"大学生ですか?"

Translation:Are you a university student?

June 13, 2017

54 Comments


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

Wait, 大 (だい) means university, but also 大 (おお) means big. I'm confused.

June 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anonamoose52

TL;DR all kanji have multiple pronounciations depending on usage

NOVEL INCOMING:

This is perhaps the largest ommision of this app. All kanji (with very few exceptions) have multiple pronounciations, called readings. Some have a LOT of readings, but most only a couple. You can usually bank on two readings, called on'yomi and kun'yomi. Without getting too much into the history of Kanji, on'yomi is a Japanese approximation of a Chinese pronounciation of that character, and kun'yomi is the Japanese word for that character's meaning. On'yomi tend to be used in multi-kanji compound words (not unlike latin root compound words in english), Kun'yomi are generally used when the kanji is by itself, or has hiragana attached. 大 makes a great example. It's On'yomi, たい or だい, are used when combined with 学 to mean "big study" or College. By itself, we use it's Kun'yomi おお to mean big, or 大きさ (おあかさ) to mean size. Sorry for the novel, hope this clears things up!

June 16, 2017

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

Hey don't sweat it, thank you very much!

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

Actually I heard that there is a simple rule for "おお": If the thing is literally/ physically big, then use おお, like 大きい just mean big (large), use "だい" for abstract concept, like 大学 or 大統領 (president of a country): they're not literally "big". However I think there are many exceptions, so just for your reference.

October 20, 2017

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

Wait, how 大kisa becomes oakasa? I didn't get that.

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

That's just a typo; it should be おおきさ

(If you look at a regular Qwerty keyboard, you might be wondering how you make that kind of mistake, but on a 12-key flick input layout (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_input_methods#Flick_input) it's a common error.)

September 27, 2017

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

Also note that the characters for "elementary school" look like "little school"

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julianne131965

I like the combinations for schools:

小 (small) + 学 (school) = elementary school

中 (middle) + 学 = middle school

大 (big) + がく = university/college

June 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garid5

my english may not good but, shouldnt answer be "are you AN university student"???

September 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregory293330

That's a good question. The short answer is 'no'. The long answer is that the use of a/an in English isn't strictly tied to whether a consonant or vowel follows. Rather it's the sound made when pronouncing it that's important. University is pronounced with a 'yoo' sound at the beginning, which is a consonant sound in English. Therefore it should be 'A university' not 'AN university'.

Words beginning with 'u' have cases on both sides, eg. 'an underground tunnel.' Another difficult one is 'h'. 'Hot' is always 'a', eg. 'a hot day'. Conversely 'hour' is 'an' - 'it takes an hour.' Then there's 'hotel' which can be both 'an hotel' or 'a hotel'.

The guide should always be how the word is pronounced.

November 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenn707

Really thank you! English is not my first language, I'm taking this course so I can practice English and Japanese at the same time and although I thought I had a very good level at English I was very flustered because of this sentence. You clarified everything! Thanks!

August 17, 2019

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

”Are you in University?" Should probably be accepted.

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlfredoEsp13

"Are you a university school student?" Is wrong. But removing "school" seems awkward.

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flish32

To copy my reply from above:

The reason we don't use "university school" is because the words elementary, middle and high are used as adjectives to differentiate the schools. If you say "I am going to school" it could be an elementary school, a middle school or high school that you're going to. However, university is never used as an adjective, so we can't use it here to differentiate a university and, say, a high school. That's why we use university and not university school. Hope this cleared things up for you :)

January 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Astaven333

I imagine it's because school is implied when university is used, making "university school" a redundant phrase in this circumstance.

October 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/memekid27

"are you a university student?" "a university" ohnoduowhatisyoudoin

October 30, 2018

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

how would you ask "are you in university"?

June 13, 2017

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

「大学にいますか?」- "Are you at university?" It can also mean "Are you in university"

June 13, 2017

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

Am hearing the pronunciation right だいがくせですか?

June 23, 2017

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

Basically im pretty sure from previous study methids that it is だいがくせいですか, but thats just a minor difference ^-^

June 25, 2017

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

Is 生 せい or せん?

July 8, 2017

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

生 is pronounced as せい

July 18, 2017

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

The slower pronunciation character by character does not match the sentence pronunciation. This is confusing and hard without explanations. :( Definitely room for improvement.

December 28, 2018

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

And that's why I like Japanese: It's logical and structured. big student ですか ? is ridiculously easy compared to are you a uneversity student?.

December 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryo325203

my correction says that it was supposed to be "We are university students". But on here it says "you". Program error perhaps?

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Well, it's supposed to be a question, since there is か and a question mark in the Japanese sentence.

But regardless, you should report it since, both "we" and "you" should be acceptable for this translation. It just depends on the context (which we don't get any information about) which one we choose.

