Is there a better literal translation or way to think of sentences that use "nie ma" so that the nouns are used in equivalent cases? As it stands with the English translation, "I" am the subject and it uses the subjective case pronoun, but the Polish sentence does not put the speaker as the subject.
I guess that could be an interpretation, although that changes the word order to a not very natural "W biurze mnie nie ma" (so where am I? hihihi, guess!)
But as it's only literal translating, it doesn't matter that much which interpretation you choose, as long as you end up saying the right thing in the target language.
you can- but the meaning shifts.
Nie ma mnie w biurze - you inform the person who needs to contact you at the office that you are not there
nie jestem w biurze- you inform a person you talk to that the place you are at the moment is not the office- you don't need to act like you are/ you don't have something that is at the office.
Yeah, that's the most literal translation. I think "Nie jestem w biurze" is correct, but it has a different focus and is used a bit more rarely.
"Nie ma mnie w biurze" probably can mean that someone wanted me to check sth in the office, but I cannot, because I'm not there.
"Nie jestem w biurze" simply means that I'm somewhere else. But then, I'd rather just say "Nie, jestem już w autobusie" (No, I'm already in the bus), than this.
Both "mam" and "ma" are forms of "to have", yes. First is 1st person singular and the other 3rd person singular.
But Polish uses such constructions in these contexts. "There's cheese in the house" = "Jest ser w domu", but "There's no cheese in the house" = "Nie ma sera w domu" (There has not cheese in the house, literally).