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  5. "I am British."

"I am British."


June 16, 2017



Can i put 'watashi'?


Yes. わたしはイギリス人です

You would say this if you're talking with other people about their nationalities, to make clear you're talking about yourself now.

If you're just introducing yourself, you could just say


because it's clear from context that you mean yourself


Watashi is usually written like 私, am I right? Is it common to write it like わたし?


I think the kanji is more common since they're meant to shorten the hiragana when writing Japanese.


Yes, 私 appears more often than the hiragana :)


If you are talking about yourself you can always add "watashi" and then the appropriate particle to the beginning of the sentence, but if it is not necessary it will make you come across as robotic or stiff.


Same question. Is putting Watashi really wrong?


It isn't wrong but you have to write "wa" next to it. There wasn't a wa in the word boxes.


I think it's a little like in Spanish when you say, "Hablo Español," instead of, "Yo hablo Español," but Japanese doesn't conjugate their verbs based on the speakers


Why does the male speaker pronounce 人 as "Hito" and the female pronounces it as "Jin"?


It's 'hito' when on it's own and "jin" when used when talking about where someone is from.

Since Kanji are Chinese characters that weren't optimized for the Japanese language, this happens pretty often.

It just so happens, that in chinese the word for person ('rén') is used when talking about someones origin, while in Japanese there is another word for it. But because the Chinese write it with 人, so do the Japanese.


What does 人 represen?


It is the Kanji for "Jin" meaning person. "I am a British person"


So can you say it without 人 also?


You can, but "イギリスです" means "It's Britain" (though I have been told when I sing karaoke people feel transported) and "イギリスのです" could be "It's/I'm Britain's" or "of Britain" with only "イギリスからです" or "イギリス出身です" meaning "It's/I'm (originally) from Britain" being really applicable in this case unless maybe you're famous (but maybe that's old-fashioned?) or representing Britain (イギリス代表) or something . . .


though I have been told when I sing karaoke people feel transported

Feel transported? Feel like they're being transported to Britain? Feel like they're in Britain?


私はイギリス人です (I am British.) 私はイギリスの出身です (I am from the UK.) So That means I am British. When you see (Jin) it means to be (something). And when you see the other one it means To be from somewhere. I hope this helped. Keep learning!


The kanji to イギリス is 英国


Well, its not quite true.The Kanji reads Eigo which means English but igirisu is a word which is of foreign origin (which explains why it is written in Katakana) so there can only be a kanji to igirisu if a Japanese word with the same meaning existed.Fro example the kanji for Kekonshiki (marriage) can also be read as mareji- as in the english katakan version. Hope this helps ;P


英国 is pronounced えいこく


Actually the ateji (phonetic kanji for foreign words, in this case peculiar to Japanese as it was invented by the Japanese press, and usually used only till the war) for イギリス is 英吉利, and 英国 surely comes from that.


イギリス sounds derived from "English", but they're using it here to mean the UK in general. What if you wanted to specify that you were Scottish, Welsh, or English, not "British"?


I am English / Scottish / Welsh are, respectively:





北(きた)アイルランド人です for Northern Irish I guess?


Yes. 北アイルランド人 = a Northern Irish person.


People often seem to use イギリス to mean England, and terms like 英国 to refer to either as well. It's all mixed up. If you want to be specific I'd try (グレートブリテンおよび北アイルランド/イギリス)連合王国 . . .


「イングランド」means "England" while 「イギリス」means "the UK"/"Britain"


イングランド人 English (person).


What does "jin" mean and when is it used?


人 means "person" and can be used when describing a type of person (example: 白人 - white/Caucasian person) or their nationality. But it also comes up in words like "villager" (村人), "population" (人口), and others. 人also has multiple pronunciations (in different situations and kanji combinations).

Jisho.org has some good examples of the different ways it can be used, as well as the various ways to pronounce it: https://jisho.org/search/%23kanji%20%E4%BA%BA


Tangorin.com is also a great resource for looking up words in Japanese. I use both tangorin and jisho regularly. (jisho means dictionary in Japanese).


So far I have only seen it used at the end of a country's name, (e.g. America,) and it means person, so it would be American person, or American, so this sentence, "I am British," has jin at the end of Britain to signify you mean "I am British."


The kanji jin means people or person


is there any specific time youre supposed to use -人です rather than -出身です? or can you use either one no matter what country youre talking about?


「イギリス人です」means "I am a British person" while 「イギリス出身です」means "I am a person who is from Britain" In most circumstances, they're interchangable, but if you had British heritage, but were born somewhere else, you'd use 「人」not「出身」


Why is it backwards I need help from this and I need to understand


what do you mean by "backwards"?

