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  5. "アメリカ"



June 29, 2017



just as a funny note: アメリカ looks for Hebrew speakers just like מניאק which means "A**hole" in Hebrew... Consider the painful history Japan and the U.S have and it gets a whole new sense...


Thats funny. It reads as "maniac".


This can't be a coincidence hahahahaha You made my day, sir/lady.


Would depend on when katakana was invented/formalized, wouldn't it? XD


Katakana and hiragana are both simplified versions of other kanji. Look it up on wiki. They weren't invented but more or less evolved.


japanese has... a lot of strange roots. I understand different roots... english-french, russian-slovak, etc. but... japanese.... it combines everything. I mean for a long time, japanese has been using words that are from like... every root. I would take the hebrew-katakana thing more seriously, thank you for pointing this out.


i want everyone to keep thinking on this, even if you're a beginner in japanese. when you see a word, thinking about how it sounds/looks and how it directly corresponds to another root... (this is the only language i've found that's been using greek, latin AND asian side roots way back in history) just keep relating them...


The Japanese language actually started at the tower of Babbel roughly four thousand years ago.


Umm why was there no america option i get the US is america but still lol


It was "America" for a while, but it was changed to "US" only recently. The option doesn't made sense, my only guess is to differentiate USA from the rest of the Americas.


I answer United states and get it wrong


The name of the country is "the United States", so you need to include the.


It's because America is a continent and not a single country.


Or colloquially used as short for "United states of America", which is a country.


which is wrong, because the word america is for the continent, so to avoid confusion the country should be "the US"


Only formally. Colloquially, people from Canada call themselves Canadians, people from Mexico call themselves Mexicanos/Mexicans, and people from the United States of America call ourselves Americans.


And likewise, we call the country we live in America. If you want to refer to the continent, just say North America, South America, or the Americas.


I agree, but i think the problem comes when you consider the perspective of Spanish speakers, who in my experience tend to be irritated by the use of America to mean only the USA, even in English.

Probably the change was just for clarity, though. When you say "the US" everyone knows what you mean, no matter whether English is their first language or not.


The continent in the north is north america the landbridge in tge middle is central america and the continent in the south is south america


What a shock! Why do you use such photo? Do you know who he is? (I am not judging you, I am just asking if you are using that photo consciously)


There is no continent called America.


I highly recommend reading about how different countries count the continents. While most English-speaking countries say there are 7 continents, Japan says there are only 6 (Eurasia is one continent). Most Spanish-speaking countries say there are only 6 (America is one continent). Your country may not consider it a continent, but many other countries do.


We might aswell completely devolve to babies if that makes any sense. English vocabulary doesn't need to incorporate Spanish categorisation.


North America is a continent


North America can be shortened to America or the America's


America is the globally recognized "common name" of the USA. Also, there is no continent called "America".


Dunno about globally, but among native English speakers, you're right. You try telling a Canadian they're American, see how they feel about that.

And yeah, the continent is North America, unless you mean South America. Collectively they are almost always called the Americas in English, plural not singular.


I actually answered "America" to this question and it was graded correctly. When the little green box popped up, it said "Another translation: "The US".

I think its neat that they programmed it that way.


It's bc, if you refer to "america" some may think the continent. That's why, my english teacher told us to refer in english "the us" instead of america.


@Jjedde. What word did your teacher suggest for a citizen of the US? Everyone I know says "American"


In the JAPANESE language, アメリカ begets to the ENGLISH word for The USA, or The zuS, which colloquially in The US of A is also commonly used to refer to the US. In English, and some other languages, America can also be used to refer to the North American continent, or even The Americas, consisting of North and South and Central America.


When Japanese people say アメリカ, it usually means the United States of America. North America is ほくべい(北米)South America is なんべい(南米)


Interesting info!


Why shouldn't I just use Hiragana for these kinds of words? Why should I learn katagana(a whole new set of characters)?


