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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to learn Japanese grammar absolute beginner. In this video series, you learn basic Japanese grammar patterns and phrases through easy to follow audio and visual cues. Here is what we will cover in this lesson. Ready? Let’s get started.
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
Jessi: Okay in this lesson, you will learn how to say excuse me and I am sorry.
Naomi: The best part is, you only have to learn one phrase for both.
Jessi: That’s right. There is one phrase that covers both of these meanings. That makes it easy, and that word is, Naomi?
Naomi: すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
Jessi: すみません。 (Sumimasen.) One time slowly?
Naomi: す、み、ま、せ、ん。 (su, mi, ma, se, n.)
Jessi: And one more time at regular speed.
Naomi: すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
Jessi: So this すみません (Sumimasen.) has two meanings, excuse me and I am sorry. So the first meaning of すみません (Sumimasen.), excuse me, is used to get the attention of somebody. So that means you can use it to call out to a stranger or a waiter at a restaurant, things like that.
Naomi: あの、すみません。 (Ano, sumimasen.)
Jessi: Um...excuse me. Like that.
Naomi: So that’s the first meaning of すみません (sumimasen).
Jessi: The second meaning again is, I am sorry.
Naomi: あっ!すみません! (A! Sumimasen!)
Jessi: Which is, oh! I am sorry! This is really useful. If you make some kind of mistake, it can all be handled with すみません (sumimasen)
Naomi: Please remember this phrase
すみません。 (Sumimasen.)
水、お願いします。 (Mizu, o-negai shimasu.)
Jessi: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask for something in Japanese.
Naomi: There is one phrase you will learn for that in this lesson.
Jessi: お願いします。 (Ō-negai shimasu.)
Naomi: On its own, you can think of it as meaning, please.
Jessi: Yes as in, menu please, water please, and so on. Okay, so Naomi, what’s the formation?
Naomi: Very simple. Just say the item you want and add お願いします (o-negai shimasu)
Jessi: So that’s item plus お願いします。 (o-negai shimasu)
Naomi: Exactly. メニュー、お願いします。 (Menyū, o-negai shimasu.)
Jessi: Literally, menu please. In more natural English, we’d say, can I get a menu? And the next one?
Naomi: 水、お願いします。 (Mizu, o-negai shimasu.)
Jessi: Can I get some water? Now a menu and water are both physical objects. So you can use this お願いします (o-negai shimasu) for actual tangible things. But you can also use it for not so tangible things.
Naomi: Ah, like a service.
Jessi: Right.
Naomi: 注文、お願いします。 (Chūmon, o-negai shimasu.)
Jessi: 注文 (chūmon) is order and お願いします (o-negai shimasu) is like please. So literally it’s like saying order please. You may think it means something like, can I have my order please? But what it really means is, can you take my order please?
Naomi: So you are asking them to do something.
Jessi: Yes. Quite handy this お願いします。 (o-negai shimasu.)
水、お願いします。 (Mizu, o-negai shimasu.)
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