"先月、日本の友だちに電話をかけました。"

Translation:Last month, I called my friend in Japan on the phone.

6/28/2017, 9:56:13 AM

101 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pwapwa

"On the phone" would've been better

6/28/2017, 9:56:13 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Tori204348

I agree, "on" sounds much more natural to this native English speaker

8/14/2017, 3:45:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
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Both should work.

9/15/2017, 7:51:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/clickonwhatnow

"Over the phone" would be if the phone were between you and your Japanese friend, and you called the friend and your voice traveled over the phone.

10/26/2017, 11:25:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Alpha-Kun

I get it wrong the first time every time because of this. Not natural flow for a US English speaker anyway.

12/8/2017, 5:37:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AJWentworth
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I agree. I called my friend "over the phone" is less natural than "on the phone".

11/24/2017, 11:02:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CNR578338
Plus
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"On the phone" or "on the telephone" should both work.

2/25/2018, 12:54:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/secret_sAndwich
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Agreed. Reported. Still not working 16 Jan 2018.

1/16/2018, 3:54:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

reported it too still not working Feb 25 2018

2/26/2018, 3:19:06 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Crystal754779

Same March 17th, 2018

3/17/2018, 1:37:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

Same March 20, 2018 (I'm right behind you). I assume no one at DL Japanese ever reads the reports???

3/21/2018, 3:31:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
Mod
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There are things like this (and larger bugs) that haven't been fixed since they were first reported 9 months ago. I'm praying they'll all be fixed when it comes out of beta, whenever that will be.

4/1/2018, 2:36:07 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Nexus227
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Same April 28, 2018. There are currently three people working on the Japanese course, so things (like errors/reports) will probably take a while.

4/29/2018, 5:30:25 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AmyONeil

Yeah, I understand they want us to demonstrate that we understand the specific meaning of the verbs and the specific structure of the sentence, but for the free-writing version of the task I think a more natural sounding translation is fair

1/31/2018, 7:47:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MortalCane

I feel "on the phone" is unnecessary and redundant. My problem with the translation is の, which is posessive. This would be Japanese friend. Not friend in Japan.

1/14/2019, 6:33:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sakata_Kintoki

Yes, absolutely. The "on the phone" part is redundant and "in Japan" is unnatural. Report it, hopefully the Duolingo team will get to it someday.

1/16/2019, 5:37:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanne132577

exactly what i came to say haha

3/15/2018, 3:03:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/rabdan3
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Would it make sense to translate 日本の友だち as being "Japanese friend" ?

6/30/2017, 1:56:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Air601257

yes, "XのY" can act to restrict the scope of Y to X. e.g. "イギリスの学校" = British schools. The category of school(s) being restricted to just British schools. Hence why it also acts like 's

7/5/2017, 3:39:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/clickonwhatnow

By your own explanation above, 日本の友だち becomes "Japan's friend".

10/26/2017, 11:26:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ever2662

Sort of. I find it easier to think of の as "of" (working right to left) rather than a possessive. So then it becomes: "friend of (from) Japan" which makes a little more sense in English than "Japan's friend".

11/10/2017, 1:07:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanne132577

But that would still imply they were Japanese, not necessarily in Japan. 'My friend from Japan' to me implies they are Japanese but could be living anywhere. I think the in Japan part comes from the particle に . However it's still confusing because I would still interpret it as 'My Japanese friend in Japan'.

2/14/2018, 2:57:55 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LordOfTheAndain

No, the particle に marks the whole phrase 日本の友だち as indirect object (who you made the call to). の can be interpreted either way, I believe, both as "friend in Japan" and "friend from Japan" -- technically, it's more like "friend who has to do with Japan".

3/8/2018, 11:46:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/WitrakorCh

I think like you.

9/19/2017, 5:25:07 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Joanne132577

This is what I thought too, but after thinking about it 'Japanese friend' would be 日本人の友だち. Though its still a little confusing because I thought friend in japan would be something like 私の友だちは日本で or 日本に.