Hiragana is used for words of Japanese origin. Katakana is used for words of foreign origin. America in hiragana would be "あめりか" and it can technically be written and read that way, but it would be incorrect. since the word is of foreign origin (and on top of that is being used to describe something foreign) the katakana form "アメリカ" is used. Think of it as different octaves on a piano -- hiragana is one octave, but when you encounter words of foreign origin, you go up an octave and use katakana instead.


This information needs to be added onto the actual lesson page!


I agree. I knew this beforehand only because I had learned a little Japanese from another webside. If not, these new letters with the same pronunciation would had been unnecessary confusing to me. A little heads-up in the "Tips and Notes" would had been nice, and easy to put in


You know how in English literature foreign words are italicized? For instance, hors d'œuvre, which is French, would be in italics in an English sentence. It's a bit like that. Katakana is used to represent words that did not originate in Japanese.


When they need to highlight some word as foreign, they use katakana. Think of it as japanese italics.


It's not that it's highlighting it, per se, just indicating that it is of foreign origin. Highlighting would imply that they are trying to bring attention to it, which isn't the reason for it.


To differentiate the original language and "Japanized Language", i guess. To differentiate inland and outland things. But that's only a random guess.. :D


Because Katakana is for foreign words and Hiragana is for Japanese words.

If you say I'm from Venezuela, you need to say Benezuera (Katakana) and not with Hiragana because Venezuela is so far from Venezuela. But you need to say "I'm from" in Hiragana.


To people checking this post today: Think of it as the equivalent of capital and lowercase letters. Why would foreigners have to learn another set of characters just to differentiate the start of some cases that can be inferred easily? We use our alternative set of characters to start sentences, names and whatnot. They use their alternative set of characters to write foreign words.


On top of all that was already said, katakana has some pronouncings that hiragana has not, like ve/te/she/etc. I recommend studying katakana soon after hiragana/kanji, otherwise you will struggle with grammar in the future. Duolingo just pushes it a little too soon, so try searching for katakana lessons in other sites. Newbie speaking here so I might be wrong.


Te definitely exists in both hiragana and katakana. て and テ.


The Japanese write native words in cursive and foreign words in print. Best answer I can come up with.


print is supposed to be easier to read


Japanese usage of アメリカ refers to the United States. It's a shortening of アメリカ合衆国 (amerika gasshukoku). You might also see the word 米国 (beikoku) on the news. In a conversation with an average Japanese person, though, アメリカ is the United States and アメリカ人 is a person from the United States.


What type of characters are these? They aren't hiragana.


Katakana, another system of reading and writing phoneticly much like hiragana. It is used for foreign words such as countries, scientific terms and other loan words.


Are there any other systems in Japanese for scientific uses? Like is Kanji for words of Chinese origin? Would Katakana be used for words of Japanese origin or would that be incorrect?


kanji is used whenever really there's thousands of kanji 50,000 approximately but don't worry you only need to learn around the first 2,000 kanji. And yes using katakana for japanese words would be incorrect and using hiragana for foreign words would also be incorrect


So would things like "computer" and "lion" be written in katakana? (because computers weren't invented in Japan, and i don't think wild lions live there either)?


Correct, "lion" is ライオン and "computer" is コンピュータ , or more commonly パソコン, a shortening of "personal computer".


I am using a Samsung Note, it is a lot of fun even to learn write a little Japanese. I not.ice that there some symbols that they have Same look and different Sizes (to change the way surrounding symbols sound). When I write 力, I notice three symbols very alike and only the one that look medium size works for アメリカ Are there really 3 sizes for 力? ヵ small カ medium 力 big What is the difference? Am I missing something ?


Small ヵ can be used as a counter for months, but it's more common to use the kanji. 1ヵ月 (ikkagetsu)

Medium カ is katakana.

Big 力 is the kanji "chikara".


How does that occur in hand written language? Is it a modern thing?


力 (chikara) and カ (ka) can often look very similar handwritten, but the kanji should be slightly bigger than the kana. Small ヵ is hand written significantly smaller than the other two, the same way it looks smaller when typed. 力カヵ


Well 北アメリカ, North America, and 南アメリカ, South America. So Don't see why they would change it.


