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"Nice to meet you, my name is Tanaka."


June 15, 2017



Why is 中 in 中国 pronounced like 'chuu' and im 田中 like 'naka'


For Kanji there are normally two readings, a traditionally chinese and a purely japanese one. Both apply to the japanese language. Some have less, some even more. Those readings differ from use to use and there are no real general rules. I suggest you download an App to study Kanji separately to get a feel for how they work, I do the same :)


Part of the difference is where it appears in the word, as well as what word it appears in. There seem to be only general rules and memorization of words is expected.


there are many ways to say it, maybe it is beta and that's why there are not yet the other possibilities to introduce, at least your name. 私の名前は。。。the literal translation of "my name is" is not really used in natural conversation but is still right. 。。。と言います the formal way 。。。と申します the most formal 。。。です the standard, easiest and most used way I'm Federico 「フェデリコです」


But using "です" like, "マリアです" means, "I am maria", and not, "my name is maria" ("マリアと言いです"). Right ? also, how do you read that kanji from the most formal ?


Yes. They're all approximately the same, but I would say "My name is Maria" is more like 「私の名前はマリアです」while 「マリアと言います」 is more like "I'm called Maria".

申します is pronounced もうします (moushimasu).


Why does 田中 not need a particle, even though it kind of has a verb?


Tanaka does have a particle. It's "to". It makes what goes before it a quotation. " Tanaka" they call me.


Tanaka does not have the ha particle because she is talking about herself which is obvious


May I ask why 私の名前はマリアです needs the は then?I guess I'm just overall confused with the use of particles, especially は


@AndrewManz10 has it wrong. Particles are really the fundamental building blocks of Japanese, and their job is to indicate the grammatical role that other words play in the sentence.

There's a really good beginners guide to Japanese sentence structure by 8020japanese, and I highly recommend giving it a read (here: https://8020japanese.com/japanese-sentence-structure/) Japanese sentence structure is quite different to how English sentences are constructed, but it's very logical and consistent.

To try to answer your question though, 私の名前はマリアです has a は in it because it is marking the speaker's name (私の名前) as the topic, and subject, of the sentence. This generally would imply that the topic was unclear/undecided from the context leading up to this sentence or the speaker is emphasizing their name as the topic (e.g. to contrast it with the previous topic).


That was very helpful in understanding how the different particles affect sentence structure. Arigatou!


So と can be quotes and 'and'?


Yes, among other things.

When referring to people, it can be "with".

It's used in more advanced grammar structures, such as ~すると... (if you ~, then...)


thank you for this. I never knew と had other meanings so it was really confusing seeing this unexpectedly. But now I know, thank you :-)


What is the difference between ます and です?


です is a stand alone verb; it's the Japanese copula and it means "to be", i.e. "is/am/are".

ます is simply a verb ending that signifies that you're using the polite present tense form of a verb. It doesn't mean anything on its own.


Desu means "am/is/are" and masu is like the "do/does" and am/is/are auxiliary verbs: watashiwa wakare (or wakari) masu = I do understand. Masen is like "do not" and "is not". At least, that is my understanding. Japanese doesn't always translate cleanly to English and vice versa.


Is とa connecting word?


In a manner of speaking, yes. In this case, と is a particle, specifically the quotation particle. It indicates that 田中 is the thing you いいます (i.e. "Tanaka" is what you are called, i.e. your name is Tanaka).

[deactivated user]

    Ummm... I learnt to say watashi no namae wa tanaka desu at school. Is that wrong or is that the way your supposed to say it?


    No, both are right. Just like we can introduce ourselves by saying "My name is Tanaka" or "I am Tanaka" or "I'm called Tanaka" in English, there are different ways to introduce ourselves in Japanese too.

    Japanese actually has an added level of complexity that don't have as much in English (formal vs. humble vs. polite) where the words you say can change depending on the situation you're in or who you're speaking to, even though the meaning is essentially the same.


    when translating to japanese it isnt incorrect to put さん at the end of his name.


    It's Tanaka introducing himself. You wouldn't include an honorific for your own name.


    Does word order matter here? You must say 'Tanaka I am called' rather than 'I am called Tanaka'?


    Verbs go at the ends of sentences


    How about 田中と申します ? Isn't that correct?


    Yes, it's correct. It is more formal though, and from memory, it is introduced later in this course.


    Why don't we insert a "wa" in this sentence? When do we use that topic character?


