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  5. "Are they sisters?"

"Are they sisters?"


July 8, 2017



In Kanji: 彼女達は姉妹ですか?


My response is only in Kanji. But this is definitely not a good way for me to learn or practice kanji. Just feels like "hi, new kanji!" Then "bye, new kanji, see you again in some surprising circumstances? Hope I recognize you..."


This. After the last update Duolingo when nuts with Kanji and it's not useful at all...


I think Duolingo (for Japanese at least) is a great practice tool. I'm 1400 kanji deep into Remembering the Kanji and I'm finding duolingo's kanji spam useful.


Where did you find studying kanji to be most helpful? Or how? There are sooo many characters and the combinations are seemingly endless. I look at them and am completely lost


look into how to use a lazy kanji deck with RTK, you need to make your brain get used to Kanji first, then you will pick up vocab naturally. They are really not that hard to learn, the problem is that they are different from what you are used to, that's all.


WaniKani is good!


Duolingo should not be your only source of Japanese learning. I recommend using another app or a textbook for primary study, and Duolingo as practice.


Which other apps would you recommend?


Japanese 101 pod , i don't know apps though,


I on the other hand find the abundance of kanji very useful, but I have studied Japanese at uni as well (not being fluent in the language at all).


I find it useful, you have to learn the Kanji anyway. Japanese isn't a language that is going to babysit you and write everything out in kana....


Believe me, it's better this way. Before the update, when almost everything was written in plain Hiragana without spaces, it was impossible to tell where to separate the words and the robot voice would often merge words that don't belong together.. Writing Japanese without Kanji is like using like-sounding words to phonetically spell out words like this:

Beef ore the upped ate, when olem oast eff rhyth ing wa zritten inn plane here-a Ghana wither ow-t spade-says, it wa zim paws-able toot L we're too zapper ate thaw (h)erds an there-O-bot buoys woo duff-en mer(maid) g(iraffe) were-d(oe)s that doe-n-t bee long too gather..

Now tell me that's easier to read than the original.

Hiragana may be more phonetic, but it is essentially a set of oversimplified Chinese characters that are written down and taken for their readings. Every Kana character has a Chinese character equivalent. For example if I were to write the Japanese sentence in Kana with the original characters, it would look like this:


Besides I think looking up Kanji is easier than figuring out what Kanji a set of Hiragana characters stand for.


adding kana:


【かのじょ -たちは・しまいですか?】

Also, ~たち is often written in kana.


Bro are you doing well in real life xd i believe your entire time is here on duolingo


Yeah, I guess so, thanks for asking ;)

I just come to the threads while there is dead time at work, I hope you don't mind that.


I personally have looked specifically for your comments in some of the Japanese lessons I've done. Don't stop being so helpful!!


Who cares if he minds it. Do what you want.


彼女たちは姉妹ですか。DL says I got it wrong. Says it should be "彼女らは姉妹ですか?"


Now I wrote 彼女らは姉妹ですか. DL says it should be かのじょたちはしまいですか?

Seems to me, it doesn't recognise the kanji


8 months later and they still havent fixed it :/ 面倒くさい…


And 4 months later STILL not fixed

  • 681

Both of these sentences were listed as acceptable answers, but it looks like there was some glitch keeping these answers from being accepted. I believe I've fixed it now, but I'm not certain what caused the glitch in the first place...


Thanks ... Effort much appreciated.


What is the difference between 彼女たちは姉妹ですか。And 彼女らは姉妹ですか。Both translations are not accepted, but I cannot explain why. Are there any Kanji rules?


Well, the reason neither is accepted is because Duo is not yet ready to accept kanji in answers... But if it did, 彼女たち would be the correct one.


What's the difference between -たち and -ら?


たち is more polite than ら. ら also tends to be more masculine than たち. Finally, there are regional preferences.


I just put "しまいですか" nothing else it said i was correct

  • 681

Subjects in Japanese are often implied, so しまいですか is also sufficient to mean "Are they sisters?"


I understand that しまい means sisters but doesn't きゅだい just mean siblings? Why is it counted as incorrect?


Since the "they" in this instance is specifically women then しまい is the correct choice. (Its kanji is made up of the kanji for older sister and younger sister together 姉妹)

きょうだい is used for brothers and mixed-gender siblings just as かれら is used for 'they' masculine and mixed-gender groups.

きょうだい is made up of the kanji for older brother and younger brother together 兄弟 


I think that you must make the best of all the new focus on Kanji or find a new tool to assist your learning. I disliked the Kanji at first but I am still learning the sentences. As a bonus, I get to learn some Kanji.


See, this one here. You all should see this.


