Translation:Mom, I'm back.
I'm back - I'm back (home) - the SAME. I think some bitter people just go round Duolingo giving minuses randomly for no reason whatsoever. You can tell this because they never EVER explain themselves - ergo, bored person giving out completely unfounded down votes. かわいそう。どうして あれ が まちがってる と おもってる を くわしく 説明 できれば。。。。
Why is the pronunciation of 'mother' different in this context? Is there a rule that can help me understand when and how words are pronounced differently in such contexts?
You just need to learn the different readings and invest in a good kanji book and a waei dictionary. If you're not sure about the pronunciation and the word you're trying to figure out isn't one of the examples in your kanji book then you can try looking the word up in your dictionary/jisho trying different readings till you get the right one.
はは is used when talking about your own mom. おかあさん is used when talking about someone elses mom. (you can use these interchangably though)
I think they just messed up the audio for the exercise. Wouldn't be the first time. And if you happen to find a rule to help you with pronunciations, please find me and tell me.
Rule for correct pronunciation - there are only 5 consistent vowel sounds in Japanese. へいき
"Mama" would be ママ ;) (actually what many Japanese people use to address their mothers)
Why is it 'tadaima' and not 'tadaimasu' ? Did I remember it incorrectly or is it different?
Just looked it up in my jisho - looks like it is an adverb not a verb and means - now; at present; just now; soon; in a minute (copied straight from my jisho). It doesn't say that it is an adverb but that is what I have gleaned and I think it's a logical conclusion from the meanings provided.
I've never heard tadaimasu before (although I'm not an expert here). Tadaima is just a standard phrase you say when you return home, like "I'm back". Same as itterasshai, ittekimasu and okaerinasai. They're not verbs and you don't need to conjugate them at all.
Actually itteirasshai, ittekimasu and okaerinasai are all verbs. itteirasshai and okaerinasai are command forms - 行っていらっしゃい two verbs actually - te form of iku and (stem +) base 2 of いらっしゃる while お帰りなさい is from 帰る and なさる. ittekimasu is also two verbs - te form of 行く and 来ます. Both itteirasshai and ittekimasu mean roughly "go and come back" with the former of course being a politer version. While okaerinasai means literally "Return!" (only gentler obviously) - broken down it consists of an honorific o prefix, stem + base two of kaeru --> kaeri, and stem + base 2 of nasaru ---> nasai - used for polite, gentle commands like kudasai but politer still.
What's the hiragana for 母 in this context? I'm kind of hearing "か" but it might also be "かん"?
So what I wrote before at ただいま alone, that "Just now" or "right now" should be accepted, does not apply here, since the お母さん gives a little bit context.
Although, since this is somewhat shortened for 只今お帰りました, the long version "Mother, I came back just now" might also be an acceptable translation.
Do you address your mother as "my mother"? That's what this sentence is doing - calling out to mum to let her know you're home.
It is a rough equivalent although unlike Japanese it is perfectly acceptable to refer to someone else's mother as mum/mom in English.
Why is there so much honor terms? Isn't it a little overkill to use お and さん Also I thought that wasnt used with your own parents, cause its like saying Mrs. Mom
Because Japan and the Japanese are highly hierarchical. The way you talk to, or about someone reveals a lot about your status and theirs - it can tell us if you are talking about a close friend or a relative, whether you're a koohai or senpai, whether you are the shachou or an employee, whether you're older or younger than the person you're talking about and whether you are of a higher status than this person or you just think you are. And no, it is not overkill to use both o and san - Japanese is not English - there are levels in society that require that you address or refer to people in a certain way - way you talk to or about people can show your respect for someone or lack thereof. Lastly, お母さん is not like saying Mrs Mom at all. A rough English equivalent of the suffix ～さん can be Mr/Miss/Ms/Mrs/Master BUT not always necessarily - more often than not there is no equivalent and it is left out of translation ie. for instance when you address someone by their first name followed by ~san, in this instance it is not appropriate to translate ~san because there is no English equivalent in this situation - this also applies to お母さん. And as for not using お母さん for your own mother - it is perfectly acceptable to address your own mother as お母さん, just as sometimes you call your mother mum/mom and other times mother. The real no no is referring to someone else's mother as 母.
An interesting thing I found out from watching expat YouTubers is that speaking super formally to people who you are close to is often considered endearing in Japanese culture where in English and American culture it is considered cold and distant. Apparently many long time couples (like married couples in their 80s) use honorifics constantly with their partners where English speakers would use nicknames as terms of endearment
Still, there was a time when in English (or Europe in General), speaking formally even in the family was normal. In my opinion, it was then when "thou" and the 2nd person verb conjugation got replaced by "you" with no special verb form, which until then was only the formal or plural form. By that means, it's weird when English culture sees formal speech as cold while they only have formal pronouns, so they always kind of have formal speech themselves.
There are also a variety of more ore less formal and polite forms in European languages. we just use them without thinking, but in Japanese we notice it because they work differently. English got a lot simplified when the informal 2nd person form "thou" got lost. But still there are a lots of ways of talking, by choosing words (mama, mom, mommy, mother), or the difference between "Do that" (rude), "Please do that" (not much better), "Can you please do that?" (This is not a question, but the polite form of "Do that", and it is like a completely kind different sentence, although it has the same meaning but is not rude). Add the complexity that originally was there...