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Lesson Transcript

Hi! In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask where something is and how to answer that question. You'll be able to use this to find what you're looking for in Japan. Ready? Then let's get started with the scene!
Masato is meeting Taylor at the department store but doesn't know where Taylor is waiting. Masato calls him on the phone and is asking for more details. Now, let's watch the scene.
はい、マクドナルドです。(Hai, Makudonarudo desu.)
マクドナルドはどこにありますか?(Makudonarudo wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
マクドナルドは二階にあります。(Makudonarudo wa nikai ni arimasu.)
すみません。(Sumimasen. )
エスカレーターはどこにありますか?(Esukarētā wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
あそこにあります 。(Asoko ni arimasu.)
Let’s watch the scene one more time. This time with English.
はい、マクドナルドです。 (Hai, Makudonarudo desu.) “That’s right, McDonald’s.”
マクドナルドはどこにありますか? (Makudonarudo wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “Where is McDonald’s?”
マクドナルドは二階にあります。 (Makudonarudo wa nikai ni arimasu.) “McDonald’s is on the 2nd floor.”
二階? (Nikai?) “The second floor?”
わかりました。 (Wakarimashita.) “Got it.”
すみません。 (Sumimasen. ) “Excuse me,”
エスカレーターはどこにありますか? (Esukarētā wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “where is an escalator?”
エスカレーター?(Esukarētā?) “An escalator?”
あそこにあります 。(Asoko ni arimasu.) “There’s one over there.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the phrases and vocabulary you heard in the scene.
どこ (doko) “where”
あそこ (asoko) “over there”
エスカレーター (Esukarētā) “escalator”
マクドナルド (Makudonarudo) “McDonald’s”
わかりました。(Wakarimashita.) This means “Ok” or “Got it.” So if someone tells you something, to show that you understand, you can say - わかりました。(Wakarimashita.)
階(kai) this is a counter for floors. When counting objects in Japanese, you’ll add a counter word after the number. There are many different counters for different objects, but the counter for floors in a building is 階(kai).
So here are a few examples; the first floor is 一階(ikkai), 一階(ikkai).
It’s not ichikai, so please be careful here.
Next, 二階(nikai), 二階(nikai).
2 plus the counter for floors.
Next, 三階(sangai), 三階(sangai).
Not sankai, it’s sangai.
Next, 四階(yonkai), 四階(yonkai).
4 plus the counter.
Next, 5階(gokai), 5階(gokai).
5 plus the counter.
So that's the basic pattern. 一階(ikkai), 二階(nikai), 三階(sangai), 四階(yonkai), 5階(gokai).
Now it’s time for the lesson point. Our teachers will explain everything you need to know to find what you're looking for in Japan. You'll also have a chance to practice yourself and test your knowledge with a quiz. Are you ready? Let's go!
Now, you'll learn how to ask for where something or someone is and how to answer that question in Japanese.
Imagine you are looking for an ATM and you want to ask someone if there's one in the station.
ATMは駅にありますか? (ATM wa eki ni arimasu ka?)
You just add か(ka) to the end to make a question. Without か(ka), you have ATMは駅にあります (ATM wa eki ni arimasu) “There is an ATM in the station.”
If you add か(ka) at the end, you’re now asking, “Is there an ATM in the station?”
ATMは駅にありますか? (ATM wa eki ni arimasu ka?)
But let's say you want to ask a more general question. Now, you're no longer worried about the station but simply want to ask where the ATM is. You would say, ATMはどこにありますか? (ATM wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “Where is the ATM?”.
Let’s break this down. ATM “ATM”, は(wa) topic-marking particle, どこ(doko) “where”, に(ni) particle for location of existence, あります(arimasu) “to exist for inanimate objects, か(ka) question-marking particle.
Let's compare these two sentences:
ATMは駅にありますか? (ATM wa eki ni arimasu ka?)
ATMはどこにありますか? (ATM wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
So you just need to replace 駅(eki) with どこ(doko).
どこ(doko) is a question word meaning “where”.
ATMはどこにありますか? (ATM wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
Now, onto how you'll respond to this question. If the ATM is someplace far away but you can point to it, answer with ATMはあそこにあります。 (ATM wa asoko ni arimasu.)
あそこ(asoko) means “over there” so you're saying “the ATM is over there.”
So you can keep adapting this pattern - A は [place] にあります。(A wa place ni arimasu.) to say where something is. And as usual, you can leave out the first part, A は(A wa), because the subject is obvious.
So the question and answer would be:
ATMはどこにありますか? (ATM wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
あそこにあります。 (asoko ni arimasu.)
Let’s practice. You're on the first floor of a department store and using this diagram to figure out where to find the individual stores. First you want to go to the bookstore, ask where it.
本屋はどこにあるますか?(Honya wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “Where is the book store?”
Now, what's the answer?
二階にあります。 (Nikai ni arimasu.) “It's on the second floor.”
Let's try another one.
“Where is the restaurant?”
レストランはどこにあるますか?(Resutoran wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “Where is the restaurant?”
What's the answer?
三階にあります。 (Sangai ni arimasu.) “It's on the 3rd floor.”
Okay, let's try one more. Where is the bank?
銀行はどこにあるますか?(Ginkō wa doko ni arimasu ka?) “Where is the bank?”
What's the answer?
一階にあります。 (Ikkai ni arimasu.) “It is on the 1st floor.”
図書館はどこにありますか?(Toshokan wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
三階にあります。(Sangai ni arimasu.)
はい、そうです。(Hai, sou desu.)
三階にあります。(Sangai ni arimasu.)
レストランは二階にありますか? (Resutoran wa nikai ni arimasu ka?)
はい、一階にあります。(Hai, ikkai ni arimasu.)
そうですか。ありがとう。(Sōdesu ka. Arigatō.)
いいえ、四階にあります。(Īe, yonkai ni arimasu.)
いいえ、四階にあります。(Īe, yonkai ni arimasu.)
That's it. You should now be able to find what you're looking for in Japan. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments. See you next time!
はい、マクドナルドです。(Hai, Makudonarudo desu.)
マクドナルドはどこにありますか?(Makudonarudo wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
マクドナルドは二階にあります。(Makudonarudo wa nikai ni arimasu.)
すみません。(Sumimasen. )
エスカレーターはどこにありますか?(Esukarētā wa doko ni arimasu ka?)
あそこにあります 。(Asoko ni arimasu.)


