"Are you American?"


June 11, 2017



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


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


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


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


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


That was the hardest lesson so far

June 23, 2017


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


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


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

July 29, 2017


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

June 11, 2017


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


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


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

June 23, 2017


Me too! Haha.

June 23, 2017


Mark down another, me too lol

August 27, 2017


I dont understand the purpose of 人

August 19, 2017


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


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


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


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


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



February 24, 2019


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


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

June 11, 2017


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


Could you say amerikajin wa desuka?

August 1, 2017


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


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


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

August 18, 2017



August 26, 2017


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

September 17, 2017


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

October 27, 2017


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


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


so danm close, I FORGOT THE "人"!

November 5, 2017


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


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


This makes no sense and it is getting really hard

February 12, 2018


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

February 20, 2018


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


How dare you assume my ethnicity!

December 10, 2018


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

December 16, 2018


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

December 16, 2018


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

February 28, 2019


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

March 1, 2019


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

March 14, 2019


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


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


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


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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