"そこはどこですか?"

Translation:Where is that place?

6/14/2017, 2:51:46 AM

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AaronWelsh1

For my answer, I put "where is there," and I got it wrong, and was corrected to "where is that." I though そこ was there and その was that.

9/2/2017, 2:30:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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 othe objecr 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.

9/6/2017, 6:33:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CindyRebec4

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I agree though, we probably wouldn't say that as a native English sentence :) Guess this is just what happens when we're trying to translate little partial sentences without any real context.

11/4/2017, 3:53:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Arctic_Line

Well, I would say "Where is there" sarcastically when someone says "I'm here" when I don't know where they are. Since そこ is used, I get the feeling of that situation here.

11/26/2018, 5:57:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronWelsh1

This is exactly how I read it.

11/26/2018, 9:58:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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".

11/26/2018, 8:47:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LilietB

I'm a non native speaker and sometimes it irks me that Duolingo seems to judge me for my grasp of English as much as for my grasp of the language I'm learning... but also, I do understand why they do that -_-

10/8/2018, 8:23:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/thesnowymeadows

If i remember right, そこ is used for places while その is used for things.

10/14/2018, 11:25:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/deeredman1

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.

11/12/2018, 2:04:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/deeredman1

It worked...

11/12/2018, 2:10:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/FAlter5

Same here, and I cannot accept "that" since "that" alone does not refer to a location, and even less "that place" because it wasn't その場所はどこですか I know it sounds terrible but "Where is there" is the closest translation I can think of without inventing things that were not said.

12/8/2017, 6:29:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

I can sympathize with your rationale, but if you're trying to translate Japanese to English without inventing things that were not said, you're going to have a bad time. Japanese is the king of saying things without actually saying them.

12/22/2017, 3:12:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/FAlter5

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.

1/1/2018, 2:37:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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.

1/2/2018, 7:47:35 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ventin75
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Since we are talking about a place, why the particle used is 'wa' and not 'ni'?

7/16/2017, 3:50:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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 あそこどこですか (literally "of over there, where is it?") to mean "where, in that area over there, is it?"

8/13/2017, 9:51:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobbPorter

I think because you're asking about "there". What is over there? You'd use Ni if you were going there, not asking a question about there.

7/27/2017, 1:53:10 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Clarissa831527

I came to the comments to see if i would find the answer to that.

7/25/2017, 3:02:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/arjleon

In a very similar sentence it all started with an お, anyone cares to explain? Thanks in advance!

6/15/2017, 3:32:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Murph909

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"

6/16/2017, 5:42:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jbscicom

A similar pattern applies for pronouns as well (this, that). これ is this, あそれ is that and あれ is that over there.

6/18/2017, 2:25:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Xhasher

There is no あそれ。 これ、それ、あれ、どれ。

7/22/2017, 3:24:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/infinitefluff

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.

6/23/2017, 5:15:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigMcDan2

Older English has it too. This, that, yon. Hither, thither, yonder.

6/24/2017, 5:11:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ccameron77

ここ= here (by me) そこ = there (away from me, close to you) あそこ = over there (away from both of us) This sentences tranlation doesnt make sense to me be cause "そこはどこですか?" Translates as "that place near you, where is it?" OR "where is there?"

8/8/2017, 7:34:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LordOfTheAndain

The word そこ can also be "the place you mentioned", in which case the sentence makes complete sense.

11/28/2017, 5:28:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kmlonghurst

Can someone please explain the difference between "where is the room" and "where is THAT room"

8/9/2017, 11:14:56 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/alex.shpilkin

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.

8/31/2017, 12:39:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Drunken_Sailor

In Brazilian portuguese: "Onde que eu tô, será que estou em Alagoinha?"

5/10/2018, 11:59:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyCardoso23
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That's right, my friend certíssimo, amiguinho brasiliano!!

5/11/2018, 12:04:22 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnPMChappell
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其処は何処ですか。

6/30/2017, 3:58:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RandomMinglee

Why use は here instead of に like previous question?

7/28/2017, 9:57:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhodii

"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?

3/26/2018, 11:47:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

This has already been discussed a number of times on this thread. Please read the other comments before posting.

「This is an English issue I think. "Where is there" sounds grammatically incorrect to me (a native English speaker)」

4/11/2018, 12:51:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaFerna623188

if そこ refers a location, why the sentence uses は instead に?

2/23/2019, 3:33:28 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenReiH

How come "where is that" wasn't ok? Without context it's hard to tell if it's about a place or thing. Or i just have a misunderstanding about it and would be glad to be enlightened

6/18/2017, 11:59:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/PStrotman

While 'where is that?' could refer to a place in English, it's very ambiguous. そこ Specifically refers to a place (that place related/close to the listener) so the translation required it without further context.

6/22/2017, 9:35:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bjalloway

What about "Where is there?"

7/4/2017, 8:14:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina396953

'Where is that' was my answer and it's correct. Maybe, they have updated the list of acceptable answers

6/27/2017, 3:09:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/psyxn
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Would the sentence be still correct and retain the meaning after removing "asoko wa"; i.e. just saying どこですか (doko desu ka)?

7/19/2017, 4:35:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/alex.shpilkin

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).

8/31/2017, 12:31:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob227611

Why is it "Soko"? That means "There", doesn't it? Surely "That" would be "Sore", would it not?

12/23/2017, 12:11:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chris203933

In the past 2 years (almost) of learning japanese at an university, this just sounds weird. If some context was included i can see it working...but just out of the blue is confusing

1/15/2018, 5:41:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyCardoso23
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in what situation we could use a phrase like that?

5/3/2018, 6:09:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

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?

6/3/2018, 8:34:49 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/AceOtero

I'm a bit confused on how "Where is there?" not an acceptable answer. Doesn't そこ directly translate as "there"? I know that we wouldn't really say "where is there" in English, but as someone who learns languages best off of the concept of a translation, and not the literal translation, I find this particular question to be a little stingy on its grading.

5/7/2018, 1:39:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Please read the other comments before posting: @FAlter5 and I discussed this exact issue at some length.

6/7/2018, 10:08:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/NikolaiPet3
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Since そこ refers to a place by the listener, why is "where are you" incorrect? Is "Where am I" for "ここはどこですか?" also incorrect?

10/23/2018, 9:01:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/szxduncan
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So is this a sentence used in reference to a place in a conversation?

12/12/2018, 6:39:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Detmer91
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I believe the context for this sentence implies two possibilities. i.e,

  1. 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,
  2. 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)/"")

12/15/2018, 4:34:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MrKittemurt

Why shall I even make a question like that? It seems to me that I am speaking in Japanese with a random guy about Shangri-la or Eldorado...

8/2/2018, 4:33:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kairu260485
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Commenting so i can come back

9/15/2018, 4:12:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Satsuki909943

That... doesnt really make sense, as a sentence. Surely the answer is "soko desu"? If you mean, which room is that, that's a different question, yes?

6/14/2017, 2:51:46 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Azuraia

"Where is that place?" One could be pointing to a map/picture, or someone could be talking about a place but fail to mention where it is.

6/14/2017, 4:26:20 AM
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