"おととしはわるい年でした。"

Translation:The year before last was a bad year.

June 26, 2017

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darthoctopus

一昨年は悪い年でした

July 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kittycat2223

Why is 年 pronounced as とし?

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaLaban2

Kanji often have multiple readings depending on how they are used. とし is a common reading for 年。:)

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wgoodey

Just to add a little more information: usually when a kanji is used in combination with another one a Chinese reading is used. When used by itself it has the Japanese reading.

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/animexamera

Japanese reading is called kunyomi amd chinese is called onyomi. Also many kanji have multiple readings both in kun- and onyomi, prime example is 生 (なま or せい)

December 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex950702

It has both pronunciation. Nen and toshi.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/animatrix1490

Why didn't they use the 年 kanji in "おととし"? Is that phrase commonly hiragana-only in Japan?

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vngdhuyen

一昨年 I guess they just mixing haragana and kanji. but I haven't seen them writing おととし in kanji so far.

September 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

Probably because they haven't taught the kanji for the whole word, and they don't want to mix hiragana and kanji when it's often written in all kanji (or all kana).

November 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HikariTennyo

I need to hear the story behind this

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mystiques-wish

It's what happens when a country (Japan) uses another country's (China's)writing system and not create their own.

Illogical multiple readings on each character, all over.

It gets worse to remember them all the more you know, lol

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N1chope

You mean like when England (not named like that then) decided to use the Roman writing system and they got illogical multiple readings (sounds) on each character (letter), all over? Yeah, I think I agree with you (although that makes the language more likely to teach you things about the languages from which it borrowed, which can be positive if you're interested in those languages)

BTW: I think the story that the OP was referring to was the one behind that "bad year"

November 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thorigrim

I'm not an expert but maybe knowing this will help some folks:

年 = とし = toshi = A year, THE year. わるい年 = bad year.

年 = ねん = nen = A counter word for years. 八年 = 8 years.

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

The more common counter for years is 年間, though 年 is acceptable. Should also go to note that 年間 as a counter has on readings for all numbers. This is highly uncommon, given that→

八年 八つ 八日 八月

はちねん、やっつ、ようか、はちがつ

June 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul826086

Why isn't "the year before last year was bad" accepted?

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanPeters683622

It means effectively the same thing but it isn't a good translation of the sentence. "Was a bad year" is more accurate.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim373739

If you think that year was bad...

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/personamegami

you're telling me

January 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miroku_87

Is "the year before THE last was a bad year" a bad translation?

October 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

Yes, it's wrong. See @Emer895873's comment above.

November 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lloyd76445

Ah so true

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ngtphu0905

C'mon, 2016 is not that bad!

December 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/surrealpie

the year before the last is not accepted

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emer_Learns

In English you'd say "the year before last". It would be grammatically correct but confusing to say "the year before the last year". When you put "the" in front of "last", you've detached it from "the year before" so you need to specify last what. For example you might be saying "the year before the last big storm" or "the year before the last time I saw her".

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shiraji

Ok but this is a Japanese course, having to worry about subtleties like these makes translating stuff a pain in the ass. In this course I just want to understand the meaning of the sentences not worry if the English grammar was 100% perfect. It should be an acceptable answer still imo.

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

In american english, perhaps. In actual, proper english you say "the year before the last", "The year before" sets the precedent, and "the last" is the object of the precedent, that requires an article.

In fact, you manage to completely destroy your own claim with your examples.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calla465568

Ok so i have two questions: 1) why is 年 pronounced "toshi"? I thought that reading was for when the character is used with other kanji. 2) why not write おととし with the kanji for year おと年? Is it because you cannot rip the actual writing of 一昨年 apart and only give one half a kanji?

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

No, とし is the kun reading, not the on reading. 一昨年 are two separate words. 一昨 is "one previous", but normally read as いっさく, it's in effect slang that has become proper japanese, and the phrase has just taken to mean 2 years prior.

What's funny is that the reading flips back on multiples. 一昨昨日 「いっさくさくじつ」Or 「さきおととい」

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donnerlittchen

What weird sentences do they teach?

October 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronkisimo

年 when do I pronounce year ねん and when do i pronounce it と?

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

You never pronounce it と、it's kun reading is とし

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jemma197000

Why does "the year before the last" not work as opposed to "the year before last"?

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

Because duolingo is made by people with loose grasp of english language, presumably american.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crushforty

Wouldn't it be "The year before [the] last was a bad year"?

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/painkiller107404

The past year was bad

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mount_Knight

I hate a/the in English

November 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

It was a great year.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tonalddrum1

Yeah 2016 was pretty bad

August 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kana332264

It was one of the best years on record. Cure for ALS, number of other awesome medical breakthroughs, CRISPr progress, social progress, Hillary didn't get her war.

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/woa7dSD5

But the orange clown was "elected."

January 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EllyciaChe

Last year was a bad year

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

no, the year before the last year

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/painkiller107404

The second-last year was a bad year.

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Obstructor

This year is a bad year

September 12, 2017
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