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Chigusa, Yoshi:おはよう東京。
Chigusa: チグサです。
Yoshi: ヨシです。
Peter: Peter here. Survival phrases #41. We are back with another survival phrase episode. Now Yoshi san, today let me ask you a question. Can we label today’s episode, well, today’s conversation a survival phrase conversation?
Yoshi: I think you can.
Peter: Yeah, why is that?
Yoshi: I have this situation quite often meeting my friend in a restaurant and stuff.
Peter: Chigusa san, what do you say?
Chigusa: Well I think it’s not a phrase you can’t live without but it’s always good to know.

Lesson focus

Peter: Very good point. I think this conversation is most useful for people living in Japan or someone coming to visit Japan who winds up in a situation where they go to meet their friends at a restaurant. Plus to add on that, to make matters more complicated, they actually have to show up after someone else in the party. So today’s conversation is basically showing up second or let’s make that not first to the restaurant. So rather than getting a seat, someone already has the seat and you have to find your way to the seat. So in English, we would say I am looking for Watanabe’s party and that’s Yoshi san’s last name. I am looking for Yoshi’s party and then they would show me around or look on my own. Today we are going to look at that. Now today for survival phrases, what we are going to do is give you the conversation once, one time normal speed, second time slower and third time we are going to give you the translation. Okay so with that said, let’s get into today’s conversation. Here we go.
Yoshi: いらっしゃいませ。
Chigusa: 待ち合わせなんですか。
Yoshi: お客様のお名前をよろしいですか?
Chigusa: タケダです。
Yoshi: 少々お待ちください。はい、どうぞこちらへ。
Peter: One more time slowly please.
Chigusa: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
Yoshi: いらっしゃいませ。
Chigusa: まちあわせ、なんですが。
Yoshi: おきゃくさまの、おなまえを、よろしいですか?
Chigusa: タケダです。
Yoshi: しょうしょう、おまちください。はい、どうぞ、こちらへ。
Peter: This time, we will give you the English translation. Here we go.
Yoshi: いらっしゃいませ。
Peter: Welcome.
Chigusa: 待ち合わせなんですが。
Peter: I am supposed to meet someone here.
Yoshi: お客様のお名前をよろしいですか?
Peter: May I have the name of the party?
Chigusa: タケダです。
Peter: It’s Takeda.
Yoshi: 少々お待ちください。
Peter: Just a moment please.
Yoshi: はい、どうぞこちらへ。
Peter: Yes this way please.
Now this is a conversation that occurs so many times every day especially Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night. Pretty much every day of the week.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: At all times in the day. Now you know what’s funny. This happened to me last Friday night and to show you how often we use this phrase, I never go out. I am usually busy with japanesepod101.com but last Friday night, I managed to make it out. It was a 同期会 and that roughly translates into a gathering for the people who entered a company, a school, a team, a club the same year. So it was my ice hockey同期会 from university and we had it at Shinjuku but I showed up to the place late. So I got a chance to use this phrase. Chigusa san, when was the last time you used this phrase?
Chigusa: Ahmm when was it like a few weeks ago maybe.
Peter: So you are always the first one at the place.
Chigusa: Yes. Very on time.
Peter: Yeah I wish I had that trait.
Chigusa: うそ。
Peter: Yoshi san, how about you?
Yoshi: It’s been awhile since I had some meetings like this actually.
Peter: Now when you say meetings like this, this can be used for all occasions but there is usually an appointment or a promise or a meeting scheduled. There is something scheduled beforehand and this is when you use this. So can you give us some examples of when you would use this? We already covered the restaurant, any place else?
Yoshi: You know, like usually if I go meet my, like really good friends in places like casual restaurants and stuff, I ask the hostess if I could just look around quickly.
Peter: As opposed to having them looking for you.
Yoshi: Right.
Peter: Yeah I think that’s really important to point out. When you use this phrase, they also look around. They are going to start looking around the store for the party you are looking for. So what Yoshi san does, he just starts looking around by himself but it’s a pretty good strategy and we are going to tell you how to do that too. So let’s get into today’s conversation. Let’s take it apart piece by piece and look at what's going on line by line. Yoshi san, first line one more time.
Yoshi: いらっしゃいませ。
Peter: Again you will come into contact with this word all the time. Yoshi san, can you give us some examples of where you’d hear this word?