Edit, I actually just spoke to my Japanese friend and she said both should be accepted so reported haha

11/28/2017, 5:19:18 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonH565
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You can also thing of it as a "no adjective", which confused me before because the の being a possessive marker in this sentence would sound weird or even doesn't really make any sense (ex.: 緑の鉛筆 (Green pencil))

7/30/2017, 1:59:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Tai_KN
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i think same as you

10/20/2017, 6:14:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam711804
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no, because "japanese" would be 日本人 and it only says 日本

7/25/2018, 9:48:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MortalCane

We say 日本語, as simply Japanese, but it means Japanese language. 日本人, is also said Japanese but it means Japanese person. And then we use the word Japanese as an adjective like we might say Japanese friend. Which is written 日本の友達。Meaning literally it is my friend who belongs to the nation of Japan. In America these are all just said Japanese. That's where the confusion is here.

1/14/2019, 6:42:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/panino1
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What's wrong with "I called my Japanese friends last month"?

9/2/2017, 7:29:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
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Should be fine, since "called" implies it's over the phone. Report it.

9/15/2017, 7:52:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/IstvnTabny

Okey but it has a different meaning. I can call my japanese friend in japan last month, I can call my friend in japan last month and I can call my japanese friend in somewhere else. So nihon in this case means what?

11/13/2017, 3:34:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Paul678008

Apparently "friends" is wrong, only "friend" is correct...

7/13/2017, 7:28:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
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Report it. It should be accepted.

9/15/2017, 7:52:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinGerndt

Shouldn't plural be "tomodachitachi"?

9/28/2017, 9:20:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
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In general, Japanese nouns are identical in either the singular or plural form (not including pronouns). As such, when translating them, they can usually be translated as either singular or plural.

For example, the sentence 私は本を見ました (わたしわほんをみました) could mean "I saw a book" or "I saw books" (or "I saw the book", or "I saw the books").

9/29/2017, 4:09:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/clickonwhatnow

In Japanese, if you say ともだちたち, it is ONLY plural. But ともだち can be either or.

10/26/2017, 11:27:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TehKegg

When is it correct to say ともだちたち? When you are speaking about a lot of them (like throwing a party)?

3/2/2018, 12:43:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/alex_wei
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so far, with hundreds of reports, not a single one has been accepted. on the other hand, numerous reports by me on the korean and spanish courses have been accepted...

4/17/2018, 2:54:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

I have had the same experience. I get lots of 'your answer is now accepted. Thank you' from DL Spanish (and my Spanish isn't that good), but I have only received one (1) from DL Japanese, and have seen reports over 9 months old going unanswered. Recently a 'voice' has appeared that seems to be a DL Japanese helper/volunteer explaining some decision (I need to write their name down so I can remember it), so there is someone out there (sort of; sometimes; somewhere....)

4/17/2018, 7:51:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lugoku
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What about "I called my Japanese friend last month". I think it is right

10/14/2017, 10:34:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinGerndt

I think so too. Doesn't nihon no tomodachi literally mean Japanese friend? Only "friend in Japan" is accepted.

11/29/2017, 3:48:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelSax8

I agree

12/10/2017, 8:29:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/HOA77.-_

Same me, I think "friend in Japan" mean that friends can live anywhere and live in Japan now. While Japanese friend - that friend is Japanese

1/13/2018, 3:24:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/justanoddone

Got a question like this twice and the first time it accepted Japanese friend but this time it said it was wrong... I swear 日本の友だち literally is japanese friend...???

11/2/2017, 11:26:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller
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I've seen Duo propose two different forms of japanese friends:

  • Nihon no tomodachi
  • Nihon jin no tomodachi

I'm quite confused about the second. Shouldn't it be "Nihon jin tomodachi" without "no"?

Are all the three forms correct? Are there differences in meaning?

12/13/2017, 1:27:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gnomeranger
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In this case, my best understanding of the term is that the の here functions as a way to turn the noun 日本 into an adjective. If you just said 日本友だち, then you'd literally be saying "Japan friend" instead of "Japanese friend." The same would apply to 日本人友だち basically meaning "Person of Japan friend" instead of "Japanese friend." Without turning the noun into an adjective by using the の particle, you will be understood, but it'll be really, really awkward. I think it won't be grammatically correct by academic vernacular or any slang's vernacular, though, and the app is trying to teach you how to use correct grammar for speaking school-taught Japanese.

TL;DR: Particles are important in Japanese.

