This is my speech.
I have to speech it this fridy.
So I am very troubled....X(
natural or little slow speed please!!
“Excuse me. You dropped this.” “Oh, thank you.” Everyone will have heard this conversation at least once until now. And, when you bump into someone, you should say “I’m sorry”.
Now, I have said three phrases, “Excuse me”, “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry”, that are often expressed by only one word in Japanese. That is “Sumimasen”. We can use the word “Sumimasen” in various situations. Also, it is frequently used as an apology or in gratitude. It is convenient for us to say to someone immediately. So Japanese often use it unconsciously. Have you ever used it?
When I was a high school student. I saw an exchange student who was from Australia.
She didn’t realize that she dropped a pen in the corridor, and she went away. I picked it up in a hurry, and returned it to her. She smiled and said “Thank you” clearly in Japanese.
I smiled too without being aware and said “You are welcome”.
This is nothing to you. However, this experience made me conscious to select the correct expression. I think that I became happy and smiled at that time by “Thanks power”. If she had said “Sumimasen”, I wouldn’t have smiled. In addition, I would have replied to her more dryly.
You think that if someone says “Arigatou”, you should reply “You’re welcome”, don’t you? But you would feel its wrong for you to answer “You’re welcome”, when someone says “Sumimasen”. That is to say, the rest of the conversation depends on selecting the correct expression.
Also, I often hear that Japanese tend to apologize too much. Because foreigners think that “Sumimasen” and “I’m sorry” are the same, but even so Japanese frequently says it. For example, when Japanese workers receive a cup of tea from co-workers, they quickly say “I’m sorry” in Japanese.
Normally, they should thank their co-workers. But many Japanese people can’t say direct thanks words immediately. So it is natural foreign people think that Japanese are mysterious for apologizing so easily.
Precisely, “Sumimasen” has more the meaning of apology than thanks. The word can be used for thanks, but it still contains the meaning of apology. For instance, “I’m sorry I can’t return anything for your favor”. So “Sumimasen” doesn’t accord perfectly with “Arigatou”. Come to of think it, it is natural that foreigners feel the way to use “Sumimasen” by Japanese is strange.
Surely, “Sumimasen” is very convenient. But the word alone is insufficient to express my mind of thanks. When someone helps you, why don’t you say “Arigatou”? When someone says “Arigatou”, you will feel happier than if someone says “Sumimasen”. Also “Arigatou” can express thanks more directly. “Arigatou” is a magic word for feeling calm.
It is a small consideration for conscious “Arigatou”. Only by being careful about selecting the expression can express my mind. In addition it makes me and someone happy. Therefore “Arigatou” is worth more than you thought.
So from now on, let’s say “Arigatou”!!!