Translation:Who is this person over here?
I've only heard the word hito used to mean person, not kata... live and learn. Depending on who you are talking to - their rank (at work or as teacher etc.) and gender - people use different words to address others, but don't know if that rule goes for just referring to one as a person. And it all might be less in use in this generation.
@Shortokan says correctly and kawaii video of KATA (形 or 型, but not 方), as proof it is right !
Kata (Japanese: 形, or more traditionally, 型; lit. "form") is a Japanese word describing detailed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Karate kata are executed as a specified series of a variety of moves, with stepping and turning, while attempting to maintain perfect form.
[my ballet professor as a child, taught us first 5 KATA and small dragon of Shaolin]
full of surprises and this kanji 形 we know from grammar 'forms', but can now also apply it to the routines we see frequently in kara-te.
I think shortokan's contribution on this deserves more credit.
but in grammar, for example present tense (present form) 現在形 is げんざいけい and not 'kata'
Situation 1: You are with someone(A) you know. There is a person(B) whom you don't know with A, next to A, in front of you. You ask A if A knew B. You met B for the first time. Imagine at a party. This phrase is not familiar for most Japanese. And I hear this phrase on movies and TV shows from overseas. Then when we want/need to know who B is, as you are a receptionist or a secretary or whatever, we would say 「（しつれい です が、）どちら さま です か」. "Excuse me, but may I have your name?". Situation 2: You are with A. You see B over there, far enough that B does not hear you talk. You saw that A was with B before. You think B must be a A's friend. So you ask A 「あの かた は どなた です か」"Who is that person (over there)?」. Situation 3: You are with A. You are talking about a party or meeting. B is not here. You remember that A was with B. They looked they knew each other. So you ask A 「あの かた は どなた です か」. "Who is that person (whom you were with at that time)?" In this case あの indicates the time was far from now, not place.
こちら literally refers to a direction so "Who is this person here?" should be an acceptable translation, since you will likely be indicating a direction when asking a question.
How else will you teach users to distinguish between そちらの方 and あちらの方 unless you specifically highlight the directional/placement aspect of this phrase?
You can use この of course, it is just less polite. Most of the things you learn on duolingo will be more polite than what you hear during everyday life, especially if you know the people you talk too. Even when teaching Japanese, the professor will give これ/この as something polite. Let's say it's neutral Japanese when こちら is really polite.
I was taught in many cases it's more polite to not be direct and point to the person being introduced, even if specifically introducing them to just one other person. Instead, a general direction word is used like こちら<sub>~</sub>... Even if the person is right there with you both. Also, remember that introductions are polite situations.... Even if both people are your friends, they haven't met yet.
Okay, the man's voice is saying "hou" (ほう) but the woman's voice is saying "kata" (かた). "Kata" would be "person", whereas "hou" would not, but you could make the case that "kochira" would be "person" even so. With hou it would be a construction meaning this person as opposed to the one (over) there, but AFAIK there is no such construction using kata. And it's all vague anyhow because it's keigo, super polite speech. I heard from someone that a more natural-sounding way to say it would be, "こちらのほうのかたはどなたですか？"
Everyone's talking about hou and kata and here I am seeing the a- ko- so- do- pattern again. (kore, sore, are, dore/koko, soko, asoko, doko/kono, sono, ano/etc.) So... "Anata" is "you" (person who is away from me) and donata is who (which person). Do "konata" and "sonata" (not the style of music) also exist?
Indeed they do. こなた is an "elegant" way to say こちら and そなた substitutes for both そちら and あなた meaning "you." The curious thing is that the こなた, そなた, あなた series from which あなた meaning "you" must derive are pronounced with the first syllable (mora) high in pitch. Modern あなた = "you" has the な in upper pitch.
Ahh, I see! So whether it's polite or not depends on the pitch accent. Man, that's a good subtlety to know. And it's really interesting seeing how the Japanese culture of being indirect really follows in these words indicating people while also indicating general direction. Like, the sort of "not to be too particular but you know the person I mean - the one over there." Even to the point of sonata meaning both. This has been really interesting! Thanks!
No, 方 means person too (and I know that from my Japanese girlfriend). But basically, it's used in a really different manner with a verb : 読み方 "the way to read". Even for Japanese people it's a little bit weird that the same kanji means something totally different, but that is like that. :)