I don't think this is right. Где это такси is used to ask about the location of a specific taxi. In English, as someone said below, we wouldn't say "this taxi" unless it was right in front of us, when we wouldn't be asking about the location. I think "where is the taxi" should be accepted.
Да Вы что?! Серьёзно! Я согласна с пользователем и вариант the taxi верный!! Вы почему так то составляете и выдумываете какие то новые правила?? Я носитель языка, сдавала госы и по русскому и по английскому и все неверно. Вообще то в переводе на русский the и будет означать это. Просто слов нет. Спасибо.
We have to keep in mind that in different cultures the "here", "there", "over there", "this", "that" etc have different mental constructions. My native language is Portuguese and sometimes I still struggle to use this and that in English as they sometimes varies from Portuguese "esse/essa" and "aquele, aquela". In Portuguese, we use "this" to everything in our vision field that we can walk few steps to get it. But in English "this" is used only if you can touch it. The same happens with "here" and "there" as we have about 6 points of reference for location, instead 2 in English (4 if adding "over").
In Russian the "this" can be used to talk about the taxi that has been spoken and is still "present" indirectly in the conversation even though is not phisicaly there or you can't see it.
I've read all of the comments and I still don't understand. In English, "this taxi" would only ever mean the one directly in front of you. I understand that by using "this" in the translation it shows that it is referring to a specific taxi, but "the taxi" in English is also referring to a specific taxi. So unless I still misunderstand, it seems like it's trying to get a point across, but really just marking it wrong for everyone trying to translate it properly.
For the record, "Where is the taxi?" and Where is this taxi?" from a semantic perspective are largely interchangeable in English. In many instances you could swap out "this" with "the" without much loss of meaning. In other words, in almost all instances I can think of you could swap out "this" with "the" and the question would still be grammatically correct, understood, and fit the situation.
Having said that, "Where is the taxi?" is far more commonly used than "Where is this taxi?" and not by just a little, by a landslide. If you're doing the reverse course and are a beginning student of English, stick with "Where is the taxi?" for now.
We could also be the police officer showing a picture of a cab (for instance, a lovely action shot where a recently dead murder victim is getting into the vehicle) to the boss or an employee of the cab-company and go "Где это такси?" Then we would definitely say 'this taxi' because there is a specific taxi that we are after.
I think you are correct when you say it is used as an example to teach us how 'this' works in Russian, so while it is not, perhaps, the most common way to go about it, it is also not a complete lack of a possibility to use this sentence in English - as it is presented here - either.
I'm assuming you didn't get approved with a "typo" error comment?
It might be because такси is a borrowed English word. The four standard neuter nominative endings in Russian are о, е, ие, and я. Obviously, и is not a standard Russian neuter nominative ending. The word такси is a Russian approximation of what "taxi" sounds like, so perhaps there is some leeway in Russian which allows for different spellings of borrowed words, so that такси and таксй are both accepted spellings.
That, or there's a mistake in the database, which in this case seems highly unlikely. Duo almost always makes mistakes by disallowing perfectly good answers because the database is not complete. I've never seen a database error like this, but it's possible.
i think the confusion everyone is running into is that in natural english, we would only ever say "this taxi" about a taxi that was right in front of us, in which case we wouldn't be asking where it is. for a specific taxi that we don't know where it is we would always say "that taxi" or "the taxi". so the litetal translation doesn't sound natural in english.
I don't know that this would refer to a taxi immediately in front of a person. Why would anyone inquire about a taxi right in front of him/her? I suppose it's possible. The person asking could be blind, blindfolded, or perhaps just looking in another direction.
A more likely scenario to me, however, is one where a couple of people are waiting for a taxi that one person called for and it does not show up at the expected time. The question "Where is this taxi?" would then imply, "Where is this taxi that you called for."
Regardless, these sentences are to help us practice certain constructs of the Russian language (which include, in this case, choosing the correct demonstrative pronoun for такси). Whether or not they are sentences we would typically use comes second to that, so discussing the finer points of which circumstances/conditions/situations one might use them in is a bit of a moot point. Still, some are or will be doing the reverse course and I would imagine these discussions are helpful to those going through this checkpoint whose native tongue is not English. So, jeffreythu1, thank you for broaching the topic in your post. I am sure some will learn something from this discussion.
The last example doesn't work because of the languages asymmetricity. "The taxi" in English refers explicitly to some specific taxi, you cannot just DROP the specifier when you translate it to Russian. "Где такси" could just as well mean "where's a taxi". Therefore in fact, to preserve the original meaning, something must be added to the Russian to indicate it is not just some random taxi, but a specific one. Since Russian has no articles at all, the only way to do that would be to literally refer to it as "this taxi", "that taxi" or something else that would fit the context.
"The taxi" and "this taxi" are indeed not the exact same thing because the former construct doesn't exist in Russian. This is just an unfortunate and unnecessary thing... has been for years by the looks of it. The Russian language construct in question could have simply been introduced in a manner that would have avoided these problems.
English is much closer to Portuguese in this respect . I also have issues with the translation, this snake is already in a taxi. If its with me, how is it in a taxi? Unless of course the person is looking at a photo of the snake. Even if you were just conversing about the snake you would say that snake.