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My girlfriend was writing a simple SMS for business. She often shows me the message before she sends it to make sure if the English is ok. It was something like:

“Ok, thanks. See you on the 15th. ”

This was the last message of the SMS ‘conversation’. I guess for this reason, she felt like it was missing a little something.

“How do I write 「よろしくおねがいします」 in English?” she asked. ‘Whoa,’ I thought. How do I explain that the small island nation that she comes from is unique in the world with its layers of formality, unbroken dynasty, and turbulent history? How could I tell her how unique those 11 short syllables were in the linguistic pantheon of the world? How could I get that across in 5 seconds or less?

I told her that we didn’t a word for it.

“Yes, there is something in English that has the same meaning, I just can’t remember it,” she said.

“I’m telling you, there is equivalent in English. Just like 「がんばって」, 「やっぱり」, and 「わくわく」.”

“Well in Korean, we say ㅂㅈㄷㄱ1. I’m sure there is a word for it in English.”

Anyway, she sent the SMS without the English word for 「よろしくおねがいします」. I can’t help thinking about it though.

It felt so strange though, I spend so much time finding the meaning of words, my brain seemed to freeze at the translation for 「よろしくおねがいします」. I know this word, but all my mental dictionary kept throwing up was the blue screen of death. It’s peculiar to know that a word, a certain feeling has no corresponding word in the entire English language.

Maybe we can make up a new English word, that means 「よろしく」.

The closest word I could think of to 「よろしくおねがいします」 is the slangy ‘cheers’. Where I come from, ‘cheers’ is not only a word you say when you drink a toast, but also a word that you say for ‘thankyou’, even when someone hasn’t given you something. Not quite the same as 「よろしくおねがいします」 but the closest word I can think of.

Maybe we can just import 「よろしく」 into English as is. My last post talked about Japanese words in common usage in English, maybe we could add 「よろしく」 to the list.

We could shorten it a bit (actually a very Japanese thing to do).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post.


1Obviously this isn’t what she said; I just can’t type Korean. すみません、ビキーさん。