Translation:I will write a letter to my friend.
Is there any other translation in english?
-I write a letter to my friend
Dunno about everyone else, but it sounds weird considering that the sentence is referring to present. Can't it be translated as: im writing a letter to a friend (?)
It can also mean "I will write a letter to my friend", since present and future tense are the same.
As is mentioned below, the progressive tense (am writing) has a different form in Japanese, so it shouldn't be used here. This is more of a habitual or general present tense (I write every week, or whenever I go abroad, or that is how I keep in contact), or future tense as TanjaR8 pointed out.
I write and I'm writing are the same thing in Japanese, so there isn't any difference. The literal translation comes to "I write", so that is what the app uses, I believe.
This is incorrect. "I'm writing" is 書いています - or te-form + iru. It is used to express ongoing actions. 友だちに手紙を書いています - "I'm writing a letter to my friend"
What's the difference between 友だち and ゆうじん, and isn't たち/だち a plural suffix so that 友だち means friends?
Familiarity and politeness. If you're talking to your elders/professors/boss, use 友人. But with your friends, 友だち is fine.
友 by itself has been phased out of usage, I think. I've never heard it.
I was marked wrong for:
I am writing a letter to friends.
I guess it's a little casual (I'd use this in conversation, much like "I'm writing letters to family"), but I couldn't really decide whose friends it was referring to (could be my friends, could be your friends, depending on context), so I didn't commit to a possessive.
Is this something I should report, or am I missing something?
If the subject of a sentence is left out in Japanese, especially in a situation like this, I think it is safe to assume the subject is 私[わたし]。
However, your translation is incorrect. "I am writing" (present progressive) would be "書いています" rather than "書きます" (present/future tense). The best translation is "I write a letter(s) to my friend(s)".
I believe it would be 友だちは私にてがみを書きます (Tomodachi wa watashi ni tegami wo kakimasu).
Since the context is left out, pretty much any pronoun and both singular or plural nouns can be a valid translation. I wrote "I write letters to my friends" and that was correct too.
Why couldn't this be translated to "My friend writes a letter"? Duolingo says it's wrong
The particle に implies movement. Your friend isn't the one writing the letter in this sentence, but the one the letter is going to. "友だちは手紙を書きます" is "My friend writes a letter" (notice that the に is changed to the subject marker, は). Often, the subject is left out of Japanese if it is easily implied; Duolingo's sentence here has an implied "私は" at the beginning.
Why would it be 私は and not 私が, if は indicates the object and が the subject?
は is a topic marker, not an object marker. (The object marker in Japanese is を.)
We need a わたしの right? How can know if I write the letter or they in this sentence?
Japanese doesn't differentiate between them, most of the time. In particular, ともだち could be either singular or plural.
What would be the difference between "i am writing a letter" and "i wrote a letter"?
Past tense uses た-form: てがみを書きました。 For present progressive, use て-form+いる: てがみを書いています。
Casual た-form and て-form convert similarly, and they are important to learn for Japanese!
The present progressive "am writing" uses another form, 書いています. The one used here, 書きます, corresponds to a habitual or general present, or to the future tense. In real life, a tense change may sometimes be motivated by context, but we are here to learn the grammar so it would be a bad idea to allow it to cause confusion.
How would you translate 「友達に」in this context? Something like, "Where friend is located (write letter)" ? And also, is this commonly used? For example could you use 「友達に」with the verb "to give"?
に indicates the concept of indirect objects or dative case in European languages. So 友達に means "to a friend/ friends." に is a very common particle, for example, 友達に本をあげます = I give a book to my friend.
How does the particle を work here? Why not は, since the letter is the object?
As I mentioned in my reply to you above: は is a topic marker, not an object marker. (The object marker in Japanese is を.)
(Just repeating it in case anyone sees your comment here but not my reply to the other one.)
Answered "He writes letters to his friends." and it said incorrect: "He writes letteres to his friends." 12 Feb 2018
I got marked wrong for saying "I will write a letter for my friends." Instead of "I will write a letter to my friends." Should both translations be accepted?
I tried with "I write a letter for my friend" and it was not accepted. Is anything wrong with my translation?
I'm also wondering this. Someone above mentioned Ni implies movement, and Andrew-Lin says it marks the indirect object of a verb. So I guess in this context it kind of indicates to whom a thing is given (the thing being the direct object?).
I was asked to type what I hear. I type 「友達に手紙を書きます」 and I'm marked wrong for using Kanji. Amazing job, swaying new Japanese learners away from Kanji.
I am facing a big challenge with those audio tracks. I already found that I am not allowed to write whole sentence using kanji, which would be okay, however when I try writing it with hiragana only, quiz demands some of the names written in kanji. On the contrary, identical problem in different type of quiz accept various versions of the same answer. I assume that audio track questions lack those multiple variants of answers. Have anybody been thinking about doing some kind of mapping between 'answer-complete' questions and audio quizes that would extend answer pool of the latter? I think the source text of most of them match up, so it should not be a problem for an NLP enginneer ;)