Response when receiving gifts

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by adexx, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. adexx

    adexx Senior Member


    How do you say "Oh, you shouldn't have" or something similar (in both formal & casual way) when you receive gifts from someone?
    How would Japanese people normally say, is there any fixed phrase? (Of course I'm not talking about "Thank you")

  2. Tonky Senior Member

    "You shouldn't have" would be 「気を遣(使)わせてしまいました」 in Japanese equivalent way of saying it, meaning "I had made you bother about me / I had bothered you (to bring me a gift)"
    「お気遣(きづか)いいただき、ありがとうございます」 (You bothered yourself bringing me a gift, thank you.)
    「お心(こころ)遣(づか)い、ありがとうございます」(almost same as above.)
    「気遣(きづか)ってくれて、ありがとう」(same as above, casual-ish)
    「気を遣(使/つか)わせてしまって、すみません」(Sorry that I had bothered you = but thank you.)

    When you really go casual, you might hear someone say
    literally saying "you didn't have to do this", but it may cause a misunderstanding depending on your tones and I would not recommend non-natives saying it especially when you have never witnessed a good sample.

    Nowadays, casually, younger people avoid saying things like these and seem to show appreciations more and just say thanks.


    As for fixed phrases when receiving, there are quite a few I often hear in business scenes.

    (but the giver would insist and you would eventually go back to ① or ② to receive it.

    depends on the talkers, but some keep saying "please" and "no" to reach the next line in the end.

    ⑤ when the receiver is older or superior, I often hear this type.

    ⑥ casual-ish

    ⑦ casual 2

    We tend to ask 「本当に?」「本当にいいんですか?」 before saying thanks.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  3. adexx

    adexx Senior Member

    Thank you very much for the elaborate answer.

    So, I guess a simple 気を遣わせてしまいました / お気遣いいただき、ありがとうございます would suffice in most cases?

  4. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Tonky has given some very informative examples. I find it especially interesting how Japanese people tend to ask "Are you sure/is it ok (to accept)?" (本当にいいの?), for which there is usually no Western equivalent.

    I can't help thinking that "Oh, you shouldn't have" comes across as an inherently informal (but not impolite!) expression, whereas sentences such as 気を遣わせてしまいました / お気遣いいただき、ありがとうございます come across as very formal or, as stated by Tonky, business-y. Perhaps I am speculating but I can't imagine either of them being used among friends/acquaintances in everyday circumstances?

    Since you mentioned you were looking for casual/informal as well as formal options, could
    a simple あ、すみません followed by a どうもありがとうございます suffice for the former (as in - sorry to throw your own thread back at you :p)?
  5. adexx

    adexx Senior Member

    Thank you guys, I think I got it now.

    Irosa, very interesting how you brought up my old thead, that helps as well :)
  6. Tonky Senior Member

    Ah, right, well, maybe I shouldn't have called 気遣い/心遣い as the Japanese equivalent? I'm still not really sure.
    What I thought was that "Oh you shouldn't have" was supposed to mean ”Oh you shouldn't have bothered yourself doing this", but really not meaning it, just saying so for the sake of saying it as a manner. (At least, I hope you aren't blaming the person for doing whatever you meant by "shouldn't have" :p)

    It really depends on "the line" between formal and informal, though. I find it too hard to draw one for others.
    you wouldn't say 「お気遣いありがとう」 to your family or your close friends, but I often say 「気遣わせてごめんね」 or 「気遣わせちゃったね」 to my sister-in-law or my relatives. My sister-in-law often says 「そんな(ことしなくて)いいのにー!」 when I bring in gifts for my nieces. But my mother hardly used such phrases and almost always said 「まー、嬉しい!」 to basically anyone and accepted everything cheerfully. Conversation with neighbors can be quite informal and casual, but still some people really need to follow the tradition (as the above examples) while some do not care, or some hardly talk to neighbors, no gifts, etc.

    What I'm trying to say here is, it's really 十人十色 for casual scenes, most likely it is up to your "nature". (or possibly the contents of the gifts.)

    But yes, as lrosa mentioned, I'd say it would sound more "Japanese" if you go 「本当にいいんですか?」 or 「いいの?」 (with a smile) before "thanking".
    I remember myself saying this in English "Really? Are you really sure? Are you really giving me this?" repeatedly (I didn't know "you shouldn't have" line back then) and made my friends all go ... kinda weird looking.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

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