1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "田中さんのお母さんは先生だと思います。"

"田中さんのお母さんは先生だと思います。"

Translation:I think that Mr. Tanaka's mother is a teacher.

June 13, 2017

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/huawei520464

there is no secification of the sex of tanaka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/conpanbear

Agree. "I think Tanaka's mother is a teacher" is a legitimate answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rikkapika

I think some sort of honorific is needed in English. Not using さん on a name in Japanese is very impolite, especially if you dont know them very well. Is there a genderless honorific in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/riffelous

I disagree that the English translation requires an honorific. If it were さま then I would agree, a Mr. Ms. Mrs. would be necessary, but there really isn't a one-to-one translation for honorifics into English. I mean, how should we handle the dimunitive くん or ちゃん ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

~様 is on a much higher politeness level than ~さん. It doesn't really have a direct English equivalent or at least I don't know how you would translate it without sounding cheesy or ingratiating. You wouldn't use ~様 in every day speech to regularly address colleagues etc. ~様 is not to be used to address old "Joe Blow" - ie. not for just anybody.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

There's no equivalent for ~ちゃん/くん you've got that right. Maybe you could convey it in English by changing the person's name to show the speaker's familiarity with the person they're addressing eg. サムくん could be translated as Sammy in English, but then if you're translating for school or for work there's the issue of how much lee-way a teacher or supervisor would allow you in terms of translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrGeonyx

I think that this is just context based, the speaker must know Tanaka even a little and know his gender. Usually when you know somebody's name you also knoe their gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

田中 is a very common Japanese surname. There's no reason to question whether it could be a first or last name like with John, so in this instance ~さん really should be translated as Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

Don't know if correct, but that was also my wrong answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

Conpanbear - 田中 is a very common Japanese surname. Do you frequently go around addressing friends/colleagues/your kids' teachers by their surnames?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacKinzieRob

were you marked wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianWill829460

Personally, I like simply to use -san even in English translations, simply because there is no direct English equivilent. After all you do not add Mr and Mrs to given names, the way you can for -san.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

田中 is not a given name. It is a very common Japanese surname.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rikkapika

Actually, it's "だ と", two separate words/particals. The だ here is the plain form of です. If the sentence lacked "I think", you would write "田中さんのお母さんは先生です". But because we add "I think", we need to say the sentence in plain form.

と思う is the particle と and the verb. You'll see this many times in Japanese! Duolingo also teaches と言う, and the grammar for と思う and と言う are similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mimori87

Would "ですと" be incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

Only plain form is allowed before と思います. です isn't plain form, so ですと wouldn't be correct in this sentence.

noun + だ + と

na adjective + だ + と


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john534746

Thank you sir, I was very confused here, so that makes it like two minisentences in one......jk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GustavoBechi

Slowly we discover who is Ms Tanaka.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fractalgeek

On the web version I got "you have a typo" for the correct answer - I picked the box that had an "apostrophe s" box, but the non typo version on screen was "I think Mr. Tanaka s mother is a teacher." ie minus the apostrophe. So the exemplar is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/katharinalouise

You can also sa The mother of Mrs Tanaka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CurtisGuin

You don't need the Mr./Ms./Mrs. in the english translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

Yes you do unless you are in the habit of always addressing people just by their surnames - 田中 is a very common Japanese surname.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TyrantRC

In Spanish we use it like that sometimes, but I can see how in English sounds weird. Never thought about it in that way, very curious.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anonymious1

gender specification is needed. if none is given then "tanaka" or "tanaka-san" should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

田中 is a very common Japanese surname. It needs a title - take your pick - all titles of any gender should be accepted as valid translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ever2662

Elsewhere DL accepts "Tanaka-san," but here it suddenly does not? -_-


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myo988914

It didn't accept 'I think tanaka's mother is a teacher' even though we didn't have gender... Okay then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

It could be any gender. Take your pick.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan_Nicholson

Is "Ms Tanaka's mother thinks she is a teacher" possible? What about if it used 思ています?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/happyoyster

Why "I believe" instead of "I think" is considered wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

信じます (しんじます) means believe. Believe and think do not mean the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arcferrari248

“Believe” is 信じる (しんじる).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarionDelgado

I left off the Mr. entirely since that's how I translate x-san in my head, always. After all, yeah, you can use it with personal names, and it doesn't have a gender, etc. It gets thrown in always so you have to deduce from context when it means something in English and when you can leave it out. It also depends on the level of politeness. When I see "I think" at the end of a sentence, it often implies a higher level of humbleness so I probably should have left the Mr. (or Ms.) in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

