Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Naomi: なおみです。
Peter: Peter here. I Don’t Think This Japanese Restaurant Is That Kind of Place! In this lesson, you'll learn how to use extremely formal language.
Naomi: Right. 謙譲語 の使い方です "the usage of humble language"
Peter: This conversation takes place at
Naomi: ゴンロクというすし屋です。
Peter : A sushi restaurant called GONROKU. The conversation is mainly between Ayumu and a staff member at the restaurant.
Naomi: そうですね。歩さんと、お店の人が話しています。
Peter: As it's a conversation between a customer and a staff member, you'll hear ...
Naomi: とても丁寧な日本語
Peter: extremely formal Japanese.
Naomi: では、聞きましょう。
Peter: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
遠井歩:もしもし?…え?まだ会社?
: じゃ、先に お店に 入るね。
店員:いらっしゃいませ。
遠井歩:こんばんは。
: 六時から 二名で 予約を いたしました、遠井と 申します。
店員:申し訳ございません。もう一度、お名前を 伺ってもいいですか。
遠井歩:と・お・いです。
店員:失礼いたしました。遠井様ですね。コートを お預かりします。
: では、こちらへ どうぞ。
大空風歌:あ、お姉ちゃん!
遠井歩:あなたは、この間の・・・。
大空風歌:風歌だよ。
大空風歌:今日、パパの お誕生日なの。
: だから、みんなで、おすしを 食べているの。
: こっちに 来て、お姉ちゃんも 一緒に 食べよう。
Naomi: もう一度、お願いします。今度は、ゆっくり、お願いします。
遠井歩:もしもし?…え?まだ会社?
: じゃ、先に お店に 入るね。
店員:いらっしゃいませ。
遠井歩:こんばんは。
: 六時から 二名で 予約を いたしました、遠井と 申します。
店員:申し訳ございません。もう一度、お名前を 伺ってもいいですか。
遠井歩:と・お・いです。
店員:失礼いたしました。遠井様ですね。コートを お預かりします。
: では、こちらへ どうぞ。
大空風歌:あ、お姉ちゃん!
遠井歩:あなたは、この間の・・・。
大空風歌:風歌だよ。
大空風歌:今日、パパの お誕生日なの。
: だから、みんなで、おすしを 食べているの。
: こっちに 来て、お姉ちゃんも 一緒に 食べよう。
Naomi: 今度は、英語が入ります。
遠井歩:もしもし?…え?まだ会社?
Lady: Hello? Huh? You're still at the office?
: じゃ、先に お店に 入るね。
Lady: Then I'll go on ahead into the restaurant.
店員:いらっしゃいませ。
Lady: Welcome.
遠井歩:こんばんは。六時から 二名で 予約を いたしました、遠井と 申します。
Lady: Good evening. My name is Toi; I made a reservation for two at six o'clock.
店員:申し訳ございません。もう一度、お名前を 伺ってもいいですか。
Lady: I'm terribly sorry, could I ask your name one more time?
遠井歩:と・お・いです。
Lady: It's T-o-i.
店員:失礼いたしました。遠井様ですね。
Lady: Excuse me. Ms. Toi, correct?
店員: コートを お預かりします。
Lady: Allow me to take your coat.
: では、こちらへ どうぞ。
Lady: This way, please.
大空風歌:あ、お姉ちゃん!
Lady: Ah, the lady from before!
遠井歩:あなたは、この間の・・・。
Lady: It's you from the other day, you're…
大空風歌:風歌だよ。
Lady: Fūka!
遠井歩:どうしたの?
Lady: What brings you here?
大空風歌:今日、パパの お誕生日なの。
Lady: Today is Daddy's birthday!
: だから、みんなで、おすしを 食べているの。
Lady: So we're all eating sushi together.
: こっちに 来て、お姉ちゃんも 一緒に 食べよう。
Peter: Come over here and eat with us!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Peter: 高そうですね。
Naomi: うん。
Peter: It sounds like this restaurant is a pretty high-end.
Naomi: そうですね。You can tell from the way the staff member talks. She speaks super politely.
Peter: And Ayumu is also speaking super politely, isn't she?
Naomi: ああ、そうね。
Peter: She's a customer, so she doesn't need to be that polite, right? I mean, if you're a customer your social level is basically higher than any of the staff members, right?
Naomi: そうですね。 Technically, you don't have to be that polite at a restaurants or shops. But it's more like a matter of dignity. You know. If you speak politely, it sounds like you're well-groomed and educated. If you speak too casually, it sounds...you know.
Peter: maybe...a little rude?
Naomi: Or rough.
Peter: I like rough better.
Naomi: So... I'd say adults often use super polite language to keep their dignity.
Peter: You know, ah...I went to a restaurant once very nice restaurants and not just one.
Naomi: (笑)
Peter: I’ve been to other nice restaurants. But we were in Japan we went to this nice restaurant. And the person you are with was the host, so it was of course, a given that they
