Translation:I met Ainu people.
They use an extension of Katakana. Japanese (mostly) can't finish a syllable with a consonant but Ainu can so they use half sized katakana for that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_language#Special_katakana_for_the_Ainu_language
I don't know about "all over," but they were certainly in Northern Honshu (the Tohoku regiin) too. I think they traditionally ranged farther north and east than south (where they'd have to compete for resources with the Emishi peoples as well as Wajin "Japanese," would they not?).
Hokkaido wasn't officially part of Japan until the Meiji restoration. In an attempt to modernize and westernize the country, the Ainu who up to this point had lived mostly as hunters and fishers were forbidden to practice their own religion and culture or speak their own language and were compelled to adopt Japanese names. Attempts to turn them into farmers mostly failed and for decades the population struggled with poverty. Only in the 2000s were they lawfully recognized as an indigenous people by the Japanese government and official apologies were extended. So yes, in fact mistreatment of the Ainu people has quite a few similarities to Native Americans and Australian aborigines.
This cultural suppression was also seen with the Okinawan people who the Japanese also forced to modernize; not only is Okinawa the subject of increased obesity and westernization, but their native cultures are being suppressed, their clay sources for traditional Ryukyu pottery are being paved over, and the land is increasingly turning into a tourist sink; this is not good for the economy, as when a drop in tourism occurs, they will be devastated, a region with an already poor population.
Hmm, how did white people treat the native Americans?
This is a good starting point:
You can also read about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears if you're looking for a deeper understanding.
But the Ainu share ancestors with the Japanese so perhaps it's more like the Ainu and Japanese treated each other like the countless of native tribes did in Northern America... "White people", I assume you mean colonizers..? You say it like the color of their skin mattered, lol. They were no different than the native tribes already in war with each other. Just another tribe added to the mix that happened to be much stronger and advanced.
steevmak, did you use the report button under the sentence correct/incorrect results?
I input: "I met with an Ainu person." And got it correct. I've recently received 4 emails confirming the team has added my suggestions. So, it's possible there have been some recent changes.
Meanwhile, can anyone answer this for me:
Also I'm wondering on the side if "I met the Ainu people" would use たち?
Ah, just found another exercise asking me to block together the Japanese translation for "I met Ainu people." The correct answer there was "アイヌの人に会いました"。To see its sentence discussion click here.
So, is たち more casual? I'm not quite sure when to use it and when not to yet.
John ni aimashita.
I met John.
In the English sentence, "meet" is a transitive verb, and the direct object is John. Direct objects of transitive verbs are marked with を in Japanese. But 会います (aimasu) is an intransitive verb unlike its English counterpart. So "John" is not the direct object, it is the indirect object / target of the sentence, which is marked with に.
Densha ni norimasu.
I take the train.
In English, "take" is a transitive verb, and the direct object is "train". But 乗ります (norimasu) is intransitive, and 電車 (densha) is the indirect object / target, so it's marked with に.
Doa ga shimarimasu.
The doors are closing.
閉まります (shimarimasu) is an intransitive verb, but in this case ドア is the subject of the verb, which is why it is marked with が.
Your best bet is to always open the discussion and look at the answer at the top to see what the expected answer is. Sometimes the corrections are correcting you from multiple correct answers, and the result is an answer that isn't actually accepted.
About your answer, I think the "some" is the problem, which isn't present in the Japanese.
I see what you're saying in that "some" could work as an interpretive translation, but in this duolingo world of machine-graded translating, if you're wondering why your answer has been flagged as wrong it's probably for interpreting and adding words that aren't there (doesn't mean you didn't understand the answer or that you're wrong, just that your answer is graded "wrong" here).
Yes, it's just a phonetic link. There should be a line that shows where Duolingo has separated the words.
This isn't the best example but it's the only screenshot I have on hand. The first two options show that they are translating the phrase "thank you". The third option is only translating the word "thank". You can tell by that line that comes right after it, which if you follow it up cuts off at the you. It's hard to explain in words, but I hope looking at it visually makes it clearer.
So in your case, it reads アイヌ as a whole, but also offers a translation for just イヌ, which should have a similar line cutting off the ア.
Thank you, I had no idea that was what the line meant. (I think it would be nice if the translation made it clear that Ainu was the name of an ethnic group. As a proper noun it could be anything, and this was not a name I knew or sadly that most English speakers would know. )
No, the Ainu people are native to the northern island of Hokkaido, which wasn't part of Japan until the 1800's. The Japanese feared being invaded by Russians, & thought this island would become a starting point for them, coz the Ainu were hunter gatherers, like the Native Americans. So, the govt encouraged Japanese people to go and live there, believing a population of "civilized people" would get the idea out of Russian heads. This spread diseases, much like the Native Americans, and devastated the Ainu