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  5. "I don't like mint very much."

"I don't like mint very much."


July 9, 2017



Is it just me or do we keep switching back and forth from using the Kanji for 好きback to すき too much?


Just in general, this course is absolutely atrocious with how they handle kanji.


I can't believe how bad it is. I understand it's a beta, but I'm a software engineer and this is not beta quality software. It seems like no one put any thought into handling kanji.

The kanji version of a sentence should be the canonical version for every sentence and the kana versions could have been mostly automated with occasional human intervention when there is ambiguity. Instead they've often chosen to store the kana version as the primary sentence, which is a much lossier (lower fidelity) system and it's much harder to automatically convert them to kanji. As a result Duolingo is now dependent on massive human intervention to add all the kanji versions all over again in the form of user reports by the users choosing to use IME/keyboard entry.

The IME entry is completely basically broken. I still insist on using it because I think using the word bank gives you zero production ability, but the complete randomness of when they accept kanji means I'm constantly being marked wrong when I should be right and it takes me about 300% as long to get through my daily practice as it should.


Make a thread out of this maybe someone will listen. This is just too annoying.

On a sidenote though the kanji to hiragana conversion is not unique (one kanji can have multiple kana readings) so basicially you would need a framework where they put in the kanji answers and then the reading for each kanji that appears in that sentence. You cant just accept all possible reading combinations from a dictionary because it is actually likley that a user puts in a wrong kanji reading as a wrong answer and you would wanna mark these as wrong. But then you have the problem that each time a new user answer is marked as "should be correct" they would have to convert it into kanji and then add the reading. So its probably too hard with the limited ressourses that they have and this course is just doomed.


You are completely right that no one put any thought into handling kanji. To be more precise, no one put any thought into handling any other writing system other than latin (maybe they put any thought in it for languages like russian and greek though).
Duolingo was in the beginning intended to work with a few languages. But when they grew they started to support other languages. Then there were some poor souls who had to bodge things together to somehow make languages without spaces like Japanese work and they had to find a way to make kanji work as well. But those poor souls luckily didn't have to make the Japanese course itself. That was left to some poor contributors who had to bodge hmthe course together and try their best to make the best compromises to makes things work as well as possible. And this is the result of that whole mess. Over time they managed to improve things rather well, but to completely iron out all of the issues they probably just need a whole redesign of their application.

(Btw, fyi, I'm somewhere in the beginning of next (calender) year I should be graduating as a software engineer. The software I was working on for my first internship was similar to Duolingo. Someone made something some day and they built upon that. Now the company has 600 employees and they're still bodging things together which is all built on top of the mess it started with..)


On the contrary though, i kinda like how the words keep switching between kana and kanji. I wanna be able to recognize the words in both forms and not get confused at something that I'm too used to only seeing with one spelling


Would be nice if じゃない could be accepted as well as ではありません


It should be. Report it if it's not accepted.


Wouldn't the more common be something like "ミントはあまり好きじゃない/ありません."?


じゃない is a verbal form of ではない, plain form of ではありません. So basically they are the same. Just saying 好きありません is not correct.


People say じゃありません too.


ない and ありません are forms of ある. じゃない is not a form of anything. It's just じゃ plus ない. じゃ is a contraction of では. では in turn is a copula で plus phrase particle は.


Aren't there too many "ha" particles in this?


The 'ha' after ミントis the subject marker, and the "ha" in では kind of means "at least". The whole sentence translates to "as for mint, (at least) I don't like it much". So for this sentence both of them are needed.


No, では doesn't mean that. は means "at least" in both positions. で is a gerund form of copula だ and makes the NP (noun phrase) from the preceding clause.


Ha, 2 of them.

But they are needed.


母 (•̌́︿•̑) ?


So this time the kanji 好 is considered wrong? Great job duolingo.

Wouldn't also the particle が make more sense after ミント?

Since it would be 私はミントがあまり好きではありません


This exactly what I thought! Can someone please confirm or deny?


は is usually used about twice as much as が as it's used for talking about things in general. が beats は when it comes to mint. I suppose this is because many Japanese don't know what mint tastes like very well and so might be more likely to say this about actually having tried it rather than as a general topic. It's supposedly popular as a garden plant though for its fragrance. English speakers' understanding though is probably closer to the opposite sense?


