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  5. "半分ください。"


Translation:Half, please.

June 22, 2017



I translated this as "Can I get half, please?" and it said I was incorrect. Not sure why including "please" would be an unacceptable translation in this case.


Same! Duolingo is very inconsistent with kudasai. Sometimes they demand please, other times it marks you down for including it - and it's inconsistent on wanting 'can I get' or 'can I have.' They need to take a consistency pass on every question that includes kudasai.


It should count, but technically "下さい" is a polite way of saying "give me." Because it's polite speech, the "please" is implied, but this sentence is literally "give me half," but it doesn't sound rude in Japanese. I'm not positive it's covered in Duolingo, but there are something like five or six verbs that mean "to give," and they all convey the social status of both the giver and receiver. There's different verbs for "my boss gave me" and "i gave my boss," for example. That's probably why Duolingo isn't taking "please," here.


When all else fails, I've found, just go with straightforward, literal translations. I just translated this as "Half, please" and it was accepted. I generally prefer to go with the most literal translations because I find it more helpful for understanding the core mechanics of the language. More natural-sounding English translations can always come later.


Yes. Kudasai is there for please. "May I have half please?" is in my opinion more accurate and in keeping with their very polite culture.


I didn't get the option of saying 'please'. However, 'kudasai' is clearly 'please'. It's another one of those dodgy-duo translations IMO.


You can write Half please, which would be a logical and correct translation.


Even "can you give me half" was rejected. I really don't understand why even the slightest hint of politeness is unacceptable here.


At least for "Can you give me..." I can understand why it wouldn't accept it. Yes, in English, "Can you give me x" is requesting something, but it's phrased as a question rather than as an imperative sentence. "Half, please" is a request, but not a question. This is the difference between literal and colloquial translation. "Can you give me half, please?" more literally translates into asking about the other person's willingness/ability to give half. "Half, please." is making a demand with no inquiry attached.


But often the official translation of "something ください" is "can I have something". And almost always is it accepted. This is the only exercise of that format where neither "something please" nor "can I have something" is accepted.


Yeah but Duolingo doesn't teach the word '頂戴' (chodai). If it was '[something] 頂戴' then it would be 'give me [thing]'. '下さい' is definitely 'please' and Duolingo should know that.


Why is the kanji here 半分 like half a minute?


分 is a kanji that can be used in all kinds of words that have nothing to do with time. It has a basic meaning of "part."


In this sentence, it's pronounced「はんぶん」or just "half." If it were「はんぷん」then it would be "half a minute."


So if it shows 半分, how do you determine if it means minute or something else? It's not like you can hear if it's ぶ or ぷ


In the sentence I figured the speaker asked for a little bit of time, something like "give me a second"


No the pronounciation is different.


半分= はんぶん ;)


Why not "半分をください"?


In this sentence you're saying "could i get half [of your bread]" so the を partical is just not said in the shortened sentence (same as you often leave out 私は)... So the Japanese sentence would be "【パンを】半分ください"


It accepts it with the を now.


I'm glad "Half of it, please." got accepted, because "Give me half." sounds awful IMO, especially considering the ください in the Japanese sentence.


Totally agree. That shouldn't even be an acceptable English answer, let alone the default one.


It's surprisingly rude even for English.


I'm getting sick of all these contextual translations instead of more literal ones.


Japanese is a very contextual language. The problem is that duolingo doesn't supply us with the necessary context. They are also not good at teaching grammar so I use it only for revision and vocabulary. Used as a primary source for learning Japanese it would be horrible.


Me too! I prefer transcriptions (rewriting in the closest possible form) over translations (a similar meaning recommunicated) for language learning. I find myself doing both to appease Duo's algorithms. It's mentally exhausting, and totally unnecessary for comprehension.

My biggest problem with this (especially subtitles) is that information is delivered in a different order... so excitement, humor, sarcasm, manipulation, and other verbal nuances are diminished (or completely lost in translation).


I said "Can I have half a minute?" Is that a valid translation?


Apparently 半分 can mean "half a minute", according to EDRDG, but it's pronounced はんぷん, not はんぶん. The typical translation is はんぶん, "half" (in general).


Not really. In this sentence, 半分 is pronounced「はんぶん」which just means "half." If 半分 was pronounced「はんぷん」then it would mean half a minute.


Me too. Is it incorrect?


Young people often say 'can I get' and no please nowadays which I sadly have to live with, but I think more traditional answers that a lot of people still use should be accepted too. For example 'half please' or 'may I have half please' as I assume the intention is to ensure the person understands the Japanese not to enforce a certain style of english


Dear everyone, if your answer is correct, just flag it. Use the comments to discuss, not to complain.


