June 10, 2017



Had this in my placement test. You can't really know that this is "two" without any context or the kanji ニ. This could mean so many things. I for example tried "at" as one of the functions of the に particle. Sorry if this is out of place in the context of a lesson on numbers.


that is so true, kanjis are really necessary


It accepted "In" as an answer, though I had written it accidentally, but when I hovered over に it did not offer "In" as a valid translation. Is this a system error or does に also translate to "In"?


Good question. I write down what i learned it as "ni"


Same. It doesn't say "translate" like in other questions. For Greek questions it says the same the with the greek letter and Greek pronunciation and the answer is always what the corresponding sound in English is.


If it says" write in English", it means writting using English words. Ni isn't an English word. It's the phonetic translation, using a different letter system.

They would have said 'write the transcription".

If you say "ni" you don't talk in English neither. So, you don't write in English.


It can translate to in for sure, but very loosely. Like 本当に means in truth, though if you word for word translate it you would say truthfully to (subject)


Did they say that it was a typo when it was accepted?


And it also means "to"


DL didn't accept "to" for me. DL wanted "two."


Yes, "at" shouldn't be a choice here. Since you can't tell from context or kanji, it should try to avoid anything the に particle can get transliterated to like "at", "on", "to"... My guess is that in the Duolingo meta if it asks for a word definition it won't be a particle, it seems to ask that another way, in sentences (the particles make little sense alone, most of them, or its slangy to do so)


It's how we refer to single graphemes with a certain grammatical function. E.g. に、で、と、は、が、の、を. In some cases they are like prepositions, in some they are conjunctions, and some indicate the role of other words in a sentence.


I don't understand.


That is because Alcedo tried to put an hour long lecture into 1 sentence.


Google conjunctions and prepositions and you should be able to understand what he means


So a particle is a conjunction ( and, or) or a preposition (to, for) etc. But not a noun or verb?


sorry I have just started learning but whats kanji?


Kanji literally means chinese character. Japanese use Kanji to write with along with hiragana and katakana. Hiragana usually is used to write native japanese words and katakana is used to write foreign words or names or slang words.


the knights who say two


You are supposed to translate it to the English word it means, not the pronunciation.


Then it should say 'Translate this into English.'


If you are going to down vote you could at least explain why.

That character can be written in English as 'ni' but it is translated to English as 'two'. There is a clear difference.


"Ni" IS NOT English. It's not an English word at all.

Ni is Japanese. It's a Japanese word written using a different alphabet system. But it doesn't make it "written in English".

Writting in English means using English words.


Ni is Romaji


Ni is a transliteration


My first question in the placement test was to write the translation of に in English. I thought it was trying to determine whether I understood hirigana, and answered "Ni". As mentioned by many before, one can't know that the answer should be "two" without any more context. It's frustrating, because this vague "question" influences where I'll be placed... :/

(I hope this comment is helpful in shaping the course; I appreciate the work that y'all are putting into this valuable endeavor! Thank you for giving me a way to practice my language skills!)


Does anyone else find it weird that the Japanese word for "one" contains two letters and the word for "two" contains one letter?


well, the kanji for them is just one line and two lines so haha


Actually, they don't contain any letters. Kana is a syllabary; someone corrected that to a more accurate writing system in comments for another question, but I don't remember what it is called. However, I agree that 一(いち) having 1 stroke but 2 syllables and 二(に) having 2 strokes but 1 syllable is silly.


I remember them at "itchy knee"


Yes. But if they asked you to translate, they expect an English word here.


What is the difference between this and the two lines (like an equal sign) without the one on the side?


Do you mean 二?

If so, that's just the kanji for "two". It has the same meaning, and is mostly read as に, with some exceptions.


What are some of the exceptions?


Exceptions are when it's used in compounds; in those cases you use the on-yomi (Sino-Japanese reading. For example 二つ (ふたつ) "2 pieces/items", or 二人 (ふたり) "2 people".


To complement, '二' can also be the katana form of 'に'.


に Is hiragana for "ni"; ニ is katakana for the same syllable, and also the kanji for number 2.


