Translation:that foreign exchange student
You must be new here - Duolingo regularly inserts vocab that has no apparent relevance to the topic of a module of lessons ; ) Earlier there were a bunch of lessons about the weather in the "Hobby" lessons. It might've been another module of lessons but you get the idea. Then there are completely crazy sentences randomly thrown in to check that you're paying attention maybe...? Like sentences about butterflies writing books and stuff. Just wait for it - irrelevant vocab in modules with a completely unrelated topic will seem trivial by comparison.
No, I'm not new here. I've been learning Spanish on duolingo for over three years now and haven't encountered any such lessons there. There are no crazy sentences in irrelevant sections as you claim. I can see from your languages tray that you have done more than half a dozen courses on duolingo including Spanish. You tell me if there are any such deflections in Spanish course. I came across many such issues only in Japanese course and I flagged most of them. When I flag anything in Spanish course, I usually receive a mail from duolingo Spanish team regarding the issue. I didn't receive any such communication from Japanese team. Since Japanese is still in beta, I thought may be the contributors must have a lot to handle currently, so raised this issue over here in the comments section. On the other hand, since you are the only one who cared enough to reply, thanks... By the way, how do you keep up with so many languages? You must spend like a couple of hours on duolingo each day...
Ok, so the basic Japanese word order for a sentence is (S)OV - (Subject) - in brackets because it is often left out/implied/understood, object, verb. Time words usually come at the start of a sentence. Knowing particles is invaluable - they will tell you what everything is doing in a sentence as long as you know their different uses - and they follow the word that they go with eg. hashi de - with chopsticks, keeki wo (taberu) - (I eat) cake, goji ni - at 5 o'clock. Counters usually go between the last particle before the verb and the verb - I was about to say between the particle marking the direct object and the verb as in hon wo rokusatsu motte imasu - I have 6 books, BUT then I thought of nekochan ga sanbiki arimasu - so not always the object - sometimes the subject or secondary subject of a sentence. It's a little hard to explain because I know how the Japanese works but it's difficult to explain in English because English doesn't work like Japanese or have words for their Japanese equivalents which are very handy for explaining. Of course the funny thing there is that what need would I have to explain Japanese in Japanese?? For translating into English start with the verb at the end of the sentence then look at what the particles are telling you and work "backwards" and just a sound realisation that things often don't translate umaku ni into English. When you talk about "not liking" do you mean - naninani ga suki and the negative naninani ga suki ja nai? Suki is not like a negative verb because it is not a verb. Once you have learnt how to conjugate verbs though you will see how regular and consistent Japanese is. It is not like other languages but that is not a bad thing. Think of it this way - other languages can be very complex, Japanese on the other hand does away with complexity and instead is logical, ordered and consistent. I studied Latin at high school and university and classical Greek too - I am very familiar with complexity when it comes to languages and Japanese is a joy - trust me. As for the written language, I'm afraid there is nothing for it but to ganbatte isshoukenmei benkyou shite anki suru! And I will also tell you what I tell my sons - write everyday things in kana (hiragana and katakana) and kanji - write as much as you know and fill in the blanks with English or whatever your native tongue is (sorry that was presumptuous of me!), as you learn more each day you'll be able to write more and more in Japanese. And read - I have several e hon gifted to me by a dear friend "for my sons" - if you read daily your ability to read will improve and increase, and your speed and comprehension! Maybe even try your hand at translating - when I came home from Nihon I would write grocery lists in Nihongo, notes to myself, diary entries, lecture notes, speeches - actually, I still do this. I have written a note to my middle son on a white board in our kitchen - it says shukudai wa?? It gets easier, really it does. Probably the best advice I can give you is to embrace Japanese, forget your own language and just listen to and understand the Japanese as it is - train yourself to understand it without translating it into your own language, and likewise, when you speak, don't think first in your own language what you want to say in Japanese - think about what you want to say in Japanese and plan it out in your mind in Japanese. Hope this helps. PS - I just revised a Japanese lesson last night and there was a sentence or sentences about an animal selling books - I've forgotten what animal it was already. Maybe a dog?
That incorrect translation in the Spanish lesson hasn't been fixed btw - I am still receiving multiple comment notifications daily of people complaining about it. Romance languages (latin, french, spanish, italian, portuguese and romanian) are still my first loves BUT Japanese is actually much easier than all of these languages AND English because it is formulaic, regular and hardly has any irregularities - did you know that Japanese has only TWO irregular verbs. TWO! Every other verb is divided into two main groups - there is a pattern for conjugating them and they all stick to it without deviation. Also they don't have all that kerfuffle with masculine, feminine (or neuter), noun cases and declensions, (for the most part) plural or person for verbs (I, you sg., s/he/it, we...etc). AND pronunciation is the same - five consistent vowel sounds. As for structure - are you talking about word order in a sentence? It can be flexible in Japanese with the use of particles but generally the word order is Subject Object Verb. Particles are your friends - they act like sign posts telling you what everything is doing in a sentence. And thanks!
