Translation:Where is this place?
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Remember that Japanese people tend to avoid using 私 if they can and using ここ does that quite neatly. ここ means "this place (near the speaker)", in other words the general area you are in.
To me, 私はどこですか actually sounds more literal, like "where is me?" which you might say if you lost track of your physical body or if you looked in a mirror and couldn't see yourself.
Im goning to say this because sean brought it up but don't base what you say from anime. Usually in anime the way they speak is seen more rude, weird or sometimes even agressive to use in daily language. For example theres a word for "you" that appears exclusively in anime so it's very weird to use in an everyday conversation.
Where is here is the litral translation I dont get how you get from WHERE IS HERE to WHERE AM I?(my question simple answer) is that in english someone who cant speak it well would say "Where is here" but fluent speakers understand that as "Where am I" they mean the same thing but where am I makes more sense
I'm new to Japanese as well, and here is what helped me:
Learn the particles and look for them first. I.e. [は] [が] [を] [に] etc. That will help break down the sentence so you know what part is the topic, subject, etc.
Then I look for counters, i.e. [時]
It also helps me, when you get to more advanced things, to look for verb endings to give you context. If you can recognize a verb and figure out what it is saying, it is easier to kind of figure out what nouns that you've learned would be present.
Here's an article on ko-so-a-do patterns in Japanese, might clear things up for you:
When this confused me, I chose to translate it literally (Where is here) and take my knocks. Many comments below say this is a way to say "Where am I?" Could it not also be interpreted as "Where are we?" and "Where is this?"
“Where are we?” yes. “Where is this?” I doubt it, mainly because “this” is, by definition, here, otherwise it would be “that”. The sentence rather has the meaning of “what/where is this place (that I'm in)?”.
To ask “where is this?” I guess you could ask「これはどこですか」, but again, why would you call it 「これ」if you don't know where it is?
In general, this would sound weird to a native speaker. In my japanese class we learned about 3 or 4 phrases to politely ask a stranger, where you are, and how to get there from the current spot. Im guessing bc most ppl here may not have a huge vocab base they simplified this. The point will get across but youll sound like a 3 yr old
I have to disagree. I'm not a native speaker myself, but in my experience this sounds completely normal, natural even, especially if one abruptly finds themselves somewhere unexpected.
In your Japanese class, are you the teacher? If you are, I'd genuinely like to know what other ways there are to say "where am I?" or ここはどこですか？Because, despite considering myself fairly fluent (having passed JLPT N2), I can't think of any that sound natural.
Yes, I guess so, but remember that Japanese people tend to avoid using 私 if they can and using ここ does that quite neatly. ここ means "this place (near the speaker)", in other words the general area you are in.
To me, 私はどこですかactually sounds more literal, like "where is me?" which you might say if you lost track of your physical body or if you looked in a mirror and couldn't see yourself.
No: that is affirmatively not what the sentence says.
ここ (place near speaker) は (topic particle: as for [previous]) どこ(where) です(exists (verb)) か(question particle)
"As for this place near me, where is it?"
Yes: in a similar context the native English speaker might be more likely to ask "where am I?" Instead, but that's what translators call a "version" as opposed to a "translation".
If your goal is to learn Japanese, learn the literal sense and usage, don't worry about what an English native might say in the same situation.
Yes, even if the thing you pointed to isn't physically near you. The "distance" used to determine whether to use ここ, そこ, or あそこ (and indeed, other KSAD words) can also be "cognitive" or "conceptual" distance; the idea/concept of the location is near you, i.e. on the map in your hand, even if the actual location isn't.
Alternatively, you can also think of it as "contextual" distance. Even if the person you asked is standing beside you holding the map as well, they would very likely say そこは or それは, because the topic of the location was generated by you (in your head). Of course, you are the only person "close" to the ideas in your head, so
- to you, the location is ここ;
- to the person you asked, it's そこ;
- and to a passing strange who happened to hear the conversation, it's あそこ.
Someone posted this link in another comment: http://www.japaneseprofessor.com/lessons/beginning/demonstratives-the-ko-so-a-do-series/
Haven't read it but it is explaining about:
これ, それ, あれ, どれ
ここ, そこ, あそこ, どこ
この, その, あの, どの
Are you in the app or in a browser? In the app all the words in the question are underlined and so you can tap them to see what they are. If the question is in English then you cannot tap "ここ" to see what it is, but you can tap "this place" and beneath it should say "ここ".