Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - ありがとう

ありがとう

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

RE: ありがとう

Postby Seapony » Mon 08.14.2006 10:28 pm

AJBryant wrote:
You just reminded me of something.

When I first came back to the States after living in Japan, I had to relearn to tip.

Now, of course, you see tip jars *everywhere* -- even on counters where there are no waiters. That just cheeses me off.


Tony


Don't get me started. I find it an absolutely disgraceful practice. Coffee shops, cleaners, pizzerias, clothing stores...it's just ridiculous now.

You can't always blame employees though. Managers use the "work on tips" tactics to exploit workers. Once some friends and I went to a little trendy chinese restaurant in the city...long story short the service was abominable. Little known tipping fact...when the service is terrible, rather than leaving nothing you're supposed to leave two pennies as an indication of the terrible service. So that's what we did. As we were leaving we were stopped at the door by the manager and waitress, who basically barred the exit unless she received a tip, because apparently tips were her salary. "Her problem," I said, "next time do a better job." I mean, it was fingers in the food bad. It was throwing dishes on the table bad. Anyway, I refused to tip and dared the guy to bar my way as I walked. However he sensed weakness in two of my friends and stood in their way until they finally forked up a dollar or two tip. I laughed at their weakness for days. I reported the business but they're still around to this day (not sure if it's under the same management, though).

B)
Seapony
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun 07.23.2006 2:56 pm

RE: ありがとう

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 08.20.2006 5:36 am

Ezrach wrote:
but it is the way things are in Japan, and saying ありがとう just isn't necessary in Japan. In fact, when you say it, you are just reaffirming that foreigners know nothing of Japanese culture.


Mark me down as ignorant of Japanese culture, then. I always say it.

I also normally use a time appropriate greeting and/or smile upon entering the business and make it a point to remember the names of the clerks. Time allowing, I even spend a couple of minutes shooting the breeze.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: ありがとう

Postby paul_b » Sun 08.20.2006 5:41 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Ezrach wrote:
but it is the way things are in Japan, and saying ありがとう just isn't necessary in Japan. In fact, when you say it, you are just reaffirming that foreigners know nothing of Japanese culture.


Mark me down as ignorant of Japanese culture, then. I always say it.

I also normally use a time appropriate greeting and/or smile upon entering the business and make it a point to remember the names of the clerks. Time allowing, I even spend a couple of minutes shooting the breeze.


To summarize what Coco said "Some people do (say ありがとう when not necessary), I think it's nice and I do the same sometimes myself."

I guess just because people aren't usually nice in some situation doesn't make it any less appreciated when somebody makes the extra effort.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: ありがとう

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 08.21.2006 4:42 am

I look at it as, in a way, saying "I recognize that I am dealing with a fellow human being, and not some anonymous, faceless automaton in a crappy uniform shirt".
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: ありがとう

Postby keatonatron » Mon 08.21.2006 6:24 am

Mike Cash wrote:
I look at it as, in a way, saying "I recognize that I am dealing with a fellow human being, and not some anonymous, faceless automaton in a crappy uniform shirt".


"Thank you" in English is a bit different than in Japanese. In English, would you say to the person who bagged your groceries, "Wow, you just went out of your way to do something that I totally didn't deserve. I am truly touched by your kindness and am now indebted to you. You have done a rare thing indeed."

That's essentially the feeling that the Japanese ありがとうございます was born from.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: ありがとう

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 08.21.2006 6:59 am

keatonatron wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
I look at it as, in a way, saying "I recognize that I am dealing with a fellow human being, and not some anonymous, faceless automaton in a crappy uniform shirt".


"Thank you" in English is a bit different than in Japanese. In English, would you say to the person who bagged your groceries, "Wow, you just went out of your way to do something that I totally didn't deserve. I am truly touched by your kindness and am now indebted to you. You have done a rare thing indeed."

That's essentially the feeling that the Japanese ありがとうございます was born from.


