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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Essential Phrases and Body Language #8

Gesture #8: Minimizing a Compliment
Actual Gesture: With palms facing the person, shaking the hand from side to side

It's Function?: It's meant to increase the politeness by showing that the thing you did for them isn't as great as they're making it out to be, much like a “It was nothing”

Any Associated Phrase?: Yes, and a couple of them are 「いいえ(No, but here, intending something like “It was nothing”)」and 「そんなことないです (Oh, it's not like that at all)」

Anything else?: You can also do this with two hands for emphasis, either one showing modesty and letting the other person you really do appreciate what they did for you or what they said

Phrase #8: ご機嫌きげんよう
Literal Meaning: "Your condition is well"

Intent: Take care, now

Usage: It's much like the phrase 'Aloha', in that in can be as both a greeting and a parting phrase, communicating good and
very formal vibes to the listener in either usage

1. This likely comes from the archaic way to say this phrase 「ご機嫌ようございます」.
2. 機嫌, itself, is a noun discussing someone's mood, with a phrase to express someone is either in a good or bad mood(good mood being 機嫌がいい and bad mood being 機嫌がわるい)

Example: あら、リナさん。ごきげんよう。
(Oh hey, there, Lina. Aloha, to you.)
(Mm, Aloha, there. How's the job treating you?)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Essential Phrases and Body Language #7

Gesture #7: Humbling Up for a Favor

Actual Gesture: Bowing the head (and possibly doing a bow along with that) while clapping the hands together

It's Function?: To show remorse for taking up the person's time/something you did while asking for whatever it is you're asking for

Any Associated Phrase?: ごめんくださいですが(insert favor here)
Anything else?: It's rather formal-and perhaps feminine?-, and short of actually groveling, is one of the most humble and polite ways you can ask someone to help you out in a pinch. If you're feeling desperate, a more pressing alternative to the Associated Phrase presented is 「おねがい(I beg of you!)!(insert favor here)」, e.g. when you're lost somewhere, you need help finding your way to the nearest subway station and the other person might be shaky on helping you because they feel their English sucks. When you need to cut through the nonsense, you'd wanna use the gesture and say something like 「お願い!ちかいのえきはどこにありますか?(Please, sir! Where is the nearest train station?)」

Phrase #7: よろしくお願いします

Literal Meaning: "I request that you make it so"

Intent: "It's a pleasure to meet you(and similar meanings in translation)"

Usage(s): 1. To show you wish to create good relations between yourself and those you're speaking with
2. At the end of an introduction when 1st meeting someone
3. As a parting phrase in a formal setting(both this and the 2nd usage implying you want to establish long lasting relations, much like the phrases 'Nice to meet you' and 'It was a pleasure to meet you')
4. In asking favors

Notes: 1. 宜しく, by itself, is a casual way to say the phrase (some even say it's the preferred way in casual settings)
2. It can be used to show appreciation for an action, most often in the phrases 「(thing you want someone to do for you)を宜しくたのみます(I'd appreciate your help with X)」& ○に宜しくおつたえてください(My compliments to X/Please give my regards to X/Say Hi to X for me) [○に宜しくおつたえてください also has a shorthand form, ○に宜しく, which implies the verb from either one]).
3. To increase the politeness factor, add どうぞ before 宜しく(also applies to its more casual forms!)
4. It's also used in the phrases ひとつよろしく-which is the parting phrase used in business calls and translates into something like "Handle it, man"-and あとはよろしくする-which is used after someone (most likely someone higher up the ladder than you) asks you to cover for them and they explain what you're doing for them, translating into something like "Handle the rest the way you think's best"

Example: (1) ねぇ、むっちゃん! ともはなしたいんだよ。 こっちだね。 Hey Doug, おいで!
(Hey, Muchichi. My friend wants to talk to you! *English*, c'mere!)

あのう。。。えっと。。。はじめまして。 わたくしはダッグジョンサンでございます。宜しくお願いいたします。
(Umm...uhh...salutations. I be Doug of the Johnson clan. I do humbly beg your indulgence)

...Okay, this is some bullshit. First off, you are an asshole for getting this poor guy to think we all talk like that, 中島なかじまくん。 Second of all...ダッグ, was it? You obviously learned the formal style of our language my friends say they drill in you over there. If you are talking to a politician or whatever, fine, but when you talk like that in a casual setting, you come off as seriously uptight. You would not talk to your president and your friend the same way, would you? Did not think so. Please learn the other ways to speak our language so you are not lead to make yourself look like a fool, as 中島くん seems to enjoy doing, and can chat with people with the proper level of politeness. All that said...こちらこそ、よろしくおねがいします。 ダッグさん。 あたし、上川かみかわむちこです! I am not a pen.
(*speech*I am also pleased to be meeting with you, Doug. My name's Muchiko Kamikawa! *English school English*)