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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 ?
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.
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". :)
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!!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 ?????
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.
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.
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 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?).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.