"Is Mr. John an American?"
人 has two pronunciations. It can be pronounced as じん which is the the onyomi/chinese way of reading the character. It can also be pronounced as ひと which is the kunyomi/japanese way of reading the character.
じん is usually used for indicating the nationality of a person. For example, people from China (中国) are called 中国人, people from Japan (日本) are called 日本人, people from America (アメリカ) are called アメリカ人. Now you get the gist.
ひと is usually use to indicate a person. For example, a man is 男の人 (read as おとこのひと), a woman is 女の人, a person in general is あの人. But it's not the only use for the kunyomi of 人.
Japanese just like any language has particles, a particles only function is to refer to a subject or an object in a sentence
For instance: John runs to the store. 'John' is the subject, 'runs' is the verb and 'the store' is the object. But we have that little two character word 'to' which would then be the particle of this sentence
In this case it's referring to the subject (ジョンさん) and when we refer to a subject in the japanese language, we use the particle は(pronounced wa in its particle state).
Hope this helps.
that's because if you are going to pronounce the kanji alone you do it as ひと which means person but when you use it as a suffix to indicate the persons nationality or origin as in this example you use the pronunciation じん, they are basically 2 different words that use the same kanji. Kanji have a lot of pronunciations and there is a bunch of rules on what to use in what case but imo is best to learn some words first and after a while come back to this because otherwise you will get overloaded with information and that's not good for language learning.
More effective method to learn Japanese is learn words and grammatical rules first, then learn kanji, associating them with already known words. To start with, I don't even know why Duo use kanji at this stage of learning, especially in such a confusing way. If Duo utilizes more or less the same concept as Rosetta Stone do ("learn naturally as you learnt your first language as a child"), it should use kana only.
stop thinking of japanese as other languages
It's its writing system which differs, linguistically Japanese is not that different. For example, Japanese grammatical cases may be pretty confusing for an English speaker, but they are much more understandable for a Russian speaker such as myself.
More effective method to learn Japanese is learn words and grammatical rules first, then learn kanji, associating them with already known words
I disagree, learning Kanji should start right at the beginning. After learning hiragana, which should be done in 2 weeks.
learn naturally as you learnt your first language as a child
That just takes more time, why would you study like a child if you already know a lot of things that a child don't, that just sounds moronic to me and an excuse to not learn kanji right away.
Also a japanese child is already exposed to kanji 24/7 since they live in japan. A foreigner doesn't have that luxury, waiting to study words first and then kanji is doing double the work. Once your brain gets used to like 50 kanji the rest get's easier and after a while your brain also starts to associate the kanji to the meaning instead of the meaning to the kanji, if that makes sense.
It's its writing system which differs, linguistically Japanese is not that different
In case anyone else newbie is having issues with using a Japanese keyboard here. It took me a few mistakes to realize the ヨ is ョ here, if you're sounding it out. Jiyo doesn't work but Jyo will. Should have realized sooner but yeah, maybe it'll save someone some time lol