Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Japanese expression ~4~ sumimasen

  Today, when I was in the train, I heard someone said I am sorry.
She was talking on the mobile phone.
She said "Shinpai kakete sumimasen  desita."
In Japanese, we say "sumimasen" when we apologige for something.
If I translate what she said directly, it means I am sorry for bothering you.

   In your culture, do you say sorry when someone worry about you?
In Japan, people sometimes say sorry to your neighbors who worry about you.
For example, after recovering from disease, people would say sorry to the
people who worry about you.
   Is this individual way of thinking in Japanese culture?

 By the way, sumimasen is used in various situation. We often say sumimasen in our daily life.
So I guess sumimasen is complex expression for foreign people.

  Foreign people sometimes don't understand why Japanese people apologize
in some kind of situation.
One of the reason is that the word of "sumimasen " is also used when people appreciate
for something.
 When people give a seat for someone, he or she would say sumimasen.
In this situation, sumimasen means like "thank you".
 And one of the reason has cultural background.
Japanese people are trained not to bother the other person as much as possible.
In various situation,(school discipline, home training) I think people educate you
from this idea.(Do not bother the other person). Japanese education really focus on this idea.
 (Of course, there are a lot of rude people in Japan ^ ^ ;)
 So, Japanese people often say sumimasen in daily life.


1 comment:

Saku said...

The same word for "sorry" and "thank you"... This is again very interesting!
I can hear it very often in Japanese movies ^^
For me, when someone worries about me when I am sick, I just say "thank you". I think in Germany it's different if people say sorry or thank you in this situation. ^^
When someone gives a seat in the train, we also say thank you.