Why isn't it just 好きじゃないです。Wouldn't that make more sense?


好きじゃないです is just equivalent to 好きではありません. It does not make more sense or less. Comparatively 好きじゃないです is more verbal, casual and softer. It is commonly used by Japanese but we also need to acknowledge that it is not standard Japanese in a strict sense. Some people does not agree that ない+です is grammatically correct.


ない plus です is absolutely grammatically correct. Moreover, ALL Japanese verbs have this imperfective negative form.


This is far too much to just say I don't like mint. What happened to just saying きらい or 好きじゃない?


Why is not using が with 好き here?


Because it is a negative statement.


Why can't you use 好きません here?


i have three questions:

(1) What is the kanji for あまり? i can only find definitions for kanji that mean "remainder" or "surplus" (余り,衍,贏,剩) which isn't exactly intuitive in English usage. even if we call it "extra"...

Let me try breaking this down myself, using Niko's notes on particles.... mint (subject) extra+affection (cause+contrast) does not exist. "an extra affection for mint does not exist (but a slight dislike might)."

that's not quite close enough, imo. (2) Should i memorize "x あまひ好き" as "like x very much" or (3) does では strongly affect the meaning of the sentence (ie what is the difference in meaning if i just used で)?


(1) The corresponding Kanji is 余り. However in this usage it is not usually written in Kanji. According to the dictionary the applicable explanation is 度を越しているようす i.e. the state of exceeding moderation.

(2) The way I memorize it is あまり…ない; We can insert any adjective or verb in the middle and ない reminds me of the negative form.

(3) では is a structural part and up to here you should be able to understand 好きです and 好きではありません.


For (1) you have a remainder, surplus, or extra when you have too much. 余りにも~ is the closest translation I have for too (much )~ -- better than ~過ぎ, say. I don't like mint too much. Liking something is always too much traditionally in this culture -- it's like a weakness.

What he said on (2).

For (3) であります・せん I've only seen it in writing, usually wishing something (happiness or health, say) comes to greet you. は or も, not the case particles but binding particles when they follow other particles like this, are required to make whatever it follows predicate (connect directly rather than indirectly to) the verb. で (or に say) doesn't do this on its own . . .


The kanjis are all messed up in this course. 好き Should be perfect in this case, and yet it gets rejected in favor of すき


So i used とても instead of あまり and was marked wrong,i think only あまり is used with negative sentences ?


Not necessarily but it would have other meaning. IMHO we better stick with negative first so we can remember the pattern.


余りミントは好きではありません。It was marked wrong, but I swear everyone around here says it like that. It's awfully catchy . . .


I assume it's not possible to use sukanaku in such a construct and use only Amari.


The other way to say that is: ミントは少ししか好きではありません。It's more positive though. You'd probably have to change it a bit to use sukunaku, maybe something like: ミントの好みが少なく...


i was marked wrong for this: ミントが大変好きじゃないです。

can someone help me understand why, please? can 大変 not be used in negating sentences? could i use たくさん here, or does it have to be あまり?


Why is there a では in between 好き and あり?


ではありません - "is not", the negative of です "is"
ありません alone would just be "doesn't exist" which wouldn't make sense here


です does not have negative forms. It also does not mean "is". ありません is an imperfective distal negative of ある. ある (あります) means "is", ありません means "is not", whether it is alone or not. で makes the preceding clause an NP (noun phrase) meaning "the state of liking", then ありません negates its existence. は after で is a normal phrase particle は and it is there, because it's a negative sentence.


Is 好きではあまりありません a strange way of saying it? Was marked wrong, just curious how the particles play out and if it's wrong / strange / or just not accepted


You put the amari in between the two parts that go together: dewa arimasen


i keep bumping into questions where the correct answer isn't available the 好き and ん aren't available to use in the answer.


just got the same question this time the ませ is unavailable


Is ミントが大変あまり嫌いです not acceptable here. I took it as meaning "i do not like mint very much" あまり being "not much" and modified by 大変. 嫌い seems like it should be acceptable here too.


あまりミントは でもよいのでは⁉️


I thought で was exclusively used for destinations ?


Here で is a form of copula だ.


Why can't I use the phrase 大変 instead of あまり in this sentence?


Can you also say suki ja nai and is that more informal than dewa arimasen?

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