How to say “To cancel at the last minute” in Japanese?

September 4th, 2012By Category: Uncategorized

dotakyan (suru)


Meaning: To cancel an appointment or order just beforehand.

It began being used after the word “Dotanba”, meaning last minute, and the English word “cancel/kyanseru”, were joined together.

A conversation with a friend
Woman 1: Oh, What’s wrong? Did something happen?
Woman 2: Listen to this, I had a date tomorrow, but it got cancelled at the last moment again!


女性1:あれ、どうしたの?何かあった? Are, doushitano? Nanika atta?
女性2:ちょっと、聞いてよ。 Chotto Kiiteyo.
明日デートの約束してたのに、またドタキャンされちゃった!Ashita date no yakusoku shitetanoni, mata dotakyan sarechatta!

Things to be careful of when using:

The act of cancelling at the last minute is not a good act.

Therefore the person who has had an appointment cancelled usually uses it like this.
“I had an appointment cancelled at the last minute” –> “Dotakyan sareta!”.

When the person who cancelled the appointment uses it, they use it like this.
“I had to cancel at the last minute (I’m sorry~)” –> “Dotakyan shite shimaimashita.

Author of this article

Iidabashi Japanese Language School

The Iidabashi Japanese Language School motto is "Be Unique, Have fun Globally!" We teach classes focused on conversation skills to foreigners living in Japan.

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  • leslie nguyen

    It’s a plus to know, but I hope not to use it often though.


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