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With the beginnings being the same, the relative distance between the object/speaker/listener is kept the same. There's a set of words in Japanese known as KSAD series (the D comes from the interrogative, e.g. どれ or どの = "which").
As for the difference between れ and の endings here, the れ group are all pronouns, which means that they replace the word for the object they are referring to. For example"
- A: Your child is awfully hairy.
- B: Um, that (それ) is my dog.
- A: Oh. squints
On the other hand, the の group are modifiers, meaning they give additional context to the object they are attached to. For example:
- A: This pillow (このまくら) isn't very comfortable.
- B: Um, that's my dog again.
- A: Oh. squints
Just to be clear, this doesn't apply for any word that ends in れ or の, only the KSAD ones (これ, それ, あれ, どれ, and この, その, あの, どの).
It depends. There are a lot of different words in Japanese, which English speakers might lump together as "bathroom". I'll try to explain a couple (though I'm not a native Japanese speaker, so actual usage might be different):
・トイレ (loan word from "toilet") a room with a toilet
・お風呂 (o-furo) literally "bath", usually meaning "bath tub" but can also refer to a room where one takes a bath
・洗面所 (senmenjo) literally "wash face place", usually refers to a room/area containing a sink for washing your face/brushing your teeth
・お手洗い (o-te arai) literally "your hands wash", usually refers to a room where one goes to the toilet, but also has facilities to wash your hands when you're done
Haha that does make it confusing f(^_^; I think you can get away with calling it 洗面所 or バスルーム, depending on which is more applicable to what you're talking about.
In Japan, baths and showers are generally enclosed in their own little room, separating it from the sink. I assume this is to help avoid flooding and minimizing the space you need to have able to drain. As such, it's not really that the sink has its own separate room, it's just in a separate area from the bath/shower, unlike most Western bathrooms.
In my apartment in Japan, the sink was just outside the room with my bathtub and shower, right next to my washing machine. This wasn't an enclosed room, but there was a curtain you could draw to separate it from the short hallway leading to my kitchen.
These letters look more like katakana which from what I read in a japanese phrasebook and dictionary is that katakana is another form of Japanese letters used for pronuncing words adapted from other languages and foreign names. Hiragana is used for regular japanese words. Kanji are the chinese(mandarin) adapted letters.