Because this is the word for "the US" specifically, not all of North America.


You know that America is a continent not a country, right?


You know that North America and South America are continents, that there is no single continent called "America," right?


That is factually inaccurate.

Defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Americas, also called America, the two continents, North and South America, of the Western Hemisphere


Depends where you live whether or not North and South America are two separate continents. The Olympics follows the 5 continent model, which names North and South America as a single continent (hence 5 Olympic rings). Latin America uses the 6 continent model where North and South America are considered one continent. In the end, whether your country considers it one continent or two, it is collectively called "America" and that is a valid name to refer to the entirety of the continent.


Yes, yes we know but the Japanese don't, unfortunately.

They also call football soccer and they call the Netherlands Holland and eat KFC for valentine's day, I guess they got around adopting western culture and the English language a little too fast


America is a concept for all contient, I'm american but I don't from North American! ): .


I think アメリカ大陸 (amerika tairiku) would be a more accurate translation for the Americas/the American continent.


It's more accurate to refer to United States of America as United States, The States, The USA. America is the name of the continent, period. Do we say European continent to refer to Europe? No. Same applies here.


If you want to tell Japanese people how to speak their language, then you need to understand how they use the language. Japanese people call the United States アメリカ. If you don't know terms like アメリカ大陸, how are you going to convey to a Japanese person that you think they should call the American continent "America"? Being willfully ignorant about how language is used will lead to misunderstandings and disagreements rather than getting your point across.


Brazil? Im from brazil lol


It also accepts 米国【べい・こく】


I know this won't produce any change whatsoever. But America is a huge continent and it is so insulting that culturally the US is regarded as such. I am from America. Meaning Argentina. Let the US be a country in North America. (Please note that by this I do not mean to undermine the US value as a country!!)


You are absolutely correct. Nothing wrong in the way you put it, maybe they'll change it someday. But, I guess people say that since it is a common country that people speak of... It happens.


Actually, some US politicians really do think that all of the Americas is part of their country. When the russians landed their forces in Venezuela recently, US media ran headlines claiming that the russians had landed in 'their' backyard! Must be Pretty offensive for thinking citizens of the rest of the Americas. Especially since the US goverment has made it very clear that they do not want 'illegal immigrants' coming from the said 'backyard' And that they will use force to stop them.


In English, there are two Americas and always two. Since there are two. Saying America without specifying which America makes no sense.


so how can i say... The US are in America?


アメリカ大陸にはアメリカ合衆国があります (Amerika tairiku ni wa amerika gasshuukoku ga arimasu) might work.


So if カ is Ka, why isn't Amerika? When does 'ka' become 'ca' ?


It's just a phonetic transcription.

There is no distinction between the hard "Ca" and "Ka" in Japanese.

In fact, if you were to phonetically transcribe "Rice", it would be 「ライス」. Here, the "Ce" sound becomes a "Su"... Further, "Rice" is now "Raisu"!

You cannot reason out the syllables which were modified in transcription. Hope I was 「ヘルプフル」 "Herupufuru" -> "helpful". :)


There is a lot more talk about the use of "America" for the US than it should be, IMO.

I'm Mexican and I'm American because I was born in the Americas. That much is technically correct (In english). But it should't really matter since were learning a different language with a different culture. If a japanese person asks me if I'm american, I might say I am, but then I'll have to clarify that I'm specifically from Mexico and that we consider 'America' the whole continent. I might, but It'll be way easier to just say "Close, but I'm from Mexico!" and keep the conversation going.

So yeah... It's more of a cultural thing.

Btw, I just came to ask if "The us" should be considered incorrect. I use IME and to get the regular keyboard layout I need to start any sentence in mayus so I don't get the kana. It takes no time to capitalize 'US' but is kindda cuts the flow.


Duolingo doesn't usually differentiate capitals and lowercase, so "The us" should be marked correct.


