That's OK

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by Frenchman in Taipei, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Frenchman in Taipei Member

    On an airplane, I was sitting on an aisle, and a Japanese passenger sitting next to me wanted to go outside and said something like "I am sorry to bother you, but can I go to toilet?"

    I wanted to say that's OK and it's not bothering me. What could I have said in Japanese?
  2. jamesh625 Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Normalement, tu pourrais dire quelque-chose du genre いいえ、いいえ ou いい(ん)ですよ ou 大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)ですよ.
    Cette locution est assez courante bien qu'un peu passe-partout.
  3. polo111 Member

    "dozo どうぞ" is simply but fitting too.
  4. nagoyano Senior Member

    I agree with polo111. Simple and polite.
  5. jamesh625 Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    If you look at OP's original question, what he wanted to say was actually that it was okay and that it doesn't bother him. Does どうぞ convey this sense? I was under the impression that it was simply an expression that was quite common, and although it conveys the same pragmatic sense (i.e. "it's okay, you may go past me") it doesn't really say "no, it's okay, I don't mind, please go past". Perhaps a discussion is needed here to illuminate the situation?
  6. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    A more literal translation for "That's OK" in this context is:
    But this might come across too high-handed; it looks as if the speaker were giving permission or letting the other pass in front of one's seat were such a big trouble.
  7. Vaan Member

    I agree with Flaminius.
    いいですよ sounds like "you may pass", and since you don't have the right to block one's way to a toilet, a phrase sounding as if you gave permission might come across as high-handed.
    Even if the Japanese passenger had said "通ってもいいですか(Toottemo ii desu ka?)", I think that 'douzo' is better than 'ii desu yo' in most cases.
  8. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    jamesh625, see いいですよ、大丈夫ですよ、どうぞ are all 'That's OK.', because it is not 「だめです。」 This is a matter of your choice how to say it.
  9. polo111 Member

    Additionally, Jamesh, I think that "Dozoどうぞ" is a word whose various followers are abbreviated ,which are ,for example, "遠慮なく, 気になさらずに no, it's okay," , " 通ってください it's okay, you may go past me" .
    In other words ,it expresses just approval or no bother( even if you don't welcome in the mind ), and not a specific content ,which the listener is allowed to guess what is.

    I think "どうぞ" is simply good but your "いいですよ、大丈夫ですよ" might sounds more friendly.
    Because saying correctly instead of using too short word might cause a effect to make a impression that you don't bother to "communicate".
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013

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