"でんわ"

Translation:Telephone

June 11, 2017

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/royalt213

My god writing in this language must take forever.


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

Bear in mind how many English letters and strokes it takes for long words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dirk390845

Yea but kanji is extremely intricate with all box like symbols, compared to small easy symbols. Apples and oranges


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dirk390845

Small easy curved angles compared to sharp and odd angles


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

Heh, it's really just a question of how used to it you are. Like, i'm sure you have no difficulty writing numbers, and those have plenty of sharp angles. I grew up writing in both English and Chinese, so writing in kanji feels natural to me. Writing in English honestly doesn't take any less time than Chinese or Japanese.

Not gonna lie though, learning Chinese/Japanese characters takes longer than learning how to spell in English. Growing up, a significant portion of my Chinese homework from kindergarten all the way through high school literally just involved copying out a bunch of new characters about 20 times each to make it muscle memory.


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

Yeah it's super complicated. It must be hard to remember every single tiny line with each kanji


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

As someone who grew up with Chinese, very much so at first. It does get easier though. Many characters are formed with components that also appear in many other characters. For instance, 日 shows up in 昨, 照, 朝, 明. In addition to giving you a hint as to what those characters mean (just like how all of the character listed above have something to do with the sun/day), as you go you just kind of... get used to the various components and you start thinking of them as things consisting of combinations of standard sets of lines instead of individual lines on their own. If that makes sense.


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

On that note, fun fact: 言 on its own means word, or speech, in Chinese. 舌 is the word for tongue. Put them together and you get 話 (speech/talk/language). Both components contain 口, which means mouth.

Meanwhile, 雨 is rain. 申, extend. 電--> lightning/electricity (picture the lightning spreading out in the rain)

電話 --> electric talk-->telephone


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

To JelisW: It is easy to recognize numbers because we have only 10 numbers. But we do have more than 2000 kanjis. I have Japanese native friends (use app iTalk) and most of them don't know all kanjis.


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

Haha I'm Chinese; trust me when I say that I know exactly how difficult the initial learning and retaining of kanji can be, given that Chinese is written only in hanzi. My comment about numbers was just to respond to the idea above that sharp angles and lines make a character any more time-consuming or difficult to write. It doesn't, really. Once you're used to it, it's just as fast to write in as English is. It's the initial memorisation that's the problem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OscarMarco4

You only had to know 27 letters and some others to write almost everything


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

It takes almost no time to type it out on the computer though, with the proper input method. I use one where I type the romanized characters then push space to cycle through the options or choose from a list; because it displays the most commonly-used words first (and adjusts dynamically based on YOUR usage) the first choice is the one I want an overwhelming majority of the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/9hSF2

It's easier and faster these days with computers. Prior to computers, China and Japan went through a phase of character simplification (eg 國 -> 国)


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

I read that you remember words or ideas/facts better if you write them by hand rather than on a computer. I was shocked to find out that in new york, elementary schools no longer teach cursive writing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShelbShelb97

...because cursive is an almost useless skill. Why waste so much time teaching kids something that most will forget, when maybe 1% will find a use for it in their life? Few people write enough for cursive to really save them any time. If you're concerned with speed or permanence or basically anything functional, type it. If you want something personal or to really remember it (if that even helps for you), then write it, but you don't need cursive to do that. I think the only person I know personally who writes in cursive is my mom, and it's chicken scratch.

That said, I doubt they're teaching anything more useful in place of it, but it's a nice thought...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kerridwen2

It turns out that cursive writing activated the right ("artistic") side of the brain. People (kids) who are non-sequential thinkers learn reading/writing BETTER and more easily with cursive than with printing. I knew i preferred cursive, but not why until reading this - i have seen some of my own children struggle with printing, but have an easier time with cursive.

So it's not useless, even if it's less necessary than it once was.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xavier755639

They teach it in Catholic schools in ny. I still use it to this day since it's faster for writing


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

there's a reason the neighbors use 电话 instead.


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

That is simplified Chinese


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

That's why we have texting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

A.k.a. "Electric Talk"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sololearn1

In Chinese it's pronounced "dian hua" which is similar to "denwa" so it's easy to remember.


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

that's cause it uses the on'yomi


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

On a long phone call between friends you might say "Then what?" quite a lot. So when you're trying to remember the word for telephone, just think "Then what?" to remember "denwa"!


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

Is this a home phone, a cordless phone, a cell phone, or a general term?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexanderL2

Yes, でんわ (電話) is a general term for telephone as others have mentioned. However, if I'm not mistaken, what we call a cell phone or mobile phone English is usually referred to in Japanese as けいたい, which is short for けいたいでんわ (携帯電話) and literally means something like "carrying telephone."


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

Does this mean it's the equivalent of how we can say "cell" instead of "cellphone"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

Yes, they are similar. But "keitai" means "carry", or in this text, "portable"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Stachowiak

So a better example could be how we sometimes refer to cell phones as "mobile" phones?


