https://www.duolingo.com/jasonmattis

Japanese "Home" tips and notes question

Can anyone decipher the tips and notes on the "Home" lesson of the Japanese course for me? There are 8 rows and 10 columns. The first three columns make sense (numbers 1-10, the katakana symbol for each number, and then the hiragana symbols), but I don't understand the relevance of the next 5 columns (order, papers, birds, people, and counting). Thanks!

January 16, 2018

1 Comment


https://www.duolingo.com/Boringusername2

Japanese uses a system of counting that's different to how one would count in English. While we take for granted having a rather simple formula for counting (number + thing that's being counted), in Japanese, you must attach a specific 'counter word' to what's being counted. For example, in English, this exchange could occur:

"How many papers are there?" "Three."

While this is a correct exchange in English, this wouldn't be in Japanese. You would need to attach the counter for paper (枚/まい) after 三/さん. Even though it's known to both speakers that you're taking about paper, it's considered necessary to attach the counter word, regardless.

「かみはなんまいですか?」(紙は何枚ですか?) 「さんまいです。」(三枚です。)

Therefore, it's relevant to have counter words, since counter words are relevant when counting many things in Japanese.

January 17, 2018
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