    In Japanese, the topic is very often left out of conversation because, if it's obvious by the context, there's no need to say it (they just let everyone assume what it is). And because the topic is left out, that means the topic particle, は, is also left out.

    In this sentence, the speaker (me) is the topic, so if you wanted to, you can say 私 (わたし) 田中といいます。

    We can use the topic particle if the topic isn't clear from the context and you want to make sure everyone is assuming the same topic as you, or you want to change the topic of the conversation. You'll come across other uses as well, like manipulating emphasis, but for the most part, it's used to specify the topic.


    Whats the difference betweem といいます and です? Can't i just use です for this case??


    The same as saying "I'm Tanaka" 田中です
    vs. "My name is Tanaka" 私の名前は田中です
    vs. "(they) Call me Tanaka" 田中と言います or 田中と申します(humble) in English.
    They all roughly mean the same thing just with different levels of formality to them. Since the english uses "my name is..." rather than just "I'm (X)" it's more appropriate to use one of the more formal ones, in this case と言います since this is the phrase the lesson is focusing on.


    Why wasn't ~ともします instead of ~と言います accepted?


    ~と申します 「もします」(in kanji) is acceptable on the majority of the intro questions. If it isn't yet you can report it to have it reviewed by a contributor. Make sure you're spelling it correctly before sending in a report, though.


    It feels weird reading all of these educated comments... And I'm just here trying and failing to understand my own question


    Wrote: よろしくおねがします instead of はじめまして and got marked wrong, anyone know why? (I'm pretty sure it's a usage/context/formality thing, but I'm not sure what the correct usage is?)

    Admittedly, I couldn't remember はじめまして so I took a wild guess, but I hovered over "Nice to meet you" to make sure I remembered correctly.


    はじめまして is a form of "beginning/starting" like saying "for the first time" - you usually open your introduction with this

    よろしくおねがします is a request lit. "please treat me well" and is usually at the end of your introduction or when asking for a favor.

    Duo translates both of these to roughly "nice to meet you" as there is no real English equivalent in our introductions, even though their meaning and usage is quite different.


    what the difference between はじめまして and 初めまして


    They are the same; simply one is all in hiragana and the other uses kanji.
    For many expressions like はじめまして they are more commonly written in kana alone, but it isn't incorrect to use their kanji form.


    Just wondering, I once read that it is safer/more polite/better to use 申します (もうします) and that といいます is rarely used. Have others heard this?


    I don't know about safer or better, but と申します is definitely more polite than といいます.

    と申します is more polite because it's the humble form of the verb, meaning you are "humbling" or putting the object of the verb below the listener. That's why it's typically used when introducing yourself, because you put yourself below the person you are introducing yourself to.


    It keeps on giving me this symbol i didnt even learn( the right symbol of 'to' )


    言? It means "word, say" and is pronounced here as い 

    田中と言います - tanaka to iimasu - lit: "Tanaka" say or "(they) call me Tanaka"


    はじめまして、田中と言います。 Why is "gen" used here?? I'm confused TwT...Could someone explain to me?? owo


    Kanji have multiple readings. 言 will always hold a meaning related to speaking, but its pronunciation will change depending on the context it is used in.

    Kun-yomi are the Japanese readings usually used when kanji are by themselves or part of a name (with some exceptions).
    The kun-yomi readings for 言 are い "i" as used here for the verb 'speak' 言います "iimasu", and こと "koto" for the word "words/phrase" 言葉 "kotoba"

    On-yomi readings are Sino-Japanese readings usually used when kanji are part of a compound word (with some exceptions).
    The reading "gen" is used for 言 "gen" "word/remark" and 言語 "gengo" "language"

    Without full context however Duo cannot tell which reading it is supposed to take so it resorts to a default; that's why sometimes clicking on kanji by themselves or when in the word bank they do not sound the same as they should in the full sentence. A similar situation to は being read as either "ha" or "wa" incorrectly when taken out of context.


    So in this sentence: はじめまして、田中と言います。

    Why is the kanji "言" being used for one "i" but the second "i" is hiragana?


    The 言 part is the verb stem for the verb 言う iu - "to say", and the second い is part of the polite present/future conjugation 言います
    言 will stay the same pronounced "i", but the endings in hiragana will change depending on the form of the verb
    言いません - polite form "do not say" iimasen
    言わない - plain form "do not say" iwanai
    言った - plain form "said" itta (iimashita for polite)
    言って いる - plain form "saying" itte iru (itte imasu for polite)


    The second い is what we should call 送り仮名(おくりがな)。It is part of conjugation depending on the following 送り仮名。@Swisidniak has some examples already, so I need not expound.


