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"Is Mr. John an American?"


June 28, 2017



I accidentally left です from the end of this sentence - 「...アメリカ人か」 Duolingo said it was still correct, is this right? If so when can you drop です??


Yes, in informal speech


Why do we add 人 here but not elsewhere?


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.


That simbol represents people, in this case like "america people " so it is american thats how i understand it, correct me if im wrong


We do, [Jin] we use it when we refer to a nationality:

America (country) AmericaN (nationality) (here you use Jin)


It's duolingo's way of indicating you should put -san


Agreed, "Mr John" is dreadful English. It's infuriating to keep seeing it. And we don't see "Mrs Maria"...


What does は mean? I notice it only appears when there's something before アメリカ (or other location), never when アメリカ is at the beginning of a sentence. Is it some kind of clause-separator?


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.


From what I've gathered so far, it denotes you're talking about a third party (not yourself or who you're talking about)


What exactly is the purpose of the か at the end? Does it denote a question?


Yes, it indicates a question


Someone it took me ages to get it right i keep forgetting parts like "が" "は" "か"


Why 人 is pronounced as ひと and not as じん when I click it?


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.


Well, that's my point: why learn how to pronounce the noun 人 when a lesson is about the suffix 人? It's confusing. It's like learning the pronunciation of the adjective "live" when a lesson is about the verb "live".


the thing with japanese is that kanji are not phonetic so you need to learn how to pronounce words instead of letters or symbols, stop thinking of japanese as other languages. I see it as 人【ひと】 being a word and 〇〇人【〇〇 -じん】 another one.


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

fair enough.


What does wa exactly mean?


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


I have been taught sounds for each symbol but I font know what they mean in a sentence so this is hard to do


Can you use が instead of は as a particle in this example?


I feel it would be too strong - it would be like saying Is JOHN an American? as opposed to Is John an American? Others may disagree however.


Sorry for reporting this sentence, I thought the man reads jin wrong xd


Instead of and on the picture it said an


Do you have to tell the difference between "is mr. john an American?" and "Mr John, are you American?" Out of tge context?


Would be nice to know exactly which character I'm writing wrong because I wrote this damn sentence until my hearts ran out and it keep saying I'm wrong except the answer is identical to my reply!


Normally when the subject is an unknown (which often is the case in questions) i'm pretty sure you use [subject] GA [...] instead of WA(ha). But i think Duolingo doesn't want to further confuse people with those minor details.


My answer looks just exactly as the one Duolingo gives me. Unfortunately, it tells me I'm wrong. What may be the problem? :(


How the crap do I spell John in the Japanese keyboard???


"Jyon" works on mine.


What is the difference between ジヨン and ジョン? I put ジヨン at first and I marked wrong. Does it make a big difference to the word?

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