Translation:I met Ainu people.
As they are indigenous, I assume they would speak Japanese (or a dialect at least?) so why is the name in katakana instead of hiragana?
Well in modern times the Ainu people can speak Japanese, but the Ainu language itself has no relation whatsoever with the Japanese language. Also nowadays when it is written, they actually just use katakana.
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
Since katakana is for words that are from languages other than Japanese and アイヌ comes from their own language. That's my guess.
Northern Japan, particularly Hokkaido (and the Isle of Sakhalin, I think). They are one of the indigenous peoples of northern Japan and the surrounding areas.
They are the aboriginal people of Hokkaido and Sakhalin Island. They are not considered fully Japanese.
There is a strong theory that the Ainu were once all over the Japanese islands but were pushed up north to the harsh areas and were treated much like the native Americans by the white people
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?).
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.
I recommend learning more about the history of the Ainu and the history of Native Americans.
I put "I met the Ainu people" and it was marked wrong.
"Meet with" is not the only grammatically correct option, you can also simply "meet" people.
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.
With「アイヌの人に会いました」, i picture one person. With 「アイヌの人たち」or 「アイヌの人々」,clearly one us talking about more than one person. 「人たち」is more common in speech while 「人々」is a sophisticated version of the same thing.
When I hear アイヌの人たち, it sounds to me like its referring to a specific group of Ainu people that the listener knows about. アイヌの人々 sounds more like a general statement about Ainu people. Is there any kind of difference between the two, or is that my misunderstanding?
I don't quite think of an example how the Ainu people can be specific "with the use of the" in this situation. I tend to say it is not correct. If we want to say the Ainu people will be そのアイヌの人 (more naturally use 彼 or directly say his name).
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.
When the English past perfect is used for experiences then this is right, but the past perfect also has other uses, and those simply map to the Japanese past form.
Okay, is anybody else getting messed around with this one? One time I said "I met some Ainu people" and it corrected it to "I met with some Ainu people". This time around I added the "with" but now it says it should be "I met Ainu people"
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.
The problem with Japanese sentences like this is, it's open to so many possible translations. I don't think most Japanese would say いく人のアイヌ人に会いました。If they say simply "アイヌ人に会いました." it could mean they met one, or more than one, Ainu, so in that case, "some" could work.
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).
No, Ainu isn't a country, like "Nihon+jin" if you want to use the "people" kanji.
Tokyoites = 東京の人
It doesn't necessarily need to be a country before the 人. I hear 大阪人 very often and 東京人 is a word too.
Keep in mind that language learning softwares and classes err on the side of conservative with grammar. 東京人 may be an understandable word or even a useable colloquialism, but it's not as correct (nor easy to understand for new learners) as 東京の人.
It registers met "with" Ainu people but not met "the" Ainu people. Had the sentence in Japanese been 「アイヌの人 と 会いました」, "with" would be a more natural answer. As it stands, at the very least "the" should also be acceptable, I think.
The amount of time Duolingo throws this sentence at me, I started getting irritated at those poor Ainu people.