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100 Ways To Ask “What Did You Say?” In Japanese — 13 Comments

  1. Would adding a polite pattern to an already-polite word be comparable to English speakers saying “ATM machine”?

    • It’s hard to compare two very different things like that, but yes it is adding something extra that is already there.

      It’s not a good mistake to make because the super polite Japanese is all about showing your manners and sensibility, so it’s not a good place to make redundant errors.

        • Yes that is a redundancy, and it doesn’t sound as proper as 外国の方.

          That doesn’t stop people from using it of course, just like people say ATM machine in English.

  2. sir, please given meaning in the English language so that I could learn a little about the Japanese language.
    thank you sir

    • They all mean “What Did You Say?”, there is no reason to copy and paste that on every line.
      There is no way to accurately translate the differences in nuance into English (as they don’t exist) so he broke them down into politeness levels.

  3. But aren’t 「申す」 and 「申し上げる」 verbs in the humble form? I thought one should not use the humble form when referring to actions done by other people. That would be rude as it would mean humbling what the other said. I always thought the humble form should only be used to refer to one’s self, as in the phrase: 「xxxと申します。」.

    • I’m no expert but I already saw that word used to refer to others, in fact, it was one of the first Japanese words I ever saw (it was on the first ナルト episode). Those words, and several other words that we think that’s humble nowdays, were common vocabulary in the past, so if one’s is speaking in a old fashioned style, he will use those words in there original usage. Another classical example is ござる which is 謙譲語 now but back then it was just ある, you probably already saw in samurai mangas people say xxxxでござる

      • I just came across this website. 申す has always been the humble from of 言う. I think the character you saw in Naruto uses the word to refer to others because he/she looks down on them and is being arrogant to show the stature. For example, 名を申せ!(なをもうせ) Say your name! It’s called 尊大語(そんだいご) and basically the opposite of Keigo. So using 申す to refer to the listner isn’t polite and correct nowadays (there are people doing it without knowing it can be rude though) and wasn’t always used for anybody in earlier times either. Excuse me for my English!

    • What Livonor said. Older usages of the words were used towards others. Not sure the exact era the usage changed.

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