Yoshi: Everywhere, the restaurants, stores, convenient stores, department stores.
Peter: Anywhere you are going to spend money.
Chigusa: Yes.
Yoshi: Right.
Peter: Can we translate as that, welcome your money?
Chigusa: I guess so.
Peter: I think it is the best because anyway you are going to spend money.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: Now I think I am really starting to understand Japanese. Okay and can you just break this down for us?
Yoshi: い・らっ・しゃ・い・ま・せ、いらっしゃいませ
Peter: Next we have Chigusa san お願いします。
Chigusa: 待ち合わせなんですが。
Peter: I am supposed to meet someone here is the translation but literally let’s take a look at what's going on in this sentence. The first word we have
Chigusa: 待ち合わせ
Peter: Appointment. Can you break it down?
Chigusa: ま・ち・あ・わ・せ、待ち合わせ
Peter: Now let’s take a look at the characters in this word. The first kanji, the first Chinese character is
Chigusa: 待つ
Peter: To wait and it becomes
Chigusa: 待ち
Peter: This is put together with
Chigusa: 合わせ
Peter: And this comes from
Chigusa: 合わせる
Peter: To put together, to wait, to put together. We combine these two words wait, put together and since it’s a person waiting, you are putting together waiting people 待ち合わせ makes sense. The characters don’t lie. It makes perfect sense.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: So you are putting together two waiting people 待ち合わせ Now again we go over this phrase over and over. Chigusa san, can you give us the second part of the sentence?
Chigusa: なんですが
Peter: Now the なん is actually
Chigusa: なの
Peter: This is letting the listening party の that you would like some input or response from them about this. So we have an appointment and Chigusa san, whose appointment is it?
Chigusa: It’s my appointment.
Peter: Yes we are letting the listening party know I have an appointment is the way we can also interpret the sentence. I have an appointment. I am supposed to meet someone here. Then we have
Chigusa: ですが
Peter: And we interpret this as but. I have an appointment but something, something and here we have but I can’t find them but I don’t know where they are, something along this line. So when you add this なんですが on to the end of the sentence, you are letting the Maître d’, you are letting the hostess, you are letting the person in the restaurant know or the person in the place, you are supposed to meet someone know that you need their assistance in finding them and that’s what this sentence comes out to be. So when you are not the first person in the party to arrive at the restaurant, when you get in the door, some places, you have to take off your shoes, some you don’t take care of that, walk up to the hostess and say
Chigusa: 待ち合わせなんですが。
Peter: Then the hostess replied
Yoshi: お客様のお名前をよろしいですか?
Peter: May I have the name of the party? Okay, first part of that sentence.
Yoshi: お客様
Peter: An extremely polite way to refer to the customer. I don’t know if it gets higher than this. Well I could tell you, out of the restaurants and shops and hotels I have been to, I haven’t gotten higher than this but then again, I don’t go to too many classy places. So maybe we should ask Chigusa san about that.
Chigusa: Umm if that person doesn’t know your name, then お客様 is the most politest way to refer to the customer.
Peter: Okay and the word for customer is actually
Chigusa: 客
Peter: So we have the word for customer plus the prefix
Chigusa: お
Peter: And the suffix
Chigusa: 様
Peter: So it’s really dressed up, really polite. This is followed by
Yoshi: の
Peter: Possessive here. So we have customers
Yoshi: お名前
Peter: Name. The word for name is
Yoshi: 名前
Peter: And to this we have the prefix
Yoshi: お
Peter: To make it polite. So extremely polite Japanese here. And we take it literally customer’s name followed by
Yoshi: お
Peter: Object marker.
Yoshi: よろしい
Peter: Good, nice. This is the polite version of
Yoshi: よい
Peter: So we have customer’s names, nice, customer's name, good. Finally?
Yoshi: ですか?
Peter: Inferring that it’s a question. So we have a customer's name, good is the literal meaning but we have to interpret it here and when we interpret it, it comes out to, may I have the party’s name. Is it good to have the party’s name which can be interpreted as, may I have the party’s name. Again, we are going to reverse it here. Is it good to have the party’s name and we infer this as, may I have the party’s name. To this Chigusa responded.
Chigusa: タケダです。
Peter: It’s Takeda. The name of the party is Takeda. So once they have the name, they start to look. After they look, they come back.