Not one given to hyperbole, are you?
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: ありがとう

Postby Infidel » Mon 08.21.2006 6:59 am

"Thank you" in English is a bit different than in Japanese. In English, would you say to the person who bagged your groceries, "Wow, you just went out of your way to do something that I totally didn't deserve. I am truly touched by your kindness and am now indebted to you. You have done a rare thing indeed."


huh?
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: ありがとう

Postby keatonatron » Mon 08.21.2006 8:54 am

Mike explained the reason for using "Thank you"... in English. In English, we throw thank-you's around all the time, and it is a way to respect and validate someone as a human being.

But we aren't talking about English. We're talking about Japanese, and the usage of what translates to "thank you" is quite a bit different. If you were to attempt to translate ありがとうございます for what it really means (or at least, what it used to mean), you would get one of the three sentences above. There was no way to combine them, so I just wrote all three to make a point. How else would I get the attention my reply deserves? :D

Basically, the English "thank you" and the Japanese "thank you" are different and can't always be used the same way.

Consider these responses to various situations:
You are given something to eat or drink.
English: Thank you!
Japanese: いただきます!

You are told your English (Japanese) skills are good.
English: Thank you!
Japanese: いいえ/まだまだです。

Someone pays for your meal.
English: Thank you!
Japanese: ごちそうさまでした。

Someone holds the door open for you.
English: Thank you!
Japanese: すみません。
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: ありがとう

Postby paul_b » Mon 08.21.2006 8:55 am

keatonatron wrote:
"Thank you" in English is a bit different than in Japanese. In English, would you say to the person who bagged your groceries, "Wow, you just went out of your way to do something that I totally didn't deserve. I am truly touched by your kindness and am now indebted to you. You have done a rare thing indeed."

That's essentially the feeling that the Japanese ありがとうございます was born from.

I'll bear that in mind next time I hear コーヒー、ありがとう。
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: ありがとう

Postby coco » Mon 08.21.2006 9:13 am

keatonatron さんの会話例、とても的確!
よく見てますねー。勉強になります :)
「ありがとう」と「すみません」の感情って近いこと確かにあります。
なんというか「かたじけない」という感情なんだろうと思います。
coco
 
Posts: 3061
Joined: Mon 05.30.2005 12:43 am
Location: 東京都
Native language: 日本語(Japanese)

RE: ありがとう

Postby keatonatron » Mon 08.21.2006 10:34 am

paul_b wrote:
I'll bear that in mind next time I hear コーヒー、ありがとう。


They aren't being paid to give you coffee. That falls under the "went out of your way to be nice" category.

Or the "indebted" category, because the next time they come to your house/go out for coffee with you, you'll feel obligated to serve them coffee/pay for them.
Last edited by keatonatron on Mon 08.21.2006 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: ありがとう

Postby richvh » Mon 08.21.2006 10:43 am

How about a discussion of the difference between ありがとう(ございます) and おかげ(さま)で? This came up in chat yesterday, and some people seemed to think you could just use おかげさまで as a substitute for ありがとうございます. I'm pretty sure you can't, and that they are used in completely different situations, but since I don't understand the differences all that well, I'm afraid I didn't explain it very well.
Richard VanHouten
ゆきの物語
richvh
 
Posts: 6450
Joined: Thu 09.29.2005 10:35 pm

RE: ありがとう

Postby Infidel » Mon 08.21.2006 11:18 am

okagesama has an explainatory feel, like when your explaining why you are thankful. Arigatou seems to be used for more obvious reasons.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: ありがとう

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 08.21.2006 12:01 pm

keatonatron wrote:
paul_b wrote:
I'll bear that in mind next time I hear コーヒー、ありがとう。


They aren't being paid to give you coffee. That falls under the "went out of your way to be nice" category.


I'll have to tell my boss to quit saying ありがとう for the rather insignificant things I and others do at work which, after all, we're being paid to do anyway.

You remind me of those people who can't resist the urge to throw the word "honorable" into their translations of Japanese speech every single time an 御 crops up.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: ありがとう

Postby keatonatron » Mon 08.21.2006 12:28 pm

I normally wouldn't be so extreme, but you can't simply say "In English I say 'thank you' to make the person feel better, so in Japanese you should do the same," because:

Japanese ≠ English

I agree I was overly dramatic to make a point. Sure at work your boss can thank you for doing stuff with ありがとう. But that sentiment is very different from the customer-employee relationship this thread was originally about.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

PreviousNext

Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests