"とりが二わいます。"

Translation:There are two birds.

June 13, 2017

106 Comments


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

If わ is the Counter for Birds, does that include emus and ostriches?

November 30, 2017

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

Tofugu says yes to ostriches but doesn't mention emus (I'm sure they use わ too though) https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/count-in-japanese/

I don't think it's been specifically mentioned on this page before, but the kanji for わ is 羽 which means "feather" or "wing", so even flightless birds can be included (although bats use 匹 :P).

December 18, 2017

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

Thanks for the info, JoshuaLore9. I found a translation for ostrich, but not for emu. I was wondering if they might use the counter for big animals or something else. I can see the "feather" barbs in 羽. Bats, though! I hadn't thought about them.Thanks.

December 18, 2017

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

Now I wonder what they use for feathered dinosaurs :o

January 21, 2019

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

I doubt much though had been put into it, since you'll find little need to say something like "There are two velociraptors" in conversation! 20/03/2019

March 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/69wQcO

Well if you ever need to say it, well, you'll definitely need to say it

June 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heitor967333

Bats are mammals though

July 9, 2019

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

Why "imasu" and not "arimasu" ?

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

Because the birds are alive. います is used for animate things (people, animals), あります is inanimate things (objects, dead stuff).

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N1chope

Although for what I know, ghosts also use います (even though they are dead) because they are animate

November 12, 2017

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

This is new information i missed, thanks for telling us :D

August 1, 2017

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

Shouldn't this be "The bird is in the garden" instead of the marked as correct "There are two birds"?

June 13, 2017

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

庭 is the kanji for garden. 二羽 is for counting. Theres a funny saying 「庭には二羽鶏がいる」(にわにはにわにわとりがいる)"there are two chickens in the garden"

June 13, 2017

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

I clicked on the discussion to post this, but you beat me! My fave Japanese tongue twister (hayakuchi kotoba)

June 29, 2017

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

This made me realize that Japanese really does have a limited number of syllables. Wow that is amazing.

October 27, 2017

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

I said this at least 10 times so fun xD

May 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnesLeung4

I bit my tongue lol

September 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

Two things tell you that "There are two birds" is the correct answer. Firstly, had 'niwa' been meant as garden, they would have used にわ in all hiragana (at this stage at least), while in this sentence it's actually a kanji+kana mix: 二 (kanji for '2') and わ (counter for birds). Second, "(to be) in the garden" would be にわ に いる; notice the use of a second 'ni' as an indicator of place(/direction/time).

June 16, 2017

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

A lot of kanjis have the same reafing, which makes it difficult when everything is in hirigana, but if it meant garden itwould have the destination particle attached so "庭に"

June 19, 2017

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

わ is the counter for birds. So とりがにわ means two birds. It is not the にわ of garden.

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel666557

It's 二わ, not には.

April 28, 2019

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

わ as the Counter for Birds is quiet obscure information... there are way more important counters to know over a Bird Counter such as the standard Animal Counter 匹... even I haven't seen a Bird Counter before...

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LM0Uxa

Even you? Wow.

July 12, 2017

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

It is also the counter for rabbits. Why do only birds and rabbits share this counter, I have no clue.

September 25, 2017

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

Apparently, the story goes that when Buddhism was becoming more popular in Japan, what people could and couldn't eat for religious reasons was coming under scrutiny. Birds were okay to eat, but meat from other animals was not. This was a problem for some Buddhist monks who actually quite liked the taste of rabbit, so they went about changing the classification of rabbits from animal to bird, and thus the counter for them was changed too.

It was pretty clever how they did it too. As you may know, "rabbit" in Japanese is うさぎ. I guess back then, not all words had kanji assigned to them because they assigned うさぎ the kanji 鵜鷺. Here's the clever part: 鵜 is pronounced う and now means "cormorant", and 鷺 is pronounced さぎ and now means "heron". Both kanji also have the radical for "bird" in them, 鳥.

I don't know how historically accurate this is, but I found this kind of explanation on a few different Japanese websites.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

Great story Joshua, I love that kanji trickery!

