Translation:Where is that place?
This is an English issue I think. "Where is there" sounds grammatically incorrect to me (a native English speaker), probably because "there" is only used as a location pronoun for the subject, whereas the object pronoun would be "that (place)". I could be wrong, not a grammar expert.
You're probably better off thinking of そこ as meaning "that place" (and あそこ as "that place over there" and ここ as "this place") to avoid confusion in the future. It's also easier to generalize to the other KSAD words; これ = "this thing", それ = "that thing", あれ = "that thing over there"; こんな = "this kind of", そんな = "that kind of", あんな = "that (over there) kind of", etc.
That's definitely a plausible situation to use the Japanese sentence in too, and in that case, it makes sense in English.
Context is important, and I think you're purposefully using incorrect (English) grammar to highlight the unhelpfulness of someone's declaration of "I'm here".
That then is why they offer the language using different bases, they needed to assume you are a fluent speaker of the base language. Doesn't help though if they don't offer it in your native tongue.
Though to be fair, your comment does seem fine, but can't gauge your fluency by a small comment.
Yeah, I had the same problem. I am a native English speaker. I would naturally say; "Where is that?" but I had a feeling that might be rejected so I said "where is there" I didn't think of wording it as "that place" I think I am going to test "Where is that" when it comes back around.
I rather want duolingo to recognize this and allow more answers as possible since there is no such thing as a literal translation. As long as I get the general meaning right, it should be accepted. Seems like me reporting my answer as it should be accepted did not help here.
You don't know if there was a place or some other kind of location. Maybe the speaker does not even know and asked because the listener talked about it without telling clearly...
So depending on the context, "there" could be a place, then you can translate it with "that place", but it could also be something entirely different. Or even something yet unknown to the speaker.
So the problem with "that place" is that dulingo would also have to accept "that street", "that corner", "that house", "that lake" and whatever, when you agree that "inventing things" is possible. Won't work, right? So better start accepting the translation that does not invent things.
Like I said, I agree with you in part; I, too, want Duo to recognize more possible answers, but be aware that the course is still in beta. I'm sure the course developers have a lot of suggestions to comb through, so it's not like your reporting of it did not help, it just hasn't yet.
That said, Duo is just a learning program for English speakers. You might say that "I go school" and "Are you student" convey the general meaning, but I hope we can all agree that native English speakers (whom this course is ostensibly made for) would instantly recognize those as incorrect sentences. For that matter, how does one know if you meant "I go to school" or "I go from school"? Or "Are you a student" or "Are you my student"? When it comes to learning, it's better to be absolutely sure that both sides mean the same thing, and all Duo has to judge your understanding of the Japanese with is what you input, so if you put in incorrect English, like "where is there", it can't say whether you interpreted the Japanese correctly or not.
The problem with "that place" you seem to have doesn't feel like a problem to me at all. I don't think I can come up with a "kind of location" that isn't also a place; place and location are synonymous.
And while I never said that Duo should accept "that place" (I said that "you're better off thinking of そこ as "that place"", as a learning tool rather than as a translation), accepting "that place" doesn't necessitate having to accept "that street", "that corner" or anything else. All the examples you gave are also "places", so "place" is a broad category that can apply to all the possible things そこ could be referring to.
Unfortunately, inventing things is part and parcel when it comes to translating JP>EN, but that doesn't mean that you can add anything you like. It means understanding how Japanese is used and what is being conveyed through context. It's impossible to get through even the Introduction lessons in this course without "inventing things". Or are you saying Duo should only accept "Am John" for ジョンです and not "I am John" or "He is John"? "Context" isn't some magic thing that allows you to say そこ if you're not referring to a place; it helps you decide whether "I am John" or "He is John" is more appropriate.
It's not quite as simple as は for things, に for places. に is often used with places because it is a particle which indicates direction and location. You can kind of think of it as "to" or "at/in".
In another question, あそこにあります is literally "at over there, (it) exists" which becomes "It is over there".
Here, あそこはどこですか is literally "as for over there, where is ?" which becomes "Where is that (place)". Using に is strange here, because the verb です doesn't indicate movement, so the "to" translation of に doesn't work.
