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Could you please

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by chongjin3, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. chongjin3 New Member

    English - American
    How would you ask a stranger politely to do something in Japanese? Similar to how in English we say "could you please" followed by the requested action.
     
  2. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Japanese
    How about using Sumimasenga, (Excuse me, but)?
    On an email you send to a stranger: Could you send me email back?
    Sumimasenga, mail wo hensin shite kudasaimasuka?
    すみませんが、メールを返信してくださいますか?
    If you want to cut Sumimasenga, you can. This is strictly not English excuse me or I'm sorry and works like a light introduction before talking about the main topic.

    Sounds too exaggerate? Non-native Japanese users know better, don't you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  3. lrosa Senior Member

    Dublin
    English - Ireland
    If you can read Japanese, have a look at http://kyoan.u-biq.org/ho41.html under 丁寧さの順番. This gives a list of request-based expressions starting with the most polite/humble down to the most direct orders. If talking politely to a stranger, especially someone older than you, you might want to use one of the top 3 (目上・客): [書い]ていただきたいんですが, [書い]ていただけませんか or [書い]てくださいませんか. But depending on how polite you want to be, you could also use some of the 一般的な相手 expressions.
     

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