This is how hindi speaker love to say America. If you hear 日本人 and インド人 side by side, they'll be like American: say America 日本人: アメリカ インド人: अमेरिका


North America and US are two different things


In Japanese:

北アメリカ - North America (a continent)

アメリカ - the United States of America (a country)


I don't know why they keep translating this as "the US". The United States is "beikoku" in Japanese.


I just taught countries to my Japanese students today, and I can assure you that every single student yelled アメリカ when I held up the flashcard with the flag of the United States (except for the one student who started singing "USA" by Da Pump). I have never heard 米国 (beikoku) outside of the news; it is not used in daily conversation.

[Edit to say I taught countries to some 8-year-olds yesterday, and I was using a Japanese map that said 米国, and they were all very confused and had never heard the word before.]


I guess my point is that Japanese has two words just as in English. It just seems strange that Duolingo doesn't seem to ever translate アメリカ as "America" while also noting that it can mean "US" or "United States" (as it is used pretty much everywhere else). I agree that Japanese generally think of the United States as アメリカ and use that in daily conversation. Nonetheless, Japanese also has 米国 which is specifically used to represent "United States" and "US" (even to the point of using 日米 to represent "Japan-US"). I have also heard it used in business and other formal situations. Anyhow, thanks for your comment!


Why is the translation "The US" instead of "America"?


アメリカ (amerika) is a shortening of アメリカ合衆国 (amerika gasshuukoku, the United States of America), and is how Japan refers to the United States. I think the contributors wanted to make it clear that even though in English アメリカ can refer to the American continent, in Japanese it is used pretty exclusively to refer to the US.


Monroe doctrine says "america for americans" they have always wanted to have the whole continent for themselves and getting everyone to call the US America is part of it. America is the continent, period.


I think the United States has done what basically every other country in the world does and drops the technical part of the name. In the same way we call "the Commonwealth of Australia" just "Australia" and "the United Mexican States" just "Mexico", people have started calling "the United States of America" just "America". It's not a conspiracy to take over the continent, it's a misunderstanding. North America and South America are considered separate continents in most English-speaking countries, unlike in the Spanish-speaking world where they are usually considered one. To most English speakers, there is no such thing as an American continent, which causes them to wrongfully say that people not from the US can't be Americans. In the same respect, people on the other side try to say that people from the US are not allowed to call their country "America". Both sides are taking away the other's identity, and this "us" and "them" mentality will not bring about understanding or any chance of making changes so that both sides can be happy.


If people from the USA want to call themselves Americans, then let them. In reality no one misunderstands, even if they don't like it. Do you object the China being the Middle Kingdom because it isn't in the middle and it isn't a kingdom? Or the tribe that calls itself "The People"?

Citizens of the USA don't have any other name for themselves other than "American". What better name can you propose? I'm a ?????


Well...I'd like to answer light-hearted but, I won't. I can say you that in Italian the USA citizens are called "Statunitensi" which is a word that comes from Stati Uniti d'America. It is not that hard to find an appropriate word I guess, even for the USA citizens XD No offence.


In short, this issue can not be resolved! Since WW2, the USA has had a heavy influence and presence in Japan so for them to call it America is understandable. They're not the only ones. The USA people have really painted themselves into a corner, haven't they, by giving themselves the name? I cannot think of any alternative short or reasonable name for citizens of the USA, but "Americans". Unfortunately the people of the rest of the Americas have a perfect right to feel a bit miffed! Imagine if the various (39) German states who in relatively recent history (1871), became one country had decided to call it "Europe"!


The EU is often referred to as "Europe" even though it doesn't include all of the European continent. South Africans are South Africans, even though all people from southern Africa aren't citizens of the South African nation. Same for the Central African Republic. The place that I call "estados unidos" when communicating in Spanish is the same place that I call "America" and/or "the USA" when communicating in English. Note that even the capitalization is different. It is what it is in this language/culture, just like it is what it is in your language/culture. You Latinos cannot mandate that every other culture on Earth change its ways just because you get offended over something so silly and petty about those other cultures. Your way is no more or less "correct" than anyone else's.


Yes, I'm brazilian and I feel a little offended when the people calls the north americans just ''americans'' seems that just THEY are americans. We have the north american, central american and south american. And i never see nobody calling south/central americans the americans.