If you mean the word order, that's because Japanese has a different word order to english. The verbs are always last in Japanese, while in English, they're usually second, or first in the case of a question.


I'm having a really hard time typing certain characters on my japanese keyboard, particularly しゅうしん but in the katakana


I assume you mean the Kanji? In that case, it's because you misspelled it. In Hiragana, 「出身」is spelled「しゅっしん」

If you're having trouble getting the「っ」to appear (different from 「つ」) the solution depends on what keyboard you use.

If it's the Mobile one that looks like a keypad with the numbers swapped for Hiragana, just use the same key that would change 「か」to「が」

If it's the Computer one where you type with latin characters (A-Z) then you can either type "sshi"/"ssi" to make 「っし」or type "ltsu"/"ltu" to make only 「っ」

If it's a different one, then I'm sorry that I couldn't help you


Cold someone please explain the difference between 英国 (eikoku) and イギリス (igirisu)? Because (apart from the writing and the origin, discussed in some other comment), it seems to be perfectly interchangeable, at least in Duolingo, but I would like to understand if there are occasions in which one makes more sense than the other.


It's bit more casual to say イギリス人です。Duolingo also mark my answer correct. Try this.


What does 人 mean?



In this specific example, it is read じん and it combines with the name of a country to form the demonym of the country (eg American, British, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). For example:

イギリス = Britain -> イギリス人 = British

アメリカ = America -> アメリカ人 = American

日本 = Japan -> 日本人 = Japanese

That same kanji has other readings and usages, as well. If it is by itself in a sentence and not combining with any other kanji, it is usually read ひと and means just the noun "person." If it is at the end of a number, it is read either り or にん and serves as the counter word for counting people (eg ひとり = 一人 = 1 person, さんにん = 三人 = 3 people, etc.)


This means 'I am English', not 'I am British'. They are not the same thing.


Well, no, it doesn't really mean "I am English". Despite its being true that:

1) people outside Britain are notoriously prone to failing to make the distinction between the UK, Great Britain, and England; and

2) the Japanese word イギリス (Igirisu) does derive, historically, from the Portuguese word for "English"

イギリス nevertheless refers to the whole of the UK -- so that an イギリス人 is someone from the UK, not just from England.

The Japanese word for England is イングランド (Igurando), which means that someone specifically from England is an イングランド人 (Igurandoji).


On the other hand, "British" doesn't precisely mean "from the UK" either, but the distinction is a bit tricky.


What's the difference between "egirisu jin desu" and "egirisu shyushindesu"? I apologize for my own transcription in romaji but I havent a keyboard for hiragana atm


イギリス人です -- igirisu jin desu -- means "I'm a British person".

イギリス出身です -- igirisu shusshin desu -- means "I'm from / a native of / was born in Britain".


why is it that sometimes '人' is pronounced "jing" but other times it's pronounced "hitoh". It also seems like it's only the male narrator who pronounces it "hitoh"


Chinese writing system was borrowed by Japanese along with Chinese pronunciation (or its approximation). But they decided to link kanji to Japanese words as well. As a result, each kanji generally has Chinese (on'yomi), and Japanese (kun'yomi) pronunciations. E.g.

Kun: ひと (hito)、 -り、 -と

On: ジン (jin)、 ニン (nin)


More on it here: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/onyomi-kunyomi/


Why is the character for "jin" sometimes pronounced "jin" and sometimes pronounced "hito"?


Kanji characters are different from hiragana and katakana, since kanji doesn't have just one way to read/say it. Hiragana and katakana are phonetic, so each character has one pronunciation. A kanji character has a specific meaning, but the pronunciation changes depending on context.

For example, 人 means person. It can be pronounced ひと, じん, or にん, or something else depending on context. In おんなの人 (female person), it is pronounced ひと. In イギリス人 (English/British person), it is pronounced じん. In 三人 (three people), it is pronounced にん. The characters 一人 (alone/one person), however, are pronounced ひとり, breaking the traditional pronunciation.

Knowing how to pronounce the kanji just comes with practice and learning vocabulary. Eventually you will be able to form an educated guess at how it is pronounced, matching the kanji meanings with the vocab you know.


Very roughly, 人 is pronounced ひと when it is alone, and じん or にん when it is part of a multi-kanji compound word.

So you'd say この人は田中さんです。【このひとはたなかさんです】"This person is Tanaka-san." But 田中さんは日本人です。【たなかさんはにほんじんです。】"Tanaka-san is Japanese." In the first case, 人 is by itself, and in the second, it is part of the multi-kanji word 日本人.

There are several exceptions to this, but if you encounter 人 in a word you've never learned, this isn't a bad rule of thumb to use.

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