Using the "at/in" translation is weird too; "at/in over there, where is (it)?" In Japanese, you would have say あそこのどこですか (literally "of over there, where is it?") to mean "where, in that area over there, is it?"
Not sure about お but there is a sentance that reads "あそこはどこですか".
I'm pretty sure そこ means "that place there" while あそこ means "that place over there". It just differentiates the distance from the person to whom your speaking.
There is also the word ここ which means "this place here"
Jeremy is correct. With all the phrases describing location, you will have 3 different choices. Each will depend on where the subject being talked about is in relation to the person you are speaking to and yourself. So for these, ここ is for something that is close to you. そこ would be for something that is not so close to you, but near the listener or in generally close proximity, and あそこ is for something that is not close to either. Think of them as "here", "there", and "over there" respectively.
Usually none. It is just that in English, you always have to qualify “room” with an article that reflects its relation to the context of the conversation, whereas in Japanese (and in Russian, BTW) you don't have articles at all, and if you want to stress that relation, you need to use a demostrative pronoun. I.e., it would be perfectly all right to translate あのへや as “the room” given an appropriate context.
I believe the context for this sentence implies two possibilities. i.e,
- the person asking the question is doing so over the phone (where the receiver of the question is already at the location physically) - hence そこ。 or,
- This sentence is incorrect and it should be あそこ because that implies the location is by neither of the speakers, and why else would そこ be used in this context :)
let me know if I'm wrong please! (""(O.o)/"")
"soko" also means there, and it even says it in Duolingo. That being said, why will it not let me say "where is there?" (even though I do believe it sounds a bit crude), and only lets me say "where is that?"? I understand that it also means "that place", but why is that one preferred then?
It would still be grammatically correct, because you can omit just about anything in Japanese (with the exception of the verb or copula, which can only be omitted in casual speech); this is especially true of the topic, which is not in any grammatical relationship with anything else in the sentence.
However, it might or might not mean the same, depending on the context. The difference between including あそこは and omitting it is that between «Where is that [which we were talking about]?» and «Where is that [which is implicitly understood]?». That is, not much, but it's context-dependent.
Note that pronouns like あそか can (in Japanese as in English) refer to things both by their physical proximity and by their logical involvement in conversation (anaphora).
Someone could be talking about their travels and they stopped over at an airport whose name you're unfamiliar with: そこはどこですか？
You could be getting in a taxi in Japan and mess up saying the name of your hotel: そこはどこですか？
Your friend could send you a picture out of the blue of a park or a beach they're currently visiting: そこはどこですか？
You could be lost in Japan, frantically trying to figure out where you are on the tiny guide map you got at the tourist information centre because your phone died from all the pictures you've been taking, when you see a big shrine down the road and decide to use it to get your bearings, but you can't find it on your map, so you ask someone standing by the entrance: そこはどこですか？
Not necessarily as silly as you might think. Words like ここ/そこ/あそこ, which are differentiated based on the distance from the speaker/listener, can be based on physical distance or cognitive distance.
Physical distance is pretty cut and dry; it's what everyone tends to think of first with these words.
On the other hand, cognitive distance is harder to pin down because it relies even more heavily on context. You can think of it as depending on the "distance" between the concept of the location and who introduced it into the conversation.
In the following examples, assume "you" are the speaker and "your friend" is the listener.
- ここ ("near" the speaker): you are reading a magazine, and see a page advertising some luscious rainforest. It doesn't specify where "Daintree" is, so you ask your friend - ここは"Daintree"だって。ここはどこですか？= "It says this is "Daintree". Where is this place?"
- そこ ("near" the listener): your friend tells you they found a really interesting place to go mountain biking and shows you a picture their friend sent them. You want to go too, so you ask - へぇ、そこはどこですか？= "Woah, where is that place?"
- あそこ ("far" from both): you and your friend are watching a Japanese variety show and they show a segment with some beautiful beaches. You want to look up flights to get there, but you forgot the name of the place, so you ask your friend - さっきのビーチ、あそこはどこでしたっけ？= "Those beaches from before, where did they say they were again?"