As an American (from the US), I get offended when other people refer to me as a "North American." To my ears, "North America" suggests an entire sprawling continent, and North Americans can be from the US, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, or even, possibly, Greenland. If I stop and think about it, I don't exactly like how the term "Latin America" is generally used to describe an entire region of the Americas either. This is because I also happen to be descended from the Latin peoples myself, but I'm somehow to be considered as an "Anglo-American" (I have zero British ancestry) simply because I live in an English-speaking country. Why are people like me, and all the other hundreds of millions of Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Dominicans, Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, Filipino-Americans, Italian-Americans, Acadians, Cajuns, Creoles, French-Canadian-Americans, Portuguese-Americans, etc, in my country not to be considered "Latin American," while, say, a Jamaican or a Guyanese is to be considered a Latin American? I could choose to get all worked up about how the phrase is not 100% technically accurate. Or I can just accept the fact that such imprecise terminology is typical of languages, and choose to focus on the more important things in life.


I just made these comments. Why have they appeared somewhere in the middle? Instead of at the bottom?


The default organization is "Top posts", so comments that have been downvoted go to the bottom of the page and ones that have been upvoted go to the top. New posts without any votes on them will automatically fall in the middle. You should be able to change the sort options to "newest" at the top under the comment box. It also appears you've posted comments from the 'new comment' box at the top rather than as a reply to whoever you are responding to.


The origin of this entire problem stems from the people who, either out of ignorance or hubris, decided to call their new country (of 13, I think, eastern seaboard states), "the United States of America". I refuse to believe that they were unaware of the existence of the entirety of America. An early hint of the Monroe doctrine, perhaps? This wouldn't even be an issue if they'd simply bothered to think of a satisfactorily unique name. (Freelandia?).


It didn't matter. The new republic was still a bunch of united states of the American area/region/landmass (whatever it might have been). They never claimed it was meant to include all of the states of the region. Albeit, the republic was made up of the only free states in the entire region at the time the republic was created. So why should they have changed their name because some colonies might have some day become independent nations? Should our founders have predicted the future? They probably would have welcomed any other regional states into the republic, just like they did to our 37 new western states over the decades. In fact, Cuba, the DR, Haiti, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and other places have been part of the USA republic at various times in their histories, just as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are to this day. Since the founders of this nation all declared themselves 13 independent states (to be followed by 37 more independent states so far), I'd dare to say that it's the other nations that should have chosen different names for themselves and/or their "continent" if they didn't like the name that our country's founders had already taken for ourselves. Oh wait--you did! That's why you're called Brazilians, Haitians, Canadians, Peruvians, etc, and not "Americans." All the rest is just typical anti-American whining that was probably fed to you by the crazy anti-American (anti-US) leftist dictators that ruled most of your countries up until recently. When I studied the Spanish language in school in the 90's--before the anti-Americanism kicked in--it was widely understood and accepted that "estados unidos" in your language was what we called "America" in our language. And just as we learned your differences in usage so that we could speak your language properly, it was also understood that you used English terms properly when you learned our language. This new whining has the likes of Castro, Chavez, Maduro, and their hatred for the US all over it.


America is a continent not a country.


Pablo, Please let people call their country by whatever name they want. Do you object that citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia call themselves Australians (the name of a a continent, not a country)?


It is telling it's America but there is no and America option when I clicked on US it was telling right the real answer is America but I don't know how the answer is United Kingdom . US stand for United Kingdom and USA stand for United State of America. how it can be possible


The UK is the United Kingdom
The US is the United States


America and The US are two separate things. And two separate words. PLEASE CHANGE THIS!


Estados Unidos no deberia promoverse como America. Es como si un pais, de Europa se hiciera llamar así. Eso solo crea confusión. Por favor, no lo promuevan.


it's wrong, america is a continent not the united states.


Man, america is a continent, US is a country, dont even make sense


9/3/21 US marked as incorrect.


The correct answer is "the US", where "the" is a part of the name.


