いらっしゃいます

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!
Post Reply
tonythechevron
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu 12.31.2009 9:03 pm
Native language: english

いらっしゃいます

Post by tonythechevron » Thu 12.31.2009 9:05 pm

hi folks, just wondering if anyone can give a literal translation for いらっしゃい(ます). I keep seeing it but can't find anything on my dictionary.
thanks in advance.

User avatar
Ben Bullock
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu 12.17.2009 4:01 am
Native language: English
Contact:

Re: いらっしゃいます

Post by Ben Bullock » Thu 12.31.2009 11:43 pm

tonythechevron wrote:hi folks, just wondering if anyone can give a literal translation for いらっしゃい(ます). I keep seeing it but can't find anything on my dictionary.
thanks in advance.
Maybe you mean いらっしゃいませ rather than ます? The reason you can't find it in your dictionary might be because irassharu is an irregular verb. The verb いらっしゃる means "be", "come", or "go", and it is an honorific (used for people other than oneself). Anyway, I'm not sure how to literally translate いらっしゃいませ into English. "Please be here"? It's a greeting often used to customers and guests. It might be translated as "welcome", but one doesn't usually hear the word "welcome" upon walking into shops in English-speaking countries.

blutorange
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun 01.24.2010 4:23 pm
Native language: German

Re: いらっしゃいます

Post by blutorange » Sun 01.24.2010 5:07 pm

irassharu is an old polite verb deriving from iru (to be). It literally translates to something like "be caused to exist" which obviously doesn't make much sense. The truth is it's a contracted form of archaic iraseraruru which in modern grammar would ira+se+rareru=iru+causative +passive explaining the weird translation above. Now in older Japanese people were always looking for a way to make words more "polite". A popular way of doing this was to add random suffixes to make words longer and outstanding, an effect which lost its power over time "forcing" people to add even more stuff to their already all-too-long words ;)
So first was simply iru, then iraseru, then iraseraruru. Then they noticed all this was ridiculous and tried to use polite forms more sparingly. By the way, verb+rareru is used even today as a polite form.
irassharu is then combined with masu to make it even more polite. For that, the renyoukei of irassharu is used, originally being irasshari, but through a sound change that replaced ri >> i it became irasshai. irasshaimasu can be used as a polite form of iru. irasshaimase uses masu in its commanding form basically expressing a polite command (ie request) that became an expression used by salesmen to make the people enter their shop.
So irasshaimasu means "is-is". And the very formal "de aru de arimasu" means "being-is being-is-is" ...

User avatar
furrykef
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: いらっしゃいます

Post by furrykef » Thu 02.04.2010 4:41 am

And while we're on the subject of adding suffixes, I'll point out that ~ませ is the imperative of ~ます. It's only used in honorific speech, though (in fact, maybe only for a few specific verbs); usually one hears ~てください for polite imperatives, or they make a suggestion rather than a direct command.
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)

Post Reply