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  5. "They are sisters."

"They are sisters."


March 1, 2018



Really, you expect this to be in Kanji? I'm sorry, but I have never seen 姉妹 or 彼女達 before...


Doesn't it also accept かのじょたちはしまいです。for the answer?

姉妹 should be easier for beginners to recognise the meaning of than しまい anyway. Well, at least it would be if the kanji 姉 (あね, older sister) and 妹 (いもうと, younger sister) were actually taught at some point in this course...

Pretty surprising to see 彼女達 written that way on here though, considering it marks a lot of answers wrong for typing 彼 (かれ) or 彼女 (かのじょ) in kanji, lol.

However, I don't think it's all that uncommon for these two words to be written in kanji. ^^


(EDIT: This question has since been fixed)

No, even using keyboard input it does not accept かのじょたちはしまいです。despite that being the only thing that has been taught so far. Even in the same practice session for a similar question, no kanji was used: I am his younger brother/わたしはかれのおとうとです

This is the second time in a few days that I've come across this question and it throws me off every time.


I tried 彼女達はしまいです just now after reading the comments and it was marked wrong...


I answered 彼女たちはしまいです and also got it wrong.


And I answered 彼女たちは姉妹です and it also didn't work. It looks like they don't allow you to answer in kanji at all for this one


If you use tile inputs then those tiles are missing so you can't enter it.


Yes it accepts the hiragana as an answer, and that would actually make it easier to learn if they had only the hiragana early in each of the lessons. Showing me the kanji once or twice won't make me learn it. Having me match up the hiragana and kanji when I don't know what the words mean yet might help me associate random sounds with a random picture.

Knowing what Kanji looks like and what it means, especially when there's no way to slow down the voice, makes it harder. I can recognize a character for girls, ones that mean sisters, ones that mean middle college students, etc. and start answering questions correctly without knowing the Japanese.

That might help if my goal is to look at it and know what it means, but it would be a lot more effective to learn Japanese by teaching the words in hiragana, doing sentences in hiragana, learning the corresponding kanji and then doing sentences with kanji mixed in once students already know what the words are.

It would be different if I were planning to go to Japan, not care about speaking Japanese, but was fine knowing that if I see 風呂 it's a bath, but that has nothing to do with speaking.


If speaking is what you are trying to learn, then surely a course that doesn't have any speaking involved isn't the best idea anyway?

This Duolingo course is really only teaching reading and writing (typing only; no handwriting). Its listening exercises are broken and its audio is only an Amazon text-to-speech engine voice anyway. It doesn't have any speaking exercises at all.

I'm not sure how useful speaking Japanese is if you say you're not planning to go to Japan. Surely the Japanese you'll want to use outside Japan are all the other skills -- listening (music, TV, videos), reading (websites, video games, manga), typing (using search engines in Japanese, looking up words in online dictionaries, the usual method of dialogue online). Speaking seems more like a skill you'd only have a need for if you're going to be somewhere you'll be meeting Japanese people face-to-face (i.e. Japan)?


That's true to some extent, but with some languages I can cover the spoken part far better with Duolingo than I can in a classroom.

Duolingo reads the sentences to me. So I hear the language. With most languages I can click on the microphone when the keypad comes up, and it's important to pronounce things very well or the voice recognition will get it wrong. A student will then have to read what the voice recognition put in, and fix any mistakes before submitting it as an answer.

If the voice recognition gets a word wrong, I can listen to it more carefully the next time, go through a sentence with slow playback (common for languages other than Japanese) and say each word as it plays, and when I feel comfortable that I am pronouncing things correctly, I can do the same at full speed, perhaps repeating it 20 times once it sounds right. Then in the future, voice recognition should get it right.

In a college classroom, it's often a lecture with no feedback unless a student volunteers. In high school, there might be a lot of "listen and repeat" but if a student pronounces things wrong it goes uncorrected.

With Duolingo in Japanese, it's harder because I can't usually use a slower play speed. Once I can read it and know the words, I can click on the sounds over and over until I can make out each word distinctly as fast as I can listen and read concurrently.

I have no need to learn to read Japanese but not speak it. I would be able to get by speaking it and not reading it as well.

Duolingo can be the best way to work on speech because I can't ask a teacher to repeat things over and over again until I pronounce things perfectly.


I didn't say I'm not planning to go to Japan. I said that it would be different if I were planning to go and not speak Japanese, but get by on reading alone.


Use Duolingo amongst other sources silly


Wow, too much new information for just one sentence.


I liked the system the app had before, of actually teaching the new content before using it in this way.


彼女-達 (は) 姉妹 です

Kanojo-tachi (wa) shimai desu.

kanojo = she,
tachi = plural,
shimai = sisters


Which of these are we actually likely to see out in the world in kanji instead of kana? Is 達 usually written out like that as opposed to たち?


