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Lesson Transcript

Risa: Imagine you're eating dinner with your Japanese friend's family. You remember hearing about good and bad chopstick manners but forgot which is which. What should you do? こんにちは。りさです. Risa here. Anyone can learn how to use chopsticks properly. In this lesson, you'll learn how. Ben is eating dinner at his friend Taichi's home. Let's watch!
Taichi's mother: ベンは、おはしが上手ですね。
Ben: ありがとうございます。
Ben: この はしおき、きれいですね。
Taichi's mother: ありがとう。
Taichi's mother: たいち、だめ。
Taichi's mother: それは「よせばし。」わるいマナーですよ。
Now with English translation.
Taichi's mother: Ben, you're using chopsticks well.
Ben: Thank you.
Ben: This chopstick rest is beautiful, isn't it.
Taichi's mother: Thank you.
Taichi's mother: Taichi, don't do that.
Taichi's mother: That's "yosebashi." It's bad manners.
Risa: Here are the key words from the scene.
Ben: 箸
Risa: 箸
Alisha: chopsticks
Risa: 箸, 箸, 箸
Ben: 上手
Risa: 上手
Alisha: skilled, good at
Risa: 上手, 上手, 上手
Ben: はしおき
Risa: はしおき
Alisha: chopstick rest
Risa: はしおき, はしおき, はしおき
Ben: だめ
Risa: だめ
Alisha: useless, no good
Risa: だめ, だめ, だめ
Ben: 寄せばし
Risa: 寄せばし
Alisha: drawing a plate towards yourself with your chopsticks
Risa: 寄せばし, 寄せばし, 寄せばし
Ben: 悪い
Risa: 悪い
Alisha: bad
Risa: 悪い, 悪い, 悪い
Ben: マナー
Risa: マナー
Alisha: manners, etiquette
Risa: マナー, マナー, マナー
Key Phrases
Risa: Here are the key phrases from the scene.
Alisha: In the scene, what did Ben say to compliment the chopstick rest?
Ben: このはしおき、きれいですね。
Alisha: Let's take a look at the sentence ending particle…
Risa: ね
Alisha: This makes a tag question. In this case, it means "isn't it?"
Risa: このはしおき、きれいですね。
Alisha: “This chopstick rest is beautiful, isn't it?”
Alisha: When you add this sentence ending particle, you can imply that you are asking the person you’re talking to for their agreement, like a tag question.
Alisha: So, when you eat something good with your friend, and want to ask if they agree, you say…
Risa: おいしいですね。
Alisha: “It's delicious, isn't it?”
Alisha: Now you try! Say Ben's line.
Ben: ありがとうございます。
Ben: このはしおき、きれいですね。
Alisha: How did Taichi's mother respond when Taichi had bad manners?
Taichi's mother: 悪いマナーですよ。
Alisha: Here, let's take a look at another sentence ending particle,
Risa: よ
Alisha: which can be used to indicate certainty or emphasis.
Alisha: If you say…
Risa: 悪いマナーです
Alisha: “It's bad manners.”
Alisha: It's just a neutral statement, but when you tell something that your listener doesn't know, you might want to add the sentence ending particle,
Risa: よ
Alisha: at the end to indicate certainty and emphasis, and it sounds natural. So, altogether,
Risa: 悪いマナーですよ。
Alisha: “That's bad manners!”
Alisha: For example, when you really want to recommend some food to your friend and say "this sure is delicious," you'd say…
Risa: これ、おいしいですよ。
Alisha: Now you try! Say Taichi's mother's line.
Taichi’s mother: それは「よせばし。」
Taichi's mother: 悪いマナーですよ。
Alisha: When Tachi's mother saw him pulling a plate towards him with his chopsticks, what did she say to tell him to stop?
Taichi’s mother: だめ
Risa: だめ、だめ、だめ
Alisha: “no good”
Alisha: It's commonly used in casual conversation when you want to tell someone not to do something.
Alisha: So, if your friend asks you if it's okay to use your car, what do say to tell them "no"?
Risa: だめ
Alisha: Now you try! Say Taichi's mother's line.
Taichi's mother: たいち
Taichi's mother: だめ。

