Today's Phrase#4

Who is this?

The phrase “Kore wa dare desu ka?” means “Who is this?” Let’s take a closer look. The word “kore” means “this,” and “dare” means “who.” As we learned in Segment 3, by adding “ka” to the end of a sentence, we can make a question, so while looking at a photo or painting of someone, we can ask, “Kore wa dare desu ka?”
One thing we have to be careful with is that, unlike English, if you point to someone right before you and use “kore” or “this,” that will sound quite rude. To show respect to someone in front of you, we use, “kochira.” And we’ll also use “dochira,” the polite form of “dare.” So instead of saying, “Kore wa dare desu ka?” we’ll say, “Kochira wa donata desu ka?”

Phrases in this video


kore wa dare desu ka / Who is this?

The way to ask about who is in front of you

kochira wa donata desu ka / Who is This?

In this case, John himself answers the question.

jon desu / I am John.


are wa dare desu ka / Who is that?


fukuzawa yukichi desu / This is Yukichi Fukuzawa.

Who’s who?
Yukichi Fukuzawa (福澤諭吉)

Yukichi Fukuzawa was a philosopher and educator active in the Meiji Era. In his travels to the United States and Europe, he learned about the wisdom and philosophy of the West, and he played a key role in the modernization of Japan. While helping to introduce advanced knowledge and technology into Japan, he also promoted the importance of respecting the traditional spirit of Japan, using the term「和魂洋才」 "Japanese spirit with Western learning.”