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  5. "Where is the bathtub?"

"Where is the bathtub?"


June 9, 2017



Can we get some better voice acting? When she say ふろ it sounds like ふじょ instead


The woman they hired has a non-standard accent. She also switches R/L with D sounds for no apparent reason mid-sentence. This particular accent has been driving me nuts for years, although fortunately she doesn't have the worst version of it.


I have heard a lot of native Japanese speakers and they often pronounce the consonant that we romanize as "r" in such a way that it sounds a lot like a "d".

The romanizations are misleading. The sound in ろ is not really an "r" or an "l" sound. It's a sound that is close in some respects to these sounds, but it also shares certain qualities in common with the consonant that we write as "d".

Similarly, the Japanese syllables that we romanize with "d" aren't exactly the same sound, like だ, it isn't the same as "da" in English. The Japanese "d" is a little heavier than the American "d"...a bit closer to how some dialects of Spanish pronounce "d", like, moving in the direction of the "th" sound in "the", but not quite as far.

In fast-spoken Japanese it is easy to distinguish sounds like だ/ら and ど/ろ because the position of the tongue is quite different, and the sound produced is quite different. However, if you haven't mastered these sounds and are instead pronouncing the Japanese "d" sounds as an American d, and hearing sounds and trying to force them into these categories mentally, you're probably sometimes going to hear the "r" sounds as a "d", because the American "d" sound lives somewhere between the Japanese "d" and "r" sounds, even if it may be slightly closer to the "d" sound.

I don't know if this makes sense? This stuff is subtle, but it's important to master. Japanese is a language where changing a single consonant usually changes the meaning of a word, so it's super important to articulate these things clearly if you are to be understood. Also, it's critical to mentally process these things like a native speaker, or else when people start speaking fast, you will mishear many words.


This is great, but the audio track pronounces FURO as FUYO in this exercise. First time I've ever heard it like that.

Another person has commented that it's a regional accent of some sort.


There are definitely some issues with the TTS audio, but this isn't one of them. Some speakers who are not familiar with the sound of Japanese aren't yet good at recognizing sounds that don't exist in their native language. As @cazort said above, the romanization of the sound ろ as "ro" is only an approximation of what the "r" sound is in Japanese, and it doesn't equate easily with the "r" sound in English. I can understand why you think it sounds like a "y" sound - some people think it sounds like "fudo," some like "fujo," and some like "fuyo." But really, it sounds like ろ, which isn't quite the same as "ro" in English, and it takes quite some time to train one's ear to understand.


of course the romanisations are misleading, we have the IPA for more accuracy.


The "d" you are hearing is a common way that many languages pronounce their r's. Even spanish does it at times. It's like if you think about rolling the r a tiny bit but only roll it once.


Can someone translate the purpose of each character in this phrase? Thanks ;)


おふろ = bath tub

は = topic particle

どこ = where

です = the copula (i.e. "is" )

か= question particle


Why do they have お before ふろ, Bryan?


お is an honorific prefix. Some words, like ちゃ=茶=tea always or almost always use it. But in a case of a word like ふろ=風呂= bathtub, it is used because you're referring to the other person's bathtub, rather than your own.

Because of the convention of using humbling speech to refer to yourself and things associated with you, and honorific speech to refer to things associated with others, Japanese frequently uses these honorifics to communicate which of something you are referring to, if the context doesn't make it completely clear.

So like, you can think of "お風呂" as communicating "your bathtub", through the use of an honorific or respectful prefix attached to it.

With time you'll get a sense of which types of words people use honorifics to refer to and when. In general, if you're in someone's home and referring to their possessions or fixtures in their home though, it's common to do so.


I am sooo confused. When I tried to write "Where is the camera" and typed " カメラはどこですか?" it said it was wrong, and that I should've used arimasuka. Ok. Understood, Duo. But this time, I used arimasuka and it says I should've used desuka. I am confused. Can any of you masters of the japanese language shed some light on this problem of mine?


"Where is the camera?", it means in Japanese is "カメラはどこですか?" The meaning of this sentence is "Where do you keep the camera?" or "Where is place what the camera exist?". It asks the place where the camera is kept or existed. "ありますか?" is a polite form which is based on "ある" and "ありますか?" has a meaning to ask the place or to ask something what something is there or not. Therefore, if you put "ありますか?", it means asking the place or asking what you have or think. EX1) "トイレはありますか?": You are asking that is there any toilet here or not. But anyone might be not answerd the specific place. Just answer "Yes I have" or "No I do not have". EX2)"しつもんはありますか?": You are asking the questions to the people whom talking with you at the moment.

If you said "カメラはありますか?", it means "Is there any cameras here?", And if you said this at camera shop, it means "Do you have any cameras here?".

If you ask that カメラは"どこに"ありますか?, this means you ask the specific place where the camera is kept, existed or placed.

I hope this would be helped you.


Can you please explain it to me that when can we use あり?


Arimasu means 'to exist' and is used for inanimate objects only.


But this is one, so is ありますapplicable here then?


Yes. It'd mean "there's a bathtub". o3o


The verb ある means 'to be.' Its polite form becomes あります. Use it when you're saying 'something is here' instead of describing what something is.

車 (くるま) = car 車あります。There is a car. 車です。It is a car.

ある is only used to describe inanimate things. To describe beings, use いる instead, whose polite form is います.

