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  5. "はい、学生です。"

"はい、学生です。"

Translation:Yes, I am a student.

June 11, 2017

74 Comments


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

Tricky. Picked students instead of student.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mark.one.too

Same. This could mean I'm a student, they are students, she's a student, etc. You know by context. Keep going!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michael.ra14

Each character says "hai, gaku nama desu". But audio says "hai, gak saya dis"? I'm confused...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Almost every kanji has multiple readings which are split into on'yomi (derived from Chinese pronunciation) and kun'yomi (derived from old Japanese pronunciation). As far as I know, thr general rule is on its own, or in combination with hiragana, kanji uses kun'yomi while when in combination with other kanji, on'yomi is used.

So, in this case, 生 can be pronunced nama when on its own, but in combination with 学, it uses the on'yomi pronunciation of せい sei.


[deactivated user]

    Are there more than 2 pronunciations or additional kun'yomi, on'yomi sounds?


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

    Yes, most kanji have at least two, but many have more.

    生 specifically has more readings than most
    The most common kun-yomi readings:
    生 as なま is used for "raw"
    生 as き is a prefix for "pure"
    生きる as い is the verb "to live"
    生む as う is "to give birth to"
    生える as は is "to grow/sprout"
    生る as な is "to bear fruit"

    On-yomi has
    生 - せい in words like 学生「がくせい」"student"
    and しょう in words like 生涯 「しょうがい」"lifetime"

    This is why it is usually much easier to just remember the pronunciation in the context of the word as a whole rather than memorizing each individual reading of a kanji. Despite all of its readings you can see the connection of all of them referring in some way to "life".
    (You can also see why Duo's audio troubles with not using the desired pronunciation when the kanji is taken out of context for the specific sentence gets a bit complicated)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maxdelange2

    The u sound in for example: desu, gaku is often silent in pronounciation. As to why this is, I don't know


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

    It's a dialect. In some places like Tokyo, for example, the 'u' is very weak when they pronounce words like desu so its sounds like des and in other places they pronounce the 'u' more prominent.


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

    Well, 生 can say sei, but it can also say nama. Kanji characters are pronounced differently depending on what word they're used in. When used in 学生 (Student, gakusei), it says sei, but when used in a word like 生意気 (Saucy, namaiki), it says nama. It's confusing, but you'll get good at it eventually.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulianParedes11

    Why isn't correct "Yes, I'm Student"? Is it necesary the article "a"?


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

    "Yes, i'm student" isnt proper English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Timo370248

    ...we are studying Japanese tho.. not English. Im from Finland and we dont have "the" and/or "a" we dont tell seperatly if there is only one of something. So i knew the correct answer and writed: I am student. My answer whas correct so Duolingp should have just auto corrected the mussing "a" in there.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    That's true, and kudos to you for studying this course even if English isn't your native language.

    However, because this is an Japanese-English course, the only way Duo can check your understanding is by looking at your English answers.

    Judging from your English though, I think it's more than good enough to understand the difference between "I'm a student" and "I'm the student". So which one should Duo auto correct to? They have subtly different meanings, and Duo doesn't know that you know the correct answer is the first one.

    I can understand your frustration, but at the end of the day, Duo is just a bunch of code and it can't read your mind. If you don't give it "the right answer", it thinks you don't know it.


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

    Honestly the thought of not having an article surprises me. The difference between a and the is not subtle at all. They completely change the meaning. Imagine you are a doctor in the delivery room and you approach one of a few males in the room and ask "Are you the father?" and he responds "I'm a father." Obviously you'd know it's him because the awful dad joke, but if you had no sense of humor you'd be very confused as to whether he is the man you are looking for or not.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, it's not a subtle difference at all. Japanese, being a more highly contextual language, takes advantage of this by relying on the obviousness to come through in the conversation, without anyone having to use articles.

    Imagine the same situation in Japanese. As the doctor, you would say to one of the males in the room 「お父さんですか?」. I don't remember if this sentence appears in this Japanese course, or whether it's before or after the current exercise, but as a stand-alone sentence without this context, many sources would probably translate this to "are you my father?" Obviously, knowing the situation, this translation doesn't make sense and it should be "are you the father?" but that's how powerful context is in Japanese.

