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  5. "お父さんはおげんきですか?"


Translation:How is your father?

June 11, 2017



Why is "how is father?" Wrong too


Because お父さん usually refers to someone else's father, not yours.

By translating it as, "how is father?" you're implying that this father you're asking about is your father too.

I've heard people talking about their own father/mother as お父さん/お母さん and 父さん/母さん in FMA (if I remember correctly) and some Japanese people though.


Either this one is wrong or all these questions in the same lesson are wrong:

Question: お父さんはどこですか? Correct response: Where is father

Question: お母さんはどこですか? Correct response: Where is mother

Question: おかえりなさい、お父さん。 Correct response: Welcome back, father

Question: お母さん、行ってきます。 Correct response: Mother I'm leaving.

Question: お母さん、ただいま。 Correct response: Mother I'm home.


It's... not that simple.

First of all, your ultimatum doesn't really hold up because, of the five example sentences you gave, only the first two follow the same usage of お父さん as this question, namely お父さん is the topic of the sentence, not the listener/addressee. In Japanese, who you talk TO (listener), who you talk ABOUT (topic), and how they relate to each other and/or you (speaker) has a significant impact on the kind of language you use.

On the flip side of that, you can learn a lot about people's relationships just from the way they talk to each other. (Of course, this is at least a hundred times more important in business Japanese, but it's still a huge part of everyday situations too.)

As for the correct usage of お父さん (and お母さん), @xyh4l84 is completely right. It is generally used when talking TO someone ABOUT their father (who is also not your father), so the use of お父さん here implies that relationship between speaker, listener, and topic, which is why OP's answer wasn't accepted.

The other word for "father" we've learned so far, 父 (ちち), is generally used when talking TO someone ABOUT your own father. (Same with 母 (はは) for "mother".)

On the other hand, when talking TO your own father ABOUT someone/something, it obviously varies by household and one's specific relationship with one's father, but お父さん is generally used, which is why the first three of your examples are correct (and different from the first two).

To further complicate matters, as @xyh4l84 mentioned, Japanese people sometimes use お父さん when talking TO someone ABOUT their own father, when they really should be using 父. I think the main reason for this is that Japanese children are taught (from a very young age, obviously) that their own father is 「お父さん」. That's what they call their father, that's what their mother will use to talk about their father, sometimes even their father will talk about himself (to the child) using お父さん. It becomes a habit, well before they have any need to refer to their father as 父.

Hence, I think "how is (my) father?" is an appropriate translation in some contexts, but it's not the correct answer.


Out of curiosity, couldn't that sentence mean you're asking your own father how he's doing (like "how are you doing father ?"), making お父さん the listener of the sentence ?


Yes, that is possible too. However, typically Japanese people don't use formal language (げんき and です) between family; it is entirely conceivable that the speaker is speaking to their estranged father (hence the formality/distance), but I think that would not be the general interpretation of this sentence.


I still think it should be accepted as there's no context to which father we're talking about.


I made the same mistake, but after reading the explanation above, I tend to disagree with your opinion. The reason being that if you would be trying to imply that it is your own father, you would not use お父さん(otosan), but rather 父 (chichi). It is not even pronounced the same.

Although duolingo did not explain to me why it is not pronounced the same Eben if it IS the same Kanji. I would love an explanation about that.


This is not true, I've heard countless times in Japanese media that when children address their parents they adress them as (お)とうさん or (お)かあさん.


I tried "How is father" too. Accorsing to the previous questions this should have worked, as otousan was used for "my" own dad before. If you are asking your brother or sister how your dad is, for example?


Just to clarify, Duo is trying to teach us the "technically correct" way to differentiate between お父さん (otousan) and 父 (chichi).

お父さん is to be used when talking ABOUT someone else's father, or when talking TO your own father.

父 is to be used when talking ABOUT your own father.

If you're talking to your siblings about your own father (presumably also their father), the distiction kind of breaks down because families generally have their own names for each other that everyone is familiar with. Also, generally speaking, you wouldn't need to use such polite language with your siblings.


I also chose "father" without "your" because both my husband (Japanese) and I always used "おとうさn" whenever either one of us would address or speak about my husband's father when we stayed with his parents in Japan. I never heard "chi chi" being used except in language lessons.


I think its because the お before げんき. You can tell お父さん to dad and he won't be mad and whoop you. How is father would be "お父さんはげんきですか? "


Seems correct to me. My Japanese wife refers to her parents as お父さん and お母さん。 I've never heard her use 父 or 母。


You also have to remember that while it could be construed as asking about your own father, generally in a question the topic (は) is inferred as the listener. How often do you ask someone, "How is (my) dad?" You of all people should already know that. The only common exception I can think of is asking your mother or a sibling, in which case the language wouldn't be this formal.


Why ogenkidesuka and not genkidesuka


The お is an honorific prefix, applied to 元気=げんき because this word, meaning "health", refers to the other person's father. It would be perfectly correct grammatically to omit the お but it might be less polite.

I am not a native speaker so I don't really know whether it is "okay" or common to omit the お here. I'd be grateful if any native speakers could chime in here...is it okay or common to omit the お or would that be seen as more casual / rude?


How to say 'How is my father?'


I believe it's 私の父は元気ですか?


Why is 'is your father good' wrong?


"Is your father good" would mean "is your father a good person" (i.e., "not evil"). But I think "Is your father well" should be correct.


Two things.