would order for us. But the person who's ordering was a businessman who worked at a very big Japanese company, so he was very experienced with the different levels, obviously people above him and of course people below him. So when he ordered he use the verb もらう in the plain form. And.. I don't know for me, it felt like you said a little rough that he was acknowledging that I’m the customer I'm a superior position than you, so just bring the stuff.
Naomi: Umm..
Peter: Rather make a polite either by saying もらいます making that polite or saying いただく using plain form of a more polite word.
Naomi: そうね。人によるんですよね。 I’d say women tend to use polite language at shops or restaurants, but men tend to, you know, be a little rough to show that they are above the staff. Does it make sense?
Peter: Ye, that makes sense. And again you're not wrong. It's just as Naomi sensei said it can come off as being a little rough. And of course there's some people like that being with someone who expresses their kinda dominant position.
Naomi: そうね。
Peter: Not wrong, we’re just trying to introduce you to the subtleties.
VOCAB LIST
Peter: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word is:
Naomi: 先に [natural native speed]
Peter: ahead, first
Naomi: 先に [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 先に [natural native speed]
Next:
Naomi: 伺う [natural native speed]
Peter: (humble language) to visit, to ask
Naomi: 伺う [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 伺う [natural native speed]
Next:
Naomi: いたす [natural native speed]
Peter: (humble language) to do
Naomi: いたす [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: いたす [natural native speed]
Next:
Naomi: 預かる [natural native speed]
Peter: to look after, to keep in custody, to keep
Naomi: 預かる [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 預かる [natural native speed]
Next:
Naomi: この間 [natural native speed]
Peter: the other day
Naomi: この間 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: この間 [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Peter: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Naomi-sensei. What’s the first word we are going to look at?
Naomi: いたす
Peter: Humble language, or the humble way to say "to do"
Naomi: そうです。「する」 and 「いたす」 basically mean the same thing. It's just that いたす is super polite and is used to describe your own actions.
Peter: Let us explain with some examples. How do you say "excuse me"?
Naomi: 失礼します
Peter: Now this sentence is already formal. But when you need to even more polite replace (します) with (いたします) which is the masu form of the verb (いたす). So the expression becomes?
Naomi: 失礼いたします。
Peter: This means "Excuse me" in a politer tone. Maybe something like "excuse me, ma'am" or "excuse me, sir".
Naomi: うん、そうですね。And in the dialogue we have...失礼いたしました。
Peter: "Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, ma'am."
Naomi: いたしました is in the past tense.
Peter: Right. When you want to say "Excuse me" for something you've already done, the past tense is used.
Naomi: Um.
Peter: OK. Can we hear those phrases again? The regular, formal way to say "Excuse me"
Naomi: 失礼します
Peter: And the super extremely polite way to say "Excuse me".
Naomi: 失礼いたします
Peter: The formal way to say "excuse me" for something you've already done.
Naomi: 失礼しました
Peter: The super polite way to say "excuse me" for something you've already done.
Naomi: 失礼いたしました
Peter: On to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Peter: In this lesson, you'll learn how to be extra formal, extremely formal using kenjō-go or humble language. So Naomi-sensei, what is kenjō-go, or humble language?
Naomi: Well...when you use 謙譲語 or humble language, you elevate the status of the listening party and lower your own status. It's like a seesaw or classic scale balance. You use it to describe your own actions.