    Continuing the situation, the man you asked starts to grin and looks sideways at one of the others, saying 「まあ、一応父です」. The man he was looking at immediately jumps in and says 「(to the first man)ちげーよ、(to you)俺は父です」, pointing to himself. You shoot a confused look at a third man who points to the second guy, saying 「父です」.

    Hopefully, I don't need to provide translations for each sentence and you can follow along with what happened just based on the context, even though 父 just means "father", no articles needed.


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

    It is a Japanese course, but it is technically Japanese for English speakers, so Duo wants correct English grammar for the English sections. Duo generally does not consider a missing word to be a typo in either language.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RayGarcia915353

    The Japanese sentence doesn't even make the distinction between I/they/it am a/the student so it shouldn't be required. There is no way to truly translate this sentence into English, so requiring the article arbitrarily makes no sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pien698672

    Stupid question, my English needs to improve. What is the difference between= I am student and I am a student


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

    Not a stupid question. In English, we use definite (the) and indefinite articles (a/an) for singular nouns. It seems a little redundant, but it's a feature of the language (unlike in Japanese and some other languages). They are not optional in English.

    The definite article "the" is used to refer to something specifically. "That is the shirt I bought on Tuesday." The can also be used for emphasis.

    The indefinite articles "a" and "an" are referring to something more generally. "That is a cat." If you said "that is the cat," you would likely be referring to a pet cat, or some other specific cat.

    As a side note, a/an use is sound dependant. If the following word has a vowel sound, use an. If it has a consonant sound, use a. Generally, words with a vowel sound start with a vowel, and words with a consonant sounds start with a consonant, but this isn't always true. Two notable exceptions would be hour and unicorn, where you would say "an hour" and "a unicorn" because a/an is based off sound and not letters.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephanie.361962

    I'm glad english is my first language and I haven't needed to consciously learn these things


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

    I'm glad that I'm fluent in English even though it's not my first language. It does take time to reach fluency though :p


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Timo370248

    Is this same if im saying. " yes I am a student" or "yes he is a student" depending on the situation? I know they have ways to tell the person but seems like they don't use them that often.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, it's the same depending on the situation. I think people generally avoid specifying the subject unless it's absolutely necessary to get the meaning across. For example:

    A: お前、学生ですか? (Oi you, are you a student?)

    B: はい、学生です。 (Yes, I'm a student.)

    A: 彼は? (What about him?)

    B: はい、学生です。 (Yes, he's a student.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dEKU-17

    So はい、学生です。 can be A. Yes, I'm a student B. Yes, he's a student C. Yes, you're a student Etc?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, that's right. Which one is "correct" depends completely on the context. The same principle applies in most sentences where は isn't used (to indicate the topic).


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

    I think of it like Hi.


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

    I've read that this sentence could also be written as はい、学生。Is this correct? (I'm guessing things like the subject have to be implied from context when using this sentence?)


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

    No. It would just mean "Yes, student". You need the desu to make it "Yes, I am a student".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RayGarcia915353

    in はい、学生, a hidden copula is assumed at the end of the sentence, so it really is the same, just more casual.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aipe97

    But isnt "desu" a way to add politeness to the sentence and in casual speech be omitted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    です is a way to add politeness, but not simply by its presence. It has a specific grammatical role, which is filled by だ in informal speech. So you add politeness by choosing to use です instead of だ.

    While it is sometimes omitted in casual speech (most notably after な-adjectives), you are technically speaking fragments of sentences which, by the context of the conversation makes sense (just like it sometimes works in English).

    I think Occam's Razor is a good principle to have for these exercises when considering context. Yes, it can work sometimes in certain situations, but as a beginner, it makes more sense to try to learn the general rule, and only once you're familiar with it, should you go looking for exceptions.


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

    Shouldn't "pupil" instead of "student" work, too?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JTofSpades01

    Why is the "jin" character not used in this example?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elia1735

    人(jin) means person. So if you don't want to say "i am a student person", which makes absolutely no sense, there is no need for 人.


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

    Is はい、私わ学生 also correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Close, you should have used は instead of わ, though pronunciation-wise they would be the same. However, note that native speakers tend to avoid saying 私は as a matter of habit. Also, without です, it makes your sentence somewhat conversational/less formal, so you'll need to be aware of who you're responding to.


