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  5. "John is a foreigner."

"John is a foreigner."


June 22, 2017



We must be besties with John by now if we've decided to drop all the honorifics!


Yeah I just thought "wow first time seeing no honorifics here"!


You dont use honorifics when talking about foreigners


You should use honorifics the same with foreigners as you do with Japanese people, so if the foreigner is someone you don't know very well, you should use honorifics.

I do find that because honorifics are not used in English, this sometimes gets carried over into Japanese. Even I as a foreigner often do this when speaking Japanese, referring to the other foreign teacher at my work as "Bob" when talking to students, even though I should call him "Bob-sensei". There's also this innate attitude that foreigners are open and friendly, so Japanese people often feel more comfortable calling them by their names without honorifics. It's certainly not the correct etiquette, but it happens a lot.


Ah, you're one of those "if it's not your hood, take a dump on the ground" types.


Not sure if you're ignorant or every downvoter failed to detect your sarcasm.


That says A LOT about the country


It's not true though, so it doesn't say jack squat about anything other than the person who said it


I was saying the exact same thing...no honorifics!


Having hiragana in the hover-over hints would be useful here. "Foreigner" shows "外国人" and nothing more, which .

I don't understand why they don't just make all of these hints show both words. It seems a simple and easy way to do it.

For example here, "foreigner" could show: "外国人 / がいこくじん" and this would be a best-of-both worlds. They could do this both for words where DuoLingo has introduced the Kanji, and where they haven't.

And it would require no extra programming on the backend either, it would just require entering these...and it doesn't seem like it would be that much work either.


The hints for some words and phrases do show both the kanji and then the furigana on the next line. It's just inconsistent. Consistency would be nice.


Well, that is how Japanese children learn Kanji. It's called "furigana" (振り仮名)


Duo seems to be messing with their pronunciation guides over the last few months. They had the furigana for the kanji briefly but now seem to be using romaji instead. I wish there was a way to choose furigana or romaji, I want to use furigana. I get the feeling it is more commonly used in Japan than romaji and would be more helpful.


At least in the Android app, you can choose furigana/romaji on the Settings page.


Why it is wrong to put san here?


It's not, but these exercises seem to miss name suffixes. It's grammatically correct, just rude depending on context.


ah i believe i understand now! so calling a person you are close with "san" is somewhat making it sound like the speaker is somewhat distant? i'm sorry for asking, just want to know when it's ok and when not to use! ;;


Yes, its kind of like in English we might call someone who we don't know or have just met "Mr Smith" but if we then become friends with them we might call them "John". It's not quite the same in Japanese, but it's a similar idea, just more generalized.


Except if I understand correctly. In Japanese you have to be a lot closer to the person to drop the San then in English.


ジョンさんは外国人です was accepted for me.


You can cut down the 外国人 to 外人 and it still works the same. Plus i think 外人 ia more widely used


Just note that 外人 can be a bit offensive depending on the tone a person uses.


You only put san when you are speaking about someone else, never add san when speaking about yourself, that sounds weird :)


But we're talking about joooohhhnn ahh


So you think my name is John and I'm speaking in the third person?


Sort of oxymoronic to omit "san" but include the gerund "desu"... make up your mind Duo.


Right it drives me batty.


Why do you call it a "gerund"?


Exactly. To start with, the Japanese copula isn't even classed as a verb, even though it often looks like one. Add to it that the 丁寧語 form (the ます・ません・ました・ませんでした forms of verbs which です・ではありません・でした・ではありませんでした parallel) aren't verbal nouns — perhaps the bare i-form or 連用形 would be the closest to a gerund in Japanese. Finally, what です and the 丁寧語 forms code for is "politeness," which is something we don't even have in IE languages to borrow a term to use.


Your explanation was more complicated than the question. I appreciate the detail though, its a bit over my head for the context


The simple answer is です is not a gerund, and the OP probably misspoke.


Nota bene, 外人 is also correct in this exercise.


Foreigners don't deserve respect right?


Nah, if that was the case, duo would make us say ジョンは 外人だ


I thought the "desu" part was to show respect to the person you were speaking to, rather than the person you were speaking about. Or have I misunderstood?