There ARE crazy sentences! I've noticed a whole bunch of them in the Portuguese lessons and some in the Spanish lessons. They usually involve animals or insects doing things like writing books and other things. I can't remember exactly but the comments are HILARIOUS. Also there's a sentence in one of the Spanish lessons that says "My parents are dead" in Spanish and you have to choose the correct tiles to translate it into English only there's no tile with "parents" on it - only "cats" which Duolingo accepts as correct - everyone is going nuts in the comments about it. If you haven't encountered any of these lessons then I guess you'll just have to trust me on this. I have actually finished all of the Spanish and French lessons and just keep revising them. I just finished going through all the Spanish lessons for the 5th or 6th time last night. Also there were definitely several Japanese lessons in a row on weather but not in a module about the weather. I remember because someone said in the comments "what are lessons about the weather doing in the ____ section?!?" I think it was the Hobby section, but it might have been another. Next time I see some examples of irrelevant sentences or crazy sentences I'll write them down and share them - just for you and tell you exactly where to find them. Others can also feel free to chime in about the bizarre sentences they've come across in lessons : ) As for the languages I'm studying - I love learning and I love languages so it's no big thing. Technically the only languages that I'm studying/learning are Portuguese, Italian, German and Greek as I've already finished all the Spanish and French lessons and I'm already fluent in Japanese - just doing the lessons for a laugh and to see what they're like.
Get an actual book - something you actually have to search through the pages to find what you want. I always recommend waei (Japanese to English) as eiwa (English to Japanese) dictionaries tend to list words in alphabetical order and not in Japanese kana order. And it's good practise reading kana to look up words you don't know. If you look up a word and there are a couple of homophones then you can look up the kanji (should be provided in brackets) to see the different meanings and readings it has to make sure which word is the right one that you're looking for.
@AnaLydiate Replying here because can't reply to your comment. I haven't come across any crazy sentences in Spanish lessons and yes, I have seen the sentence mis padres son muertos in Spanish but with the proper translation. Btw, I'm facing a lot of trouble learning Japanese... Can't figure out any structure... It wasn't so difficult with Spanish...
On a side note, I really admire polyglots.
@AnaLydiate Yeah. I'm still struggling with the order of words in the sentence. Just when I think I've figured out some pattern, comes some anomaly. Like for instance, usually, the sentences translating to "to not <verb>" end with "masen", but when you want to translate "to not like", it's a whole other story. Plus, can't figure out when to use hiragana, katakana and kanji letters. All are present in the same sentence. Even some Indian languages have two or more different writing styles, but I've never seen them mixed up... And oh my god, just what is the number of pronunciations of the character 中???
Thanks so much @AnaLydiate... Can't believe someone would put so much time and efforts for some random guy half a globe away... I really appreciate your help, but I'm just starting off with the Japanese lessons and I don't have any other mode to learn (not read. I try to read hiragana as much as I can). I have done about 10 lessons on Duolingo and going ahead at a slow pace as I'm quite busy being an engineer during the day... ;P So for the moment I'll just stick to Duolingo lessons, but I have copied your comment to my clipboard and will definitely refer to it as I get more confident about my Japanese with time.
BTW, have you been to India?
piyushjoshi - have a look through the book section at second stores or even second hand bookstores near where you live. You might be surprised! One time I was browsing at a Salvation army second hand store and found a copy of momo tarou. Children's books are excellent for reading and getting used to reading kana. Maybe look online and order a japanese dictionary too to look up any words that you don't know and see if you can find one about kanji too - I say kanji because they will generally have information about kana (hiragana and katakana too). Careful what you buy though - a friend recently ordered what she thought was Maori language flashcards online for her children - they turned out to be flashcards for teaching Spanish speakers English - they just coincidentally had the brand name Te Reo - Maori for 'the language", meaning Te Reo Maori (the Maori is understood). You should be alright, just make sure it is what they say it is! And no, I have never been to India.
I have seen some references (outside Duolingo) comment that その is translatable as "the" under many circumstances, since Japanese doesn't otherwise inflect nouns for number or definiteness. The choice of translating as "the" or "that" is probsbly (like so much of Japanese) context-dependent.
Duolingo doesn't do well in this regard as we never see more than one sentence at a time, so context is always lacking.
perhaps they were talking and the speaker was saying something about the foreign exchange student and the listener asked "what foreign exchange student?" completely confused and at that very moment said exchange student came up to said confused listener and so the speaker simply gestured to the exchange student and said "that foreign exchange student, he's right next to you!" XD
Yes, you're exactly right. 竜 or 龍 (both pronounced りゅう) means "dragon".
Fun side note: the word for "waterfall" is 滝 (たき). Those three extra dots on the left hand side make up a radical commonly associated with water. So the idea behind the kanji for "waterfall" is "water dragon".
For "foreign exchange student", the kanji is 留学生 (りゅうがくせい). The character 留 actually means "detain", "stop" or "fasten". Make of that what you will, but the phrase specifically refers to "studying abroad", either as an international student or as an exchange student.
Fun side note #2: the りゅう used in 留学生 is different from the りゅう used in the word for "cultural exchange", 交流 (こうりゅう). The word refers to any "interchange" or "intermingling", but is heavily associated with international cultural exchange, since 交流委員会 (こうりゅういいんかい) is the term for "Foreign Policy Commission".