anibee's Guide to Nifty Japanese Words 101! (Vol. 24)

"Upgrading" your politeness!

Any person can hear any cool-sounding catch phrase from a random anime and go about spouting it all over the place, pretending to "know" the language. But the REAL way to impress people is knowing how to use the proper 敬語 (keigo), or honourific language.


Introductions

Regular

“"Xです、よろしくお願いします。"”

X desu, yoroshiku onegashimasu.
I am X, nice to meet you!

Keigo

"“Xと申します、どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。"”

X to moushimasu, douzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.”
I am called X, it is an absolute pleasure to meet you”


Asking questions

Regular

"“聞いていいですか。"

Kiite ii desu ka.
Can I ask you something?

Keigo

“"聞かせていただけないでしょうか"”

Kikasete itadakenai deshou ka.
Would it be alright to enquire with you on something?


Thanking people

Regular

"“今日は来てくれてありがとうございました。"

Kyou wa kitekurete arigatougozaimashita.
Thank you for coming today!

Keigo

“"本日は来ていただいて、真にどうもありがとうございました。"”

Honjitsu ha kiteitadaite, makoto ni arigatou gozaimashita.
We would like to humbly thank you for gracing us with your presence today.

Knowing how to "upgrade" your speech isn't just helpful when speaking to a superior or a customer, but it's also superbly impressive sounding and shows that you possess a higher level of respect for people, for yourself, and for the language too!

- Q

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