Lesson focus

Risa: Now, the lesson focus. Here's how to use chopsticks properly.
Alisha: This is the proper way to hold chopsticks.
Alisha: Let's see how to do this step by step.
Alisha: Step 1. Put the first chopstick on the crook of your thumb and on the tip of your fourth finger.
Alisha: Step 2. Hold the other chopstick with your thumb, index finger, and the middle finger, like you hold a pen.
Alisha: Step 3: Move only the top chopstick to meet the other one, and pick up something.
Alisha: You don't hold them like this. This is called...
Risa: にぎりばし
Alisha: This is another bad way of holding them, which is called
Risa: ばってんばし
Alisha: Now you can hold chopsticks properly. But it's not enough. There are other bad manners you might want to avoid.
Alisha: The first one is
Risa: よせばし
Alisha: which is pulling a plate towards yourself with using your chopsticks, as Taichi did in the video.
Alisha: The next one is,
Risa: あわせばし
Alisha: which is when you touch your chopsticks to another person's chopsticks to pass and receive food. These acts are mainly performed at funerals when people pick up the remains after a body has been cremated. Because of this, people think it is unacceptable behavior for a dinner table.
Alisha: Another unacceptable behavior is
Risa: たてばし
Alisha: which is sticking chopsticks straight up in a rice bowl. In Japan, people do this only to the food set out for the departed at a funeral, so you should avoid doing this at a meal.
Risa: Now it's time to practice your new ability.
Alisha: You're eating Japanese food with your friend. Ready? Here we go.
Alisha: You find a beautiful chopstick rest in front of you, and want to say "This chopstick rest is beautiful, isn't it?" to ask if your friend agrees. What do you say?
Risa: このはしおき、きれいですね。
Alisha: When you see your friend acting rudely with chopsticks, how do you tell him not to do that?
Risa: だめ。
Alisha: You want to explain with certainty that his behavior is bad manners. What do you say?
Risa: 悪いマナーですよ。
Alisha: Great job!
Risa: このはしおき、きれいですね。
Risa: だめ。
Risa: 悪いマナーですよ。


Risa: よくできました! Now, watch the scene one more time. After that, you're ready to politely use chopsticks in Japan! じゃまたね!


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JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 12th, 2015 at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever used the chopsticks?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 7th, 2021 at 05:49 AM
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Thank you for your comment😄

Please let us know if you have any questions!

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Team JapanesePod101.com

May 8th, 2021 at 03:20 PM
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For me with english as second language trying to learn japanese,

"わるいマナーですよ" - sounded like "where is your manners" .... not far off the intended translation.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 31st, 2019 at 10:20 AM
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Hi Brian,

Thank you for leaving a comment. We will consider your input for our future lessons.


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 6th, 2018 at 08:01 PM
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The particle ね is basically asking for a confirmation which works like a tag question. ?

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 6th, 2018 at 07:59 PM
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> Ray Pope san,


I'm very sorry for those problems! ?

I'll ask my team to check your membership status and see why that is happening.

Someone will get back to you shortly.

Thank you very much for your understanding and patience!!

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 6th, 2018 at 07:57 PM
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> Louise-san,


I'm very sorry for this late reply!! ?

Yes, it is very common to find disposable chopsticks in restaurants.

Actually, it's not rude at all if you take your chopsticks to the restaurants. You will be considered as very eco friendly :)

It was very common some years ago, like 'fashion' back then. It was when mass media started

to talk about 'waste of resource' and environmental issues and boost people's ecology-consciousness.

You might also come across some restaurants that give you the choices: disposable or re-usable. ;)

> Dorothy-san,


I'm very sorry for the late reply!

We do have special chopsticks for cooking too. It's normally much longer than

the pairs we use to eat. I use them only sometimes...?

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

January 16th, 2018 at 03:25 PM
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so the "ね” in ”お箸が上手ですね” is also a tag question asking for agreement as in "これはしおき、きれいですね”? is that the only use for "ね” when its at the end of a sentence?


Ray Pope
December 17th, 2017 at 07:53 PM
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When I click on the link "how to use chopsticks properly" on the screen that appears, when I hover over the starting arrow-head all I get is "upgrade to Basic or Premium to access these great study resources."

You seem to be treating me as some-one who has not paid for Premium lessons. Can you please check if I am registered as a Premium student and if so, please let me continue my lessons.

I am using window 10 on a laptop.

Thank you very much,



Japanesepod101.com Verified
December 17th, 2017 at 10:13 AM
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Hi Ray,

Thank you for posting.

In [LESSONS]=>[VIDEO LESSON LIBRARY] on the upper menu you can access the video lesson library. There you can choose your level. Here's the direct link for the Beginner Videos:


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We hope this helps! In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

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Ray Pope
December 16th, 2017 at 08:20 PM
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1. I am a beginner, not an absolute beginner. How do I change this setting on starting a lesson?

2. How do I start a lesson?

3. How do I get .pdf transcritions?