Please to leave a comment.
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JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 20th, 2020 at 01:49 PM
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Hi JanJK,

Thank you for your question!

1 [Thing] wa doko ni arimasu ka.

2 [Thing] wa doko desu ka.

These two sentences are same in the meaning.

But the sentence 1 can be used only for inanimate thing, while the sentence 2 is available for both animate and inanimate things. For example,

Kare wa doko desu ka.

To say the same thing in the sentence 1, it's very simple!

You only have to change "arimasu" to "imasu", which means "to be/exist", used for animate thing.

Hope you enjoy learning Japanese with us!



Team JapanesePod101.com

May 5th, 2020 at 03:42 PM
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Could you explain the difference between these two structures:

[Thing] wa doko ni arimasu ka?

[Thing] wa doko desu ka?


Thank you. 😀

JapanesePod101.com Verified
July 5th, 2019 at 06:30 PM
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How did you like new prototype video lesson? Please let us know!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 23rd, 2017 at 03:54 PM
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Hi Maikeru,

Thank you for the long comment! and sorry for replying late.

Your comment is very insightful.

It seems you've been studying Japanese hard.

Hope our lessons help you:smile:

Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com



Team JapanesePod101.com

December 2nd, 2016 at 05:11 AM
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This is a very good break down of directions, I doesn't cover all ko so a do words that can be used for directions

But it is a start on what I need to learn for my assignments, But I need to find more videos somewhere in the archive to help me with my assignment, I know ko so a do words where briefly covered in the basic grammer series in absolute beginners section, But they unfortunately didn't go quite into as much detail, which is needed. :(

Hopefully you's will return to this series of directions 5 lessons which are about 10minutes long like this one should help alot

