Translation:Nice to meet you, my name is Tanaka.
From what I know from native Japanese speakers, '(お)元気ですか' (ogenki desu ka) or simply '元気？' (for more casual conversation) is more commonly used after you haven't seen someone recently, and roughly translates to "have you been well?" rather than "are you well?" Another way to address superiors in a more polite way is ’いかがですか’ (ikaga desu ka). I recommend that if you're seeing a friend you see often, you'd be better off just inquiring about their day or a particular event. If you want to know some more specific ways to use similar expressions, I'd recommend this site: https://www.linguajunkie.com/japanese/how-are-you-in-japanese
Some of the answer prompts on mobile allow you to type English for the provided Japanese. In this case, the Swype keyboard and the standard keyboard both consistently correct the word "you" to "toy," which I sometimes forget to fix in time trials. The mistake makes some sense given the proximity of 't' and 'y' as well as 'y' and 'u'. If we shift the first and last letters in "you" to the left one on the keyboard, "toy" is natural.
To be clear I wasn't and am not currently upset with DuoLingo for being counted wrong. I was and am still frustrated with my phone's inability to correct itself despite the feedback which I provide to it.
~ます is a kind of conjugation used with any verb to make it more polite. You attach it to the renyoukei or 'using form' (I suggest picking up a good grammar book/site for how to conjugate verbs).
です is a verb by itself ("to be", in a polite form, with the informal being だ) and is therefore used after nouns or i-adjectives.
Tae Kim's guide is nice. It's what I've been using for grammar so far.
There's also an app for it on Android and iOS, I think.
You might also wanna skim this site a bit for more resources, it's how I found Tae Kim's guide: https://djtguide.neocities.org
Then I hereby welcome you to the amazing (and also awful) world of kanji pronunciations!
Since they were adopted from China, nearly all kanji have 1 (or more) Sino-Japanese 'reading', called an onyomi, and 1 (or more) native Japanese reading, called kunyomi. The former is mostly used in combination with other kanji, and the latter mostly as stand-alone or as a verb/adjective stem.
In the case of 中, なか is the kunyomi and ちゅう its onyomi, though in certain compounds this becomes じゅう (e.g. 家中 うちじゅう: "the whole family/house".
That's just the way spoken Japanese is; when words end in す the -u sound is often muted/dropped. Same with です for example. No grammatical rule though.
I think we should just be glad it isn't as messed up as English. E.g. I don't understand why 'bear' is written like 'hear' when the former sounds like 'bare' (and also, somehow, 'hair') but the latter like 'beer' (and also 'here'), but that's the way it is!
To agree with and add on a bit, in Japan, they will sometimes add the "u" sound if they're trying to be more polite or formal. However, sometimes that's regarded as more feminin, so be careful with how you use that. If you're talking to someone really high above you (in status), you could probably use it...
There are many layers of formality. “Tanaka desu.” might sound rude in a more formal setting. “Tanaka toiimasu”. is a safer way to introduce yourself. Instead of saying “I am Tanaka.” You would be saying “I am called Tanaka.” or “They call me Tanaka.” It just puts less emphasis on myself, which is always more polite.
I have learned from other comments that kanji letters have multiple pronunciations. Such as chu and naka for 中. I read that chu is used when other kanji characters are present such as in the case of the word for China: 中国 being pronounced as chugoku. However, in this case, the characters are pronounced tanaka. Is this because it is a name or another reason?
"To iimasu" isn't the only way to state your name, for anyone who's wondering.
For one, "to moushimasu" is like "to iimasu" but more polite. This is the best one to use, especially in Japanese society.
You could also say "Watashi no namae wa (your name) desu" although this saying isn't common in Japan. This means "My name is..."
Or, you could make it simpler and say "Watashi wa (your name) desu" which means "I am..."
Finally, you could simply say "(Your name) desu" when introducing yourself. This is by far the easiest way to say who you are.
"Nice to meet you, Tanaka is my name." works too.
I couldn't find iimasu used in my grammar book, but after some more careful page turning I accidentally found it: the dictionary form of "to say" (also to call, as in to give name to) is "iu" or "いう."
To make it polite present it's given an "-imasu," and to do that for the affirmative form, "the rules" say to drop the u to get the stem form: "i-," then iu+imasu becomes i+imasu or iimasu (いいます). In this case, と is a particle used to mark a direct or indirect quotation.
When saying "I am (your name)", would there ever be a time when you use 私はwhen introducing yourself or is it always simply your name followed by です?
In this question, which wants us to translate the Japanese sentence to English, いい is used to say "ii". However, in another question (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23099832) which wants us to translate the exact same sentence from English to Japanese, it uses "言い" to say "ii". Can both of them be used? Or is one of them a mistake? If so, which one?