First, even if it is very informal, if someone asks, "Is your father good?" it should be assumed that they mean, "Is your father well?" unless... like, your father might actually be an opposing force of some kind. (and unless you are a native speaker in a really odd situation, I do not see this happening)

Second, "Is your father doing well?" is also counted wrong.


Shouldn't chichi be used here instead? Isn't chichi used to refer to someone else's father?


No, chichi refers to your own father when you are talking about your own father with someone else. If you are talking to another person about their father, you have to be respectful and use the o- form


What about chichi-ue?


父上 (ちちうえ) is a kind of archaic way to refer to and address one's own father. It's seldom used in modern Japanese.


It's お父さん(おとうさん) not 父(ちち) for someone else's father. ちち is for your own.


Why doesn't DL accept "is your father healthy"? 元気 is healthy.


In general, people use the question "元気ですか?" to ask "How are/is you/(someone else)?"

Think about it...in English we would rarely ask: "Is your father healthy?" It's not really a natural translation; in English it might come across as socially awkward or even rude to phrase it that way. The Japanese phrase is a common / polite phrase, so a more natural translation of it is "How is your father?"


Just adding to what @cazort said, "healthy" in your sentence would be interpreted as "not sickly" (as an Australian native speaker), so to convey that sentiment in Japanese, you would need to use 健康 (けんこう).

健康 means "well" as in "not sick", whereas 元気 means "well" as in "in good spirits".


I typed, "Is your father alright?" and it said it was false.


I can see what you mean, but in most cases, asking if someone is "alright" implies to me that they were somehow not alright before. げんき isn't used to describe that situation; typically 大丈夫 (だいじょうぶ) would be used instead.


Why wouldn't "Is your father doing well?" be a valid translation?


I agree with you, and say it should be accepted. But if we're being pedantic, "doing well" can also mean "to be successful" which isn't what the Japanese sentence is asking.


Yeah, but it's also rejecting "Is your father well?" which doesn't mean successful, so I don't think it's applying that logic in its rejection.

Plus, also to be pedantic, just because in English "well" has a separate implication doesn't cancel out the fact that "well" also does refers to wellness or a state of being. By that argument, "How is your father?" could also be written off, because you can speak that way in English to gently refer to past events--like if the listener's father had to leave his job or declare bankruptcy, you could be asking "How is your father?" to check if he's more financially stable.


so, how to say "How is my father doing?", like when one asks a doctor after his/her father's physical?


There are many, many ways to say it, even if you're not considering how you can ask indirectly.

Mainly it boils down to the nature of your relationship with your father, how much of that is known (or you want to be known) be the doctor, and your own relationship with the doctor. Obviously, this affects how formal your sentence will be, but also determines whether you use (お)父さん (おとうさん), 父 (ちち), 親父 (おやじ), パパ, or simply [surname]さん to refer to your own father.

Also, it depends on whether you're asking out of general curiosity or genuine concern that something may be wrong. In the former case, you would generally use 元気 (げんき), without the お, while the latter case is more likely to be 大丈夫 (だいじょうぶ) or 無事 (ぶじ) instead. You could also simply say どう instead.


Can this sentence be used to ask about the father of a third party or parties (his/her/their father)?


Yes, this is probaby the best way to ask about the father of a third party, if it's already clear from the context that you're referring to the third part. Otherwise, you may want to clarify with "Xのお父さん".


Is your father alright is wrong (◞‸◟)


"Is your father doing good?" is marked wrong (as of 2017 October 13). Is it a result of a too literal reading of 「げんき」? ... or can I suggest it as one of the possible answers?


See my answer above -- asked that way suggests you are talking about "good" vs. "evil". But "How is your father doing" or "How is your father" or "Is your father well" should all be correct.


Why is "how are you father?" wrong? Apart from it being okasan instead of chichi what makes it specific to someone else's dad, or is that it?


If you were talking to your father, there wouldn't have been any は (and Duolingo would probably have added a comma, although I'm not sure if that is obligatory in Japanese): お父さん,おげんきですか?


"Is your father doing well?" to me seems to fit more closely with genki seeing as genki actually refers to health moreso then it would refer to a general state of being. very confused on why my answer would not have been accepted.


As I've previously commented, I think it should be accepted. But if we're being pedantic, "doing well" can also mean "to be successful" which isn't what the Japanese sentence is asking.


I beg to differ. "Your" is not required at all since it's not even specified .

Ho-fully yours, Santa Claws


お父さんはお元気ですか? should be allowed


Let's be a little more sophisticated about this... I put to you this question:

Knowing this your friend's father is gravely ill... would you ask your friend "お父さんはおげんきですか?"


Yes, but I don't see what is "sophisticated" about your question... even if you didn't know that yout friend's father was gravely ill, I could say the same sentence.


How come "is your father alright" is wrong and "how is your father" correct? Isnt that the same?


To me, "is your father alright" carries the implication that he was not alright before or there is some reason to believe that he might not be alright. The Japanese sentence doesn't have that same implication; you would use 大丈夫【だいじょうぶ】instead of お元気 if you wanted to get that meaning.


Couldn't it also mean: how's dad? I could be asking mum or what not. As far as I understand Japanese: lots is left to context.


If I understand correctly, お父さん is for when talking about someone else's father, while 父 used when talking about your own father, right?


My father is doing fine.


Maybe less formal, but 'How is dad?' is not accepted as a proper answer. I could imagine that it would be correct when talking to a friend you haven't seen in a while.


why would it refuse the kanji for お元気? I had to redo this question like 8 times before I realized why it was refusing me.


Why do i always translate this as ”Father, are you okay?” and why am i wrong?

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