"I eat lunch at the cafeteria."
This is part of Keigo, that is, polite speech. お is pre-pended to some nouns as a show of respect to your listeners. https://www.wasabi-jpn.com/japanese-lessons/the-honorific-form-the-humble-form-and-the-polite-form/
Yeah, I'd say that's a good mindset to have in general.
A comment section like this is only really as good as the commenters that use it (in terms of providing useful information, at least). If you don't want to wait forever for an answer from here, you should be proactive and find one elsewhere.
If you're really cool, you can then come back and share what you've learned. That way other learners can get quicker access to the knowledge and the whole communtity prospers.
(I'm also OK with the occasional joke or meme, sorry mods)
one thing i dislike about learning human languages is 'custom & tradition' things that don't have consistency even if you drill into their originations. to he honest, this is the type of thing that gives as culture/language/people character and is thus important and i interesting... just a pain in the ass to learn.
i think it is awesome that japan has a 'japanese language council' and periodically makes changes to the official language. such as in 1946 when a list, tōyō kanji, was published of 'old' kanji that were to be depricated in an attempt to make written language more accessible to those who didn't spend a lifetime studying it. pronunciation of the hiragana was standardized, too, although this didn't go as smoothly.
for example, は is pronounced 'ha' when it's part of a word, but 'wa' as a particle. this was part of the 1946 language reform so (i hope i get this right) こんにちは, and should be こんにちわ, right? if the word was the full 5 characters, yes... but the end 'wa' is written は because it is a particle! the word, こんにち is an old japanese word meaning ”today”, ax was used as the start of common greetings like こんにちはごきげんいかがですか。”as for today, how are you?”... and was eventually shortened to just こんにちは, much like how certain american greetings (especially the vernacular ones) have changed over the years as well.
it appears that the pronunciation of the name of the country was changed from ”nippon” to ”nihon” in most cases (but not all) even though it remains written 日本. i guess in effect, the pronunciation of the country's name is a bit of an oral tradition, which is pretty interesting to me.
anyhoo, thank you for reading :)
No, に is usually only used to mark locatiin of action for certain movement verbs like 'to go' 'to come' 'to return to' etc. You COULD use に but it sounds weird to a native and more implies 'I ate in, or somewhere in the area of the chow hall' i mean, if you're unsure of where you ate...?