"Are you American?"
Its annoying, but read the comments anytime you come across something you dont immediately understand. Theres usually a good explanation in the comments. Duolingo Japanese is still in beta I think, so its best used if you combine it with other resources. I'm going through a textbook called Genki at the same time.
Use the lightbulb button at the start of your lesson selection to help your understanding of a particular lesson. I was ignoring that button for quite a while and it helped clear up a good number of the questions I had myself. The community comment sections are helping with the rest so far.
Duolingo is a great tool for beginners to extend their knowledge. But it's terrible for those who don't know anything yet. My advice: look up basic grammar. Learn about the particles は (wa), か (ka), and a couple others.
I would also advice to learn hiragana and possibly a bit of katakana and maybe a handfull of kanji.
Duolingo is terribke for teaching grammar, but it is useful for learning new words and to learn some kanji.
If you were already talking about someone else, then you would have to say "watashi" but otherwise it's implied that you're talking about yourself. Strangely, some Japanese songs even leave out the word "desu" at the end of sentences because it's implied, and would make the song repetative.
Not quite. If you were already talking about someone else, it's implied that you're still talking about them. If you say 私, then you're basically shifting the conversation to be about you.
Also, it's not just songs that leave out です; it's commonly dropped in everyday speech, especially in casual situations.
Only in the very specific situation where you want to clarify that something someone just said pertains to "the American" you have previously talked about (maybe if you had been talking about a few different people and wanted to check to whom they were referring).
Otherwise, no. です connects the indirect object to the subject. By specifying アメリカ人 as the subject by using は, です no longer has an object to connect to. Without specifying the subject, it can be assumed to be "you" which です connects アメリカ人 to.
No, you didn't make any mistakes; your sentence probably hasn't been added to the list of acceptable answers.
But more importantly, I think it's a good choice by the course developers to leave it out because, while 君 does mean "you", I strongly advise against using it until you have a very firm grasp of the politeness and social norms in Japan. Though it might seem rude to an English speaker to leave out the pronoun and essentially just say "American?", not using a pronoun is actually a safer option in Japanese than risking using 君 in an inappropriate context.
I downloaded "Japanese Keyboard" and it is a fantastic app so far. It is extremely useful as it allows you to voice-to-text japanese as well as just typing in the phonetic spelling and instantly giving you multiple character options for it. Usually beginning with the hirigana character and expanding into a lot of characters i dont recognize yet.
Well, I'm assuming you should know what you're talking about before you even say it, but yes, the rest of us can only guess based on the context of the conversation.
(In this course, most of the time, it's safe to assume questions are talking about "you" and statements are talking about "me", unless it's stated otherwise.)
人 (Jin) denotes that a person is a type of person. 人 in アメリカ人 means that the person is American, in one way or another.
出身 (shusshin) denotes that a person is from somewhere. 出身 in アメリカ出身 means that a person is FROM America, and possibly nothing more.
For anyone confused, this seems to be an important cultural thing in East Asian cultures. For instance, 中国人 (chuugoku) is also the same exact thing in Chinese, just pronounced differently, and this kind of shows how they value who you are and where you are from (to an extent), and also shows how similar the cultures over there can be. Hope this random info helps some people understand the concept more! Let me know if I'm wrong about any of this. c:
Japanese has two types of readings for kanji "kunyomi" which are the native Japanese reading, and "onyomi" which are based off the Chinese reading of the character (since Kanji came from China). Hito is kunyomi and jin is onyomi, when attached to a country name it is pronounced jin. There's no trick to 100% know when to use kunyomi or onyomi, just learning the specific reading as you come across it.
A few things can help like onyomi never has hiragana attached to the end but kunyomi often does, like in taberu: 食べる, and if a word is multiple kanji characters combined together it is usually oniyomi.
Most single character words like tree: 木 are pronounced with kunyomi so 木 on it's own is pronounced "ki" but when it is used in the compound word Wednesday it is pronounced with the onyomi reading, "moku" and the full word is mokuyoubi: 木曜日 aka tree day. Of course there are exceptions to the rules but hopefully this is help a bit.