When it comes to jouyou kanji, it's always written in kanji.


Does anyone know why かれら works, but かのじょら doesn't? What other plurals, aside from たち work with かのじょ instead?


かのじょら (彼女等) is perfectly fine. I think it's just that the contributors haven't yet gotten around to adding it to the list of alternative answers for this particular sentence.

かのじょたち (彼女達) is fine too.


This lesson is really unhelpful because of the use of kanji that I have no idea how to read or say at this point.


Then use it as an opportunity to learn. 姉妹 is just made up of younger sister and older sister, much like the equivalent "brothers". The kanji are very common. 彼女達 features another 3 kanji which are made of very simple components that are important to learn. 彼, he/that/the. 女 woman, female. 達 tachi, group. Literally put together, "they"(of women)


Thank you that is really helpful.


I reported it as the audio being wrong, but the "sisters" kanji made no sound for me. Does it make sound for other people?

Windows 10 in Chrome, in case they need more detail and think to look in the comments.


No, they have no sound for me on mobile or in the browser.


Finally some kanji. I just wish they would teach it earlier.


why isn't there a pronunciation for 姉妹? I've figured out that it's しまい, but not having it be pronounced like the rest of the words just makes our lives harder for no reason.


Don't listen to just the pronounciation. Reading is very important.

As far as 姉妹, it's a very simple kanji, made up of 姉, older sister 妹, younger sister. The kanji themselves are simple too, 姉 is made of woman, lid and scarf radicals and 妹 is made of woman, tree and lid (and a couple of others but that's not as important)

Having said that, brothers is just as simple, 兄弟, elder brother and younger brother.


Well, that's the first time this happens to me: I gave the correct answer, 彼女たちは姉妹です, and it isn't accepted.


as of today, the combination of 彼女たち still isn't accepted. I hope this gets fixed :D


彼女達は姉妹です, you mean? If you want to go all in with kanji, go all in with kanji. The amount of permutations possible between using hiragana and kanji are not all in.


My answer seems to be the most natural one, though. Jisho says 'tachi' for plural is usually written using kana.


In all honesty, jisho saying something is written only using kana means that either:

a) It's commonly written in kana in handwriting because the kanji is too complicated to easily write

b) 90% of the time you meet it anywhere it's in kana

c) 90% of the time you meet it anywhere it's kanji anyway

d) combination of a) and either b) or c)


I know, but that means it should be included in the correct answers. On the other questions it is, by the way. I always use the Kanji for nouns if I know it, and never for 達, and until now it was recognised as correct. :)

  • 1218

”彼女ら” was an incorrect answer, however it should be correct. "彼女ら" is the same as "彼女達". I'm Japanese native speaker.


So, 彼たち really doesn't exist?

  • 1218

"彼たち" exists, however we don't use it normally. We use " 彼ら" for men not women.


Can "姉妹です。" be accepted? Since Japanese is such a contextual language and doesn't always need a subject.


No, because we do not know the context. When answering to a question whether or not 2 girls are related because they look alike, in casual language 姉妹です would be ok, but a more proper, formal reply, that is correct outside of that one specific context is what duolingo has.


Duolingo has used that kind of vague, multi-translation phrase before though, like for example 高校生です, which can be translated to either "I am a high school student" or "he is a high school student" only to name two. Is it somehow different with this phrase?


They only give you phrases like that to translate, i can't recall a case where they've made you write one. You can discern the meaning from phrases like that, since you should understand spoken language in context, but speaking a language is much, much more difficult than just understanding it... and that's why they want you to construct proper phrases.

Unless replying to someone in a specific circumstance, the phrase you've given only means "i'm a high school student". The similar case in english would be:

A: "So i hear your son's in middle school now?"-------------- あなたの息子は中学校にいると聞いた

B: "High school, actually" ------------------------------------ 高校ですよ


Thankfully, they finally updated the question:

Hi mynameisneo7,

You suggested “かのじょたちはしまいです” as a translation for “They are sisters.” We now accept this translation. :)

Thanks for the contribution, please keep it up!

  • Duolingo


かれらは姉妹です is not accepted, despite it seeming to be correct.


かれら refers to groups of men or of mixed gender. Groups consisting of only women are referred to with かのじょたち. But this question seems to be working incorrectly at the moment, anyway. (It demands the use of kanji that haven't been taught yet.)

EDIT: Apparently, the question has now been fixed, and will accept hiragana for everything.


Hmm, I thought 'karera' had been accepted as a genderless term at this point. Would it still be okay to refer to a group of all females as 'karera' or is that completely incorrect?