Peter: Right. Remember that the basic function of kenjō-go is to lower the status of the subject, so it's usually used to describe your own actions.
Naomi: そうです。The concept is a little difficult but forming the humble form of verbs is not so bad. The formation is ... O+[masu stem of a verb] +suru or shimasu.
Peter: Now this is for the majority of verbs when you want to put them into 謙譲語 There are a couple up unusual cases and rare cases exceptions which we actually introduced. But what we're gonna cover now is the general rule for using humble language. Okay? Let's try to make a regular verb into the humble form. Naomi-sensei. How do you say "to hold, or to have"?
Naomi: 持つ
Peter: The masu form?
Naomi: 持ちます
Peter: Now, drop masu to get the masu stem
Naomi: もち
Peter: Now, add to the beginning, the honorific prefix "o" お
Naomi: おもち
Peter:  Finally we attach?
Naomi: する
Peter: And we get?
Naomi: おもちする Here's a sample sentence. かばん、お持ちします。
Peter: Literally,"I'll have your bag" but it means "I'll take or carry your bag."
Let's do another example. How do you say "to meet"?
Naomi: 会う
Peter: The masu form is?
Naomi: 会います
Peter: Masu stem is
Naomi: あい
Peter: Add the honorific prefix "o" to the beginning of it
Naomi: おあい
Peter: Now attach suru
Naomi: お会いする Here's a sample sentence. 昨日 お客さんとお会いしました。
Peter: I met with a client yesterday.
Peter: Now, as we kind of set before, not all verbs have their own humble form. Some of them, like する change to a different verb.
Naomi: Yes. like いたす。
Peter: Okay finally I want to give you one more example and you've actually been using 謙譲語 for probably since you started studying Japanese. Naomi sensei, do you know what I’m talking about?
Naomi: Ahh.. You mean お願いします?
Peter: That’s right. It's taught you as set phrase but it really comes from this. The verb is..?
Naomi: ねがう to wish
Peter: the masu-tem is..?
Naomi: ねがいます
Peter: Drop the masu?
Naomi: ねがい
Peter attach the honorific prefix..?
Naomi: お ねがい
Peter: And then we add
Naomi: する
Peter: And the polite form is..?
Naomi: します。お願いします。
Peter: So the expression that we’ve been using over and over again is actually humble language.
Naomi: Hmm
Peter: 謙譲語. OK. Let's review this lesson with a quiz.
Naomi: Sounds good.
Peter: How do you say "I talked with the client."
Naomi: わたしは、お客さんと話しました。
Peter: Now, how would you say it in a humble manner?
[pause]Here's a hint. The humble form of 話す to speak is (お話する)
[pause]And the answer is?
Naomi: わたしはお客さんとお話しました。
Peter: I humbly spoke with the client. Now, listen and repeat. "I humbly spoke with the client."
Naomi: わたしはお客さんとお話しました。
Peter: [pause] OK. Say "I humbly spoke with the client."
Naomi: [pause] わたしはお客さんとお話しました。
Peter: And finally, one of the most difficult things about 謙譲語 and 敬語 humble and honorific speeches is when when exactly to use it.
Naomi: hmm
Peter: Right now, you’d probably hear this much more than you’d use it. And you'll hear it when you are the customer at restaurants, hotels or any type of shop. So if you would have a chance for now, listen and try and pick up the humble language you hear that the staff is using towards you. At this time when they're speaking, they are lowering their status. And at the same time, probably saying something to elevate yours.
Peter: OK.That's all for this lesson. We only introduced the regular humble form of a verb. But there are also irregular ones, so be sure to read the lesson notes and memorize all the irregular verbs as well.
Naomi: 頑張ってください。じゃ、また。
Peter: See you next lesson.

