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  5. "赤ちゃんはかわいいです。"


Translation:Babies are cute.

August 13, 2017





Is that the aka for red?


Baby are said '赤ちゃん' or '赤ん坊/あかんぼう'. The kanji is the same as '赤/red'.


Is there an etymological reason for that?


Though it is not sure, it is said that baby's skin is reddish. This is not bad meaning. It looks healthy. I may not be able to tell you the nuance well.


On another question about babies somebody said it's 赤ちゃん because babies turn red when they cry.


there are many opinions, because it is an old word.


I think it's because in Chinese it means "naked".


I love how they literally call a child "The red one"


Why "my baby is cute" is not correct?


The speaker is not saying 'わたし'の'/my'. Though 'I' is frequently omitted.


By that same logic, the sentence 子どもが生まれました doesn't include any indication as to whose child was born, and yet the only answer Duo accepts is "my child was born". It's not wrong to assume that the same would be correct here as well. Consistency would go a long way, sadly these two aren't the only sentences affected by the lack of it....


I think the same word was used in another context for generic "baby"


A more advanced speaker can correct me if I'm wrong but I think "は" has the connotation of being general. If you wanted to refer to a specific baby, you would use が


は is a topic marker, whereas が is a subject marker. So essentially, 赤ちゃんはかわいいです means "as for the baby, it is cute"/"regarding babies, they are cute"; あかちゃんがかわいいです simply has it as the subject of the sentence. The difference is mainly one of emphasis. You're right that が tends to indicate one particular thing to distinguish it from the rest of the group.

That said, I think either could be used to mean "The baby is cute" in this sentence, depending on context.


'The child is cute' is wrong. Why?


Because is "baby" or "babies". The japanese word for "child" is kodomo (子供)


My Japanese keyboard wants to use 可愛い -- which is cool since I actually know those kanji from Chinese, and they actually mean the same thing and sound almost the same.

But Duo doesn't accept 可愛い here. Is this one of those expressions that's always kana and not kanji?


Arent babies Akachan-tachi as it is plural?


Not necessarily. In this language, plurality works quite differently. Nouns without the plural marker ~たち aren't necessarily singular. So 赤ちゃん could either be "a baby", "the baby", "babies" or "the babies", while 赤ちゃんたち could only be either "babies" or "the babies". Additionally, Japanese uses the strategy of the "associative plural", where the plural marker can also carry a meaning of "X and those like it" or "X and their associates" rather than just "more than one X". So, 赤ちゃんたち could also mean "(the) babies and such". This is extraordinarily useful when applied to proper nouns, as something like "Smith, et al." can be translated as スミス君たち. Also, the plural marker can only be affixed to animate nouns, so "tables" is always テーブル. テーブルたち breaks the universe.

Sources: http://wals.info/feature/34A#2/25.5/146.1 http://wals.info/feature/36A#2/28.3/148.2

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