Dealing with Jozu Desu ne!

November 11th, 2010By Category: Uncategorized

You know the situation, you have been living in Japan for a few months, mastered chopsticks, have stopped hitting your head on low slung ceilings and have a grasp of a few key phrases. At some point you feel confident to use them, maybe you are at a bar, maybe it is just after you have taught a lesson or maybe while out and about in town.

Then comes the response. Often accompanied by a look of amazement and raised voice:

“Nihongo ga o-jozu desu ne!”

Meaning of course, your Japanese is so good!

This is how many folks in Japan will respond when they hear foreigners speaking a little Japanese, even when you know yourself your language abilities are not that high or you have simply used an oft-heard phrase.

To help you deal with it, we put to together this handy little guide:

 

日本語

Pronunciation

Meaning and comments

Results you get

 

A

ありがとう ございます。

arigatou gozaimasu

Thank you.

None. You’ve shown you heard what they say and accepted it.

B

本当に!? ありがとう!

Hontou ni!? arigatou!

Really!? Thank you! (hug the person)

Another Japanese thinking all foreigners are a bit weird.

C

まだまだ です。

mada-mada desu

Not yet. (I’m still learning).

A happy Japanese. You’ve hit the nail on the head.

D

失礼 いたしました

shitsurei itashimashita

I’m sorry (to exceed your expectations) (funny)

Confused stares. Your answer is not matching the manual.

 

Give it a try the next time you get the Jozu desu ne treatment and see what happens >.<

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Author of this article

GaijinPot

GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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