"My name is Tanaka."
(I'm speaking as someone who learned Japanese in a high school on an American base in Japan so I've skipped to where my ability stops)
名前 「なまえ」is name. So my name is gets said 名前は[name]です。ともします is more like "they call me" or "I go by" and is a formal form for like business interactions. So not only is this a mistranslation by the app, this is also not the natural way people learn how to speak. Did everyone learn the 名前は form earlier? In which case not an issue. It just means the app translation is a bit off
Slightly related is I wish this would designate when something is formal like this, every day polite, or just casual. I feel like that would clear up issues like these
Good points. As I recall, 名前は[name]です。was our first introduction (no pun intended) to giving folks our name.
Japanese was a long time coming to Duo, and (like almost all of the Duo languages) has a long way to go. Japanese has, by virtue of being recent and difficult, perhaps further to go than most. But they are making improvements every so often, and I appreciate the hard work the volunteers put into it.
Still, there are many things that I am sure most of us would like. A hint as to formality (or lack thereof) would be great. Mirai Japanese spends (not surprisingly) a lot of time on the formal vs. informal and humble, on in-group and out-group. And their quizzes always state which they want. With Duo you often can only guess as to which they want by looking at the selection of word blocks available. And often you get frustrated by answering to "It is a cat" with "Neko desu"; only to have it reject "Inu desu" as the answer to "It is a dog." - when they now want something much more formal and much longer for an answer.
I guess we have to resort to the same thing I have so often told my students: "Just think of it as a learning experience." [Usually followed by me having to duck a barrage of pencils and paper balls. ]
That makes a lot of sense actually. I just get a little frustrated because I have knowledge of some things but not others. Like I can recognize that ともします is formal but I can't remember which kanji is ひだり and which one is みぎ and am I really sure ひだり is left. I'm fluent when it comes to talking about myself, ordering food/paying for things, asking where things are but then I'm lacking vocabulary I should have, directions, etc. I think we could really benefit from concentrated vocabulary learning as well as learning to conjugate as we go along as well. But I've also never made an app like this so all I know is what I want as a learner but not what it takes to teach or to build learning tools.
I do appreciate the response because it did remind me that Japanese is new to duolingo as I'd forgotten. This app is definitely helpful for me in setting learning habits and keeping my structures up to date. I can only hope we get more content that focuses on the things I've mentioned. Though this app has been good for me to not rely on dictionary form like some kind of yakuza boss or gaijin punk
This is a bit tricky to explain, as this doesn't really have a direct equivalent in English. と by itself functions kind of like "and," or a comma in an ordered list. But after a quote, it sort of leads into a "...is what they said" sort of thing: 「十さいです」と少年は言う ("I'm ten years old," the boy says.)
After a name, と serves a similar purpose. It leads into a "...is my name" sort of thing: 田中と申します (Tanaka is what I am called.)
I hope that helped at least somewhat. Like I said, this is hard to explain. :/
There is no such thing. 「ともうします」is a verb on its own, roughly translating to "...is my name." Though the "correct" (?) writing would be 「と申します」, which Duolingo does not (currently) accept.
any particular reason why you can't say "田中と申す"? I haven't heard it this way anywhere, that's why I'm wondering.
EDIT: found why, it's because と申します it's part of 謙譲語, basically the humble part of keigo or polite japanese. If you are looking to be polite and and humble yourself at the same time, why would you use the casual form?
So hiragana is for like endings, reading vocabulary words until you learn the kanji, and sentence markers to indicate things like time/place/location and to signal the object of the sentence vs the verb. Katakana is for loan words from foreign languages like bread, AC, restroom, etc. Kanji denote words themselves such as love, dog, city names, etc. These get paired with hiragana so you know how to pronounce a specific kanji. Kanji and hiragana all used to be kanji but the kanji that make hiragana were simplified because of how much they were used. This is why there are three "alphabets" even though it would seem simpler to us as outsiders to have one. As someone learning Chinese too, I assure you that you do not want all kanji sentences
It's a particle, specifically the "quotation particle". So far we've learned ”と“ as the particle for grouping nouns together, like how we use "and" or "with" in English, but here it's use to mark what was said or would be said by someone else, in this case what someone one else would call you. the closest English analogue for this would be something like "he/she said..." or "they say that...".