Surely the whole point is to check here first with respect, with more knowledgeable individuals in case of mistake. Only then go back to flag it if you feel the same. So discussion/complaints, this is first port of call. If everyone just flagged all they disagreed with it would flood Duo with a whole lot of personal mistakes. Ive found this myself where checking here first, I discover a new context which makes sense of something I was convinced was wrong. Regards.


What's the magic word?


Does Duo not know the word "please"?


For me, it said the correct answer was "Could i've half" (not kidding; the "i" was left uncapitalized)


Where are the words "of it"?


It's not stated in the sentence, but it obviously implies half of something.


"Half, please" wasn't accepted


All of these translations are so finicky. You could write in all kinds of things that would be acceptable. The system of translating into English sentences on this site absolute sucks.


Why is there the kanji "minute" in the sentence?


is the other way around, the kanji for "part" is used in the word minute. 十分【じゅうん】for example means "enough; sufficient; plenty; adequate; satisfactory". That one takes the kanji for 十 "whole" and 分 "part". But 十 is also used for ten, because of the idea of 10 as a full set.


And can you explain why "KUDASAI" isn't in the translation ???



Kudasai is in the Japanese sentence. It is represented in the English translation by "give me."


It's "please give me" though, definitely a difference in tone!


I'm pretty sure I remember people talking about how "kudasai" literally translates into asking for something. I also prefer the translation of "half please" but it's not like "give me half" is technically wrong.


Can't reply to your other message, so I'm answering this one again.
ください is just a set phrase/an expression, with the translation I gave you. It's the meireikei conjugation of the sonkeigo verb 下さる.

But I can only refer you to trusted Japanese dictionaries if you won't believe me otherwise :D




Polite mugger. Must be that guy who tried to rob a bank and needed to ask where the exit was in another lesson.


Should be 半分頂戴 if it's 'give me'. The example provided is '[can I have] half please?'


There are two types of translations :

1- Normal Translation
2-Duo Translation


This English is extremely blunt/rude, and the Japanese is not. They're not equivalent. And it wouldn't even accept "I'll have half, please".

  • 1224

half a minute? or half of your icecream? or anything?
Is 分 not only used for 'minute'? sorry, just now scrolled down and read the answer thankyou everyone as always.


半分 has no correlation to "minute" I believe, it just means "half". The kanji 分 can mean either "minute", or "part", "segment", etc. The latter is used here, and is more commonly pronounced as "ぶん".


the 'correct' answer given was "May I have a half?" I put 'May I please have half" it was marked wrong. Reported 9/8/18


Why does it say, "can i get" In stead of "can i have"?


That is american english. British english is May I have or can I have. If we use 'can I get' in say a cafe it would mean either you are asking if you can go and get the item yoyrself or it can just as likely be taken as a sarcasm implying you've been waiting too long for service.


Can you use this with a friend? For example, when you want half of what they are eating?


I'd say 半分ちょうだい with a big grin, if it's a close friend. Otherwise I'd just say 私と分けてくれない? (Won't you share with me?) or 私も食べてみたい なぁ (I'd like to have a taste, too...)


Is it normal to say "half, please" in US? I ask a a non-native english speaker


if you are being served something and you say "only half please" sounds natural.


Yep; "Half, please." is perfectly natural American English and is actually used quite often.


Wow this tiny sentence has generated a novella of feedback/queries. It has cleared up my own confusion with the ❤❤❤ happened to the minute! So it's essentially a pronunciation thing pun vs bun : something that you wouldn't know if you only saw it written but i guess you would have context then


I'm irritated by the lack of "please" as a possibility here. To the best of my knowledge, 「ください」is a polite form, and one way of transferring that to English is by adding "please". I found this compilation of request forms quite useful: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/requests


Why is half of them incorrect


Do you mean "Why is 'Please give me half of them' incorrect?" I'm not entirely sure if "of them" can be implied here or not, if that's the case. If all you wrote is "half of them" then you didn't include anything that says you're asking for them.


How do you say "half a minute" in japanese? Or is it just 30秒


The ぶん 'bun' reading is for parts
ふん 'fun' (and rendaku ぷん 'pun') is for minutes

十分・じゅっぷん juppun "ten minutes"
十分・じゅうぶん juubun "whole, enough (10 parts)"

半分・はんぶん hanbun "half" (half parts)
半分・はんぷん hanpun "half a minute"

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