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

    Why is it pronounced "des" if the hiragana symbols correspond to "desu"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    This happens in a lot of Japanese words, where vowel sounds (typically for す and つ) get left out or "crushed". Unfortunately, I don't know what the rule is for figuring it out, but there is one.

    It's not necessarily incorrect to pronounce です as desu, but it's an accent type of thing, as far as I'm aware, and standard Japanese pronunciation is des.


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

    Typically, if it's at the beginning of a word, you get the full す or つ pronunciation, as in words like すし (sushi) and つなみ (tsunami), but when they are in the middle or end of a word, you often see the u sound barely pronounced or left out altogether (です)


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

    Can this sentence also mean "Yes, it is a student"? (just for future to know)


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

    Technically yes, although there would generally be little occasion to translate it in such a way, unless the student is a robot.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blobfish201

    If i was to say this in real life, would it still work if i said "Watashi wa Gakusei desu"??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, it would, in that the meaning would get across. However, whether or not it sounds natural depends largely on the situation you are in, though in general, Japanese people tend not to say watashi wa


    [deactivated user]

      Does desu mean I am?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

      Not exactly. It just means "is/am/are". The "I" part is implied by context; other subjects can also be implied (have a read through some of the earlier comments)


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

      Are we being taught hiragana, kanji and katakana??


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

      In this course, yes (as we should), but this specific question doesn't have katakana.


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

      Is there something similar to this app but without kanji? Hiragana and katakana are all that I'd like to learn currently...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel277308

      What does mean the circle at the end of the sentence?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elia1735

      It is the Japanese sign for the end of a sentence. Maby you also noticed that the "," looks a little bit different too. . 。 , 、


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yeeboi12

      could you replace the はい with ええ?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

      Yes, you could. ええ is a little more formal (and slightly more feminine, to me) than はい though, so depending on the situation, you might get strange looks.


      [deactivated user]

        Why isn't 私 before 学生? I thought 私 was required to say "I" or "I am"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

        No, it isn't required. 私【わたし】does mean "I", and you can have it before 学生 (typically 私学生です), but it's very common in Japanese to drop the topic/subject of a sentence if it's easily implied through the context of the sentence/conversation.


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

        I put "That's correct, I'm a student." and I got it wrong even though its better to interpret はい as "That's correct." rather than "Yes." Man Duolingo is harsh.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniel602508

        I answered "yes a student" and was told its not correct, but as Japanese doesnt rely on subjects in sentence, how is that wrong? This literally says "yes, student is"


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

        学生です is a full sentence, but "a student" is not. You need to translate the copula です -is/am/are a student


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

        Why "yes, I'm student" is incorrect but "yes, I am a student." is correct?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

        "yes, I'm a student." The "a" is necessary in correct English.


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

        "Yes I am student " isn't correct???


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

        "I am student" isn't grammatically correct.
        You need an article "I am a student"


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

        How do you tell the difference between singular and plural words? Like in english we have s (eg tools-tools table- tables)


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

        Yah, its kinda confusing Its gaksei? Or namasei?


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

        学生・がくせい gakusei
        学・がく - learning, study
        生・せい - life

        nama is another reading of the second kanji 生, meaning "raw"


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

        It can be YES I AM STUDENT


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

        Should be to answer "yes I'm student"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlosRubi657803

        "Am" is considered a short for "I am" should be valid, with a typo warning.


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

        Is there a logical reason for 「Yes, a student」be wrong? Or is duo being duo?


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

        Kinda silly cause "yes, students" would a proper translation as well.


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

        Then where does です go?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2NKb1

        And why 学生です just can be translated that I am a student? it's mean that translated into students is wrong !

        Just because there is not students in word cards!

        No reason that です can exactly finger out that the subject of that sentence is singular or plurly.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

        I think Beste_schurk was trying to point out that "yes, students" lacks a verb and です behaves as a verb in this sentence.

        If you want to translate 学生 as "students", then subject-object agreement necessitates that the subject (and the copula in English) is also plural, i.e. "yes, they are students" or "yes, you (all) are students".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mark.one.too

        You are right Zhang, the sentence could be singular or plural


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

        The sentence can be singular or plural, but です necessitates the translation including a subject and verb.

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