スミスさんはいます。Mr. Smith is here. スミスさんです。He is/I am Mr. Smith.


Thanks bryan, you confirmed my suspicions that it was ofuro not furo.


It's both. There are a lot of words that typically take the honorific お, even though they don't have to -- [お]ふろ, [お]水 (みず, water), [お]茶(ちゃ, tea), etc.


For some reason it didn't give me an option for "おふろ" but for just "ふろ". Is the お just an honorific in this case?


Would it be wrong to use に instead of は here?


yes, because -ni is a marker of location/time/direction/state/purpose/etc., which makes it comparable to "to" and "from", so in this case, you are generally speaking about where the bathtub is, if there is a bathtub, so "as for the bathtub, where is?" is right, and "to the bathtub, where is"/"from the bathtub, where is?" is kind of questionable as a sentence, as the "Where" interrogative implies a THING, not a direction/location/time/etc.

That's my reasoning :P not a pro tho.


Why is it "ofuro wa doko desu ka" rather than " doko ofuro wa desu ka"? Why does doko go after bathtub?


The particle "wa" is the topic marker. It immediately follows the noun that represents the topic of the sentence. In this case, the topic is the bathtub. You can think of the opening part of the sentence as meaning, "As for the bathtub, ..." This sort of opening is a common pattern in Japanese sentences.

After that opening, having established the topic, the sentence proceeds to the main point, which might be to state some fact about the bathtub or to ask some question about it.

In this case, the sentence goes on to ask a question about the bathtub. The question is, "Doko desu ka?" That means, "Where is it?" This can be a complete sentence in itself, if the context makes it clear what you are asking about. But in this case, the speaker has tacked on the opening part to establish that context.

I hope this makes the structure of the sentence clearer.


Usually you wouldn't say は and then です。There's usually an adjective in between. どこ in this case is used to describe the bath. お風呂はどこですか -> (lit.) (The) bath is where? どこお風呂はですか -> Where bath is? According to my understanding, anyway.


Is it correct if I use "お風呂はどこにありますか?” ?


Yes. I think the sounds are natural Japanese.


Can't we just say おふろはどこ?


Yes, but only in casual speech.


I love the kanji for bathtub - 風呂 - It looks like 'wind bubbles' :)


Why is it wrong to use the Kanji here, but using the hiragana that is literally the same thing correct?


「お風呂はどこですか」is the recommended "best" answer listed at the top of this page. If it didn't accept that you may have had a typo somewhere you missed.


What's the difference between どこですか and どこにありますか?

Both are valid answers here, but I'd like to know what is added from using the "there is" in the question


What is the diffrence between "ofurowadokodeska" and "furowadokodeska"? Why do we add "o"?


Okay so if カメラ is an inanimate thing that can be moved we use にありますか but why cant we move a bathtub? I mean it got there in the first place somehow. I know, its just a petty problem I have but I think にありますか could also be used for bathtub. Change my mind


I have a couple of questions. you can say camera wa doko des ka? But you have to say O furo wa doko des ka? What's the rule about prepending the "O"? On a previous question, the correct answer was "O furo wa doko a re mas ka?" Pardon me if I got this wrong, but if you speak Japanese then you probably know where I'm going. What's the difference between the two versions?


The お (and ご) prefix is an honorific, which can be used to show respect towards a thing/individual (名前 my name, お名前 your name) as well as for word beautification. There isn't a strict pattern as to when the honorific is used but some words can't have them (like loan words) and some words you will rarely see without them (お茶 tea、ご飯 rice). It is best to learn the honorific as part of the word itself and only use it on words where you've seen it used before.
It is most often used for things that must be prepared in some way or has some cultural value. (水 is water but お水 is used for clean drinkable water)
There is a big bathing culture in Japan; traditionally bathing was done at temples as a way to cleanse the spirit as well as the body. When home bathing was introduced it was something that only the noble elite could afford. For this word rooted in religious tradition and viewed as a commodity, it naturally received an honorific.

When you want to ask about the location of something both どこですか and どこにありますか can be used mostly interchangeably

あります is an existence verb,
どこにありますか more literally says something like "in what location does (subject) exist?"
You're referring to something existing at an unknown place,

です is used to refer to a state of something, equating one thing with another
どこですか is a more literal "(subject) = what place?"
You're referring to something being the unknown place

どこにありますか is the more 'proper' way to say it, you would be more likely to use in a more formal setting, with どこですか being a more colloquial version, though also still polite and fine to use in most polite settings.

お風呂はどこにありますか - Where is the bathtub (At what location does the bathtub exist)
お風呂はどこですか - Where is the bathtub (What location is the bathtub)


Thank you. You explained it very clearly.


it could be "お風呂はどこにありますか"?


Why どこ instead of あり?


どこ is the word "where"

あり is the stem of the verb ある "exist" (inanimate) used to conjugate to the polite ~masu form あります "exist" (polite)

The use of どこ is unrelated here
どこですか and どこにありますか are equally valid ways of asking "where is (something)?"
どこですか uses です which is used for equating one thing with another. "(It) = Where?"

どこにありますか uses the location particle に to say "Where" as in "At what location" and then the existence verb あります "Exist", so "At what location does (it) exist?"

Literally it is like asking where something is vs where something is located. They are functionally the same.
どこ as the question word "where" is used in both.

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