@Jay: whatever the historical truth behind this oddity may be, nowadays it's common to use the (more logical) counter for small animals for rabbits too: 匹.

September 27, 2017

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

This story reminds me of when the pope reclassified beavers as a fish so French fur trappers could eat them on Fridays. Or, more recently, when Congress classified pizza as a vegetable.

February 1, 2018

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

In the USA, the Federal School Lunch Program allows children who attend public schools to qualify for a "free lunch" or lunch at a reduced price if they come from low income homes, but the lunch must meet certain nutritional standards, such as including a vegetable. In 1982, when Ronald Reagan was President of the USA, his administration cut the budget for the Federal School Lunch Program by 25 percent (while increasing the military budget, as critics observed). Reagan wanted to classify ketchup as a vegetable, so that public schools could meet the nutritional requirement of the "free lunch program" without having to go to the expense of providing an actual vegetable to the poor children who could not afford to pay full price for a school lunch; Reagan figured that if ketchup were legally classified as a vegetable, then public schools could afford the 25 percent budget cut.

I think the more recent idea that the US Congress classified pizza as a vegetable came in 2011, with a proposal to raise nutritional standards, requiring, among other things, that it would take a minimum of half a cup (about 120 ml) of tomato paste on a pizza, rather than the previous standard of 2 tablespoons (about 30 ml), to qualify as a vegetable. Opponents who blocked the higher standard were criticized for classifying pizza with just a couple tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable.

August 14, 2019

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

I heard something similar regarding other meats, like venison and boar, being given "floral" names to avoid Buddist religious restrictions regarding meat. Venison became "momiji" (maple), horse became "sakura" (cherry) and boar was called "botan" (peony) during the Edo period. Good eating!

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cvictoria42

That's one story. Another, which seems more plausible to me, albeit more boring, is that the connection is their jumping motion being like flying - "jump" and "fly" are both とぶ in Japanese.

September 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

Well, rabbit meat looks and tastes a lot like poultry.

January 18, 2019

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

Teehee...is that how they ended up on the Moon, pounding mochi?

February 11, 2018

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

So it's "うさぎが二わいます" ? Like bird

April 16, 2018

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

It used to be, and some older people might still stick to it, but as @Alcedo-Atthis pointed out, 匹 is now widely used.

May 2, 2018

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

It comes up in jouyou level 2. It's a basic kanji. 二羽

July 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/syntyche1981

I knew the Kanji, but forgot the reading.

July 30, 2017

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

They probably use わ here to make a pun.

July 12, 2018

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

No pun going on here. Contrary to @CheriTabushi 's assertion, 羽 (わ) is completely standard Japanese.

November 21, 2018

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

Is the information quiet because it is obscure, or obscure because it is quiet?

August 14, 2019

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

Can I get a sentence breakdown please? ありがとうございます!

July 1, 2017

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

鳥が二羽います

鳥 (とり) = bird(s)

が = subject marker (in this case, the thing doing the verb)

二羽 (にわ) = two birds, where 羽 is what's known as a "counter" for birds (and rabbits)

います = to exist (for animate objects)

Literally: "Birds are two {birds} exist" 》 "There are two birds"

Alternatively, since は is omitted, it can be implied as 私は (or any other noun) and the sentence becomes "(as for me,) birds are two {birds} exist (in my possession)" 》 "I have two birds"

August 16, 2017

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

Thank you for that great explanation! I'm new to Japanese and trying to get a handle on the specific counter idea. Could you just say が二羽います to mean the same thing? (Omit とり since it's indicated by the specific counter?)

December 17, 2017

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

You're welcome; I'm glad I could help :)

That's a good idea, but while things such as birds or tables have a specific counter, the same counter can be used for multiple things. For example, 羽 as I mentioned above is used for birds (of all kinds, penguins, eagles, emus, etc.) and rabbits. The counter for tables (台, だい) is also used for cars, machines, and computers. So if it is obvious what "thing" you are talking about from the context, it's possible to omit it and just use the counter to tell someone how many of that thing there are, but in general, if you just said to someone 二羽います, they might assume you mean "there are two birds" because birds are probably more common than rabbits, but they'll probably also think "二羽 of what?"