12/18/2017, 4:13:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chartsman
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So what's the difference between the two:

Nihon no tomodachi Nihon jin no tomodachi

1/14/2018, 1:21:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LordOfTheAndain

The first one can mean either "friend in Japan" or "friend from Japan" ( = Japanese friend), while the second can only mean "Japanese friend"

3/8/2018, 11:56:37 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Edith773362

I was incorrect for saying 'Last month I called my Japanese friend by phone' main problem was apparently it should have said 'over the phone' does anyone say that??

11/17/2017, 8:09:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jpappas60
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Seems that 'On the phone" should be accepted

1/12/2018, 10:19:36 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulJones279857

Last month I phoned my Japanese friend

1/29/2018, 12:38:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulJones279857

Phoned or rang both should be fine

1/29/2018, 12:40:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ElenariaNiAesin

Agreed. I get an eyebrowtwitch every time my "Last month, I phoned my Japanese friend" gets a red mark.

2/26/2018, 5:01:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Tara_han

I got this one as a dictation - I was practicing writing kanji so entered it exactly as it's shown at the top of this screen (minus the comma and dot) and was marked wrong and given the exact same text back as the correct answer.

My text: 先月日本の友だちに電話をかけました Their text: 先月、日本の友だちに電話をかけました。

That's pretty bad. To get it to accept my answer I had to write it phonetically without any kanjis

7/10/2018, 5:11:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
Mod
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Yeah, none of the listening questions accept kanji but still give kanji as the desired answer for some reason, and don't have a report function on them for it. I suspect it's something the contributors don't have control over. It's really frustrating.

7/10/2018, 5:14:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/WaldoGonzalez

https://imgur.com/a/bQTTdRV Thanks a lot Duolingo, its great to know that even when Im right, Im wrong

7/19/2018, 4:19:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dylan_Nicholson

Can "日本の友だちに" actually mean "friend in Japan", vs "Japanese friend"? Their location and their nationality are quite different things...

9/3/2018, 8:59:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Tadashi_C

Does the answer not support the use of hiragana? It seems I only get it correct when I use the system auto kanji selection, but then I am not sure about the right pronunciation.

9/26/2018, 12:46:13 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/coxjohn1
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"I called my Japanese friend on the phone last month." is also correct.

12/22/2018, 7:39:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sakata_Kintoki

Translation "Last month, I made a call to my friend in Japan" is apparently wrong, according to Duolingo...

1/7/2019, 11:32:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Weeaboo_3452

The same sentence was translated to 'Last month, I called my Japanese friend on the phone' What makes this sentence '...friend in Japan'?

3/17/2019, 8:46:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
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の is used to denote the group or type the friend is belonging to, in this case "Japan"
The phrasing 日本の友達 portion translates to "Japan's friend" or "Friend (of the Japan type)" I believe has a bit more implication that the friend is actually in Japan, rather than 日本人の友達 which would be more simply "Friend of Japanese person type" regarding citizenship/ethnicity but not necessarily in Japan.

3/17/2019, 8:55:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hugo556225
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Is it possible to use "by phone"?

8/23/2017, 5:39:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeouterlimits

should rang be acceptable too? instead of called?

10/12/2017, 1:44:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/GraceMcMayhon

Rang isn't slang in any country but america, no one in NZ says "call"

10/27/2017, 5:20:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/clickonwhatnow

Report it if you like, but that's slang to begin with. If we start accepting slang like that, it's a slippery slope.

10/26/2017, 11:28:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Korilakkuma-

Why "I called my friends in Japan over the phone last month" is wrong ?

12/18/2017, 11:36:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ItsLightningBolt

Wouldn't "I called my Japanese friend last month" work too, since "I called my friend in Japan last month" works?

1/1/2018, 2:44:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulJones279857

What is the literal translation of かけて? Is it just 'call' or does it have a more general meaning?

1/29/2018, 12:45:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LordOfTheAndain

It can mean many things depending on context: https://jisho.org/search/%E3%81%8B%E3%81%91%E3%82%8B

3/8/2018, 11:54:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TikaJuliar

日本の友だち…japanese friend

2/16/2018, 3:17:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Frankie9001

Does anyone else think it is wrong that I typed "Japanese friend" instead of "friend in Japan"?

