Translation:What time is it?
No, it's used to indicate a long vowel sound, and though it's typically used in katakana words, it's acceptable with hiragana in casual settings.
Here, the lengthening of the "a" in "cha" is a commonly used trick in Japanese to mimic "r" sounds at the end of words (like "adventure"). It sounds reasonably close to my Australian ears, but might not be so convincing to Americans.
This is amazing how it's literally "what time is it" but in a lot of other languages it's like "which is the current hour" or "how much of the time do we have now" or something completely different
Japanese often put a word "now" in this sentence: "今は何時ですか," where "今" is pronounced as "いま." And, in colloquial situation, they usually drop the particle は so it's another common phrase: "今何時ですか" (What time is it now?)
Can we say Ji wa nan desu ka?
In short, no.
On its own, 時 is usually pronounced toki, but even if you were to use 時間 (jikan, "period" or "time"), saying 「時間は何ですか」 is more akin to asking "what is time, as a concept?"
とき is one of the possible pronunciations (kun'yomi) of 時, and is used to describe time in a general sense (à la space-time) or as an occasion/instance (食べる時 = "when I eat", lit. "eating time").
In this case, you can think of 時 (pronounced じ) as meaning "hour", so the question is asking "what hour (of the day) is it?"
時間 means "hours" as a period of time.
If you were to ask 何時間ですか, it means "how many hours is it" or in other words, "how long will it be".
is it possible to remove the でし in this sentence? I know it makes it non-polite but when you're talking to your friends and stuff you don't want it to be too polite because that's just plain awkward.
Could this also be "What hour is it?" or would that be translated differently in Japanese?
Arguably, "what hour is it?" would be recognized by most native English speakers as an old-timey way to say "what time is it?", so I would almost say it could be acceptable (though one could also argue that it's only appropriate if the Japanese sentence had that old-timey feel too, like 何時でござるじゃろう？)
However, if you meant "what hour" of a particular event (e.g. "the third hour of someone's boring speech"), you would have to say 何時間目【なんじかんめ】instead, because that's how Japanese ordinal numbers work.
Why The Heck Did I Only Learn This Now? Ive Done This Lesson As A Whole Once And Never Learned It, Ive Done Strenthening Things For This Lesson Every Day And After A 26 Day Streak It Pops Up??