get lost

map in town

When you are lost on a street with a map in your hands, in English you say, 'Where am I?' But in Japanese we say, 'Koko wa doko desuka' –literally, 'Where is here?' When I told this to a student whose mother tongue is English, she replied, 'Hmm... where is here?' is a philosophical question.' I can see that. But if you ask a native Japanese speaker this question, you are not a philosopher; you are just lost. Nevertheless, losing one' s way sometimes does mean losing one's way in life in Japanese, as well.