My answer is しまいですか and i just guess and it is correct. I dont understand


しまい = sisters, ですか = question. Colloquially, しまいですか would literally mean "sisters?" which suffices


Slight amendment: か is the question mark, and です is an auxiliary verb "to be", so しまいですか is sufficient for asking "are they sisters?". However, without a personal pronoun this could also mean "are you (even 'we') sisters?" Therefore かのじょたち is added to specify "they".


And can't I replace it for かれら?


Not unless there's at least one male in the group, which -in the case of "sisters"- is unlikely ;)


Is the たち suffix really necessary?


Yes, because that makes かのじょ plural. You can't ask if 'they' are sisters when referring to a single person.


I just thought しまい made かのじょ implicitly plural; I may be misunderstanding しまい or something. So pronouns are always pluralized with -たち when you want to refer to more than a single person?


しまい itself is implicitly plural, but you can't make a pronoun plural by pluralizing a different noun. If you want to refer to more than one person, you add -たち or -ら.


Haha, I realize my mistake now. It seems obvious now that I see your answer. Thank you for helping clear that up! ^-^


I wrote 彼らは姉妹ですか and it was accepted


I thought たち was "we" not "they". Or is it just used for multiple people?


If im correct, tachi can be attached to certain words to make them plural. Like watashi+tachi mskes I into we. Kanojo + tachi would make it they (female). Kodomo + tachi would make child into children.


Why does ut say shimaitachi 姉妹たち しまいたち for sisters when you click on the word?


If "ka" denotes a question, why put a question mark? I got it wrong for leaving out the "?"


Duo doesn't consider punctuation at all in its grading system, so if it marks you wrong with an underline at the end of a sentence it's likely you had a typo or missing kana/word somewhere


Is 彼女ら wrong?


I got かれらは姉妹ですか? marked as wrong


かれら is for male/mixed gender groups so would be a bit strange to use when asking about sisters


彼らは姉妹ですか? was accepted as correct also.


Doğru yazmama rağmen kabul edilmedi yanlışım Nerede


is accepted (from duo)


I wrote Shimai-tachi desu ka? And it said i was wrong


Can some explain my mistake plz


かのじょ(she) + (plural)たち is "they" for females. So if you're asking if they (かのじょたち) are sisters (しまい), it would be かのじょたちはしまいですか?I'm a little late in getting to this question, but I hope it helps you or someone scrolling by.

[deactivated user]

    Yes, but we are usually told that the pronoun can be skipped if it is clear from the context what it would be. TheHoloSeraph asked if 姉妹たちですか could suffice, since it is clear from that sentence that we are talking about a plural of sisters, the same which 彼女たち would indicate.

    However, as I understand it, the problem is that 姉妹たちですか would be interpreted as "Are you sisters?", because the default subject of a question sentence seems to be 2nd person (you). If your question doesn't ask something about "you", then you must provide the pronoun. This is the case we have here, hence we must have a 3rd person pronoun.

    At least that's what I've deduced from my first few months of trying to learn Japanese :)

    This is my rule of thumb, which seems to work fine so far:

    Default person for non-questions is 1st person (I or we).

    Default person for questions is 2nd person (you)

    3rd person needs a pronoun or other indication of who that person/persons is/are.


    There's that too, but there is a fault in 姉妹たち also. 姉 means big sister and 妹 means little sister, so the word already means "sisters" (and it doesn't end at 2 if you're thinking about it --it's the whole set).

    Adding the plural-marker たち sounds strange for this sentence, especially because the たち plural is not a normal one. Most of the time you can use it like one, but for example さくらさんたち doesn't mean "people who are called Sakura" but "Sakura and the people with her." So, given the plural nature of 姉妹, the word 姉妹たち may be best for saying "the sisters and their friends." Theoretically, you might use 姉妹たち to emphasise that there are two sets of sisters or more, but usually just 姉妹 will suffice and 姉妹たち sounds just weird for "sisters."


    When I use ”彼女らはしまいですか?”,It says to use ”彼女たちはしまいですか?” instead. And vice versa if I type the other one in. Is duolingo being buggy?

    • 681

    Yes, it was, and hopefully (crosses fingers) it is fixed now.


    ら is masculine.


    why is "shimaitachi wa desu ka" wrong? is "tachi" not used in this combination? edit: nm, got it. shimai is already plural and doesn't need it there


    You've also got a wa before the copula which is unnecessary and makes the sentence read as incomplete. You would expect to see a description about the sisters after the topic particle. The copula also makes sisters the topic which in this question acts as the descriptive word. Like "The sisters are.........?" instead of "Are they sisters"




    Shut up, Kurisutina!


    It marked おねさんですか as incorrect. Couldn't this be considered correct with the right context?


    That translates to, are you an older sister?... I think?


    That's because the question is asking if two people are sisters. おねえさんですか would only be asking if one person was an older sister.

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