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  5. "日本人です。"


Translation:I am Japanese.

June 12, 2017



I got correct for "He is Japanese".
Good preparation, Japanese team! :)


Do 'she' and 'it count as correct answers too?


'She' counts, but 'it' wouldn't, as the English 'it' refers to objects not people, and the Japanese 人 specifically means 'person'.


Ok this is not related to this question, but rather the beginning of this lesson. So I'm hoping can tell me what is going on here and if duolingo is just using the wrong audio.

At the first lesson they ask what does this "中" sound like. The voice is saying na-ka, but the correct option is "ちゅう" and that sounds nothing like it.

From what I understand sometimes they can be pronounced different, though I didn't read enough to know when that happens, at any case shouldn't duolingo be using a different pronunciation for it, since at the end of the lesson they do pronounce it ちゅう when it's combined with something else.


Well, it's not that Duo is using the wrong audio, per se, but the TTS program definitely needs to be refined. I agree that it's very unfair to new learners to hear なか in the audio, only to have Duo insist that it's ちゅう. Both are correct pronunciations of the kanji 中 though.

The problem is, なか is the correct pronunciation when the character is on its own (or combined with hiragana), and ちゅう the correct pronunciation when the character is combined with other kanji. When you click or tap on 中 for the pronunciation of 中国, Duo's TTS program doesn't recognize what is around it, and so gives you the correct pronunciation of 中 when it's on its own, i.e. なか. If you played audio for the whole sentence, the TTS has been configured to recognize phrases, and you get the correct pronunciation of ちゅうごく.


Almost all kanji have 2 pronunciations: on'yomi (the original Chinese pronunciation) and kun'yomi (the native Japanese pronunciation of the word, associated with the kanji). On is usually used in compounds of kanji and kun in standalone kanji (usually with some hiragana symbols following it), but there are, of course, exceptions (because life would be too boring without them, right? ;) ). If I'm somewhat wrong, correct me.


Actually, it would have been more correct to say that almost all kanji have 2 TYPES of pronunciation MINIMUM. Some have way more. There are also some that have only on'yomi though, so, at least some good news, I guess XD


Slight correction: all kanji only have two types of pronunciation (three if you count irregular pronunciations, but even those as generally slotted into on'yomi or kun'yomi), but some kanji have multiple pronunciations or readings, but they will all fit into the two types.


slight correction of the correction of the correction: kanji can have one or more pronunciations, which can fall into three types:

  • 訓読み【くんよみ】are "native Japanese" readings, which are generally used when the kanji is encountered on its own or on very old or very basic words;
  • 音読み【おんよみ】are "borrowed (Middle) Chinese" readings, which were borrowed from Chinese throughout Japan's history and are used for technical and scientific terms, and most multiple-kanji words use these readings;
  • 名乗り【なのり】are "Name-specific" readings, and are only used for people's names. They are very irregular, but traditional. These special readings will have to be taught along with the names themselves, so we don't need to worry about those during a language course, just know they exist.

Finally, while the vast, vast majority of kanji have at least one 訓読み and one 音読み reading, a very few kanji only have an 音読み reading, like 寸【すん】"an ancient Chinese unit of measurement of approximately 30 mm."


Sorry for bothering, but... When should I use kunyomi and when should I use onyomi? Also, do all Kanji have bothforms of reading?


I have some very basic knowledge about the language now. In this case the subject, I, is implied in the context. So we don't need say 私は first. But if someone would ask, "Is John Japanese?" or ジョンは日本人ですか, could I then use 日本人です since it is implied that John is the subject?


That's exactly right.

In this case the subject, I, is implied in the context.

Actually, this is a big reason why many people are confused by this sentence. There is no context provided by Duo, so we just assume that "I" is the subject, for the sake of making the English sentence a complete one.


Why is "I am Chinese" -中国 人- but "I am Japanese" is -日本です- ??


"I am Chinese" is 中国人です while "I am Japanese" is 日本人です. Not sure if there was a bug back when you commented this or not, and you've probably figured it out by now but nobody responded to your question yet.


i got it right. i just misspelled Japanese.


It feels somehow satisfying.


Why does the masculine/male voiceover say 人 as "hitto" when it's on its own but more like "jin" when it's used in this sentence? And does anyone know why the feminine/female voiceover says it as "jin" when it's on its own, even though "hitto" (person) is not pronounced as "jin" when it's on its own..? I'm just confused.


