Language Lesson

Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture! - Lesson 4 - audience questions

Welcome to Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture!

In today's lesson, we are answering some of the comments and questions we received from our viewers.

Key words and expressions from this lesson:

??? (sukoshi) a little bit
???? (chotto) a little bit *slightly more casual than ???
???? (maamaa) so-so
???? (kekkou) fairly, more than expected
??? (sugoku) super, totally, extremely
?????? (mechakucha) super, totally, extremely *slang
???? (shinuhodo) so much that I'll die, to death *slang

??(hai) vs. ??(ee)
These words mean "yes" and both are very polite, so they're actually interchangeable in most cases. Where you can say ??(hai), you can most likely say ?? (ee).
Technically, ??is generally considered to be most respectful, so in school settings for example, students are expected to say ?? when answering the teacher.

?? is the casual way to say yes, much like "yup" or "yep" in English. A nod is usually accompanied with ??, ??, and ??.

?????????? (yoroshiku onegai shimasu)
This is an extremely versatile expression that can mean various things depending on the situation.
Here are just a few examples of possible interpretations of ??????????.

Note: sometimes, you use words like ????(kongo tomo)???(tsugi mo)??????(korekara mo) together with ??????????(yoroshiku onegai shimasu) to mean "next time as well," "as always," and "for many years to come."

Some of the common situations where you say ?????????? (yoroshiku onegai shimasu) include:

1) When you just met someone
In this case, it's similar to saying "Nice to meet you." However, this expression and ??????(hajimemashite), which also translates to "Nice to meet you," are not the same. ?????? is usually the first thing you say when you just met someone new. It's a one-time only expression that you won't repeat with the same person. On the other hand, ?????????? can be used many times throughout the day for various reasons.
In this context, you can interpret ?????????? as "Nice to meet you," "Let's be friends." "Let's get along." "I'm looking forward to getting to know you," "I'm looking forward to working with you," etc.

2) When you make a request; when you are asking someone to do something
Let's say you want to ask someone to email you by Friday. In that case, you say "????????????????????????????(Kinyoubi madeni meeru o shite kudasai. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu). That means "Please email me by Friday. Thank you in advance."
So ?????????? in this context can be interpreted as "Thank you for your attention," "Thank you in advance," "I'm counting on you," "I appreciate your help," etc.

3) When you'll be in someone's care
For example, you are studying abroad in Japan and you are meeting your host family. So you introduce yourself, give them your name, and say ??????????. In this particular context, you are conveying not just "Nice to meet you," but also feelings like "I'll be in your care," "Please treat me well," "Thank you for having me," "Thank you for taking care of me," etc.

4) When you are finishing an email/letter
This one is pretty much the same as "Best regards," "All the best," "Sincerely," that you write as a closing statement of an email or letter.

5) When you are about to get started on something
Let's say you are participating in some kind of game or sports competition. Right before the match begins, you say to your opponent or competitor "??????????." The feelings you are conveying here include "I'll do my best," "Let's both work hard together" and "Let's make this a good match/game/project," etc.
The same goes for when you are about to start a meeting or project at work, at the beginning of an interview, etc.

As Akai sensei explained in our Uki Uki Lesson 3 on Self-introduction, there are variations to this ??????????.

????(yoroshiku): In casual situations when you are talking with close friends or family.
??????????(yoroshiku onegai shimasu): In most situations except for professional or formal situations
????????????(yoroshiku onegai itashimasu): In formal situations, which usually mean professional situations, for example when you are talking with your boss, client/customer, or teacher.


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