To the best of my knowledge, the Japanese language tends not to acknowledge the plural s like some other languages do, at least with anything other than people. For example, there is the word 私(watashi)たち which translates as we where the makes it plural. Objects are counted instead if it has some relevance to the conversation. I hope that makes sense, i found it really wierd at first too.
Not all the languages have a s to mean the plural of nouns. It's only some Indo-European languages, and not even all of them. Romance languages have this feature (yes, English shouldn't have it, but the English language experienced heavy transformations under the French influence)
It's not a surprise that Japanese doesn't have it. Why it should. It's not even related to Indo-European languages.
interesting : you say that watashi means " we were " ? that's why i could not proceed with this lesson because DUO doesn't give any translation for this word ! I looked with google or Yantex and they say watashi means " ME " !!. so I will try your translation, hoping it will work. thanks
You misread lady's comment, but I can see why you would.
To clarify, "watashitachi", spelt like 私たち with kanji and kana, means "we."
Watashi can mean "I" or "me" depending on the context, it's a first person pronoun that's considered "neutral" (as opposed to "boku" which is a first-person pronoun that has a more masculine feel, so mostly only boys use it.)
-tachi when added to nouns that have to do with people make the nouns plural. Which is why watashitachi means "we" or instead of "me." "Bokutachi" also means "we." Kodomo means child, so "kodomotachi" would mean children.
Japanese is unusual in that for most nouns that don't have to do with people, they don't differentiate between plural and singular, because most people can tell with the context. So "yasai" can mean both "vegetable" and "vegetables." You wouldn't see "yasaitachi" written anywhere.
Since the website lessons are still in beta hopefully grammar notes will be added to them soon, but sadly the app doesn't get grammar notes at the start of any of the lessons.
My answer in kanji (野菜) was not accepted... (it was the listening exercise). Perhaps it should be specified to type in hiragana or kanji straight in the instruction to clear such confusions in the future (it's only a suggestion), or to accept both the kanji and hiragana answers. It is frustrating to be marked wrong every other time when you have switched (or started to switch) to kanji out of habit.
No, やさい is a noun that just happens to end in an い, it cannot be used as an adjective. There are several words that end this way that aren't い adjectives; it is usually easier to tell in their kanji form.
白・しお white (noun) 白い・しろい white (adjective)
野菜・やさい vegetable (noun)
可愛い・かわいい "cute" is an adjective where the base of the word in kanji ends in い and an additional い is added to make it an adjective.
奇麗・きれい "pretty, clean" is an adjective but it is not an い-adjective even though it ends in an "i" sound. That "i" is part of the kanji root, not okurigana that is used to conjugate. This adjective is actually called a な-adjective, meaning it acts like a noun.
Romaji is just the latin/roman alphabet. It is used to transcribe Japanese words so foreigners who can't read actual Japanese can still pronounce them.
Hiragana is the primary syllabary. This is a system of 42 characters used to write all of the syllables that exist in the language. Hiragana is used for most grammatical components (particles, inflections), set phrases and pronunciation guides (furigana). This is also used to write native Japanese words with uncommon/irregular kanji and the kun-yomi (native Japanese reading) of kanji in dictionaries.
Katakana is the secondary syllabary which covers all of the same sounds as hiragana. This is used for writing foreign/loan words, onomatopeia, scientific terms (plant/animal names) and for emphasis. It is similar to writing in CAPS or italics. This is also the system used for the on-yomi (Sino-Japanese reading) of a kanji in dictionaries.
Kanji is the logographic system borrowed from China consisting of thousands of characters. Rather than a specific sound, each symbol stands for a unique meaning. Most nouns, adjective and verb stems are written in kanji.
Fully fluent Japanese uses a combination of all three writing systems (hiragana, katakana, kanji). There are no spaces in Japanese so the altering of writing systems helps distinguish where words begin and end. Kanji also help distinguish the meaning of a word among the many homophones that exist in a language with such a small syllabary.
"Maria can speak Japanese"
Hiragana pronunciation: まりあはにほんごがはなせます
Romaji pronunciation: maria-san wa nihongo ga hanasemasu
katakana - hiragana - kanji - hiragana - kanji - hiragana
マリア "Maria" is a foreign name so it is written in katakana
さん is an honorific suffix to show respect to Maria, は is an old info/topic particle, が is a new info/subject particle and ～せます is a polite non-past potential verb inflection. These are all grammatical pieces so they are written in hiragana.
日本語 "Japanese (language)" is a noun and 話 "speak" is a verb base written in kanji.
These early skills are for teaching the basic hiragana system; all of the sounds that exist in the language. Once you have an understanding of hiragana and katakana you will be introduced to kanji.
The kanji for "vegetable" is 野菜 and its pronunciation is やさい
"Write this in English" would always be asking for a translation, because if you transcribed it as "yasai", you would still be writing in Japanese.
For your question, do you mean associations with the meaning of the words or with the reading of the hiragana? Either way, I think checking the hints is the best bet. If there were no hints, then I think that was an error.
Best of luck if you continue!
If I tell you "Talk in English", you will talk using only English words.
Same. If I tell you write in english, use only words that exist in English.
San, yon, etc, are Japanese words, not English ones. Written using a different writting system. But I doesn't change their language. They are Japanese words.
You are supposed to write down your new vocabulary in a notebook, to learn them.
You should also use Memrise or Duo's flashcards to create mental associations.