"日本人です。"

Translation:I am Japanese.

6/12/2017, 7:12:05 PM

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/NattKullav1
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I got correct for "He is Japanese".
Good preparation, Japanese team! :)

6/12/2017, 7:12:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RickPotter16

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

6/19/2017, 5:22:54 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kifudancer
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'She' counts, but 'it' wouldn't, as the English 'it' refers to objects not people, and the Japanese 人 specifically means 'person'.

6/21/2017, 7:15:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RickPotter16

Thank you.

6/22/2017, 1:21:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/timoteoandre

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.

3/11/2018, 9:23:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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.

3/20/2018, 9:42:36 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviGreeff

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

9/1/2017, 9:34:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kleineganz

Because they whoever created this course doesn't respect Chinese people? です does not mean "I am." It's literally a politeness ending. Japanese drop "I am" in their normal speech. "I am" is 私は (watashi wa). It's just generally left out/implied.

10/20/2017, 2:05:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

It has nothing to do with "respect". です isn't simple a politeness ending in most cases. It plays the role of the copula like "is/am/are" often does in English.

The only time です is a politeness ending is after い and な-adjectives, and in the んです and のです forms.

To answer OP's question, 中国人 isn't "I am Chinese", but 日本 です is "I am Japanese." And the difference is です.

In the first case, 中国人 is simply a stand alone vocabulary word, "Chinese (person/people)" whereas the inculsion of です, i.e. a verb, makes the second case an actual sentence. Because we have nothing else to go on, we assume that the speaker is talking about themselves, hence "I am Japanese", even though other subjects are possible depending on the context.

11/13/2017, 6:15:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/OscarVDG

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?

3/11/2019, 3:27:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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.

3/11/2019, 8:21:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/aliofyemen

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

6/20/2017, 2:51:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kifudancer
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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。

6/21/2017, 7:18:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinPetr6

Thanks for this!

10/18/2017, 1:03:25 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/indigo_mint

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?

1/25/2019, 3:38:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ReonnaLewi

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?

6/26/2017, 1:05:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Eromeon
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I think you could use any pronoun except for it (because it is not a person ).

7/12/2017, 4:52:43 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MstfKLH

How can i say "I am Turk"

7/24/2017, 7:24:04 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ViktoriaDanie

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

10/28/2017, 4:36:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Emery790256

Probably whatever the Japanese term for Turk is, then です? Google says the equivalent of Turkish isトルコ人. I'd say トルコ人ですwould do it. (pronounced とーるーこーひーとーでーす)(to-ru-ko hi-to de-su)

12/24/2017, 12:43:54 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Your sentence is correct, but the pronunciation of 人 in this case is じん (jin), as @ViktoriaDanie already commented ;)

12/25/2017, 5:12:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Phil580026

Turk desu

12/11/2017, 5:19:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mark.one.too

Get a dictionary!

8/6/2017, 9:54:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinGerndt

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.

7/2/2017, 8:51:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Eromeon
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But there's a verb to be. So your translation should be any combination of Japanese and to be.

7/12/2017, 4:53:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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

8/11/2017, 3:18:06 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBreadQueen05

i got it right. i just misspelled Japanese.

11/24/2017, 12:28:03 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Djshepsi
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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

12/11/2017, 8:34:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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.

12/23/2017, 1:08:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacob549640

Isnt the word pronounced nippon?

3/5/2018, 4:57:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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.

3/14/2018, 3:14:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyle202572
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Anyone else finding the audio to be bit too quite for Japanese-English?

4/22/2018, 11:58:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MonikaHill3
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What makea it not "desu" and become "des

5/18/2018, 11:44:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kjimmet

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".

6/27/2018, 8:26:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/BlakeMcGil2

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.

9/11/2018, 4:56:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/BattleTortoise

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?

9/19/2018, 3:03:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kjimmet

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.

9/19/2018, 6:35:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaGalbin

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

10/20/2018, 8:00:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kjimmet

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

10/20/2018, 8:30:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MorganOnMars

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。

11/19/2018, 3:56:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/_Dayra_

Why is "私" left out here?

12/16/2018, 5:33:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Memsly
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Wow! I can say an entire sentence now!

1/24/2019, 1:58:28 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JasminGall13

Instead of nihon jin des I say to people wadashiwa nihon jin des

6/15/2018, 10:46:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

You mean "watashi wa", and that part of the sentence is not strictly necessary in natural Japanese. You can include it, but it's not any more or less correct to exclude it.

7/12/2018, 8:33:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kleineganz

What's bugging me so far about this course is that they are translating です to mean "I am," when "I am" is 私は (watashi wa). I know 私は is not said in normal speech, but they shouldn't be translating です as "I am." It's a politeness ending that appears at the end of a lot of sentences, and in many cases "I am" wouldn't make sense at all as the translation.

10/20/2017, 2:08:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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私は isn't equivalent of "I am", either. Aside from that, I agree.

10/30/2017, 9:26:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/awelottta

私は means the topic of the sentence is now 私. は does not mean is, it is a particle used to indicate a change in the topic. That's why it is often omitted because the subject is often implied in consecutive phrases.

7/21/2018, 9:14:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinG02

It isn't about politiness, it's about the subject BEING somsthing

5/1/2018, 7:53:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/e5ZgSOtX

meeeeeee

3/5/2018, 3:51:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewChu20

Inconsistency with アメリカ人です. Correct answer (by Duolingo) for the one above is "It's an American person" whereas this question requires "I am Japanese."

6/22/2017, 1:20:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Eromeon
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No, in Japanese this sentence structure is ambiguous, so you could say I'm Japanese, you're Japanese, he is Japanese, she is Japanese, and so on.

7/12/2017, 4:56:09 AM
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