The other thing you might notice about what I just wrote, is that there is no が. In Japanese, particles point to the word that appears in front of it (earlier in the sentence), unlike prepositions in English. So if you remove とり, you also need to remove が because it doesn't have anything to point to anymore. (Side note: theoretically, you could also put it after 二羽 instead, and that's perfectly acceptable too)

December 25, 2017

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

explanation in Japanese https://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1074748295?__ysp=44Go44KK44GM44Gr44KP44GE44G%2B44GZ

「10羽」=「じっぱ」(or「じゅうわ」)、「100羽」=「ひゃっぱ」(or「ひゃくわ」)、「1000羽」=「せんば」(or「せんわ」)is corect grammar. correct way to read「10羽」is「じっぱ」(without ゅ sound)(or「じゅうわ」), but most Japanese are pronouncing as「じゅっぱ」 and it is not considered as wrong usage.

March 16, 2018

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

In the audio 'ga' sounds like it's being pronounced as 'wa'.

Is this another pronounciation exception, or is the recording not good?

October 7, 2018

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

What is the meaning of が in this sentence? Why can't we use は instead?

September 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

が emphasizes the subject, while は is a more general topic marker. Since 二羽(にわ)indicates a specific number of chickens, we use が in this sentence.

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SlCh6

Wait, is there a counter for everything?!

October 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lockheed2000

i typed "there's 2 birds" and it marked me wrong. isn't the meaning same here?

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

"There are 2 birds" would've been correct. "there is 2 birds" is incorrect English

March 10, 2018

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

"There are" is commonly contracted to "there's" in spoken English so that should be fine.

For this sentence, I would say that your translation was correct, but that translating it WITHOUT the contraction is more accurate, because it is more formal. The sentance is constructed more formally in Japanese, so I would not use contraction when translating the meaning into English, if that makes sense.

If you disagree, feel free to report it as an error to DuoLingo so it can be updated.

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/weljo1

Improper use of singular and plural. It should be 'There are 2 birds.

August 19, 2018

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

I'm having a really hard time understanding why 鳥が二羽います isn't a valid answer

鳥 is the proper kanji for bird and 羽 is the proper kanji for the Wa counter, what am I missing?

April 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danak520

Is the counter -ひき(びき) only used for 4 legged animals? Because I thought it could apply to birds too.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alcedo-Atthis

No, not exclusively. It's also used for fish, insects, and possibly (though less frequently) birds. Usually if something has its own counter, you use that one rather than a general one. Besides, it's not for all 4 legged animals either. When you have larger animals such as cows and horses you use 頭 (とう).

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexDavis552325

Lol I like the definition of the character after "ni". "For counting birds" lol this is a word specifically for counting birds. i know it's obviously for the noun of which you're counting, it was just cute :)

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith309086

It is actually just for counting birds and rabbits. I'm still an absolute beginner, but it seems there are specific 'counters' for different nouns. Check out the Japanese Counter Word page on Wikipedia

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBreadQueen05

Wa is for counting birds! wow didn't know that. LOL

December 2, 2017

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

do you mean to tell me there are individual counters for different species

June 12, 2018

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

It is bad, but not quite that bad. There's a counter for small animals and a counter for large animals, and a few less common counters for more specific categories, like birds/rabbits. But you don't have to learn a new counter for every species.

The counter 匹 (hiki) is used for counting most small animals, such as cats and dogs. Rabbits and birds are counted using a different counter, 羽 (wa). Large animals, such as horses or cows, are usually counted using the counter 頭 (tō)

馬が五頭います。
Uma ga gotou imasu. (There are five horses.)

猫が三匹います。
Neko ga sanbiki imasu. (There are three cats.)

