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  5. "おはしを二本ください。"


Translation:Two chopsticks, please.

June 12, 2017



Is it natural to ask for 2 single chopsticks in Japanese when they exist by default as a pair? Like, if you're requesting for chopsticks for 10 ppl, do you say, can i have 20 chopsticks pls?


Better alternative is 膳(ぜん) which counts pairs of chopsticks - 一膳(いちぜん)、二膳(にぜん)、…、十膳(じゅうぜん)


I think I'm done with counters today


I had the same question, cause I answered "can I get two sets of chopsticks and was marked wrong." So was I asking for 2 single chopsticks or two pairs and the pairs is assumed??


This would specifically be two individual chopsticks. As KeithWong9 above said, ぜん is used for pairs of chopsticks. So, おはし二本 ("two chopsticks") is the same as おはし一膳 ("one pair of chopsticks")

本 as a counter typically refers to long narrow objects, such as a chopstick (the use of 本 for that purpose dates back to when books were typically written in the form of scrolls, which are cylindrical objects)


it teaches us "get" over and over and then it decides its suddenly wrong and we have to use "have" instead


I got it wrong because I use "have" o_o


you probably didn't use, please. Have and get should both be right...


not so as of 4/2/18. "Can I have two chopsticks" was wrong


I got it wrong because i didn't say please! What are you, my mom?


I think they are trying to push the humility implied in kudasai.


If that is the case, then they should not accept "can I get" without please, which sounds quite brusque to me.


I agree with you James. It is ridiculous to use 'Can I get X' as the most common default translation for 'Xをください' when there are so many better ways to make a polite request in English, which unfortunately in many cases are not yet on the accepted response list for each question.


They've marked me wrong on other questions for including please with ください


Happened to me, too. Reporting it may help


I used please and got marked wrong. "Can I get two chopsticks please" seems like it should be valid.


I typed please... It said I was wrong.


I got wrong because I used "please"


Interesting, I wrote please but failed because it's been pushing the GET agenda and now we're switching to HAVE.


So are we asking for two single chopsticks or two pairs here?


2 single chopsticks


Kudasai = please. Need the option in there. It messes me up. And the 'can i get' isnt even in that sentence... And its kinda rude.


It is much more abrupt than the Japanese sentence, and it is very odd to be so dogmatic about insisting on this translation. Quite honestly, if I were just asked to translate this, I would say "Two chopsticks, please," which is perfectly idiomatic English. Indeed, when I was in college on a long plane trip with a lot of friends, we all tried to learn how to say "Two beers, please" in as many languages as we could muster, partially because that format is acceptably polite in most languages.


Are you the bridge between all real and fictional languages or what?!


Heck, with Duolingo, I guess we all can be.


While listening I thought it says japanese chopsticks. Lol


It trained me to never put please is kudasai sentences or else I would fail the exercice. Suddenly it is the opposite...


I always use please at least once so I can report it if it rejects it because please is correct.


Why are there so many different counting 'articles'?


You'd be best finding an article about it, but they're basically ways of counting different kinds of things. 本 is for long, thin things, so you can see why it's used for chopsticks

It might seem redundant but it's just the convention (and English has enough of that!), but sometimes it provides information. There was an example in an earlier lesson, I forget the Japanese, but it was basically 'two slices of bread' - the translation was 'two counter', and I'm assuming it was a counter for thin, flat items, something along those lines. So 'slices' and not 'full breads' was implied.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a lot of that, where you use one counter or another with a particular noun to be more specific


Many languages have these kinds of noun classifications. I find it easier to think of them as arbitrary categories, like gender in Indoeuropean languages.


I believe it dates back to a time before general counting/abstract numbers. It might seem strange today, but in the ancient world there was no concept of general counting. Five sheep was not the same thing as five bags of rice or five logs. Each individual type of thing had its own numbers to count it. Then an idea of general counting or abstract numbers was developed. A revolutionary concept: that you could see that for a group of one kind of object you could have a corresponding number of another, different type of object. The relationship between the five logs and the five sheep is this property of equivance. And counting as we know it was born ! I heard a very interesting program on the radio about it. I believe the counter words of East Asian languages are a vestige of this older object specific counting as is the dialect sheep counting in English (yan, tan, tethera etc.)


Counters exist in English, too, just used a lot less. You don't count "papers", you count "sheets of paper", it's not "rices", it's "grains of rice", "strands of hair" not "hairs", "blades of grass" not "grasses", etc.

And contrary to your theory, Japanese has increased the number of counters over the centuries. Old Japanese only had a handful of counters, such as -つ for most things, -たり for humans (which is still used in ひとり (originally a contraction of ひとたり) and ふたり) and one or two others that I can't think of at the moment.


Sumerian is the first written language, and it had general numbers, though it also had classifier terms, I think. Akkadian and Old Kingdom Egyptian also had general numbers. What is the language you are talking about that had a different set of numbers for every sort of word? I would think that the English dialect counting system for sheep may be a trade-specific variation, as occurs with a few other trades in a few languages.


Yeah, that sheep counting originated as just normal number words in Celtic languages such as Welsh or the extinct Cumbric. Why exactly they used Celtic words to count sheep is unclear




How is the counting 本 pronounced?


いっぽん for one, さんぼん for three, ろっぽん for six, はっぽん for eight and (number)ほん for the rest. So it's basically ほん with a few adaptations for some numbers (1, 3, 6 and 8) just like "ふん" for counting minutes.


