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"Excuse me/I'm sorry"

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"Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby MFoogle » Thu 05.22.2008 4:59 pm

Ok, I've heard countless ways to say sorry and excuse me, but I don't quite understand when to say them and who should say them. I understand that Sumimasen can mean both sorry and excuse me. Gomenna is for guys, gomenne is for girls. Gomennasai is used by little kids and girls with their girlfriends, my textbook says, but I always thought it was just a really polite way to say excuse me. And all the sudden chotto comes up...
Are some more polite than others?


(Excuse me)
Chotto
Sumimasen
(Sorry)
Gomen
Gomennasai
Gomenne
Gomenna
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby somenube » Thu 05.22.2008 5:54 pm

You forgot one; gome. :P
I don't know how to use all of them either. :\
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby MFoogle » Thu 05.22.2008 6:08 pm

Well I know there's a ton more (suimasen...etc.), but I'm not trying to list them all out. I'm just asking when to use those.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 05.22.2008 6:21 pm

somenube wrote:You forgot one; gome. :P


That's a new one to me and I've been studying for over 10 years.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 05.22.2008 10:30 pm

How about メンゴ、メンゴ ?
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby AJBryant » Thu 05.22.2008 11:50 pm

I don't know what you're drinking, but I want some.


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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 05.23.2008 12:30 am

becki_kanou wrote:How about メンゴ、メンゴ ?


Isn't that 芸能語? ;) I have a couple other words like that, but they're not family friendly. ;)

I also can't believe no one has mentioned the over-used in movies: すまん

But really, there are so many ways to say sorry in Japanese that's it's almost futile to try and list them all.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby becki_kanou » Fri 05.23.2008 2:38 am

Harisenbon wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:How about メンゴ、メンゴ ?


Isn't that 芸能語? ;) I have a couple other words like that, but they're not family friendly. ;)

I also can't believe no one has mentioned the over-used in movies: すまん

But really, there are so many ways to say sorry in Japanese that's it's almost futile to try and list them all.


Yeah, that was supposed to be a joke, not a real suggestion to the OP. My husband and I sometimes use it with each other, though, as well as 「ごめんちゃい」.
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby Wakannai » Fri 05.23.2008 3:02 am

heh, I used to have a cat avatar with the caption Gomenchai, I might be able to find it somewhere even.

ahh here we are.

Image
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 05.23.2008 7:33 am

The base problem, though, is that you can't divide the Japanese words into categories based on the English meanings of "excuse me" and "I'm sorry". Sumimasen, for instance, has both meanings. Gomen nasai is pretty much just "I'm sorry" but it's more casual and not usually used with superiors. "warui" is another "I'm sorry" used in casual conversation. etc.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 05.23.2008 8:46 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:The base problem, though, is that you can't divide the Japanese words into categories based on the English meanings of "excuse me" and "I'm sorry". Sumimasen, for instance, has both meanings. Gomen nasai is pretty much just "I'm sorry" but it's more casual and not usually used with superiors. "warui" is another "I'm sorry" used in casual conversation. etc.


doesn't ご免 mean "your pardon, permission?" And when saying ご免なさい you are begging pardon/permission for something. I know it is commonly accepted that it mean I'm sorry, but I think if you dig into the nuance it's more of a begging or pleading rather than an apology. In other words rather than the emphasis being on you for apologizing, (not really good enryo is it?) It puts the emphasis on the other person to pardon or otherwise give you permission or forgiveness for your actions. (be they good, bad or indifferent)
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby Bucko » Sat 05.31.2008 1:51 pm

A couple more:

These three literally mean "there is no excuse" and are used when you really inconvenience someone
申し訳ございません (moushi wake gozaimasen) very polite
申し訳ありません (moushi wake arimasen)
申し訳ない (moushi wake nai)

There's also 恐れ入ります (osoreirimasu) used when you "regretfully" say something. Something like "I'm afraid..." or "I regret to say..." or even on the telephone when asking to speak to someone "sorry to be a bother but is Jimmy there?" etc

Yet another one which has a similar meaning to the above is 恐縮ですが・・・I'm sorry but...

すみません can also be shortened to すまん if you're taking to an inferior.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby MFoogle » Sat 05.31.2008 1:54 pm

So what about chotto? I've only seen it in a textbook--it's not in any dictionary or anything that I know of. When would you want to use that (informal or formal conversation, etc.)?
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby monkeykoder » Sat 05.31.2008 2:03 pm

Doesn't chotto just mean a little bit? So possibly it has a connotation of "just a little bit of your time?" Watching dramas you hear "chotto ii desu ka" a bit which could probably be shortened to chotto. This is just me guessing of course.
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Re: "Excuse me/I'm sorry"

Postby MFoogle » Sat 05.31.2008 2:04 pm

My book also had "chotto ii desu ka"--translated into "excuse me, can I ask you something?"
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