    Can somebody please tell me what do the individual words in the sentence mean. Because i dont think that just learning phrases will help


    You can click or tap on the characters to give you hints about what they mean, and some argue that doing it this way will help you to understand more organically. I'm inclined to agree, but here's some further explanation:

    • はじめまして is a set phrase/greeting you use when you meet someone for the first time, e.g. "nice to meet you".
    • 田中【たなか】is a common Japanese surname.
    • と is a particle which is performing the role of "quoting particle" in this case (it has other roles too). Particles in Japanese are postpositions, so the thing being quoted is "Tanaka".
    • いいます is the polite form of the verb いう which means "to say, to be called".


    Could you technically saying this is the sentences' literal translation?:

    はじめまして (Hello nice to meet you!), います。(I am named) と (as the person called) 田中 (Tanaka).


    Not really. A literal translation would be:

    • はじめまして = For the first time
    • 田中 = Tanaka
    • と = "" (quotation mark)
    • 言います (\*Not います) = is named


    Why isn't よろしくaccepted?


    はじめまして is what you would use at the beginning of your introduction when you first meet someone. "We are meeting for the first time, My name is Tanaka"
    よろしく would go at the end of the introduction, as a way of saying "please treat me well/let's work well together". There isn't a proper conversational equivalent to it in English so it gets translated as "nice to meet you" as well, but it doesn't really mean that and isn't really used in the same way. But it would still be more like "I am Tanaka, nice to meet you." after you've made your introduction.


    Is there a difference between "僕の名前わ_です" and "と言います" or is that just two ways to say the same thing.


    「僕の名前 は ○○です」 and 「○○と言います」 essentially mean the same thing, but the later is more likely to be used by a native speaker.

    Also, although は is pronounced "wa" when it's used as a particle, it's always written は instead of わ. :)


    Why can't I put the 田中さん? And why in this case we don't use the particle は?


    You are introducing yourself as Tanaka. It would be rude to add an honorific さん to your own name. It is added to other people's names to show respect toward that person.

    The topic here "I" can be implied through context so it is left out.
    You only have 田中と - "Tanaka" (quotation particle) 言います - to be named/to be called (verb) You could word this as 私は田中と言います - [on the topic of me][my name is tanaka] but it sounds less natural since it is already assumed you are talking about yourself here and not someone else.


    So i put はじめまして田中さんと言います and that was wrong because I didnt need the "san" part lol


    I said どうぞよろしくお願いします、私の名前は田中です。 Why am I wrong?


    it keeps saying that I did it wrong when in fact when i compare it to what it says is correct it's literally similar. ie I'm writing it like this はじめまして 田中と言います. There's literally no difference EXCEPT the comma which i don't use! am i wrong???!! the answer should be accepted right???


    Japanese doesn't use spaces, so it is seeing the additional space in your sentence and treating it as if you've broken a single word/phrase into two words/phrases incorrectly.
    Duo doesn't grade punctuation like commas and periods, but it does grade spaces. If you highlight the comma in the Japanese sentence you'll see there is no space there. The comma itself is just a full character width.
    はじめまして、田中と言います and はじめまして田中と言います are fine


    I'm having issues with certain methods of choosing the correct answer and still being wrong. In particular, when I choose to use the keyboard and not the word bank, many of my answers have been incorrect, even though they read the exact same kanji and hiragana as the "correct" answer below. Also, when there are multiple ways to get the correct answer in the word bank, I have picked the large choice 「と言います」and been wrong over the smaller buttons 「と」「言い」「ます」Is this an internal problem or does Duolingo just want to be difficult with me?


    It's a bug,
    In the past day Duo has suddenly stopped accepting answers that use an IME across the platform. It has been reported to staff so hopefully there will be a fix soon.
    The word bank issue was a common problem last year when the course updated but it seemed to have been fixed. If it has reappeared please take screenshots and send in a bug report so that can be looked into again as well https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new


    So does 言います mean "my name is" or does it not literally mean that, like an expression or metaphor


    言う・言います is the verb "to say, to declare, to name, to call"
    It isn't quite a literal "my name is" which uses "name" as a noun, but closer to "I am named"


    Shouldn't よろしこ、田中と言います also be right?