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sumos23

Seems like there's a bug? I responded are you a university school student but it tells me I'm wrong and that it should be are you a college student

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

"A university school student" is incorrect, or at least unnatural, English. The correct English should be "a university student" or "a college student", depending on which part of the world you're from.

December 24, 2017

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

I used "Are you a..." and duolingo say: "You used the wrong word" it wants me use "Are you IN..., but, when i opened the board the translation is correct, like my asnwer.

Has anyone else gone through this?

December 16, 2017

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

For me it says "Is he a university student?"

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Because the subject has been omitted in the Japanese sentence, it can be implied as any number of things (including "he") since we don't have any context here.

February 14, 2018

[deactivated user]

    You can ask this question to someone like Mafuyu XD

    June 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barry560088

    Why is this marked wrong when I answer "Are you a university school student?" In the other questions regarding elementary, middle or high the answers accept "school". Hope this question makes sense.

    August 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flish32

    The reason we don't use "university school" is because the words elementary, middle and high are used as adjectives to differentiate the schools. If you say "I am going to school" it could be an elementary school, a middle school or high school that you're going to. However, university is never used as an adjective, so we can't use it here to differentiate a university and, say, a high school. That's why we use university and not university school. Hope this cleared things up for you :)

    January 17, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janice823348

    Here big means higher education so university (Thats what I feel)

    September 3, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donvini94

    they suggest uni student in other translations and dont accept uni for this one..

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/student_707

    are you (an) university student ? #Grammar

    November 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flish32

    ..no. It's the sound that dictates whether you use a or an. If you look at the word "hour" it starts with a h, so not a vowel, but we use "an" anyways because the h is silent, making it sound like "our" instead of "hour." However, if we look at university it starts with a "you" sound, so we don't use an. An university student would be incorrect and sounds wrong, just like "a hour" sounds wrong.

    January 17, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukeJ87

    はい

    December 28, 2018

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

    Are you a postgraduate? should be accepted.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    No, "postgraduate student" is 大学院生【だいがくいんせい】

    大学生 refers specifically to undergraduate students.

    March 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariosHadj2

    If I want to ask "Are you university students?" I just add at the end of university student "たち"? Like: "大子生たちですか?" Is that how pural works?

    May 26, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Yes, and no. First of all, be careful with similar looking kanji: it's 大生, not 大生.

    Adding たち is how definite plurals work. When you say 大学生たち, you are referring to a specific group of university students. For example: you are the marketing manager at a company expecting visits from several high schools and a university class. You see some older youths milling around the lobby, assume they are the university students and greet them with 「大学生たちですか?」

    On the other hand, indefinite plurals in Japanese work exactly like "you" does in English, i.e. "you" can be singular or plural (unless y'all're from the South) and 大学生 can be singular or plural. To continue the previous example: some youths turn up late and you need to send high schools and university students to different rooms. Unfortunately, you were way off base with the first group so you've lost confidence your ability to tell if they're university students or not, but you go with your gut and ask them if they are university students with: 「大学生ですか?」(notice the lack of "the" and たち; they aren't the specific group of university students you were expecting at the beginning.)

    May 29, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesargeney87

    Question for english natives. Why "an university" is not a valid answer?

    June 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Please try to read the other comments before posting in future.

    "An university student" is incorrect English. We generally use "an" before vowel sounds, which are not necessarily vowels.

    The "u" in "university" makes a consonant "y" sound (you-niversity), so "a" is used.

    June 3, 2019

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

    What is the difference betwenn university and high school? (Not native english speaker) is there a difference in Japan? In the Uk? In the USA? I'm confused because the 2 japanese nouns are sometimes inversed in DL...

    August 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katagi40

    Should the correct english translation not be "Are you AN university student?" I just got an incorrect for writing that. As a non native english speaker I presumed, that an always has to be writen in front of a noun starting with a vowel?

    January 24, 2018

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

    No, "a university" is correct.

    Using a vs. an depends on what sound the next word starts with, not the literal letter it starts with. You only use an when it starts with a vowel sound. "University" does not start with a vowel sound ("yew"), so you use 'a', not 'an.'

    For an example of the reverse, you would say "an hour," even though hour technically starts with an h, because "hour" begins with a vowel sound.

    January 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cristal55690

    Are you AN University student?

    September 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Duplicate comment. Please try to read the other comments before posting.

    No, "an university student" is incorrect English.

    September 15, 2019, 3:31 AM

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

    It would be more correct to have 'are you an university student?' as it would be an before a, e, i, o or u.

    November 23, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    No, "an university student" is incorrect English. We generally use "an" before vowel sounds, which are not necessarily vowels.

    The "u" in "university" makes a consonant "y" sound (you-niversity), so "a" is used.

    December 14, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zRKO5

    Shouldn't it be 'an' university student

    June 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

    Nope, "an university student" is incorrect English. We generally use "an" before vowel sounds, which are not necessarily vowels.

    The "u" in "university" makes a consonate "y" sound (you-niversity), so "a" is used.

    August 7, 2018
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