I'm learning from the "Japanese from zero" course (currently book 2). It translates the following sentence:
Konbiniの ひだりうしろに ほんやが あります
There is a convenience store behind the bookstore on the left.

Firstly, am I write in thinking that konbini and ほんや are the wrong way round?

Secondly, in the English translation 'on the left' implies that the bookstore is to the left of the speaker. The Japanese sentence suggests that the 'behind' and 'left' are relative to the konbini. So I would translate this sentence as
There is a bookstore at the back left of the convenience store. Am I correct? If so how would you translate the the original sentence (There is a convenience store behind the bookstore on the left) into Japanese? Thanks


2 Answers 2


For your first question, regarding 「コンビニの左後{ひだりうし}ろに本屋{ほんや}があります」, you are correct in that their translation seems to have flipped honya and konbini.

For your second question, it's relative to the store. The particle の in konbiniの [...] あります indicates where it's relative to. If you wish to say your left side, or on my left you would just say 左側{ひだりがわ}にあります. 「がわ」 means "side", and in this case your left side.

For your third question regarding the translation of "There is a convenience store behind the bookstore on the left," you could say 「konbini(は/が)ほんやのひだりうしろにあります」 which translates literally to, "As for the konbini, behind and to the left of the bookstore it exists." There's a few other ways you could say it, I personally would probably say it like this (thought you may not have learned this grammar yet) ほんやのうしろにいくと、konbiniがひだりがわにあります。 The particle と when used after the plain form of a verb, in this case いく means, "whenever" or "if", so that sentence translates to, "If you go behind the bookstore, the konbini is on you're left."


The translation isn't right... OR, yes, you are right in your assumption. "There is a book store behind and to the left of the conbini".

Secondly: The sentence implies that the the bookstore is on the left (and behind) the conbini - not the speaker. The speaker is totally irrelevant. の is giving the conbini possession.

So yeah, in short, you are right. The translation in the book sounds pretty poor, to say the least. I'd translate it closer to you (see above).

Hope that helps.

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