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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to JapanesePod101.com. This is Business Japanese for Beginners Season 1 Lesson 9 - Catching Up with a Japanese Co-worker. Eric here.
Natsuko: こんにちは。 なつこです。
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to greet someone when you haven't seen them for a long time. The conversation takes place in an office.
Natsuko: It's between Linda and Mr. Tanaka, who works for the same company as Linda, but in a different office.
Eric: The speakers are co-workers who are meeting after a long time, so they’ll be using formal Japanese, but it's not overly formal. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Linda: 田中さん、お久しぶりです
Tanaka: リンダ、本当に、お久しぶりです。
Linda: お元気ですか。
Tanaka: はい、おかげ様で。リンダは?
Linda: はい、私も元気です。
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Linda: 田中さん、お久しぶりです
Tanaka: リンダ、本当に、お久しぶりです。
Linda: お元気ですか。
Tanaka: はい、おかげ様で。リンダは?
Linda: はい、私も元気です。
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation.
Linda: Hi Mr. Tanaka. Long time no see. How have you been?
Tanaka: Hi Linda. Yes indeed it’s been awhile since we met last time.
Linda: How are you?
Tanaka: I’m very good. Thank you, how about you Linda?
Linda: Yes, I’m great.
Eric: Natsuko, I have a question. Why is Linda calling Mr. Tanaka たなかさん his family name plus -san, while he calls her just Linda, without -san? Since they are co-workers, they’re in the same social status, right?
Natsuko: Good question. I don’t have a clear answer, but I assume Linda said “Please call me Linda” when they first met.
Eric: I see. But, in Japanese offices, people usually use their family name, right?
Natsuko: That’s right. It depends on the company culture, but we usually use our family name in business situations.
Eric: I see. So maybe because Linda is a foreigner, the name rule might not apply to her, or she might have asked her colleagues to call her by her first name.
I have another question. I’ve heard transfers between offices or branches happen a lot at Japanese companies, it that true?
Natsuko: Yes, definitely. At big companies, it happens quite often. Here are two vocab items for you. When someone is transferred to another section, it's called idō (異動). When someone is transferred to another branch or office, it's called tenkin (転勤).
Eric: Okay, now onto the vocab.
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Natsuko: 久しぶり [natural native speed]
Eric: long time
Natsuko: 久しぶり[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Natsuko: 久しぶり [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Natsuko: 本当に [natural native speed]
Eric: really
Natsuko: 本当に[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Natsuko: 本当に [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Natsuko: 元気 [natural native speed]
Eric: good, fine
Natsuko: 元気[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Natsuko: 元気 [natural native speed]
Eric: And last we have..
Natsuko: おかげ様で。 [natural native speed]
Eric: Thanks to you. Thanks for asking.
Natsuko: おかげ様で。[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Natsuko: おかげ様で。 [natural native speed]
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Our phrase for this lesson is...
Natsuko: おかげ様で。
Eric: which means “Thanks to all of you.” Let’s break it down.
Natsuko: お
Eric: an honorific prefix
Eric: meaning “Shade”
Natsuko: さま
Eric: an honorific suffix.
Eric: a particle indicating a reason. Altogether, おかげさまで means “help from other people”. But you can translate it as “thanks to your help” or “thanks to all of you.”
Natsuko: You can say おかげさまで to express your gratitude and respect for other people.
Eric: For example, when you are in a hospital and your doctor asks you “are you feeling better today?”, you can answer ...
Natsuko: はい。おかげ様で 。
Eric: which means “Yes, I am feeling better, thanks to you”. With this phrase, you are expressing gratitude for the doctor's help. If, for example, your friend visits you at the hospital, and asks you the same question, you can also use this phrase even if you don't get any direct help from that person.
Natsuko: おかげ様で might be similar to “Thank you for caring” or “Thank you for asking” in English.
Eric: Natsuko, can you say “Thanks to you, Linda” using お蔭様で?
Natsuko: Well, in that case, you have to drop さま.
First, say the name, Linda. Next add the particle [no] and おかげで . [Linda no o-kage de.]
Eric: So we don’t say [Linda no o-kage-sama de?]
Natsuko: No. It has to be [Linda no o-kage de]
Eric: “Thanks to you, Linda” or “Thanks to Linda”. Let’s look at this lesson’s dialogue. In the dialogue, Linda said…
Eric: Which means “How are you?” And Mr. Tanaka said…
Natsuko: はい。おかげさまで。
Eric:..which means “I’m very good. Thank you.” Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to greet someone you haven't seen for a long time. In the dialogue, Linda said...
Natsuko: お久しぶりです
Eric: which means “Long time, no see” or “It's been a while”. Let’s break it down.
Eric: An honorific prefix o- (お)
Eric: “After a long time” or “have been awhile.”
Eric: A polite copula, desu (です). You can say おひさしぶりです when you meet a person who you haven’t seen for a long time.
Natsuko: If someone says おひさしぶりです to you, you can just repeat the same phrase, おひさしぶりです.
A: お久しぶりです。
B: お久しぶりです。
Eric: which means A: “Long time no see.”
B: “Long time no see.”
Now, Natsuko, [O-hisashiburi desu] is a polite expression, right?
Natsuko: Right. Actually, you can drop the first [ o] and say ひさしぶりです。It’s still polite. But less polite than おひさしぶりです。
Eric: OK. What about the casual expression?
Natsuko: In casual conversation, you can just say 久しぶり。 You can use 久しぶり with close friends, colleagues, and family members.
Eric: Let’s recap. Natsuko, how do you say “Long time no see” in a polite way?
Natsuko: おひさしぶりです。or ひさしぶりです
Eric: What’s “Long time no see.” in a casual way?
Natsuko: 久しぶり。
Eric: OK. After you hear おひさしぶりです, the conversation usually continues with the question “How are you?” which in Japanese is...
Natsuko: お元気ですか?
Eric:This is a very polite way to ask how someone is.
Natsuko: おげんきですか is translated as “How are you?” in English. But I don’t think we ask おげんきですか as much as you do in English.
Eric: That’s true. In English, we say “how are you?” every day when we see people. Whereas in Japanese, people usually ask [o genki desu ka?] when they see someone after a long absence.
Natsuko: Right. If you haven’t seen someone for a long time, you probably want to know how he or she has been doing, right?
Eric: So おげんきですか can also be translated as “How have you been?” Natsuko, how can we reply to おげんきですか?
Natsuko: You can say 元気です if you’re fine. Or you can use this lesson’s key vocab and say...おかげ様で元気です.
Eric: OK. Now listeners, I’ll ask Natsuko how she is and she’ll give an answer. Please listen to our conversation and see if you can understand.
Eric: なつこさん、おひさしぶりです。お元気ですか。
Natsuko: はい。お蔭様で元気です。
Eric: I said “Natsuko, it’s been a long time. How are you?”
Natsuko: And I said “I’m very good. Thanks for asking.” I said… [ o-kage sama de genki desu], but you can leave out [genki desu] and simply say [okage sama de].
Eric: OK. Our conversation would be…
Natsuko: おかげ様で。
Eric: Natsuko, can you give us some more examples?
Natsuko: Sure. 佐々木さん。お久しぶりです。
Eric: “Hi, Mr. Sasaki. Long time no see.”
Natsuko: お久しぶりです。お元気ですか。
Eric: “It's been a long time. How are you?”


Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Natsuko: またね