Translation:Do you listen to music?
Why is "は" used here? I'd rather use "を" in here. Is it correct or am I wrong?
More literally translated this sentence would be "About music, do you listen to it?". Music is the topic, not the one you're talking to. You can also use を, that would change the meaning to "Do (you) listen to music?".
But because the literal translation of the sentence with は sounds strange in English, you translate it just like the one with を.
は indicates the sentence theme, を use to be the direct complement of an action
I would say it as "Do you listen to music?" vs "Are you listening to music?" That's how I always understood it when I spoke Japanese to my friends. I have previous years of Japanese knowledge.
I would rather use を。音楽は聞きますか translates more like, "Is it music you listen to?" The emphasis being on music as opposed to other things.
Yes, 聴く means that you pay more attention to the music. It's about the music. 聞くcan also be translated as: "to hear" or "to ask". But both are spoken as "kiku".
ありがとうございます。 So I guess writing 聴く is roughly comparable to using “listen” rather than “hear” in English? 聞く is unintentional and 聴く is when I actively pay attention to what I hear, is that correct?
I don't think so, since if the kiku used here is unintentional it'd be "do you hear the music?"
True, but the question was whether the two are distinguished in kanji spelling, even though they are pronounced the same. However I now suspect that that was not it, either. At least I now suspect that “do you hear the music” would be 音楽は聞こえていますか。
Why not "Do you hear music?" - for example, as if the speaker thought he heard music faintly from a distance and wanted his interlocutor to confirm it.
I thought so as well, at first, but "music" would usually not be topic in that case -- it could, of course, but it usually wouldn't, and therefore adding it would be more confusing than not.
Unless the developers simply haven't thought of it yet, in which case reporting it might help.
yeah, I also had " can you hear the music?" and was marked wrong. Wondering if this is also correct and if not, why not
Because that would be 聞こえる, which is very similar to 聞く but different from even its (rarely used) potential-form conjugation 聞ける. While 聞く is to listen, 聞こえる means to be heard whether actively listening or not.
歌（うた）: A song, which has lyrics and you can sing it.
曲（きょく）: A piece of music, sometimes just melody.
音楽（おんがく）: Music in general.
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, because part of this is based on my knowledge of Chinese.
Shouldn`t "are you listening to music" also be accepted? Is there a way to signal the difference between "are you listening" and "do you listen"?
Yes, the (polite) present progressive tense ("am/are/is listening") is formed with te-form + imasu: 聞いています
The object of “to listen” is always marked with “to”. So you can’t “listen something”, just “listen to something”.
I really wish duolingo would be consistent with accepted Kanji. Unless I made another mistake I'm missing I think 「音楽は聞きますか？」should be accepted.
The topic is not a sentence component in the same way as subjects, objects ect. Something can absolutely be the topic and the subject/object/adverbial at the same time. In fact that is very often the case. For most case particles, the topic marker -は would simply be added after it (for example if がっこうに “at/to the school” is topicalised, it becomes がっこうには). The subject marker -が and the object marker -を are exceptions to this: They simply get replaced by -は. So you could think of おんがくは in the above sentence to actually be おんがくをは on the deep structure, only the -を got eaten by -は.
So the topic particle おんがくは聞きますか is not a mistake, it’s a perfectly valid variation on おんがくを聞きますか.
"Do you listen to music" is marked as incorrect, instead it should be translated as "do they listen to music". Since I waste my time trying to learn Japanese with Duolingo I wonder how Japanese language makes clear the difference, how should I know that? Even now it is not clear what mistake I have made, so should I first take a course in Japanese elsewhere and then start with Duolingo here?
“Do you listen to music” should be accepted (it would actually be my first interpretation outside of any context). I can only imagine it has not yet been added to the long list of possible solutions. Report it when it comes up again and I’m sure that will be corrected.
I would avoid using Duolingo to learn Japanese seriously at the moment. There are a lot of little things right now that are not quite right and could solidify bad habits if you don't realize it. There is a little bit of a "blind leading the blind" problem right now, though I don't want to disparage the efforts of those working to improve the system.
No, that would be おんがくを聞いていますか？ -ています would be the expected form if someone is actually in the process of doing something.
How come the other sentences like this translate to "are you writing a letter" and "are you watching a movie" but then in this case, "are you listening to music" is wrong? i understand there is another way of saying you are presently listening to something, but then how come it's not the same for the other very similar questions....like the watching of movies and writing of letters?? It's not consistent and I don't understand why.
If the other questions are not using the continuous form but are allowing the English translation to be continuous, those answers are incorrect. It should be the same for any verbs.
Is the continuous form, "Are you listening to music?" an appropriate translation of the Japanese question here?
Nope. That would be おんがくを聞いていますか？ The alternate to "Do you listen to music" would be "will you listen to music." Since present and future tense are said the same way.
Shouldn't "will you listen to music" be accepted? It was marked wrong.
"will you listen to music" to me suggests either "will you want to listen to music now" if so would be "音楽が如何ですか" (ongaku ga ikaga desu ka) or "are you willing to listen to music" which would be conjugated differently (probably along the "聞いてもいいですか" (kiite mo ii desu ka) lines). It doesn't have the same meaning as the japanese phrase in question...
It probably plays not only 聞 but 聞き because 聞 is not even the complete stem of the verb. That’s kik-, with the consonant but not the vowel of the second syllable – this is why the vowel changes in different verb forms: 聞く, 聞きます, 聞かない, 聞け…
Another possible reason is that the computer might use a different reading (ぶん or もん) if you told it to read just 聞 without an ending that shows the verb is meant.