This ‘Sorry’ ? That ‘Sorry’ ? Which ‘Sorry’ to use ?

Fun fact about Japanese Part 1 –
This ‘Sorry’ ? That ‘Sorry’ ? Which ‘Sorry’ to use ?

Awhile back we posted one blog about the reason to learn Japanese language.

Japanese was ranked  as one of the difficult language to master in a short period, especially to those who’s native language is ‘Kanji-less’ which is Chinese characterless.

The language is one that is very heavily based on politeness and courtesies. There are many words that one can use, both in day to day situations and in formal ones that can show your respect to the others.

It takes time and effort to understand the various nuances of politeness, but as a sign of respect, it is best to learn about these terms before you speak with a Japanese speaker or go to the country of Japan. So prevent being laughing stock of the situation, which I usually end up with.

This is Crazy!

This is crazy !!!!

Learning Japanese from zero was a difficult task for me. As I do not watch Japanese dramas nor anime. Japanese was an alien language to me back then. But I could speak write, read and listen Japanese ( not so well ) after spending 4 years in Japan.

Today, we will go easy by starting the word ‘Sorry’.

Do you know there are how many words for ‘sorry’ in your language that you widely use  in your daily life ?

How many 'sorry' you have in your language?

Can’t think much in English right ? Basically a ‘Sorry’ in English is any-situation-friendly. But its not in Japanese.

I would like to introduce 5 type of ‘Sorry’ vocab that widely use in Japanese.

  1. すみません Sumimasen
    1. Sorry
    2. As thank you in some way
    3. To start a conversation, usually when you need somebody’s help.
    4. Examples
      1. すみません。 ‘I am sorry’
      2. すみません、注文お願いします。’Excuse me,can you take my orders?’

***お願いします(onegaishimasu) means please in a polite way.

      1. すみませんが、手伝ってもらいませんか。

’ (I am sorry to bother you,) can you help me ?

***Its weird to start I am sorry to bother you in an English conversation

  1. ごめんなさい Gomenasai
    1. The standard ‘sorry’
    2. ごめん Gomen (short-formed)
    3. Examples,
      1. ごめんなさい。’I am sorry’
      2. 忘れてたから、ごめんごめん。I had forgot it, sorry sorry !
  1. 失礼します shitsurei-shimasu
    1. Done some obvious mistake.
    2. More formal ‘sorry’
    3. Even more formal will be
      1. 失礼いたしました。( you add the ‘ita’ )
      2. 大変失礼しました。(You add the ‘taihen’)

Which you are pretty sorry with it.

  1. 申し訳ございません Moushiwake- gozaimasen
    1. The really really really formal ‘Sorry !
    2. You done something which was dreadfully
    3. Example
      1. 申し訳ございません!新しいiPhone 6s を壊しました。

’I am soooooooo soooooooory for breaking your new iPhone 6s!’

  1. 悪い Warui
    1. The informal ‘Sorry’
    2. Warui means bad in Japanese.
    3. So it can be explained is ‘My bad’
    4. Japanese yongster’s vocabularies
    5. Example,   A : 遅れたよ!(You are late )

                  B : 悪い、悪い!(Sorry, my bad)  

Communicating in Japanese is though. Hope this few words/phrase might help you along.

For your information, our Tokyo Tourist Information Center provide various language native speakers. If you are having trouble, just drop by any Information Center. I am sure they could help you somehow.

Stay tuned with i_am_prawn for more Japanese hacking stuffs.



For optional tour reservation and inquiry, please contact or visit one of our Tourist information center in Tokyo.

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