3/8/2018, 8:23:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LordOfTheAndain

I'd say it can mean either -- just look at about half of the threads above...

3/8/2018, 11:01:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Elysiatan1

I'm so fed up with this sentence (and several others). It's all to do with the different (British versus American) translations and as a learning exercise for Japanese it's pretty useless as what you have to do is think: how would an American translate this? Accept alternative UK versions please.

3/11/2018, 4:31:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PadiS46
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Marked incorrect for using 'telephone'???

3/11/2018, 5:14:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RANDELEE

this needs to be fixed. it has been reported many times. "on the phone" is a much better solution than "over the phone". Recommend it be corrected.

3/18/2018, 10:41:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RANDELEE

Still not fixed: "over the phone" / "on the phone" are the same. Please fix this.

3/21/2018, 2:08:22 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/I.gor1
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last month I called my japanese friend on the phone. Means exactly the same thing.

3/24/2018, 6:26:27 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

For these dumb translations ('over' = OK 'on' not OK) I just save the sentences in a text file and copy & paste. A silly way to try to learn a language, but until DL Japanese looks at all the comments and discussions by the users, its the fastest way to get through a lesson

3/26/2018, 4:30:27 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CaueJ.
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"I called to my friend in Japan last month" wasn't accepted. Why?

6/22/2018, 12:35:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
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To "call to" implies more like "call out to"; that you are yelling someone's name to get their attention, rather than calling them over the phone.

6/22/2018, 5:27:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SheenaBastet
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'i phoned to a japanese friend" should be correct -_-

7/31/2018, 4:08:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AnimusVox1

I spoke with japanese friends last month?

8/30/2018, 4:41:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/136.G4PWCRxvgysj

No because you need to include phone (電話/でんわ) at some point

8/30/2018, 4:43:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Nevermemory

So I'm looking at this sentence and I'm not sure if it meant I called my friend or my friend called me. I think に and を probably indicate which is which, but I'm not getting much grammar from duolingo so I'm guessing all the time.

9/11/2018, 12:49:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Emily423954
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I got it wrong because I dropped the "on the phone" altogether, which I protest.

9/18/2018, 10:29:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam711804
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Well, 電話 is there for a reason.

9/19/2018, 3:55:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Emily423954
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And how often do you say "I called my friend on the phone" in natural English? Add "on the phone" is redundant, is my point. Requiring it is silly.

9/19/2018, 10:21:54 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/dumark53
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Why is it "my friend in Japan" and not "my Japanese friend"?

1/1/2019, 4:12:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Nexus227
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My Japanese friend would be 日本人の友達 Notice the 人 Also, this sentence is very confusing, so I say just accept it how it is and move on.

1/1/2019, 11:02:19 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mei874209
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Why not "last month my friend in Japan called on the phone"?

1/17/2019, 9:13:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sakata_Kintoki

Because the subject of this sentence is "I", わたし. It's not shown, but it's implied. Therefore you are doing the call, not the friend.

If you wanted to say "last month my friend in Japan called (on the phone...)" and change this sentence as little as possible, you could change かけました to かけてもらいました:

先月、日本の友だちに電話をかけてもらいました。

1/17/2019, 9:22:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorien215634

Why do you need "over the phone" for it to be correct?!?!? It is driving me nuts!

12/14/2017, 6:32:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sakata_Kintoki

You don't. It's just one of those (many) incorrect/unnatural translations of Japanese sentences on Duolingo.

1/7/2019, 11:33:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Da-Di-Dum

what precisely tells, that it is I that called?

1/8/2018, 7:57:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PrismVelocity

Nothing really. But usually, the 私は is implied.

1/21/2018, 9:35:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Igarin1

Why "in Japan"? "Japans friend" may be better.

10/7/2018, 2:11:46 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam711804
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Japan’s friend wouldn’t make any sense in this situation since I’m sure 友だち refers to a person, not a country.

10/7/2018, 2:16:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Igarin1

In another situation 日本の友だち translated as a "my Japanese friend" and I had "mistake" again. Japan friend may be any person that I met in Japan, even akita inu^^.

10/7/2018, 2:33:03 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam711804
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I’m not sure I know what you mean

10/7/2018, 2:35:53 AM
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