"Are you American?"

Translation:アメリカ人ですか?

June 11, 2017

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pocky709975

Im so confused. I dont know what Im learning. Maybe you can add more of "You're gonna learn this!" so I can understand how and the Japanese language uses it. For me, when I learn, I need more information to be able to get myself interested.

June 24, 2017

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

I agree, there is so little context on some of what is being dealt with that it's kind of hard to work out.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sara1190

Sticking the か particle at the end of a sentence turns it into a question, think of it as the question mark and not a word and it should be easy to remember.

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flareon52

Don't worry, I came into this already knowing hiragana and some basics, which I feel is necessary to fully understand this.

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoahDale1

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.

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilsa772619

That was the hardest lesson so far

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chip195870

It comes at us a little fast. If it was more gradual it might be better, but the course it young so im sure they will tweak it.

August 2, 2017

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

Do you have to have "jin" in the sentence? Or can you just say "America desu ka?" Why must you have "jin" in between America and desu?

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sara1190

Jin means person. If you just say "America desu ka?" it sounds like you're asking, "Are you America?"

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaioFranca2

Is "アメリカ人ですか?" The only possible translation?

June 11, 2017

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

Yes, pretty much. Although explicitly stating the subject is also an acceptable translation (あなたはアメリカ人ですか), it's very unnatural to do so.

July 23, 2017

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

You could say 「アメリカしゅっしんですか?」if you want to say "Are you from the U.S.?".

July 14, 2018

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

I initially tried to use 「はい、アメリカ人です」 as the answer to this.

June 23, 2017

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

Me too! Haha.

June 23, 2017

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

Mark down another, me too lol

August 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoelMills1

I dont understand the purpose of 人

August 19, 2017

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

アメリカ is America as the country. カナダ is Canada as the country.

アメリカ人 is American. カナダ人 is Canadian.

August 20, 2017

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

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.

August 4, 2019

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

How to know if the question is referring to "you" , "he/she/it" ? I suppose if it was "I" (rhetorical) it'd have "watashi" in there..

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

It is assumed that most questions are asked directly to someone, so use “you” for English translations of Japanese questions and “I” for answers to questions which will start with “yes” or “no”.

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil457108

It's getting so easy for me right now. The sentences are so simply build! much easier than german (im from germany)

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astor984033

Ikr

February 24, 2019

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

Why can't I say, "君はアメリカ人ですか? (Kimi wa AmerikaJin desu ka?)” Did I make a mistake with one of the Kanji, or?

August 4, 2019

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

I think that this is translated to'あなたは アメリカ人 ですか?'.

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emry759392

Remember that "you" words like あなた are generally avoided in normal conversation. あなた is extremely familiar, usually used, for example, by a wife to her husband.

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jesse922038

Could you say amerikajin wa desuka?

August 1, 2017

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

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.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamJamies2

Drop the wa, its not needed there. Amerikajin desu ka would be like just saying "American?" It works better than in english because japanese verbalises the question mark.

August 10, 2017

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

Friends, study Hiragana heavily before you jump into this. The kanji will come in soon so prepare

August 18, 2017

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

LOL I PUT BBF I

August 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nope_1037

It's easier to explain japanese in english but not otherwise ;-;

September 17, 2017

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

What do you do if you don't have a Japanese keyboard?

October 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astor984033

Search for online ones if you're on a computer. If you're on your cell, there are some apps for that, they're usually pretty useful and easy to understand.

February 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

There are keyboards that come with windows that you can switch to and you can switch languages to type in on the phones as well. You can easily switch back as well.

February 24, 2019

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

so danm close, I FORGOT THE "人"!

November 5, 2017

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

i wish the course would explain grammar and structure before throwing me in the deep end like this! what's the 人 there for? agh! maybe i should find something else to build up my knowledge and then come back to duolingo later.

January 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

That changes America into America-person which is translated into “American”. If you click on each word or character, you should see hints. This is the kanji or Chinese character borrowed into Japanese for “person” or “people”

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shelby252180

This makes no sense and it is getting really hard

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilkeRose1

Is the closed triangle symbol the same as the upside down V symbol?

February 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

No, your upside down V symbol is the Chinese character borrowed into Japanese, or kanji, for “person”, or “people” This is added after a country name to indicate a person of that country.

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qdc9ucveq0cveup

How dare you assume my ethnicity!

December 10, 2018

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

"American" isn't an ethnicity. What are you smoking, and can I have some?

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qdc9ucveq0cveup

You're right, "American" is a nationality. I am currently smoking some cocaine and you can have some.

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TreVorM11

What is the difference between arimasen, and de wa arimasen?

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

“dewa arimasen” is the correct negative form of the verb.

March 1, 2019

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

I am confusing please let me know if there is anything that can help me

March 14, 2019

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

So, if I'm not using あなた, how can I know that I'm talking about "You"? Only knowing the context?

June 8, 2019

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

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.)

June 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isaiah321865

How come there are multimple answers for some phrases such as with アメリカ人です , you can answer with im american OR i am from america, but with アメリカ人ですか, you have to choose between are you american or are you from america?

June 13, 2019

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

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:

August 4, 2019
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