I'm a slow learner but i'm eager, I'm studying here and started here last year with the youtube channel, I'm studying at home using collins university cds which i've used 1-2-3 many times, The japanese for busy people version 3 romanised, and at a night class as well, But the past 2 lessons I honestly hadn't a clue how to answer yasuko-san when asked about directions which I should've learned by then luckly I didn't have to take assignment 3 task 2 yesterday which was to do with directions, right left on top\above below\underneath next too etc

Migi(right) hitori(left) is all I can remember and left may actually be wrong here

So far I haven't find anywhere here over the last month related to these can of directions when I've been looking

Now just to make sure it's cleared i'm not blaming you's for my lack of understanding, that is completely on me, I haven't dedicated my self enough to my studies and my assignment work, I have the lesson materials I need to pass my course, I haven't been reviewing them as much as I should be because i've be relaying on third party sources that I prefer using compared to books, I'm not a reader or writer I honestly have never sat down and enjoyed reading a book, if I do that I get bored and feel lazy lol

I have to sit in front of a computer and work, I'm a modder\game developer i've always had to feel as though i'm doing something productive,

And since i'm a slow reader and can only get through about 5pages in 15-20minutes I don't feel like i'm getting much done in that time,

But ranting aside, The moral of this story is that you's might get a understanding of how 1 student is progressing through a absolute beginner step 1 night class using your services,

I can see how the site has been growing over the years and how it's advancing quickly.

As a teacher you reflect your lesson paths\plans based on the students and there understanding, so I thought i'd give you's a insight on how i'm doing,

I started 1 year ago,

I took the lessons more seriously 6-7months

I've taken the lessons more seriously 12weeks ago when I started the night class

I rewrite almost every video I watch to practice and make sure I walk away with a clearer understanding of what i've just reviewed.

Things you's need to know:

You's are awesome and have a great service and you's must not stop! :D

Keep it going and don't give up on students that are slow like me, I'm dedicated but shite, But that doesn't reflect the teacher or the method practiced, That just means that things need repeated more often for slow learners like me, Rewatching a video until it sticks is ok, But a short video and be repeated to death quicker than it takes to stick, A longer video doesn't mean the topic will get boring it can actually mean it's more engaging and because of that the topic is more likely to stick :D

Anyway this is some amount of reading someone might do so i'm sorry that i've put you the reader through this lol

But hopefully you's understand what i've been trying to express which isn't anger or annoyance but a understanding of students struggles to grasp a basic understanding, and the reason for this is because you's the teachers would probably be interested in know how your students are getting on,

Just like me a developer i'm always looking feedback from my fans, so I can fix minor bugs or even sometimes game breaking problems, texture misplacements, light adjustments etc

Anyway Thanks Again for being awesome if yous hadn't have started this site years ago and done the videos on youtube as well I probably wouldn't even be studying now, But I am and i'm going to Japan the year after next for a holiday, i've set myself that goal and I intend on keeping.

I hope you's have found this message insightful

Now i'm off to do more revision starting with writing this video out :D

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 30th, 2016 at 07:16 AM
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Thank you for your positive feedback.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

May 4th, 2016 at 04:49 PM
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I love this! I hope there's more. It's very simple and easy to understand. :smile:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 28th, 2015 at 10:20 AM
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Hi Jabi,

Thank you for the feedback. It could be better if we made him to say "Thank you" before going away!

By the way, I'm glad to hear that you like the lesson! With the same style, we've made the Innovate Japanese series, which has 10 lessons! I hope you like the series too!


Thank you,


Team JapanesePod101.com

May 26th, 2015 at 01:57 AM
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I love your lessons! Amazing as every other, you're doing great job!

Only thing that bothers me is that he didn't say "Thank you" after they showed him where is escalator O_O I know, completely unimportant for quality and point of lesson, just noticed he was polite at the beginning and looked like a jerk in the end.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 19th, 2015 at 03:41 PM
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konnichiwa! Thank you very much for the feedback!

You're very right. Repetition and drills are very good way to practice what you've learnt

and to acquire the language in a proper way.

I'll share your feedback with my team and discuss about it.:smile::thumbsup:

Please feel free to try and practice your Japanese using this commenting space.

I know this is different from drills you mentioned, but we're happy to help and we can

give you tailor-made feedback instead. :wink:

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com