Just like other kosoado pronouns, we can divide these words and their meaning like this:
- kochira こちら
This side. My side.
- sochira そちら
That side. Your side.
- achira あちら
That side over there. His side.
That way over there.
- dochira どちら
What side? Whose side?
These words can be used either to represent people, sides, or directions. Like other pronouns in Japanese, sochira is used to what's close to you and to who you're talking to, while achira is used for what's far from both.
Usage ExamplesLet's see some examples to have a better idea:
- kochira de nantoka suru こちらで何とかする
We'll do it somehow. We'll fix it somehow.
(this means that you, sochira, shouldn't worry about it as we, this side, will manage)
- kochira e douzo こちらへどうぞ
Come to us.
- kochira ni mukatte kuru! こちらに向かってくる！
(the enemy, monster, whatever) is coming at us!
- sochira wa dou desu ka? そちらはどうですか？
How are things there?
(here we're talking about your side, the side of the listener)
- achira wa watashi no tomodachi desu あちらは私の友達です
Those are my friends.
(those, on that side, over there, are my friends)
- dochira-sama desu ka? どちら様ですか
Who are you?
- okane to shiawase dochira ga hoshii desu ka? お金と幸せどちらが欲しいですか？
Money or happiness, which do you want?
These meanings may look similar to the pronouns konata, sonata, anata and donata because, in fact, they are similar, however, the chira pronouns put emphasis on direction and side while the nata pronouns put emphasis on the person. One big different, for example, is that sochira can be used for "you guys" as a group, while sonata and anata can only refer to one person.
These words are also more formal variants of kocchi, socchi, acchi and docchi, which are more frequently used in anime.