June 12, 2018

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

裏庭には二羽庭には二羽鶏がいる

June 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael824268

Just gave " 鳥が二羽います。 " and been marked wrong... please tell me I'm not going mad?

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael824268

Gotta laugh: Tried again omitting all kanji and now been penalised for leaving 二 as に ! Oh well.

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emb789

I'm a bit confused about why the pronunciation for 二 here is 「に」 and not 「ふた」- if anyone could explain why I'd appreciate it!

August 5, 2018

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

二 is a kanji character so it has different reading, depending on the word it is used in.

For numbers, you generally learn the on'yomi (chinese reading) when learning to count to ten and the kun'yomi when learning the "irregular" readings of the various counter words. The exceptions are 4 and 7, because you are taught both readings when learning to count to 10

For 二, ふた is kun. に is on.

The reading that is used, depends on the counter word that you pair the kanji with - in this case, we are counting birds, so we use the special animal counter 羽 (わ) for birds and rabbits, instead of the general counter つ, or the regular small animal counter 匹 (ひき).

The word 二羽 is pronounced にわ using kun'yomi (Japanese reading) for the counter and on'yomi (Chinese reading) for the numeral.

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emb789

Thanks for the explanation! I appreciate how thoroughly you explained it

August 5, 2018

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

I'm a little surprised that teachers and textbooks don't bother to tell people this up front and just teach both readings from the start. You have to memorize both of them eventually, so it is not like it saves you any time in the long run.

If you want to learn the kun readings for all the base numbers, look at the general counter つ. These counter words use kun'yomi. Some counter words will use on'yomi instead ... or a mix of the two, with 4 and 7 usually taking kun readings.

Here they are in list form:
1 Hito
2 Futa
3 Mi
4 Yon
5 Itsu
6 Mu
7 Nana
8 Ya
9 Kokono
10 To

Before Chinese influence, counting to 10 in Japanese would have sounded very different.

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emb789

I've learned the pronunciations for both but I hadn't realised that が was meant to be a counter (with a kanji making the 二 take the on'yomi pronunciation) rather than a particle in hiragana. Thank you anyway for giving the kun pronunciations for a reference, though!

August 5, 2018

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

Just to clarify:

が is a particle.
わ is a counter.

二羽 means "two birds (or rabbits)"

とり (bird) が (subject marking particle) にわ (two + bird counter) います (iru - the verb of exisitance for animate things)

"There are two birds."

Or "Two birds exist."

August 5, 2018

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

Thata a great explanation, but could you please explain how you know whether to use the on or kun reading for any given counter? Or do you just have to learn them one by one?

May 6, 2019

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

Haha, oops. I translated it as "There's a bird in the yard." Which would probably instead be "庭に鳥がいます".

August 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Terumi21

The accent is strange. TOri × → toRI○ かぞえかた 鳥(とり),兎(うさぎ)→羽(わ)、小さい動物(ちいさいどうぶつ),魚(さかな),虫(むし)→匹(ひき)、大きい動物(おおきいどうぶつ)→頭(とう) 頭(とう)は にほんじんが えいごのheadを まねして つかいました。 source : https★//japanknowledge.com/articles/kze/column_kaz_12.html ★→:

September 14, 2018

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

is "there're 2 birds" wrong ?

October 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niko356744

A general question here, when listening it is possible to hear 庭 (にわ 、yard) instead of 二わい (two birds ). Ofcourse this sentence is not about a yard, but do those kinds of missunderstandings happen from time to time in japanese culture?

I've seen some jokes around this subject before but im not sure if there is also a serious side to it

November 8, 2018

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

Japanese has a ton of homophones - words that share the same pronounciation, but have different meanings. It can, and does, cause confusion sometimes. In fact, one of the reasons why kanji is used in written Japanese is because it helps reduce ambiguity by making it more obvious which word you are intending. In spoken Japanese, the listener will ask for confirmation occassionally or the speaker will add more information to clarify when needed.

November 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lanadreamycat123

Isn't the Japanese incorrect?

November 11, 2018

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

Why do you say that? The Japanese looks fine to me.

