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Today we will go over getting a table in a restaurant. In Japan, smoking in restaurants is still accepted but there are places that will ask you if you want smoking or nonsmoking. Now remember, when you enter a restaurant, you will first hear Irasshaimase which in Japanese is the polite greeting when entering the place of business. Then they will ask you for how many people are in your party and then they will ask whether you want smoking or nonsmoking. So let’s go over that.
Nonsmoking in Japanese is Kin’en. Ki-n-e-n. Kin’en. Let’s break that down by syllable. Ki-n-e-n. Kin’en. The first letter Kin stands for prohibited Ki-n. Kin. This is followed by en which is the Japanese character for smoking. So literally it’s prohibited smoking Kin’en. Ki-n-e-n. Kin’en. On the flip side, smoking is Kitsuen. Ki-tsu-e-n. Let’s break it down by syllable. Ki-tsu-e-n. Together it’s Kitsuen. This one word together means smoking. Now when somebody asks you if you want smoking or nonsmoking seats, they will just say Kin’en, kitsuen, dochira ni shimasu ka? dochira ni shimasu ka? broken down by syllable that would be do-chi-ra-ni-shi-ma-su-ka? which means which would you choose. Dochira means which do-chi-ra, dochira. The latter half of the question ni shimasu ka means will you do. Shimasu is a polite form of to do and ka at the end of the sentence is the particle that turns the sentence into an interrogative.
So together, the question would be Kin’en, kitsuen, dochira ni shimasu ka? To answer this, simply say either Kin’en nonsmoking or Kitsuen smoking. Now you can also beat them to the punch by saying how many people are in your party and nonsmoking even before they ask. As we covered in our previous lesson, you can tell them the number of people in your party by saying ichi-mei for one person or ni-mei for two people. Then add kin’en if you want nonsmoking and then you are all set and there you go, ready for an exquisite dining experience in the heart of Tokyo.
Now here is a little Sachiko secret. A lot of restaurants in Japan now have separate seating for smoking and nonsmoking but the two areas are sometimes so close together that the smoke actually filters into the nonsmoking section. So when you enter a restaurant, pay attention to the layout of the place and if the smoke starts to bother you during a meal, insist on moving to a better seat. Simply point to an empty seat further away from the smoking section and say Ii desu ka? which means is it all right or is it okay. If they look confused about why you are asking to be moved, simply do the smoking gesture and frown. That’s what I do. Okay so to close our today’s lesson, let’s practice what you’ve just learned.
I will give you the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud in Japanese. You got that. I will give you a few seconds before I give you the answer. So good luck Ganbatte kudasai. Nonsmoking Kin’en. Ki-n-e-n. Kin’en. smoking. Kitsuen. Ki-tsu-e-n. Kitsuen. Would you prefer smoking or nonsmoking. Kin’en, kitsuen, dochira ni shimasu ka? Ki-n-e-n, ki-tsu-e-n, do-chi-ra-ni-shi-ma-su-ka? Kin’en, kitsuen, dochira ni shimasu ka? All right. That’s going to do it for today. See you later which in Japanese is Matane.