"Where is the bathtub?"
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.
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.
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.
Sorry but I still don't get what woukd be the difference between those sentences. I understand already the difference between the particles, but I would say it is 'Ga' in this one. Because when you ask WHERE you are in fact expecting the subject as the answer right? Can some one clarify this please ?
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.
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.
あります is a form of the verb base ある which means "to exist, to be (of an inanimate object)", while です is the polite form of だ, both are the copulative "be/is". Just like you say "where is (the) bathtub?" in english, you say "おふろ(bathtub)はどこ(where)です(is)が", and not "where be (the) bathtub?", or "where exists (the) bathtub?", as in "おふろ(bathtub)はどこ(where)あり(exist/be)ますか?".
The verb ある is unnecessary and awkward, you do not need to link it in the sentence, because です is the linking copulative, because copulatives' function is to link ;'D
So, "where is the bathtub?" Is "fudo wa doko desuka?" But a moment ago when I translated "where is the camera?," it would only accept "kamera wa doko ni arimasuka?" and marked me wrong for "kamera wa doko desuka?" Following that logic and the fact that a bathtub is inanimate, shouldn't it also be "fudo wa doko ni arimasuka?" Is this just a mistake on DuoLingo's part or is there something I missed in the teach-yourself-because-it's-not-in-the-tips lessons? ....help.