What kind of things does it count? Things like sticks? I am sure I've seen it used for quite abstract things though, like in competitions one point is "ippon" yes?


yes you are right. The two things where counter 本 is used.


According to this reference and that one, there are also both じゅっぽん and じっぽん for ten (十本).


Why does it not allow me to use Could instead of Can, even though they mean the same?


"Could" and "can" are similar, but are used in different contexts. See this thread for some explanations of the differences: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/1/when-do-i-use-can-or-could


I'd like to see them try to eat with one chopstick.


i answered "may i have two chopsticks?" as opposed to "Can i get two chopsticks?"

anyone know of a reason the former would be wrong?

(Sorry KeithWong9; realized I'd typed this the wrong way before.)


I think duo wants "get" to be translated as 取る instead of ください, while I think the get here means "give me," so I think it should be correct.


May I know why "Can I get two chopsticks please" is wrong?


It's fine. Report it.


"Please give me two chopsticks." was marked wrong on September 24, 2017. I've reported it now.

EDIT: Still not fixed on 1/1/2018...


Duo will sometimes accept only "get" for "kudasai" and sometimes only "have". Please, change this.


So chopsticks are like bridges between your hand and the food...


'Can I X' means you are asking if you have the capability to X, while 'May I X...'means you are asking for permission to X. This means duo should only accept 'may I...' as the correct answer.


"Can I do something" is the same as "May I do something" especially in the American culture where people are requesting something in both cases.


The two may be the same in American culture, but not in the English language. The first expresses possibility, the second expresses a request for permission.


Are you saying you have some access to a language that is not viewed through the prism of a culture?


Nope :-) but so far in English, 'can' and 'may' refer to different things. When DL starts accepting language from Hip Hop culture, we will all be happier.


No, in many varieties of English, both spoken and written, "can" and "may" are synonymous. This is true of speakers of a variety of ethnicities and ages (some I assume you do not disapprove of). You may want there to be a distinction, just as I would like the infinitive never to be split or the subject case to be the only acceptable form after "than," when the comparison is between subjects. A language, however, is a social construction, and English has no language authority that could even make a case for excluding such changes in the language. Do some more languages on Duolingo and look to the fora (or probably forums most places) and you will see the fecund diversity of the world's Englishes.


Was told the correct answer is "Can i've two chopsticks, please?" You can't contract Can I have into "can I've" in English this way. I got it wrong because my answer was "Two chopsticks, please." Which I think should be fine. When making a request the "Can I have" is often dropped.


So 本 is the counter for sticks and competition points? Can someone elaborate


Yes it is for long and thin stuff. Using for competition points is because it is originated from "hitting the opponent with a (Japanese) sword once," and sword is a long and thin thing.


Ni hon means japan right?


二本 ni hon - two (long thin objects counter)

日本 nihon - Japan (lit. sun origin)


Can someone explain why ニ本 is used as a counter please?


I'm not exactly sure what it is you'd like explained? There are many many different counters in Japanese. 本 is simply the counter for long cylindrical objects like chopsticks, pencils, and trees (makes sense given this kanji uses the tree radical). 二 is not part of the counter, it is the kanji for two. So "Two long cylindrical objects"


According to another comment from cvictoria42 in this very thread, this counter’s etymology would be disconnected from trees, but rather linked to scrolls:
“the use of 本 for that purpose dates back to when books were typically written in the form of scrolls, which are cylindrical objects”


Sometimes it's wrong to use "get" sometimes it's wrong to use "have" sometimes it's wrong to use "please". If you're going to have so many questions with kudasai the least you could do is make their answers all consistent.

"Please give me water" is acceptable. "Can I have a bowl is acceptable" "Can I get chopsticks" is acceptable. But none of those phrasings are interchangeable on questions even though it's the exact same request format. /sigh


No i just need one chopstick i'll just stab the food as if it were a fork because i'm retarded


"Can I get a pair of chopsticks?" is accepted for this sentence.

I also tested the exact same thing on that other sentence(おはしをください)and it wasn't accepted there. ^^


As opposed to just the one, i guess?


Marked wrong despite using the same phrase that was shown as correct.


"Can I have two chopsticks please" was rejected, and the answer it told me was correct was "Can I've two chopsticks."


'Can I get two chopsticks please' is wrong - Could someone explain this one to me please?


The "correct translation" for me was:

Can i've two chopsticks , please?

... Not sure how that happened


Duolingo is so rude in English! Just marked me wrong for including "please" when "kudasai" is in the sentence.


Could everyone please start flagging this question. We need to get 'please' in there as correct.


I got it wrong because i said may i instead of can i.... T T




I advise taking this out as an open ended English translation because there seem to be endless possibilities


Shouldn't "A pair of chopsticks, please?" be accepted as well?


One chopstick isn't any use, except to poke someone's eye out!


My sister, who has lived in Japan for many years, often uses one to put her hair up.


My wife sometimes uses a chopstick in her hair, but she doesn't go into restaurants and ask for one. How do you manage to study and comprehend so many languages. I dumped Spanish as I wanted to focus all my energy and time on one additional language first.


i meant two sets of chopsticks


I love how they don't require the particle を in this one but needed it for お酒を下さい


This sentence does already have the particle を. Particles come at the end of the noun they mark, they don't attach to the beginning of a verb.


I mistyped something. Or, I posted this on the wrong thing. I don't remember what the app said, but I thought it was wrong. Please disregard.


Please more flexible in translate :(


I put "お箸を二本ください" and it marked it wrong. I reported it but was I wrong somehow?


So if I use this sentence will I get two single chopsticks or two sets of chopsticks?

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