This is what I took away from it.


Is there a way to use your own keyboard in order to translate sentences into Japanese while using duolingo on the phone? Because it seems like when you're on your phone, you can only select those blocks with words and put them in the correct order.


You should be able to add Japanese as an additional language on your device's keyboard. The exact way you do this varies from device to device, but it's generally the same. (Though there are likely tutorials on the internet to walk you through the exact steps for your specific device.)

Once Japanese is added, you should be able to select or "switch" to it whenever the keyboard is up by some other button. For me, I swipe the spacebar left and right. From there, you can type the Romaji and it should automatically become hiragana (as an example, "ha" becomes "は"). You should also be able to choose different kanji with enough hiragana at the top of the keyboard (such as "わたし" becoming "私").

That's pretty much the hard part done. From there, you can use this to type answers into some of the Duolingo exercises with Japanese blocks of text by hitting the little keyboard button on the bottom left. A box should pop up asking for your answer in Japanese, and you're good to go!

It does take some getting used to, but I think it's well worth it. Happy learning!


I forgot to put です here but i still got it right... is it really okay?


Yes, it's acceptable in casual speech, though です is typically replaced by だ instead of being dropped completely.


I put "ですよ" at the end and got it incorrect... I'll admit that adding よ to the end of sentences like this is a little omoshiroi, but it's not incorrect...at least not in Kansai.


Just to know , です is the same as ですよ right?


No it's not. Suffix "よ" makes the sentence sound.. stronger and more confident, so when you say for example I need a car "車が要ります", you just make it sound like you need a car, however the listener can't tell wheter you really need a car, but when you add the suffix よ, "車が要りますよ"- you make it sound like you need a car and you are certain about it. This is however how I think it works.


Why is John is Foreign incorrect? If gaijin is always a noun, what would be the adjective word for it?


There actually isn't a word in Japanese which is the adjective "foreign". This phenomenon occurs quite often where Japanese people simply use "nounの" as an adjective version of that noun. So, "foreign" would be 海外の (かいがいの, "of overseas") or 外国の (がいこくの, "of a foreign country).

Also, 外国 is the noun for "a foreign person", so your suggested answer doesn't accurately translate what we're given.


Why isn't 「ね」 accepted at the end of the sentence here?


That would be more like "John is a foreigner, you know?" or maybe "Isn't John a foreigner?"(I'm not sure on that second one)


ジョンさんは外人 should have been accepted right?


It works in colloquial speech, but for a grammatically correct sentence a noun needs to be followed by a copula: です in a polite sentence or だ in a casual sentence.  ジョンさんは外人

Also note that some people find shortening 外国人 to just 外人 to be a bit rude (it depends on the context / tone / relationship with the person), so I would expect that if you're calling him ジョンさん with an honorific, you'd more likely say 外国人 or the colloquial 外人さん to describe him.


What is the pejorative form?


There isn't really one; I guess you could count the 南蛮【なんばん】"Southern barbarian" which was used way back in the 16th Century when the first Europeans showed up in Nagasaki, coming from the direction of the Strait of Malacca, or the slightly later term 紅毛夷【こうもうい】"red-haired barbarian", but those have as much to do with current Japanese as "forsooth" and "prithee."


Should the です be necessary?


Yes, for a grammatically correct sentence you need です (or the casual だ) after a noun.


The speaker use ha(は) instead of wa


Ooooh, here come the triggers. Here’s to everyone who has spent time in a community where your identity is reduced to “not one of us.” “Hey, man, it’d kind of uncomfortable,” “No, you need to understand that our culture is good and too complicated for you to understand, but more importantly good and polite, and therefore it’s not possible that you have been harmed.”
Here’s to everyone trying to get through our favorite learning game even though you might get the shakes and throw up a little every time you hear or see the F word.


While that may be the case, "foreigner" is still a useful concept which needs to be lexicalised. In any case, 外国人 is a pretty neutral word, and does not have any of these connotations unless someone really makes an effort to do it, but then they can do the same thing in any language.


Theres a difference between the neutral word foreigner and someone being racist. I can still love foreigners. Im sorry youve had a bad experience and had it used negativitly against you, but foreigner is not a negative word at all

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