Translation:Would you like a bento?
This phrase has 2 meanings: 1. Do you want a lunch box? 2. How is your lunch box?
I don't think bento needs to be, or rather, should be translated. Bento itself is a very specific thing, that doesn't really exist anywhere else and most people - especially people taking a Japanese language course - are going to know what a bento is. It simply doesn't need to be translated. Moreover, where I'm from, if you asked me if I wanted a lunch box, I would assume you are asking me if I wanted a container to put my lunch in.
I feel the same way about お姉さん and お兄さん those two terms are something intrinsic to Japanese society, most people will know (or very quickly figure out) what it means, and it just sounds incredibly awkward when translated. Most good translators don't bother translating it, and it's easy to see why - I have a brother, and not once in my entire life did I ever call him 'big bro'.
いかが is the 敬語 (けいご/formal) version of the word どう。both have the same meanings except いかが would be used when talking or writing to a superior.
Not that Japanese would appreciate it.
But if I came across a Japanese person eating bento and I have the same status at least, I would say dou?
I don't think saying "lunch box" would be the best translation, since a bento is a very specific thing, not really the same as just your average lunch box from say, America, or some other place.
If this sentence means "Would you like a bento?" How would you say "How is the bento?"
"おべんとう はいかが「でしたか」" you can also use the past time if the person have finished his bentou for exemple. With the past time added it can't be "do you want" anymore because it wouldn't make any sens (sorry for the poor grammar, I'm not English)
You're right, it depends on context. If you have no bentou and i ask you this we can assume I'm asking you if you want one. If you already have one I'm obviously asking if it's good.
Yould you like a bento and do you want a bento are the same...... Why is "do you want a bento" the wrong answer?
They might be able to infer the same meaning but there is a distinct difference. One is offering, the other is enquiring about desire... If you can differentiate with two English sentences then you can obviously differentiate between two Japanese sentences. Think about literal meaning behind words you learn. Once you understand those then you can start speaking colloquially.
Came in all indignant ready to pout on the comments board. Then I read this comment, and realised he or she has a point.
Informally, if I offer my friend a beer I say, "Do you want a beer?" and mean it as an offer, not an inquiry into his bodily needs. Depending on the context "Do you want a bentou?" could be used the same way.
Should "How about bento?" be accepted? Like, "what should we have for lunch? How about bento?"
I wanted to ask the same. For me it seems to be better than "Would you like a bento?"
I feel like "how about that bento" is the closest English equivalent that covers both meanings.
I guess a translation of "ikaga" that works for all meanings is "is it wanted?" Bad English, but the meaning has the same nuance.
If this can't be translated into "how's the/your bento/lunchbox" then いかがですか should probably not be translated as "how is it" but as "would you like one" otherwise that's incoherent...
"As for boxlunch, how is it?"
"As for boxlunch, how would it be?"
Either is possible, đepending on context. The former becomes "How is your boxlunch?" The latter becomes "Would you like a boxlunch?"
Because a bento is a bento, in the same way that sushi is sushi. There is no translation for it. In English it's also a bento, or a bento box. In Hawaii, for example, it's quite common for grocery stores to have "bento boxes" and that's what they're called in English.
Not unless something or someone else were the topic of the sentence. "Ha/wa" indicates that "bentoo" is what the sentence is focused on. "Ga" just indicates the relationship with the verb in the clause.