November 11, 2018

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

For those who want to know the kanji: 鳥が二羽います。

November 21, 2018

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

The kanji 羽 was marked as wrong, when I think is the right kanji for わ in this situation, right?

February 6, 2019

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

There is a specific counter only for birds? I thought counters in japanese were "universal", for everything, being animated or not. I really cant understand the "wa" and people saying its "counter for birds"... I would never imagine this. The "wa" still seems so confusing.

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

"Two heads of cattle" "Three leaves of paper" "One sprig of rosemary," counters can get pretty specific. From my understanding, Japanese has a lot of counters, some for long, thin things, some for flat, wide things, some for certain animals, but you can get away with knowing the most common and general ones.

February 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssef.be4

Why do we use niwa insread of futatsu???

February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssef.be4

Whyy do we use niwa instead of futatsu???

February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssef.be4

Whyy do we use niwa instead of futatsu????

February 21, 2019

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

Because we are counting birds, so there is a more specific counter.

February 21, 2019

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

When you have two birds

April 8, 2019

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

Why is 鳥が二羽います wrong?

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcdx3

This is so damn annoying! I never know whether it's going to mark me wrong for using kanji, wrong for NOT using kanji, or let either slide. Then to make it worse, if it marks me wrong, there is no option to check 'my answer should have been accepted'... It's more stressful remembering which kanji/kana combination Duolingo will accept than remembering the actual correct answer.

April 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

Last I read, Tree Version 2.0 was coming out for all users in August? They solve this problem and add even more Kanji into the lessons is my understanding. Any news?

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XPK15

鳥が二羽います。

May 9, 2019

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

Another one of these false errors. Ruining streaks. I selected とり+が+二+わ+い+ます but that is apparently wrong. Only other way to get the sentence is selecting とり+が+二+わい+ます

May 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piacolada14

I have 2 birds. Ones mine the other one is my brothers

May 27, 2019

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

Does the counter for birds uses onyomi numbers?

June 24, 2019

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

Could it be i have two birds?

August 4, 2019

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

Doesn't accept Hiragana for 二 and I can't report this problem.

August 5, 2019

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

As far as I know that would be wrong. The 二 in this case is the kanji for 2, not the sound ni.

August 5, 2019

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

I wrote 'there are two chickens', but dame deshita.

August 26, 2018

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

DUO MAKE UP YOUR MIND IF YOU WANT ME TO USE KANJI!

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kypreos1

There Two birds Not acepted..

October 31, 2018

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

That's not proper English. Why should it be acceptable?

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kypreos1

Do you understand the meaning ? Is so its should be accepted, I'm not here for english but for japanese.

October 31, 2018

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

Proper grammar and spelling is important in any language. DuoLingo already accepts a wide range of reasonable re-wordings and alternative interpretations. It is unreasonable to expect it to also accept broken English.

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kypreos1

If I were to study english I would accept this argument but this is japanese here and it's really frustrating to know the meaning of a sentence and duolingo tell you ''no it wasn't this it was that''..

October 31, 2018

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

Yes, we are here to study Japanese, but Duo can only check your Japanese ability by checking your English answers.

Humans are remarkably good at extracting meaning/patterns out of things (sometimes to our detriment), but we haven't trained our computers to be anywhere near as good. It's a lot easier for us to simply use proper English (which we should be doing by default anyway, right? If you knew the proper English, why not just put that in?) than it is to train Duo's program to recognize incorrect English (and possibly accidentally allow answers where the user doesn't actually fully understand the Japanese sentence).

For these simple sentences, you might think it's fine if you don't use exactly the right wording, but why bother starting a bad habit? Later, in more advanced Japanese, the difference in wording and emphasis, verb tenses and conjugations, etc. becomes increasingly smaller visually, yet increasingly more important lexically. If you don't use the proper English, there's no way to tell if you actually know what you meant.

October 31, 2018

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

Five birds were shot and now there are two.

September 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBreadQueen05

what!?

December 2, 2017
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