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

It's like in India, where we used to call them just 'mobiles' instead of 'mobile phone' before the arrival of smartphones.


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

It's a general term.


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

電話:でんわ 電:でん (electricity) 話:わ (language) Basically: language over electricity, which is how traditional landline phones worked!


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

Thanks, I wish these etymologies were more prevalent in Duolingo. They give important insight into how words are related, so you learn more/faster.


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

DENzel WAshington is angry, grabs my phone and throws it away


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/al-ash

"Denwa" in romaji


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

I remember this like someone calling my phone and saying "then what!?". Then what? Den-wa? phone!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kayray99

think of den den mushi from one piece


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/takutom7

So when picking up a call do you actually say moshi moshi?


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

"THEN WHAT?" he screamed at the telephone.


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

Isn't it けったい ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinaJoh3

That's the word for "carry" and means "cell phone" (けいたいでんわ) the way we sometimes just say "cell" or "mobile"


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

Im having alot of trouble with these new hiragana symbols. The whole thing with the てandで and the ひand ぴ really is throwing me off track. And the big and little ones like when 'よ' gets smaller and such.


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

This one's just going to need familiarity and practice, I'm afraid. Download the full charts from here https://drmoku.com/hiragana-cheat-sheet/ and copy them out again and again. Then, when you're reasonably confident, test yourself by drawing a blank chart and then filling it out =D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Artistikitty-

Hey, that's actually really helpful! Thanks! =)


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

Is this a verb or a noun?


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

It sounds really similar in Chinese "電話(telephone)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michelle666214

My pneumonic device for でんわ: imagine two people on the asking "Then What?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoGar690658

Why isnt "telephone(denwa)" written in katakana?


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

Katakana is mainly used for loan words or emphasized words. Hiragana is used for most Japanese words, and is used when learning how to pronounce kanji. Kanji has its own uses.


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

Will this work in a conversation about cell phones? Furthermore smartphones?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trinity189189

I dial on the telephone, but den wha I do? The struggle is real.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/some-body_once_

Shouldnt this be "call" and not "phone"?


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

how is den den mushi nit correct?


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

でんでんむし is a word for "snail"...


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

電話 should be acceptable for this answer as 電話 and でんわ are the same thing, it's just the kanji for it.


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

The kanji is acceptable on English to Japanese translation questions.
Listening questions however are automatically generated by Duo. The contributors are unable to add multiple answer options to them so they will only accept one single 'best' answer. Since this question is derived from the hiragana course the 'best answer' must be in hiragana.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jim750574

its fun learning japanese after learning chinese, there are many similarities. でんわ=電話(denwa) chinese 电话(diànhuà)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Equilibrio8

How is this hiragana character sometimes wa and sometimes ne? How are we supposed to know? What is yes difference between the wa in den wa and the wa in konichiwa that they get a different hiragana character?


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

"wa" is わ, "ne" is ね,

The "wa" in こんにちは uses the hiragana for "ha" は because it is acting as a grammatical particle marking the topic of a sentence. (In Kanji it would be 「今日は」literally meaning "on the topic of this day"
The kanji for でんわ is 電話 where the "wa" is the part of the word meaning "speech/talk" (lit. 'electric talk')
This same kanji is found in the verb 話す ・はなす・hanasu・"to speak"

There's a long historical explanation about the shift in kana pronunciations but just know that as a topic particle は is "wa" (this is the pronunciation you'll usually see when this kana is by itself), and as part of a word it is its standard pronunciation "ha" (most often seen in pronunciation guides like these hiragana lessons and in set expressions written in kana only since full words are usually written in their kanji form)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EliHurst1

Why is telephone longer then fruit? XD


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

Is the last character typically romanized as "ne" or am I confusing things?


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

The kana here is わ "wa"
"ne" is ね, used to spell ねこ neko, "cat", it has a little curl at the end like the tail of a sitting cat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miller808

What is the difference between this wa and the ha character


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

わ is the kana for "wa" and is part of the word 電話・でんわ・denwa
は is the kana "ha" and is only pronounced "wa" when it is being used as a grammatical topic particle in a sentence, never as part of a word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuisAbarca183796

for spanish native the "F" is a pain telephone/telefone :(


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

I realised that the pronunciation is similar to the pronunciation of phone in Mandarin "电话"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBlair14

Sounds like it's making reference to a den... which for some people, it definitely seems like one, lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Silver487987

Is this specifically for landline telephones, or does it also refer to cell phones? (Im 99% sure ive heard a specific word for cell phones, but idk if the same applies here)


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

It's a general catch-all term for phones, including mobile phones. If you want to specify mobile phones, then it's 携帯電話(けいたいでんわ)or (more commonly) けいたい for short.

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