The exercise was to translate: "we are 6 in my family" The answer given is: "watashi no kazoku wa roku-nin kazoku desu"

I can understand the role of all words except for the second occurrence of kazoku. As far as I can tell the sentence is complete without it.. "Watashi no kazoku" = "my family" "Wa roku-nin" = "has 6 people"

Perhaps I am misunderstanding the way the nin counter is used?

(If anyone uses Japanese characters in the reply... I can only read hirigana)

  • Even a direct translation of "Watashi no kazoku ha roku-nin desu" would be strange. "My family is 6 people". – Leo Jun 29 '16 at 6:12
  • Can someone explain why "Watashi no kazoku wa roku-nin desu" is bad/strange/wrong? It sounds perfectly fine to me... It just sounds like a simple omission like, "A: Watashi wa Tokyo ni sunde imasu. B-san wa? B: Watashi wa Osaka desu." – istrasci Jun 29 '16 at 16:17

The thing is translating words for words never works (at least from English to Japanese).

Here you put watashi no kazoku as your theme. The notion of theme can be roughly rendered here as follows: "As for my family". Then, you describe the theme by saying: roku-nin kazoku desu (it's a family with 6 persons).

So what you are saying is: "As for my family, it is a 6-person family". If you were to remove the second kazoku, you would get: "As for my family, it is 6 persons" (which is understandable but no so good). On the other side, if the context was clear you could safely remove watashi no kazoku and it would still mean: "There is 6 members in my family". But without additional context, watashi no kazoku wa roku-nin kazoku desu is perfectly fine in itself.

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  • On a side note could one say: "Watashi no kazoku ni roku-nin ga imasu."? – Leo Jun 29 '16 at 6:10
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    Or 「うちは 6人家族 です。」 (Uchi wa roku-nin kazoku desu). – naruto Jun 29 '16 at 6:26
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    @Leo; It means "Aforementioned 6 people are actually all from my family". What you might want is "watashi no kazoku wa 6 nin imasu". – user4092 Jun 29 '16 at 8:26

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