人 on its own is pronounced as ひと (hito), and not ひっと (hitto). But that's a small detail. If you are curious about this specific kanji, I would advice checking out this website: https://jisho.org/search/%23kanji%20%E4%BA%BA

But I assume you are not aware that kanji can have different readings. 人 has the following kunyomi readings: ひと (hito), -り (-ri), and -と (-to). It also has the following onyomi readings: ジン (jin), and ニン (kon).

In short:

<pre>On'yomi 音読み: Readings derived from the Chinese pronunciations. Kun'yomi 訓読み: The original, indigenous Japanese readings. </pre>

But if you want a proper grasp of it all, then you should read this: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/onyomi-kunyomi/ (Or you can google "onyomi and kunyomi difference" and find your own sources)

Also, I assume the Japanese voice uses "jin" when the kanji is on its own because in this exercise it can't be pronounced as "hito".


That article was very interesting! どうもありがとうございます!


Wouldn't I am from Japan count as well? It told me I was wrong!


Literally this sentence would be "(I) am a Japanese person." "I am from Japan" is slightly different, 日本しゅっしんです。


So if a person was born in Japan but is ethnically Chinese, can they say "I am Japanese" and "I am Chinese" without using shushin?


They would say「日本出身です。中国人です。」and possibly add 「私は」to the first if a topic change is necessary.


I put ' I am Japanese' and it told me that i was correct. How mmay different ways could someone answer the question and get it right?


I think you could use any pronoun except for it (because it is not a person ).


It wouldn't let me use 'You' for some reason - probably because you'd be unlikely to answer that for someone else I guess, but grammatically it would still presumably work, e.g. in the context of a game or a play where you were given a character (’私の国籍はなんですか?’ ’にほんじんです’). Incidentally, if one were talking about an object, would one then use ’日本語’?


"You are Japanese" should be an acceptable answer; the only reason it might not be allowed is because the course developers haven't gotten around to adding it to the list.

If you were talking about a Japanese object, you would generally use 日本の~. You can use 和【わ】to denote "Japanese" for certain objects, e.g. 和食【わしょく】= "Japanese-style food", but it's better to consider these as exceptions/separate vocab words.

日本語【にほん】refers specifically to the Japanese language.


Another alternative is 日本製【にほんせい】which is used for "made in Japan" in tags and such.


How can i say "I am Turk"


私はトルコ人 です ( Watashi wa Toruko jin desu)


Anyone else finding the audio to be bit too quite for Japanese-English?


What makea it not "desu" and become "des


When syllable す is at the end of sentence "u" can be dropped.

Some Japanese however do say it as su rather than -s, but it's considered to be "cute and feminim".


"U" (う / ウ) and "i" (い / イ) can be pronounced more weakly, that they are practically no longer heard: Between two unvoiced consonants and after an unvoiced consonant at the end of a word.

As examples:

Hito 人 can be pronounced like h'to. Desu です can be pronounced like des'. Hajimemashite はじめまして can be pronounced like hajimemash'te. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu よろしくお願いします can be pronounced like yorosh'k' onegaishimas'. Ichi いち can be pronounced like ich'. Gakusei 学生 can be pronounced like gak'sei. Roku ろく can be pronounced like rok'. Sushi すし can be pronounced like s'sh'.

But as a beginner you realy should not practice it. Becaus the ≫ ' ≪ IS a vowel. It is a realy weakly pronounced vowel, that you hardly hear it anymore. But an "i" or an "u" is still pronounced.

That is why you should first practice with cleare and distinct vowels.

This ≫ ' ≪ is a peculiarity of the liquid spoken language. An it comes naturally with the practice of hearing, hearing, speaking, hearing, hearing, heraing, speaking, hearing hearing, ... ;D


I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here. It says to type in Japanese. So, I type "にほんじんです". But it says that it's wrong. And that it should be "日本人です". Is it wrong because I'm not using the Kanji characters? Because I'm not sure how to type them.


にほんじんです should be correct. Anyways, getting kanji is really easy. Ateast on Android and Windows ut is easy when you have the Japanese keyboard selected. Just type "nihonjin" and hit the spacebar. It should convert にほんじん to 日本人.


