Translation:I am hungry.
To fully explain we need to break down the sentence to see what is literally being said:
[My, implied] おなか [belly, stomach] が すきました [became empty]。 すく means "to become empty".
In order to be hungry now, one's stomach must have already become empty. This is just how it is expressed.
Hold, would not なか be 中 here, suggesting 'inside' as 'I am hungry inside'?
Welcome to the wonderful world of homophones in Japanese. In this case the word does not even use a normal reading for the kanji, which is not that uncommon.
I cannot really comment on the etymology at present, but if you look in a dictionary it will show both お腹 and お中. Perhaps it is as simple as to beautify the word. Note however that お腹 is what comes up in when using IME — for me at least — by default when typing おなか.
"I am hungry inside" sounds like quite a strange mix of the two languages. You could certainly replace belly or stomach with inside in my example above, but it seems unusual at best to express being hungry inside in English.
They're etymologically related though. おなか originated as a term used by noblewomen in the Heian era as a sort of euphemism for the belly. So, it literally was one's "middle part", i.e., the middle of one's body. Nowadays it's probably best to just consider them homophones though
How can "foot" or "sold" be inside "footsoldier" or "ham" be inside "hamster"?
Well, the "foot" in footsoldier is the same as the word "foot". A footsoldier was originally a soldier who went into battle on foot, as opposed to knights who went into battle on horse
I believe it can also be written like that, but the most commonly used kanji in this context is 腹 (belly, inside)
No, because the kanji actually used is specifically for stomach, which is the word used. The kanji you suggested means inside more in the sense of being between two things.
This just shows how important Kanji is Without it couldn't this be "i used to like stomachs"?
Peko peko for tummy growling! I forgot about that one. What's the literal translation of the other one you gave?
You have Sasha Blouse as your profile picture so I will believe you are an expert on this subject.
Every single language program I've used has taught a different way to say this and it's actually been a huge amount of work trying to remember which service requires which form as an answer.
onaka ga sukimashita
onaka ga suite imasu
onaka ga suita
Onaka ga akimashita
I assume there is a wide variety of formality levels here but does anyone know what the most commonly used/acceptable one is?
Well, the difference between sukimashita and suita is just polite vs plain. Duo defaults to polite, which is probably the best for beginners. Hetta also means the same thing as sukimashita/suita, just much less polite, likewise with hara and onaka. It's odd that it would be taught in a language program. Hara hetta especially is very informal. I'm not sure about harapeko or onaka ga akimashita. I've never heard of those two
I don't think so, maybe more formal? I've never heard it in conversation. When I lived in Japan I only ever heard suite.... peko peko if someone was trying to be cute
Quoted from someone else:
お腹 (おなか) がすきました。Onaka ga suki mashita. “おなか/onaka” means belly; you are saying your stomach became empty. Casually, to your friends/family or someone younger, you could say: お腹 (おなか) すいた。Onaka suita. or even more casually, お腹 (おなか) ペコペコ！Onaka pekopeko! (I’m starving!)
And is 好き a noun here, so 好きでした literally means “… was my like” (?)
Oh, finally I learned that 好き(な) is a na-adjective. So here its casual form for the past tense is 好きだった, and the polite form is 好きでした.
The Japanese way to express “I like …” is so confusing.
There is a word for it, but you generally use it for questions. This is far more common for saying that you're hungry, the actual word is a bit of an archaicism, not quite to the level of "I'm not satiated", but somewhere there.
ひだる is the word, it's rare.
both are conjugated in the past, but "suita" is informal and "sukimashita" is formal
When I was taking classes in high school, my sensei taught this as おねかがすいた。 I'm supposing this is an informal form, but can anyone explain how these grammars equate?
"I feel hungry" is more appropriate translation for 「おなかがすきました」. "I am hungry" would be translated as 「おなかがすいています」. Reported on Oct. 27, 2017.
Is this the most common expression? Does Japanese have an adjective for “hungry”, for technical writing?
It said "mashita" towards the end... So shouldn't it be "I was hungry"? Please clarify my head hurts.
空く/ suku is a verb that means "to empty", so this sentence reads something like "My stomach has emptied" It has completed emptying; there's nothing left in it and it needs to be filled.