Or do you also mean the hiragana 「こ」(ko) ?


So ya'll can see the difference: 2 二, ニ "katakana ni", ko こ. At least on my screen they are all different enough to identify, and with proper calligraphy they are even more different.


The question doesn't say translate this to English, it says write this in English. I answered "ni" because that is how it is written in English. If you want a translation, phrase the question to say "translate this into English"


ni isn't に in English. It's Romaji, which is the representation of かな in a Roman/Latin based alphabet. English and almost all European languages use Roman/Latin based alphabets. If Romaji was English, it would be spelled nee, because in English the letters "a e i o u" sound like "e i ai o yu" in every other Latin based language I have seen (I hope that makes sense to someone). Not familiar enough with the history to say it as a fact, but since Portugal had visitors to Japan before other Europeans, Romaji is probably based more on Portuguese than any other alphabet.


に = Particule that indicates place. 二 = Number 2 or "ni" in katakana

For this reason Kanji are necessary.


There is a curious fact which helped me to learn how to say "two" and "three" in Japanese (way before I wanted to learn xD).

Nissan, the Japanese car company, always have a car with the number 23 in the races, because 2 is "Ni", and 3 "San".


one of my Japanese teachers said that that is not 2. there is a meaning for 2 in kanji but not in hiragana


Hiragana is basically just syllables/letters in Japanese. に can mean many different things in hiragana, including 2. You can also write 2 in kanji.



For example, ビル biru means "building", but with that dash; ビール bīru means "beer". And just in case you meant 一, that's いち, meaning "one" (1).


Its also a Dash in Japanese:EXAMPLE: ;慄ーす (Rit-su [a Japanese name])


二 should work too right? I'm 99.9% sure it means "two".


They expect you to translate in the other language, if they write" translate". So, if they wrote a Japanese word, you have to type an English word.


Which alphabet is using more often - hiragana or katagana? Which is more useful?


You must learn both to be able to say you can read Japanese. It's kind of like saying which is more useful, vowels or consonants


hiraganas are used more often, but it is both still essential because: hiraganas are used for the original words from Japan itself like: てんぷら (tempura) meanwhile katakanas are used for adapted languages like: マクドナルド (makudonarudo which comes from the word "mcdonalds") so I think, yes you would need to learn both in order to be able to understand the language, though kanjis are also often used in a sentence so you would definitely need to learn that as well


Ever get that feeling when you type in the Romanji of the number without thinking when you're prompted for the English translation?


Take a look in these 2 links below (You'll learn concepts basics about grammar rules and earn vocabulary):

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7963862 https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24871159


Anybody fluently speaking japanese here? Because I don't know: When do you write a word in kanji and when in Hiragana? Are all words written in Kanji and these in Hiragana are exceptions? Or can chose how you want to write it? Should I learn the words in both or just in Kanji? Are there words you can only write in Hiragana?


If there are Kanji that make a word, and you know the Kanji, use Kanji. Most numbers nowadays are written using the Arabic numerals. Hiragana is usually reserved for grammar, but there are exceptions. Child, or 子ども, is one. There are 2 Kanji in the word, but the 2nd doesn't have a meaning in this word so it is usually written 子ども or こども.


You answer "Ni" only if a TRANSLITERATION is asked. "Two" isthe correct answer because it's the TRANSLATION lf the character "に", not the transliteration called romaji.

I don't get why people get stuck here. There are going to be stuff way more annoying than this later on, you'll see...


I wrote Ni as an answer because it's the sound it makes so be more specific on the answer you want. Please.


If it says "Write this in English" it wants the English translation of the word. "Ni" is not an English word; it is a Japanese word transliterated into romaji.


I write it as Ni And THEY SAID NO its Tow


When it wants you to write it in English it wants the translation, "two".
"Ni" is not an English word, it is a Japanese word transliterated into the alphabet/romaji.


Literally ambiguous between "two" and "to", please take this into account.


ni is a particle too


This question is wack it asked to type what you hear, and i put 二(ni) and it counted it wrong?????


