I don't speak Japanese

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  • Aoyama

    Senior Member
    français Clodoaldien
    can anyone tell me how to say in japanese
    "tourist helper, but i dont speak japanese"

    Okyakkusan no tetsudai desuga, ainiku, nihongo wo hanasemasen

    Literally : I am helping tourists but unfortunately I cannot speak japanese
     

    wathavy

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    すみません。日本語わかりません。
    Sumimasen, nihongo,wakarimasenn.
    すみません。日本語だめです。
    Sumimasen,nihongo dame desu.

    'Dame' can be useful. Prohibition, incapability, denial or some other use.
    xxxx dame desu, could have been used for other expressions.
     

    Arashi

    Member
    English
    Are there any instances when you shouldn't use any of the following statements or are there certain situations when one would be ideal over another?

    日本語話しません。
    日本語はなせません。
    日本語できません。
    日本語わかりません。
    日本語だめです。

    I understand the meanings and differences of each statement, but I don't know if there's a time when one shouldn't use them.
     

    wathavy

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    日本語話しません。<A bit rude.>
    日本語はなせません。<Neutral>
    日本語できません。 <Depends how you pronounce....>
    日本語わかりません。<Neutral>
    日本語だめです。<Neutral>

    I understand the meanings and differences of each statement, but I don't know if there's a time when one shouldn't use them.
    All sentences may give negative impression to the other end. Mainly due to lack of particles. (the one which need to follow the word '日本語')
    For example, this will be nicer,
    日本語をはなせません。sounds slightly nicer than 日本語はなせません。
    I am only concerning about the honorifics aspect of the sentences.
    Otherwise all can be used as you wish.
    And it totally up to the speaker's attitude and nuances if it sounds not nice or OK.:)
     
    Nihongo-wa hanase masen.
    Japanese-TOPIC ableToSpeak politeNot.
    I have always said :
    Nihongo-ga hanasemasen...but I think it is the same, doesn't it?

    Tokoro de, I have seen also this sentence here :
    日本語をはなせません < Again, I think that I can say this one also in this way(without changing its meaning) :
    日本語 が はなせません...Is it right?

    It is just like "watashi ha X ga suki desu" and "watashi ha X wo suki desu" I think. Both are fine, right?
    Greetings, Lupen The Third :)
     

    wathavy

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I have always said :
    Nihongo-ga hanasemasen...but I think it is the same, doesn't it?
    This 'ga' makes a faint difference from 'wa' or 'ha'.
    The situation when native use 'ga' is going to be as follow.

    A person asks question like;
    "What (language) did you say that you cannot speak?"
    "It's Japanese that I cannot speak."
    This is 'Nihongo-ga hanasemasen'.

    In this use 'ga' is used to distinguish the specific language.

    So the speaker is trying to say that he can speak other language (rather than Japanese).

    In other occasion with 'Nihongo-ga hanasemasen'.
    "I cannot speak Japanese, but I can speak Indonesian."
    'Nihongo-ga hanasemasen demo Indonesia go ha hanasemasu.'

    I am not well qualified to explain the difference between 'ga' and 'ha' in these context. But I get used to so much that I can easily identify which one should have been where... and all that.
    Sorry.
    :eek:
     
    @wathavy : You explained well the utilize of the "ga" and "wa" particles I think. I have totally understood your examples. Thank you.

    @Aoyama: It's ok! doumo arigatou gozaimasu. :)

    Greetings,
    Lupen The Third.
     
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