1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "ここはどこですか?"


Translation:Where is this place?

June 6, 2017



Wait, WHAT? ????


It's basically "Where is here" ? As in you're lost and don't know where you are.


Yeah, this one required a bit of inference to go from what's literally asked to what is meant.


So... Does noone say「私はどこですか?」


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.


Maybe where are we ?


That might actually work. I think I've heard ぼくたちはどこですか(boku tachi wa doko desu ka) in an anime before.

  • 1382

I agree with you m.shazly, "where are we?" should be marked as a valid answer. It is much more natural than saying "where is this place?"! Though both are correct.


"Where are we?" was an accepted answer for me


Ah shiet. Where is me again? MOMM have you seen my body? Don't tell me you accidentally through it away again >.


I think if you said ここはどこですか to a Japanese person, they might ask you if you are lost.


I think thats the intent of this phrase yeah


Maybe this sentence can be used when you're pointing to a place you want to go on the map, or a place where you currently are and don't know... but I'm not sure :-)


That's right!


"Where is here?" is like saying "What is this place?". So it is like WHERE AM I?


Yeah, you'd ask it if you were lost, I guess


i answered "what is this place" and it said wrong answer :/


I would argue that "where am I" and "what is this place" have distinctly different usages in English. For a learning exercise too, allowing "what" as a translation of どこ seems quite confusion-inducing, so that's probably why Duo doesn't allow it.


Yeah. That is why English is not uncommon for this language. Just remember that their culture is different than ours. So when learning a new language, put aside what sounds better or fits better. And then you'll start thinking like a native person.


The problem is in your English. It wouldn't be "what is this place," it would be "where is this place?"


Context. Maybe he said that while taking off his blindfold and asked his best man A-"What is this place" B-"A circus themed brothel"


Yeah this one tripped me up too, its just how they say it in Japanese like Adrian mentioned.


That's how we (Brazilians) would say, too


Verdade, mas "onde estou?" é bem mais comum que "onde é aqui?" ou "aqui é onde?". Eu fiquei uma meia hora tentando entender isso em japonês, hehe.


Acho que eu diria "Que lugar é este?"


eu diria "onde eu tô?" que é o msm q "where am I?"...


Será que eu tô em alogoinha!?


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


"Where is here" doesn't really make sense in English. You'd say "what is this place?" or "where am I?". Since doko means "where", "where am I?" makes the most sense.


this is my exact reaction right now


That makes no sense. Could someone please break this down for me so I know where a word starts and where it ends and what each word means?


ここ - here は - topic particle どこ - where です - is か - question marker

So its "here where is?" but that sounds awkward when directly translated, hence "where am i?"


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:



So ここわどこですか in my mind is ここ (Here) わどこ (is where) ですか (?) So then I thought what would be the correct way to ask that. Which would be (Where am I?) :)


You commited a mistake. It is 「ここ は どこ です か」 NOT  「ここ わ 。。。」


Also, the words break up like this in romaji. "Koko wa doko desu ka?" ここ わ どこ です か?


It's not わ, it should be は


は is pronounced as 'ha' if it is located at the beginning of a word, and is pronounced as 'wa' if it is in the middle or the end of a word (used as particle). Yet, わ is pronounced as 'wa' everytime, and it is not a particle. So if you are saying "I am Hatori": わたし は はとり です or watashi WA Hatori desu.


The pronunciation of は changes ONLY when it is being used as a particle (where it is pronounced wa), otherwise it's always ha no matter where in the word it is. Ex:

・ごはん (="rice") middle of the word, pronounced 'goHAn'

・母 (はは ="mother") start and end of the word, pronounced 'HAHA'


What about こにちは?


It's「こんにちは」(mind the extra ‘n’) and it literally means “as for today…(it's good)”.「は」here still represents the topic particle, this is why it's pronounced /wa/.


So this is what I say when I wake up after a night of hard-drinking?


Literally isn't it "Where is here?" Or "Where is this?" I wouldn't have known the context if it wasn't for the word choices they gave.


Yes, the literal translation is "Where is here?" but that obviously sounds awkward in English hence the "Where am I?" it means the same thing ^^


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?


Inferences and literal translations are different things. I expect to use the literal translations and have it as a side note for inferences.


Me too Duolingo


Where am I? Who am I?! What year is this?!?


I'll do you one better, WHY am I!?


here we go again, I'm lost, duolingo


Could you say "watashi wa doko desu ka?" That translates to where am i, doesnt it?


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.


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.


Could I say ここがどこですか instead ofにわはあそこですか ?


Umm, no, those two sentences are not at all interchangeable.

ここ(not が)どこですか is an open question because the answer can be any location. But にわはあそこですか is a closed/confirmative question, because the answer is only either yes or no.


Wouldn't it be better to traslate: "Where am I?" Obviously explaining the literal meaning... But for the translation I think it would make more sense than "where is this place", using "here"! "Where is here?" ??!?!?!?

Ugh... So strange...


To me "where is this place" sounds weird... It is a literal translation. When I repeat that question in japanese my mind registers "what is this place?" but that is not a big deal... :)


So many ways this could be interpreted that you are almost guaranteed to get it wrong.


Could you translate as "Where am I?"



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.


Can we use this for getting references? I mean, if someone ask for a place and says "ここはどこですか" pointing something in a map, it will be correct?


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.


Why, why you change the format??? All of my lessons are screwed and the hint button doesn't shows up!!!!


Where is this place only makes sense grammatically if you are asking for directions to somewhere. You would not say that if you wanted to know where you were at that precise moment.


So. Where is here? Is wrong... :(


Should what is this place be accepted too?


I would argue that "where am I" and "what is this place" have distinctly different usages in English. For a learning exercise too, allowing "what" as a translation of どこ seems quite confusion-inducing, so that's probably why Duo doesn't allow it.


I don't think any English speaking person would say "Where is this place?"

I surely don't. "Where am I?" would be how I would ask.


I put the right anwer in and told me I was wrong, I look at the anwer and it was the exact same as mine. Is there somthing wrong.


Why "where we are?" is wrong?


"Where we are?" is incorrect English; the word order is off.


maybe better translation is 'what's this place? '


どこ is 'where', 何 is 'what' (nan[i]).

'what is this place / what is here' would be ここは何ですか

"what an english speaker might say in the same circumstance" is a 'version', not a 'translation'. Duo wants you to learn that どこ is 'where'.


It must be... Kore wa doku desuka which means where is this...

Koko wa doku means where is here that doesn't make any sense


No, it's most assuredly not これはどこですか。"where is this [thing near me]" is not at all the same question.

Think of it like you're a tourist holding a map.

"where is this place [near me]?" Is effectively asking your interlocutor "where am I?".


The beginning of an isekai anime


I would say この場所を探しています。If you have a map or a picture of the place, that would be the better thing to say. It's more polite anyway.


The Duo translation is now "Where is this place?" 06.08.20


ここは, here, a particular place/location どこ, where at, exactly. ですか, is it, questioning.

i got it wrong going straight text book, but my instincts were telling me other wise.


This is what I should be saying if I landed in another world like an anime protagonist!


Why is it ここは instead of ここに?


I think because it is the topic of the sentence rather than a destination or similar.


Where is the place?


"The place" is incorrect because ここ specifically refers "a place near the speaker". In English, that usually translates to "here" or "this place".


"Where is there?" Would be right as well, right?


No, but "where is here?" would be the literal translation I think.


No, that would be あそこなどこですか?

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.