Here it is; Are you a tourist?

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by musetto, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. musetto New Member

    Hello to everybody.
    I am just a newbie.
    I would like to know how you would translate the following short dialogue:
    Policeman: "Good day. Your passport, please."
    Tourist: "Good day. Here it is."
    Policeman -- while examining the passport: "Are you a tourist?"
    Tourist: "Yes, I am".

    What do you think about:

    I have many doubts about "Here it is." which I translated straightly with "Hora." and on "Are you a tourist?" where the subject is missing -- should I have used "Anata" resulting in "Anata wa ryokousha desu ka."?
    Thank you.
  2. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Welcome, musetto.

    Okay, we often say 'Here it is' はい、どうぞ。Sometimes we omit 、and はいどうぞ。Either is OK. This is a phase when you pass something to a person.

    And the policeman asks you, but umm..let him speak more softly, yes as you did, Anata wa ryokousha desuka? And you'll say, はい、私は旅行者です。Very nice:thumbsup:
  3. musetto New Member

    Thank you, frequency.

    My doubt originated by my thinking that the use of "anata" were too harsh with people somebody doesn't know (even if a policeman enjoys a sense of superiority due to his job).
  4. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Using anata or not in a sentence/conversation is one of the biggest problems in Japanese. I must confess that we don't use it very much: I think I haven't said anata in all conversations I had today. In general, adding anata makes the sentence and conversation sound formal; however, I have no plans to say anata to my boss forever. To understand how to use anata, take time.

    The Japanese policeman would usually say: 旅行者ですか?or あなた旅行者?(slightly casual)
  5. musetto New Member

    That was the point about you. In other languages, like Italian and French the second plural person is used to show respect to the addressee. So that in Italian: "[Tu] sei un turista?" and "[Voi] siete un turista?" basically meaning "Are you a tourist?" while the former is informal and the latter is much more formal. The same stands in Spanish and Italian, again, when the third singular person is used. In Italian, "[Tu] sei un turista?" and "Lei è un turista?" replicate the meaning of what just said above. The use of the third singular person or the second plural person depends on the fact that once Spain and France had spheres of influence in different part of Italy. In Italian, but now it is less only very rarely, to show respect the third plural person can be used. However, so I end my digression, there is no way to immediately detect the difference in English. So, were I to translate "Are you a tourist?" in Italian, I would write: "Siete un turista?", with the second plural person, or "Lei è un turista?", with the third singular person, because I expect the policeman does not know the "tourist" and so he must be formal.
  6. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Thank you for feedback. I see..if I humbly suggest you, if using anata shows respect to the listener in Japanese? Not always. Don't forget using anata sounds impolite, when you talk to your boss or supervisor. To our parents, using anata sounds impolite, too. But when they find you're obviously from other country, they don't get angry, though!

    I have ever heard that subject-omission is often in Latin languages. But I can't say the omission is very similar to Japanese one! Compare them, because it would be interesting.

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