Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
みなさん、こんにちは。Alisha です。
(Mina-san, kon'nichiwa. Alisha desu.)
In this Whiteboard Lesson, we'll going to look at some essential social expressions in Japanese.
Let's get started!
Okay, let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The vocabulary for this lesson includes a bunch of different phrases for different situations.
So first, let's take a look at this script.
These are expressions which means "excuse me."
First is...
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
This means "Excuse me."
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
The second expression here is...
ちょっと まってください。 (Chotto matte kudasai.)
Which means "Excuse me," or literally "Please wait a minute."
This part here, まってください (matte kudasai) means "please wait."
And ちょっと (chotto) means "a moment" or "a little."
So in this case, we can understand it as "Please wait a minute."
Also, please notice the pronunciation of this.
ちょっと (chotto) has this stop in the middle. So not ちょと (choto), but ちょっと (chotto), that little stop is very important.
We see the same thing here with まって (matte). So not まて (mate), but まって (matte).
ちょっと まってください。 (Chotto matte kudasai.) "Please wait a minute."
Ok, the next group is saying "yes."
How do we say "yes" in Japanese. First, we have...
はい? (Hai?)
In this case, we have it as the question because we can use this as a response to something else. はい? (Hai?)
This is a very direct way of saying "Yes?" in English as well.
The second expression we have here is...
なんでしょう? (Nan deshō?)
Which means "Yes?" Or literally "What is it?"
So this なん (nan) is like saying "What?"
And this でしょう? (deshō?) is kind of a polite way of saying "is it."
So, "What is it?" なんでしょう? (Nan deshō?)
You can use this as a response when someone's trying to get your attention.
はい? (Hai?) meaning "Yes?"
Or なんでしょう? (Nan deshō?) which is "What is it?"
Ok, let's move on to the next group.
The next group is saying "Thank you."
So the first expression here is...
ありがとうございます。 (Arigatō gozaimasu.)
Which means "Thank you."
ありがとうございます。 (Arigatō gozaimasu.)
The second expression is...
どうも ありがとうございます。 (Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.)
Which means "Thank you very much."
So adding どうも (dōmo) to the beginning of this phrase makes it a little bit more polite.
どうも ありがとうございます。 (Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.)
"Thank you very much."
You might also hear some people say どうも (dōmo) to sound very casual, which just means "Thanks."
So, we have ありがとうございます。 (Arigatō gozaimasu.) "Thank you."
どうも ありがとうございます。 (Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.)
Which means "Thank you very much."
And どうも (dōmo), which just means "Thanks."
Ok, let's move on to the next group.
The next is saying "You're welcome."
So the first expression here is...
どういたしまして。 (Dōitashimashite.)
どういたしまして。 (Dōitashimashite.) means "You're welcome."
This is the most direct way to translate "You're welcome" into Japanese but it's not so commonly used in everyday conversation; rather, we tend to use the second expression more.
The second expression here is...
いいえ。 (Iie.)
Which means "No."
So in a giving and receiving situation, you'll probably hear both sides using this expression a lot, いいえ。 (Iie.)
So in the case of the gift-giver, when they give someone a gift, the other person receives it with ありがとうございます (Arigatō gozaimasu), for example, the person who gave the gift might respond with いいえ いいえ いいえ (iie iie iie) instead of directly saying どういたしまし (Dōitashimashite); which may happen occasionally but in lots of everyday situations, the person who gave the gift would simply say "no no no no no," which kind of feels like "no problem, it was no big deal; don't worry about it," right? We do the same thing in English.
So although we have it here listed as "you're welcome," this word literally means "No." So you can use it in a similar way when you're giving things to other people.
Ok, let's move on to the next group.
Next is “I’m sorry,” ways to say “I’m sorry.”
First, we have…
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.)
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.) means “I’m sorry.”
So use this expression when you made a mistake, caused a problem, you bumped into someone, for example.
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.) “I’m sorry.”
The second expression we have is…
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
Which also can be used to mean “I’m sorry.”
So maybe you remember the very first expression we talked about was すみません (Sumimasen) up here, “Excuse me.”
So this does literally mean “Excuse me,” but there are cases where we use this expression to mean "I'm sorry," just like we do in English.
We're going to see an example of this in the dialogues later. But kind of, a way that you can keep them in line in your mind is to remember that ごめんなさい (Gomen nasai) is when you want to apologize for something; and すみません (Sumimasen) is more like an interruption.