It's entirely logical to deduce in this instance that a title is required as 田中 is a very common Japanese surname. The gender is irrelevant as we can't deduce gender from a surname so any title of any gender should be accepted as a valid translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/headchop

Why not "I think the teacher is Mr. Tanaka's mother"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

because は follows 田中さん の お母さん. This tells us that Tanaka's mother is the subject/focus of the subordinate clause not 先生.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaltyBrian

Is it any different to say "I think Mrs. Tanaka's mother is the teacher." Because that also wasn't accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

THE teacher is too specific. It also hints at context from previous conversation - ie. THE/THAT teacher that we were taking about earlier.... 'a teacher' is more general - ie. a teacher (unspecified, amongst many people who also have the profession of teacher).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarteRouge

お母さん is also wife? I always hear that word used for "your wife", but it was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

I think you're confusing おくさん which means wife with おかあさん which means mother.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan946894

2020.5.9 No, sometimes wives will refer to their husbands as お父さん and husbands refer to their wives as お母さん when they have kids. They say it from the prospective of their kids


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QueenSiah7

What is the purpose of "だと?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fractalgeek

it is "[phrase, ending in plain form] と思います"
meaning "I think (that) [phrase]",

"だ is the plain form of desu.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fractalgeek

See Rikkapika's thread higher up this discussion too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Netsrak69

so I wrote is as 'I think Ms. Tanaka's mother is a teacher. but does it need 'that' because it insist on, "I think that Ms. Tanaka's mother is a teacher.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/athenakt

How would you say 'I think that Miss Tanaka's mother WAS a teacher? I'm guessing it would still end in ます since you ARE thinking...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan_Nicholson

田中さんのお母さんは先生だったと思います


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JayDaeKang

I thought it translated to "i think Tanaka's mom is the teacher"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RayyanSheh1

I think that Mr. Tanaka's mother is a butter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuad989

"I think tanaka's mother is a teacher" was marked wrong. Reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

You're forgetting a title before the surname Tanaka. Referring to or addressing people by their surnames without a title is not really a common practise unless you're in the military or a few exceptions. But it's not general practise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaret711539

Wouldn't Mrs Tanaka 's mother be retired?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

You're casting very broad assumptions about the age of both Mr/Ms Tanaka's mother and Ms/Mr Tanaka. How old do you think you have to be to be a parent? Some kids have babies in their teens - some as young as 12! They definitely wouldn't be retired. I'm in my 40s with 3 children - not anywhere near retirement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Netsrak69

In Denmark the retirement age is above 70, so Tanaka and the mother could both be on the job market.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dai803021

To AnaLydiate. You seem a bit fixed on using a title. It's safe to assume the speaker knows Tanaka, and the speaker is not addressing Tanaka. We don't know how old they are. When I was young, private school kids always addressed each other by surname only, no title. Titles were only used when directly addressing adults. (At the time this was a bit different from most people). These days that seems to have spread to the general population. So I have to disagree, and say it is now general practice to use surname only in English, for direct and indirect addressing. But of course first names and titles are also still optional, depending on the context. And re margaret and whether Mrs Tanaka's mum would be retired. Without context your reply is quite correct, who knows how old either are? But in the modern world, 12 year-olds having children is definitely frowned upon. Also the average age of first-time marriages, and motherhood is getting older, as it is normal now for women to have a career. (Very different from when I was young). Therefore I think margaret's assumption is completely understandable, though still an assumption. If we are using "Mrs" Tanaka, then the question is not, does her mum have children, but does she have married children. And is poor old mum still slaving away 9 to 5, or has she been able to retire? (Also an assumption).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dylan_Nicholson

"say it is now general practice to use surname only in English" - really? In what country?? Maybe in the military, but I honestly can't remember a single time anybody addressed me by my surname alone since high school. (Also I think you were replying to the wrong comment here...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneBoolean

The 's in the english translation is wrong. It should just be Tanakas mother. 's means "is".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomsAquino4

No no, 's also means possessive, a lot like the Japanese の...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Motise

That's Anne's problems.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mimomiar

That's correct for German (which too many people ignore, so keep at it!). In English, however, it can mean "is" as well as the possessive. "Tanakas" would be another name entirely, or the plural, as in, the family "the Tanakas".

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.