"I am here!" Japanese Translation

OK, so I’m very new to this and probably getting way ahead of myself but something is confusing me. I’ve been trying understand Japanese grammar so that I can understand how and why Japanese sentences are structured the way they are. Also, I thought that learning about Japanese grammar now (with advise from another topic) might help be memorize kanji faster if I can think different ways to implement them into sentences. Also, sometimes when I’m learning the kanji here, there will be sentence examples and I thought if I knew some of the grammar, that might make it easier to understand what I’m reading.

Anyways, One of the YouTube video’s I was just watching titled Learn Japanese Grammar in 25 Minutes by JapanesePod101 had said 私はここです。(watashi wa kokodesu) is the proper way to say “I Am Here.”. However, in my favorite Anime “My Hero Academia” one of the main characters uses the catch phrase 私が来た (Watashi ga Kita) and the Show also translates that as “I am Here”. They not only use that phrase in the show but they use that phrase in the books too. The phrase is said several times each episode and they even go out of their way to even explain why the phrase is so important to the main character. So I’m confused as to what the actually difference is in the phrases. I’m sure both are correct but their has to be fundamental difference in both?

If you think about it “I am here” can mean different things.

It can mean “here is my current location” in the case of your translation to ここです

It can also mean “I have arrived” in the case of 来た

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きた is the past tense of 来る (くる), which means ‘to come/arrive’.

I looked up the whole phrase and it makes sense. All Might is saying he arrived (as part of a longer phrase that basically means it’s ok! why? I arrived). But ‘I am here’ is a much more natural way in English to convey that, so that’s how it’s translated.

ここです is to be here (near the speaker). It’s a way of conveying your presence at a location.

You should definitely be studying foundational grammar from the start, good goal. :slight_smile:

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So if I understand correctly, when All Might says 私が来た (watashi ga kita) , he is basically saying “I was here and I’m currently here!” Since in the show, Almighty is explaining why everything is OK, the context of the conversation is describing a situation where things are OK because he had already arrived to handle the events that are currently happening or was happening. If someone would have basically asked him where his currently location was and that was it, then it would have made more sense to say 私はここです since he would be simply responding to a question of where his current location is?

私が来た really means “I have just arrived.”

“I arrived before and am still here” would be 私が来ている. Explaining why might go a bit beyond your level.

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What Leebo said :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think you get it (only I don’t watch this show). He’s just announcing his arrival, it doesn’t mean anything more than that by itself. I just looked up his full catchphrase to try to illustrate because of your specific situation. It’s a catchphrase and catchphrases typically have subtext, even if they switch it up sometimes. But if I tell you ‘私が来た’ I don’t mean anything special by it. It’s situation-specific like all language.

ここ just means here, this place, the location indicated by the speaker. You might say ここです to mean literally ‘is here’. As you learn more Japanese, and are exposed to more of it, you’ll learn more appropriate responses to specific questions, so you can differentiate the specific meanings of things.

In English you can say ‘I’m here’ to mean ‘I just got here’/‘I arrived’ as well as literally ‘I am in this place’, and ‘I’m here’ is just the usual translation, I guess because the translators feel it’s more natural speech in English, suited for the moment. The thing about using subtitles and media translations, especially in exaggerated genres like superhero shows and science fiction, is that they are typically naturalised to also convey the nuance and feeling of a sentence as well as the meaning. So sometimes they aren’t literal or exact. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad way to understand the dialogue, you just can’t always interconvert them one to one.

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Learning grammar from the beginning is a really great goal! It helps learning new words (e.g.: all verbs end in an u-hiragana character).
On the other hand you will have very little problem with grammar, if you don’t ever try to translate a English sentance with it’s grammar into Japanese. Just use Japanese grammar! It helps!

I’ve learned the grammar with Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanes Grammar (it’s free and it’s absolutely amazing!!). It has a great structure, so that Japanese grammar get’s totally logic!

~T :lion:

PS:Obviously you like looking anime/read manga/hear Japanese music.
The best thing about a good grammar knowledge is, that you can hear a word in a sentance and start to guess.
For example right now i heared “nemuranai” in a song. I know, that it must be a verb in it’ts negative form, that the verb is a godan-verb and it must be “nemuru” in it’s dictionary form. I already heared once a word sounding like that, and it meaned something with sleep. So “nemuru” could mean sleep?!
Than i typed this in Jisho.org and there it is: 眠る, to sleep.
Btw: I also can tell that “sleep” in japanese must be “nemuri” just by knowing the verb.

To say that “I am here” (presently and near the speaker) wouldn’t it be more correct to say 「ここいる」? I’m honestly kind of fuzzy on when to use いる vs です・だ in these sorts of contexts, but the way it’s been explained to me is that です indicates that something exists, and いる・ある are a bit stronger and indicate that something exists and is present, right?

I don’t feel like I could give a clear explanation of いる・ある vs. です, but you can use both ここです and ここにいる・ある to point out the current location of something. I would say ここにいます in many situations though about my own presence but ここです is a simple fact and probably an appropriate response to some things (reporting where I am, reporting that I’m present maybe)

です is more about the state in which something is though.

Similarly you could also say どこにいますか or どこですか but I usually encounter and was taught the latter…

In the expanded version of the lesson OP was watching (the site has a transcript which is their whole lesson on [place]です) they don’t say it’s the proper way to say it, they just say it means that. Because it does. The lesson is about asking where things are.

Am/to be just encompasses just about everything in English.

OK, So I’m currently reading through Tae Kim’s Guide to Grammar and while reading about topic particles, Something clicked and I think I finally understand this sentence!

私が来た.

So, based on what I read in Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar, using the particle instead of changes the topic of the sentence and based on the context of what was previously said (although I know context is important in all languages, it seems context is more important in Japanese then normal) and it seems important that the emphasis in the sentence is placed correctly. Had Almight said 私は来た, he would have basically meant “as for me, I am here” but because the emphasis is being placed on why everything will be OK, it makes more sence to say 私が来た because he is basically saying “It is me that is here!”. He is giving himself credit for the reason everything is OK. It’s not enough to just simply say he is there. he wants you to know that had it is because he is there that everything is OK and had anyone else arrived, he could not speak for them but because he is making his specific presence the reason why everything is OK, that is why it makes more sense to use 私が instead of 私は. as Tae Kim’s book explains, he is identifying something that is unspecified which is the reason why everything is OK.

Also, Because he is talking specifically about his arrival and not about his specific physical location, he uses 来た instead of ここです since 来た is referencing his arrival and ここです would be referencing his physical location.

I think I finally got it now! :smile:

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z1

Just gonna leave this here for “visual context”.

I love Dad!Might. :blue_heart:

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