Yoshi: 少々お待ちください。
Peter: Please wait a moment. Can we have the first part here?
Yoshi: 少々
Peter: A little and an easy way to remember this, what’s the first character in this word?
Yoshi: 少
Peter: What does it mean?
Yoshi: Little.
Peter: A little. So we have it twice.
Yoshi: Little little.
Peter: That’s it, a little, a little which is a very little, a little of a little which is a little. Did that make sense? So a little and
Yoshi: お待ちください。
Peter: The first part being?
Yoshi: お待ち
Peter: Coming from the word?
Yoshi: 待つ
Peter: To wait and this is same as 待ち合わせ the same nominalized verb in there. Now what’s different about this is, we have the prefix
Yoshi: お
Peter: And again the grammar behind this is beyond the scope of this lesson but inside the PDF, we will have a write up about this and finally
Yoshi: ください
Peter: Please. A little wait please is the literal translation. Again we turn it around, please wait a little bit. Just a moment please. She comes back and says
Yoshi: はい。どうぞ、こちらへ。
Peter: What’s the first word?
Yoshi: はい
Peter: Yes followed by
Yoshi: どうぞ
Peter: Please.
Yoshi: こちらへ
Peter: This way. Yes please this way and again we turn it around, yes this way please. And you are on your way to meet your friends, it’s that simple. Now there are few variations on what the person working at the restaurant will say to you, the hostess, the Maitre ‘d or the first person you come in contact with at the restaurant. Of course, depending on the level of the restaurant. I am quite used to going to 居酒屋 So it’s not too formal. So this conversation should work out okay but there are quite a range of restaurants. So Chigusa san, can you give us something else you may hear in the same situation and Yoshi san will give us the beginning? 待ち合わせなんですが。
Chigusa: いらっしゃいませ。
Yoshi: 待ち合わせなんですが。
Chigusa: お待ち合わせのお客様のお名前を頂いてもよろしいですか?
Peter: And this is something that you will hear. Yoshi san, what kind of restaurants we will hear this at...?
Yoshi: Some nice places.
Peter: Yeah, some really nice places. I am yet to hear this at the places I’ve been to.
Yoshi: With all the good looking hostesses and waitresses.
Peter: Are we still talking about restaurants here, Yoshi?
Yoshi: Of course yes.
Peter: Yeah I think what we want to point out here is, there are variations to this. So every time you go to a place, you are not going to hear お客様の名前をよろしいですか? and there are variations and Chigusa san gave us one of those variations and again it depends on the level of the restaurant. So this type of place would be, kind of sit down, very nice dinner, high class. So can you give it to us one more time please?
Chigusa: お待ち合わせのお客様のお名前を、頂いてもよろしいですか?
Peter: And again, we can take a lot of time on this expression alone but we just want you to get your ears familiar with this phrase because this phrase means exactly the same thing as the one we gave you in the conversation. So if you hear this or something like it, revert to what we gave you today. In a different lesson, we will cover what we just gave you now. Now, earlier, Yoshi san was saying that he likes to look around by himself rather than have the employee of the store go looking for the party. Yoshi san, in a situation like this, what do you say to get permission to go around and look by yourself?
Yoshi: 見てもいいですか?
Peter: Now this structure, we had in the survival phrases on taking pictures 写真を撮ってもいいですか? So it’s asking permission. Yoshi san, here he is asking, may I look around and the literal translation is, is it okay to look, is it okay even if I look and then we interpret this as may I look or can I look around. So Yoshi san, can you give us this one more time please?
Yoshi: 見てもいいですか?
Peter: Okay and this works out quite well if you forget the party’s name. Now the party’s name is one last name we want to touch on. When you go up and you tell the hostess Maitre ‘d, again the first person you come in contact with and you say to them I am supposed to meet someone here, the name you give Chigusa san, what name is that?
Chigusa: It’s the name of the reservation.


Peter: That’s it. So whatever name the reservation is under, that’s the name you want to give. Okay we covered a lot today. We could actually squeeze this one into two but this is really, really useful especially if you find yourself in this situation. So if you are not good at keeping time, this phrase is going to be really, really useful for you. All right so that’s going to do it for today.
Yoshi: またね。
Chigusa: またね。


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