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49 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 6th, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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みなさん、Japan is famous for its polite service. How is the service in your country? Are there equivalents to kenjō-go and sonkei-go in your language?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 9th, 2019 at 05:44 PM
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Hi Pawel,


Thank you for posting!


As you know, いたす or (お持ち)する is dictionary form, and いたします or (お持ち)します is masu-form of humble verb.

When you use humble language, of course it should be polite. So we always say 失礼いたします and お持ちします, with its masu-form in conversation.

いたす and (お持ち)する are mainly used with some conjunction or auxiliary verb, like いたすように, お持ちするために. It's not used in itself when we talk.


So, the level of formality is as below;

かばんを持つ - casual - with friends

かばんを持ちます - formal - with strangers

かばんをお持ちします - humble - with elder person or someone with higher status

(かばんをお持ちいたす)

かばんをお持ちいたします - very humble - with customers or someone with very higher status


Hope this helps.


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

Pawel
August 21st, 2019 at 01:50 AM
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Uu. I see my post got cut a bit.. :( To repeat last lines:

...

かばんをお持ちします - humble - for talking with someone with higher status

かばんをお持ちいたす - ?

かばんをお持ちいたします - ? - for talking with the Emperor maybe? :)


Please advise, thank you :)

Regards,

Pawel

Pawel
August 21st, 2019 at 01:48 AM
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Hello JapanesePod101 Team!


Wow that was very interesting lesson! The concept of Keigo is fascinating.I have a question though


I struggle to understand the usage of levels of politeness. If いたします is more polite than いたす then would you even want to use いたす in any situation? For example is there any usage for 失礼いたす?


Or maybe it's like below - level of formality is increasing as following:

かばんを持つ - casual - for talking with friends

かばんを持ちます - formal - for talking with strangers

かばんをお持ちします - humble - for talking with someone with higher status

かばんをお持ちいたす - ?

かばんをお持ちいたします - ?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 18th, 2018 at 04:04 PM
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こんにちは、Thomasさん

Thank you for the comment!


You can say もう一度お伺いしてもよろしいですか in very polite speech.


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Thomas
August 9th, 2018 at 06:54 PM
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Hello, is the following a correct way to ask very politely to repeat?


もう一度言うのを伺っても良いですか?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 21st, 2018 at 05:46 AM
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>Samさん、


Another good question!

If you say "I'm going to school," to refer to the actual action that you are heading to the school at the moment, it's better to say 学校に向かっています。The humble form of this is 学校に向かっております。


Maybe it's easier to understand the politeness level on how to say "I will come over now."

今から行きます。

今から参ります。


Hope this helps.


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

Sam
January 15th, 2018 at 07:34 PM
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So then for instance if you want to say "I am going to school" you would want to use 学校に行っております rather than 学校に参っております right? Because the last would be too formal and over the top? Just want to make sure I get this straight. Thanks for all the help!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 6th, 2018 at 04:45 PM
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> 亜力士さん、

こんにちは。

Thank you for the kind understanding! ❤️️


> Samさん、

こんにちは!

I'm very sorry for the late reply!!

Very good question!

When we use any けいご, we can choose the politeness level by choosing one over the other.

However, we have to also be careful not to use too many humble and/or respectful words at the same time

because then it becomes wrong.

For instance, べんきょうしております is a general humble expression to use whilst べんきょういたしております

sounds way too humble which should be used only to whom you need to pay the massive respect.

So, yes, we normally use the humble verb at the end.

Hope this helps! :)


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Sam
September 22nd, 2017 at 07:07 PM
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When forming a regular humble verb, is there a difference between using する and いたす? Are there situations where one is used more commonly than the other?


Also, with べんきょうしております、why wasn't して replaced with いたして? Can it be replaced with いたして? Would that make the sentence even more humble? Or do you only need to replace the last verb with a humble verb to make the sentence humble?

亜力士
June 23rd, 2017 at 01:38 AM
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奈津子さん、

こんにちは。

大丈夫ですよ、気にしないで下さい。


Of course! I must have overlooked that formation when I wrote the comment.?

今から、存じておると思います!


ありがとうございました。?