Listening questions are auto-generated and only accept a single best answer.
Since this is from a hiragana lesson, kanji are not acceptable.


I feel that the hiragana 'ni' does not mean two at all, and that only the kanji 'ni' means two. the hiragana 'ni' is a particle. I failed this in my duolingo strengthening under "write this in english".


Almost all nouns, adjectives and verbs are written in kanji. Mainly only grammar pieces like particles and conjugations use hiragana, and a few set expressions; but you'll also see hiragana used for furigana - the small characters that show how a kanji is pronounced. Most children's books are written in hiragana as well since they won't know many if any kanji and will spend their entire school lives learning them.
These skills are to teach you the hiragana so they give you some simple words written in hiragana, much like a children's book would use. If you wanted words that are always to be written in hiragana only it would be throwing random untranslatable verb/adjective endings, particles and entire phrases at absolute beginners. (Last I knew though "to" was also acceptable for に here. It is convenient that both English and Japanese have "two/to" and 二・に as homophones.)


I wrote ni but its rong


When it wants you to write it in English it wants the translation, "two".
"Ni" is not an English word, it is a Japanese word transliterated into the alphabet/romaji.


Im already on level 4 and im learning the same stuff as level 1. Its not getting harder. Its the same words over and over.


There are only about five lessons per skill. Each crown is the same material, just the higher crowns give you more typing and listening exercises while the lower crowns are mainly matching. It is not necessary to go all the way to 5 crowns before moving on to the next skill. The next skill unlocks after finishing your first crown so if you are familiar with the material and no longer find it challenging you can move on any time you want to. You can return to past skills and complete more crowns in them whenever you start to feel you need to strengthen them and refresh your memory.


im kinda confused, does this not mean "two" i wrote it down as a number and the pronunciation. im barely starting to learn japanese. so does it not mean "two" or does it but depending on the context it an mean several things like "two", "to", "at", "in" etc from what im seeing here?.


Yes, it means both :)
It is the pronunciation of 二 (which is the kanji for 2)
It is also a particle, which are grammatical pieces used for marking the function of a word in a sentence. に as a particle marks a specific location/destination or time which we roughly translate to "to/at/in" in English.
Japanese doesn't have very many syllables compared to most other languages, so it is full of homophones. When spoken the meaning would depend on context. In writing the kanji you will learn later on will make the meaning clearer.
(All these homophones are also great for making puns and tongue twisters)

for example
"In Mr. Niwa's garden, two chickens suddenly ate a crocodile" 丹羽の庭には二羽鶏俄にワニを食べた    丹羽の - Mr Niwa's 庭 - Garden には - In 二羽鶏 - Two chickens 俄に - suddenly ワニ - crocodile を食べた - ate
but in hiragana these meanings are far less clear:
niwano niwa ni wa niwa niwatori niwakani wani o tabeta


I wrote one for my answer. Duolingo said I had a typo and the answer was "On". This does not make sense!


に means "two"
But it is also a grammatical location/time particle translating to "To/in/at/on"

本棚 - hondana ni - "On the bookshelf"
月曜日 - getsuyoubi ni - "On Monday"


I dont understand still


"ni" is the pronunciation for the word meaning "two", but this specific hiragana itself is very versatile.

Word order in Japanese is not as strict as it is in English, so these short grammar pieces called particles are used to mark the function each word plays in a sentence. There are many different particles. There is a particle for the object of a sentence, one to mark a utensil or material something uses and the place where an action takes place, to mark the subject and topic of a sentence, to mark a direction of movement, etc.
に is a particle used to mark a set point in time and space. It works like the "on" in the phrase "On the desk", the "In" in "In the garden", the "to" in "I go to the store" and the "at" in "At 5:00"
You will start being introduced to particles and sentence structure more in the Intro sections onward. Don't stress out too much about them right now; just focus on learning the basic writing systems and some vocabulary to work with first.
Just know that if Duo suggests an alternative answer as "in/at/on" for に, there is a reason for it, it is not an error.


This isn't a trick question! "二" By itself means "two". Ni(に) means many things.

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