So The US is translated to Japanese as アメリカ, but in the same lesson アメリカ must be translated as America, since the US is not accepted?


"America" and "The US" are both accepted answers on all of the questions which use アメリカ, with the recommendation of "The US" as it is used to refer to the country.
The only exception I can think of is for the nationality アメリカ人 which is "American" because that is the term for the nationality of someone from the US.


OK, that might be my bad, since I entered just “US”. But that was OK, when choosing from the tiles, so I thought, I could omit this “the” again.


ア - A メ - Me リ - Ri カ - Ka

A Me Ri Ka - America


To Swisidniak. Thanks for the response. Most of what you say about my options don't exist on the Android app. I have no idea about down/up voting. I've just noticed the reply word, although it seems to be greyed out. The "leave a comment" section is down the bottom. No reply box. Why don't Duolingo explain any of this?


I'm not very familiar with the Android version though it tends to be arranged a bit different from the others. The Reply button typically appears in grey below a comment right next to the up and down voting arrows and doesn't appear at all if you are unable to reply. The reply box should open when you click on it.
Some of this is explained in the FAQ for the forums here https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/sections/200864560-Forums-Community


Also, why do you say, "to most English speakers, there is no such thing as an American continent, etc..."? I think you're thinking of United States of American citizens, who are definitely not the only English speakers on the planet. I can assure you that most English speakers do believe that there is an American continent. You yourself pointed out the encyclopedia definition, then followed up with the explanation of the different continental models, including the Olympic one. Very informative, reasonable and nicely neutral, by the way.


Duolingo poked a nerve there, eh? What an appalling conversation. This must be be an American, sorry, United Statesian app, with lots of United Statesian clients. I must contest whoever tried to make a point using Australia though. Obviously no-one else wants any claim to the name "Australia", as opposed to everyone else on the American continent / continents (depending on the system you subscribe to), who very clearly from all the comments do wish to lay claim to "America". Further, ditto for Mexico, no-one else wants to claim the name "Mexico", (although they, unlike Australia, share a continent. The American continent). Most countries have a longer official name, but it's only USA/America that has this problem. (Whoops, sorry, Macedonia is a recent issue where different groups contest the name, but for different reasons).


We don't know what conversation you find appalling because you weren't able to use the reply button. I feel like some of your comments are directed at me, so I will reply, but I would rather not continue off-topic conversations that have nothing to do with Japanese.

I understand what you're saying about Australia and Mexico, but you don't understand what I'm saying, so it's hard to have a conversation and I'd rather not get into it. I feel like I'm being talked at rather than listened to, which already starts me off feeling negatively and will definitely not lead to a productive dialogue.

When I said "to most English speakers", I was referring to the native English-speaking countries that consider North and South America separate continents, which would include the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia. English-speaking countries like Pakistan and India also consider them two continents. My comment was based purely on what countries consider the Americas two continents, which is an issue of geography. Could you please provide data for your assertion that most English-speakers consider it one continent? I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion, and based purely on how countries count the continents I stand by my statement unless you have some evidence and insight that I haven't thought of.


South Africa, Central African Republic, the "Europeans" of the European Union--which don't include the Russians, Brits, Swiss, etc. Get over your hatred of America!


America it is a continent,not one country


America in English can refer to the Americas, South and North America together. It is also a shortening of the United States of America and refers to that country.

If a Japanese person says アメリカ, they are probably shortening アメリカ合衆国 (amerika gasshuukoku), which is the proper name of the United States of America. In the exact same way that many English speakers refer to the United States as "America", in common speech, アメリカ means the United States.


The correct is "North America"= USA... America is all continent, incluyed from Alaska until Patagonia ...


アメリカ doesn't mean "North America", it refers to the United States. North America the continent is 北米 ("hokubei") or 北アメリカ ("kita amerika") in Japanese.

There is also no continent called America. There is North America and South America, and while the two may be referred to collectively as America, there is no separate continent called America.


Not in English, Japanese, or in most languages of the world (with some exceptions in some dialects of Spanish), it's not.

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