It's all silly. I mean, what is this, French? The main problem, however, is that these are terms used almost entirely for translation. Japanese speakers don't use the pronouns much for anything else. I got dinged for using 彼ら and that just feels like being dinged for the wrong language . . .


You're right, thanks for the correction :)


I don't mind having to use new kanji, but what bothers me is the how inconsistently these questions ask for it. Sometimes I'll try to use the kanji (I use keyboard entry) and will be marked wrong, but then other times when I am expecting the question to not want kanji I get things marked wrong for not using it.

Obviously this wouldn't be as much of an issue of I was using the word bank, but I feel like I learn less from doing that than trying to enter the answers on my own. I think either the questions need to be more clear about what form of answer they are looking for, or the correct kanji should just always be accepted as correct.


I agree with this, but i have never seen it not accept kanji they have taught you in previous lessons. You have to consider though that they have to individually input all the permutations of the answers, as IME doesn't really have a developer side that would easily allow typing in hiragana and just working in all the possibilities of kanji there.


It doesn't read out all the words when you press on them. The word for sisters is in Kanji and I am left with having no idea how it's read. Also introducing new words without any explanation is a bit frustrating.


Is "彼女たちは姉妹です" right?

  • 1218

It's right. No problem at all.



【かのじょ -たちは・しまいです】


Is the たち marker truly necessary? I heard Japanese doesn’t require plurals as strictly as English and other Western European languages do. Or would “彼女は姉妹です” translate only to “she is a sister” and not “they are sisters”?


Pretty sure you've got it right: it would mean "she is a sister" instead of "they are sisters." "Tachi" basically means "and company." Hence, it turns "she" into "they." Good catch!


In a similar sentence duolingo had me use something like かれ ら for they(m) and this uses かのじょ たち(f). What's the difference and does it matter? For example could i use かれら and かのじょ ら? Or かれたち and かのじょ たち?


Sorry, I'm a little confused about what your question is. かれら is used for mixed gender or male only, while かのじょたち is used for female only. Or are you just asking about the difference between ら and たち as a pluralizing suffix? I was under the impression that they could be used interchangeably, however Jisho has an entry for かのじょら, but not for かれたち, so I would avoid using that one.


I wrote 「彼女たちは姉妹です」 and got corrected to full hiragana 「かのじょたちはしまいです」. Anybody has more insight than me?


Why couldn't it be かのじょたちはきょうだいです。

きょうだい is technically masculine, but it still means 'siblings' which is neutral unlike 'brothers' or 'sisters'.


Probably because it isn't saying they as neutral, but they as women, which english does not differentiate. They(the two girls) are sisters.

I reckon you don't casually say "these two women are siblings", but sisters, right?


So can someone explain why the lesson uses karera for them masculine form but kanojyotachi for them feminine form? It's confusing, and you not use the ra ending to mean the same and vice versa can you say karetachi? and explanation would be nice. I would assume because it feels wrong to say karetachi that the tachi ending is for more feminine sounding words

also I have never heard of using ra and tachi to make a they word plural is that a thing that people do? I've only taken formal Japanese classes so maybe this is informal language?


What do you think about this alternate answer: "彼らはしまいたちです" ? How is this not correct?


Because 彼ら usually means men, or a mix of male and female.


First of all, you used 彼ら, which is the plural form of 彼(He). In this phrase, the correct is 彼女ら, plural form of 彼女(She).

There is no record of 姉妹たち at jisho.org, so it probably doesn't exist, therefore, it is wrong. I reckon it is because japanese there is no difference between singular and plural form.


Does it matter where you put the たち? After かのじょ or しまい?


Would just "姉妹たちです" make sense at all?


For translating "they are sisters" into Japanese, wouldn't "Shimai desu" also be correct? It marked it as wrong, but I assumed that "they" would be implied, probably by the speaker answering someone's question or by pointing the two out. Maybe I over-simplified it...


According to the given translations, かれら should also be accepted?


As I understand it, "karera" is a plural form of "kare" which is specifically indicating men or boys. So, them being "sisters" doesn't work.


it should accept the form with3です because it's still the same thought and meaning just more casual


What does "it should accept the form with3です" mean?


姉妹たちです was marked wrong. is it?


I wouldn't blindly believe what I say, because I am also just learning japanese, but I think that if it was implied, like if you were introducing the two or more people to somebody, you could leave of the "they". I might be wrong though


What you wrote basically means "It is a group of sisters" since you have "shimaitachi." "-tachi" basically means "and company." "Kanojotachi" would mean "she and those with her." So, yes, your translation is incorrect.


missing audio for japanese "they" as of 3/3/20. hp laptop, chrome


I like the way he says 彼女たち


It's not said in this sentence, but I like the way he says "ne." So soft. Much better than the female voice yelling nasally in my ears.

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