    「初めまして 私の名前は田中です」がなぜ間違いなのか?


    「はじめまして 田中と言います」がなぜ間違いなのか?


    I used どうぞよろしく、田中と申しいます and it marked me as wrong. I thought this was another way of saying the same thing?


    I remember this kanji from "Tanaka Is Always Listless" lol


    Why's there no "wa" after Tanaka?


    Maybe it is because Tanaka here is not the subject of the statement, but rather the object (I don't know the English for French "COD")


    は is a topic marker anyway, not a subject marker. (There's a subtle distinction between the two.)

    You use と here with いいます (or more formally もうします) as a quotation particle.


    You're right (I think... I don't know what French "COD" is either f(^_^;), technically the subject is 私 (watashi - me, I), but it's dropped because it's obvious based on context (i.e. it's natural to introduce yourself after greeting "nice to meet you").


    French "COD" is simply "complément d'objet direct" (I believe you can infer the meaning). ^_^

    By the way, Joshua, your comments here are very useful, thanks!


    I think I can too, but I still don't know the English for it f(^_^;

    You're very welcome! I'm glad I could help :)


    The English is just "direct object"


    I wrote like "田中といいます", but could i write like "田中さんといいます"?


    Hmm, not without retaining the same meaning. Because one should never refer to oneself using an honorific (-san), it changes the implicit context of the sentence (since いいます can also be 言います, meaning "to say")

    田中といいます: no honorific, must be referring to yourself -> "my name is Tanaka"

    田中さんといいます: honorific, must be referring to someone else named Tanaka, no subject so "I" is implicit, と can be a particle meaning "with" -> "I'll say it with Mr. Tanaka"


    Do i wrote down every letter and symbol and made it so i could translate and pronounce words better. Is there any way i could get better putting sentences to gather.


    Writing definitely helps in my opinion.

    I recommend learning at least the basic uses of the particles は, が, を, に, で, and と and then learn about verb conjugations. With that, you'll be able to start communicating with other people, which is really the best practice for making sentences.


    Ok, so there really should be two ways of translating to iimasu correctly. "My name is" and "You can call me" are both the same idea. Either should be right as a phrase because technically "My name is" would literally be "oname wa....."


    Well... actually neither "My name is" or "You can call me" are the correct way of translating といいます.

    "My name is ~" would actually be 「私 (わたし) の名前 (なまえ) は ~」, not お名前は since the お is an honorific prefix, indicating that you are referring to someone else's name.

    "You can call me ~" would more accurately be 「~と呼んで (よんで) もいいです」 and it's a slightly different idea (at least in Japanese). This would be more likely to be used if you have a nickname/preferred name.

    Personally, I think the most correct way to translate といいます is "I am called", but that sounds strange in English.


    Is tanaka a name ?


    Yes, it's a very common Japanese surname (it varies depending on the source, but generally Tanaka appears in the top 10 most common Japanese surnames).


    couldn't you also say, 初めまして、私の名前わ、田中です? (はじめまして、わたしのなまえわ、たなかです)


    You could (Though the "wa" here is the topic particle は, not わ)
    はじめまして can be written in kanji but often isn't, and the 私の part is often dropped from sentences because it is already implied from context that you are talking about yourself. It is only really used if context isn't there and needs clarification.


    What does 言 mean exactly?


    言 means "say" but it's commonly associated with words, speech and language.


    Why is it wrong to say: 私の名前は田中あります。?


    あります is the wrong verb. It means "to exist", but the sentence you have there roughly breaks down as "As for my name, Tanaka exists". This would generally be interpreted as "My name has Tanaka (in it)" which is a weirdly cryptic thing to say if you're introducing yourself and not the same thing as "My name is Tanaka".

    The verb you want is です which means "is" in the sense of "equals". Duolingo still might not accept it (I'm not sure if it has been added or not) because they haven't taught you the kanji for 名前 before this point, I think.


    Isn't "さん" implied although it doesn't explicitly say Mr.Tanaka? On the last question it marked me wrong for not using "さん" even though it was just the name by itself (no mr. or ms.). This time I used "さん" after the name but it marked me wrong, is this Duolingo being inconsistent or is there something I don't know?


    Honorifics are only used when talking about/to someone else, never yourself. So if you are talking about Tanaka, you would use さん. In this sentence you are referring to yourself as being named Tanaka, so you would not use an honorific as it would sound very rude.

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