other sites. I'm not asking them to have all 2000 here, but to just use the kanji for the words that it teaches you. It doesn't do any good to not teach them since you wouldn't be able to read those words outside of this site.

May 8, 2018

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

Of course, I agree. I just didn't agree with your statement that "they can't be that hard".

Anyway, I'm not sure but I think the lack of kanji can be explained by the contributors' adherence to JLPT N5, which includes only about a hundred kanji. That said, this course doesn't even cover a third of that selection.

May 8, 2018

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

I wrote 'Characters are very difficult.' and it said I got it wrong. Kanji means (Chinese/ Japanese) characters, so I think it's better to be translated (and understood) than just kept at that.

June 10, 2017

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

I disagree. Kanji are very special characters that, unlike normal characters, have a lot of readings and meanings, so I feel like calling them kanji is more appropriate.

June 13, 2017

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

It means specifically Chinese characters: 漢 has a similar sense to the English prefix "Sino-", and 漢字 refers to the characters in Japanese which were originally imported from China.

July 11, 2017

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

It also refers to characters invested in Japan, both those that China also began to use, and those which have never been used in Chinese.

July 28, 2019

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

No.. I can understand your sentiment, but the Japanese refer to Kanji as "Kanji," not "Chinese Characters." Kanji are meant to be understood as whole ideas more than translated into their actual meanings. For example, ashita (明日) would by that standard "translate" into "bright day" but that's silly, unless you think about it strictly philosophically. When you say 明日 you simply mean the day after today.

Likewise, when you say Kanji, you're referring to Chinese characters, but you're not actually saying "Chinese characters." Make sense?

Another good instance is with the days of the week. 水曜日 doesn't mean "water weekday sun" or "water weekday day" It just utilizes a common element to give order to the calendar, Just like we don't think of Saturday as the Day of Saturn.

Japanese is better learned not as a translation of English words, but as a whole new set of word-concepts that happen to have rough English equivalents. English should be but a crutch to your coming to use and understand Japanese.

Try to learn it like a child learns their first language. You can't fit Japanese grammar into English's linguistical boxes after a certain point.

August 24, 2017

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

Of course the Japanese refer to kanji as "kanji", though they'd probably write it as 漢字 -- the question is how we should translate this to English. I wouldn't expect average English speakers who don't know any Japanese to understand the word "kanji". Even though we might use it as English students of Japanese, it's a bit of a technical term. I'm not sure I even really regard it as a proper English word rather than just a transliteration of a Japanese one, though obviously when it comes to English, it's not like there's any real standards.

I would expect an ordinary English speaker to understand "Chinese characters" so I would usually regard that as a better translation for 漢字 (though there might be some initial confusion about what such characters are doing in Japanese if that person didn't know, but then, "kanji" would be completely unhelpful to such a person).

August 24, 2017

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

My rule of thumb is if it has a Wikipedia page, it's acceptable English. Kanji

November 1, 2017
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