So, 日本 means, "Japan," or in the context of these sentence, "Japanese." Would this form of 日本 change in certain usages, like the language Japanese?


Correct, by adding extra kanji, katakana or hiragana you can change the meaning of it. 日本 Japan 日本人 Japanese (person) 日本語 Japanese (language) Etc. Same obviously applies to other country names.


When talking about Japanese it's dangerous to say "same obviously applies to other [...]". Usually there are exceptions..


Except in this case, there are actually no exceptions! That's literally how it works for any country you can think of!


What is the spike character mean? I find it only in ceartain sentences


人 ("hito" or "jin") means person. In this sentence it tells the reader that the person is from Japan.

[deactivated user]

    Hello. I am new to Japanese.... これまでのところ、私はうまくいっています。


    Why is "私" left out here?


    This happens often in Japanese, the subject word is omitted because the speaker believes the listener knows what they are talking about.


    Wow! I can say an entire sentence now!


    Are you sure you're not just a weeb? :p


    Thanks for these replies, very helpful.


    omg "Japan" is pronounced like "my home" and i love it


    Since you're not specifying who you're talking about, isn't just "Japanese" correct in this case? It can be I'm, he, she, they, it etc.


    But there's a verb to be. So your translation should be any combination of Japanese and to be.


    Yes, but also, to be a functional English sentence, you need to include a subject too. "Am Japanese" doesn't work.


    i'm a bit confused. the first three letters are actually kanji, and the last two are hirigana\katakana? still not quite sure what is the part of each of them, and if in every sentence these three different writing systems should be combined


    That's right, the first three characters are kanji, but the last two are hiragana, not katakana.

    If you're still not sure, I highly recommend that you at least memorize and get very accustomed to reading hiragana before going further into the course or trying to learn the more difficult aspects of Japanese.

    The three writing systems don't always get used in every sentence, but depending on what you're reading, my guess is that on average you'll see about 50% kanji, 40% hiragana, and 10% katakana.


    Isnt the word pronounced nippon?


    Yes, 日本 can also be pronounced にっぽん. To my understanding, this is a somewhat formal and/or archaic pronunciation though, and typically not used when saying 日本人.

    In most cases, while にほん is the common pronunciation, they are largely interchangeable. The only exception I can think of is the Sapporo baseball team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters.


    I said hello i am japanese a d i was wrong ❤❤❤


    Don't add the "hello" next time and you should be fine.


    The Japanese sentence didn't have anything in it which could mean "hello"..


    Out of the context of a conversation this could be either about the speaker or someone else. It could be either "I'm japanese", "he's japanese" or "a japanese".


    Mela pusieron más y estaba bien


    you guys need to fix this. its get more broken as you pass further.


    Am confused between the term shushin and Jin


    I know ん can be pronounced like an m sometimes and i thought i heard it like this in 日本 previously in the lesson but now i dont hear it. When does ん sound like m?


    Whenever it is followed by a "p" or a "b". It also sounds like "ng" (as in "sing") when it is followed by a "k" or a "g". It's strictly "allophonic", that is, you can never find two words that are the same but one has ん sounding like "m" and the other with the ん sounding like "n".

    [deactivated user]

      There is no subject


      I dont mean to sound off topic here. I see that there you can add followers and they can add you but niether both parties can communicate? So whats the point? Thats supposed to be the dynamic of the learning tool. Social interaction. Thats how you practice. Thats how you learn. Is there a possible to set up a group a session or one on one to practice these languages?


      You are Japanese, must be also correct


      You are Japanese, must be also correct


      I learned hiragana and katakana and then started using duolingo.. suddenly i found kanji .. i am confused


      Japan sounds like one of these but i cant tell which, so you choose. Option 1 "my home". Option 2 "mi home". Option 3 "ni home".


      It's actually 'nihon' (pronounced 'knee hone', but faster).


      Hello is here anyone Japanese or living in japan. So can this person leave me his mail


      Amm can some one tell why Japanese had two side harigana and katagana and I also don't know that wrote the spelling wrong or right


      Nooo I didn't clicked on japana now its I am instead of I am japanese


      I hate that my brain don't add the "I am" if the "私は" isn't there. But really think that just put "Japanese" in this exercise shuld be a valid option.

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