"There is one table."
Could be wrong but I think:
- 'arimasu' is used to say something exists in general, like 'There is one table'
- 'desu' is used to identify something, like 'It's six tables'
A better example would be (apologies for poor grammar):
- 'Tanaka arimasu' would be 'There is (a) Tanaka'
- 'Tanaka desu' would be '(I) am Tanaka'
Neither of them mean "I am Tanaka", but a good way to think about the difference is to consider what question would be asked to get は or が.
For ～は, people often translate it to "As for ～" or "When it comes to ～". So, to get the answer 田中はいます, the focus should be on Tanaka.
- 田中はどこですか？もう来ていますか？ (もうきていますか？) = "Where is Tanaka? Has (s)he already come?"
- はい、田中はいます。 = "Yes, Tanaka is here."
On the other hand, が typically indicates the subject, or the thing that does the verb.
- 会社には誰かがいますか？ (かいしゃにはだれかがいますか？) = "Is there anybody/somebody at the office?"
- はい、田中がいます。 = "Yes, Tanaka is there."
It also depends on whether the information that is provided is non exclusive or exclusive. For example: In Japan, you will say "日本 は はなせます。" because knowing Japanese is not exclusive to you. Many around you know it. However, in a group of say foreign people, you will say "日本 が はなせます。" as now knowing Japanese is exclusive to you.
If you haven't learned more specific counters for inanimate objects, you can get away with just 一つ、二つ、etc., but there are plenty more different counters. For example:
- 本 (ほん) for long, thin/cylindrical objects
- 個 (こ) for small, typically round objects
- 枚 (まい) for flat objects etc.
Correct me, if I'm wrong, but here are my thoughts: は is a topic marker, whereas が is a subject marker. There is no grammatical equivalent in english for は. I recommend you to read the short text about the difference here http://nihonshock.com/2010/02/particles-the-difference-between-wa-and-ga/ But in short, が makes it clear, that you are refering to the amount of specifically tables, of which existence you ask. I think は could also be used, if the context (the conversation) is unmistakeably about the tables. If I could get a feedback from someone certain on this, that would be great.
As far as I'm aware, the difference is similar to the way we differentiate "desk" and "table" in English. In general, a desk (机, つくえ) is a surface that you do work at, like a writing desk or a office desk, whereas a table (テーブル) is a surface that you have food or drink at, such as a coffee table or a dining table.
It's redundant to have その and a counter. In English, it would sound like "That one table is one table."
If you said そういう instead of その, it would work, though it would mean something different.
- テーブルが一つあります = There is one table.
- そういうテーブルが一つあります = There is one of that kind of table.
They are subtly different. If you put が after 一つ, you are implicitly putting a は after テーブル as well. Commonly, は is left out when speaking or replaced with a 、 in writing.
But, by my understanding, marking out テーブル as the topic shifts the focus of the sentence to the fact that there is one table, rather than on there being one table.
There's no such thing as an "exact English equivalent"; translations are always approximations to varying degrees. The "best" translation also depends a lot on non-verbal cues, such as context, emphasis, pause, intonation, etc. so it's impossible for someone to give you the best translation without a lot more information.
Possibly, but it's probably more a result of your listening environment changing than the recording changing.
Japanese "r"s are notoriously difficult for English speaker to pronounce, and even harder to explain using just text. The best way I've heard to think of it is that the Japanese "r" is a blend of the English "r", "l" and "d", and the ratio of each depends on the sounds around the "r" and the person's accent. Also, depending on what language(s) you're used to hearing, your ears might be more attuned to one or more of the different aspects of the Japanese "r".