Sometimes, yes, you interrupt someone and you need to apologize for that thing, so you can kind of choose whichever one is the most appropriate for this situation. But if you want to express that kind of apology, mistakes sort of feeling, in a lot of cases, ごめんなさい (Gomen nasai) is the best.
If you're simply interrupting someone or maybe you bump into someone on the street, you might just say すみません (Sumimasen).
So, there are some situations where one does sound a little more natural, we'll talk about this later.
Ok, let's move on to the next group.
Next is saying "It's okay."
The first expression here is...
いいえ。 (Iie.)
Which we just talked about in the "you're welcome" section.
So いいえ (iie), which literally means "no," can also be used to mean "It's okay."
So again, when you're giving someone a gift, for example, and they say "Oh, thank you so much!" You can say いいえ いいえ (iie iie), "it's fine, no problem, no worries."
You can also do this if someone else makes a mistake and they say "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry for my mistake"; you might respond with いいえ (iie), which means "It's okay." Like "no problem, no big deal."
So いいえ (iie) is a great word to use in this situation.
The second expression here is...
だいじょうぶです。 (Daijōbu desu.)
which means "It's okay."
So だいじょうぶです。 (Daijōbu desu.) literally means "It's okay."
This is a great word to know, you can use this in lots of situations. For example, when you go to the convenience store and theu say “do you need a bag?” You can say, だいじょうぶです。 (Daijōbu desu.) Which means "It's okay," or “I’m okay.”
So だいじょうぶ (daijōbu) is a really versatile word to know.
Ok, now let's take a look at some sample dialogues that use these expressions.
Ok, now let's take a look at some sample dialogues that use these expressions.
First, when calling for someone's attention after they've dropped something.
So maybe you see someone on the street, they dropped some kind of accessory, maybe, what do you do? You say,
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
Which means “Excuse me.”
And the other person responds,
はい? (Hai?)
So in this case, すみません。(Sumimasen.) is the best choice, which means “Excuse me.” We would not use ごめんなさい。(Gomen nasai.) in this situation because ごめんなさい (gomen nasai) is used to apologize for something, to say "I'm sorry" for something. You're not apologizing, you're simply trying to get someone's attention. So, as in English, it's most appropriate to say "Excuse me."
And in this case, the person responds with はい? (Hai?)
So it's a very kind of direct way to do this but in this case, you're on the street, it's just someone that you don't know but you wanting to kind of show that you're using your attention to talk to this person.
はい? (Hai?) "Yes? (What is it?)"
So, すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
はい? (Hai?)
This is a very natural way to get someone’s attention and to respond on the street.
Ok, next, let's take a look at the second one.
When expressing your gratitude to a friend who has given you a souvenir.
You can say,
ありがとうございます。 (Arigatō gozaimasu.)
“Thank you.”
And then, if you want to be very direct with this, you can say,
どういたしまして。 (Dōitashimashite.)
“You're welcome.”
So this is a very simple gift-giving and receiving situation.
ありがとうございます。 (Arigatō gozaimasu.)
どういたしまして。 (Dōitashimashite.)
You might hear いいえ いいえ、どういたしまして。 (Iie iie, dōitashimashite.) Using the two of those together.
Ok, the final example.
When apologizing after bumping into someone on the street.
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.)
“I'm sorry.”
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.)
いいえ。 (Iie.)
“It's okay.”
So in this situation we've used ごめんなさい (gomen nasai) to mean "I'm sorry" because you made a mistake, you maybe bumped into somebody, kind of roughly, and maybe hurt them or confused them or something; you want to apologize, so you say ごめんなさい。(Gomen nasai.)
There are some situation where you might hear peoople also say すみません。(Sumimasen.) Maybe if it was just a quick brush or something, they might say すみません。(Sumimasen.) "Excuse me."
So in this situation we've used ごめんなさい (gomen nasai) to mean "I'm sorry" because you made a mistake, you maybe bumped into somebody, kind of roughly, and maybe hurt them or confused them or something; you want to apologize, so you say ごめんなさい。(Gomen nasai.)
There are some situation where you might hear peoople also say すみません。(Sumimasen.) Maybe if it was just a quick brush or something, they might say すみません。(Sumimasen.) "Excuse me." "I'm sorry for that."
And then the response is いいえ (iie), “It's okay, don't worry about it."
ごめんなさい。 (Gomen nasai.)
いいえ、だいじょうぶです。 (Iie, daijōbu desu.) You might hear this used too. “It’s ok, no problem.”
So these are some examples of ways that you can use the expressions we covered in this lesson.

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