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Translation of onegai shimasu
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Is onegai shimasu(Oh-neg-eye-she-mas) best translated as "Please assist me"?

I would like to know how to say "please teach me" most accurately.

If this is not the purpose of this section of the forum please be swift to tell me to get lost.
Thank you, Nate

Posted on: 2003/7/22 13:07
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Re: Translation of onegai shimasu
村長 :: Sonchou
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Hi,

O- : honorific prefix
negai : from "negau", "to request"
shimasu : from "suru", "to do"

Maybe the most direct translation would be "[I] make a request of you".

For "Please teach me", I would simply say "Oshiete kudasai".

Oshiete : from "oshieru", "to teach"
Kudasai : "please [do]"

Anyone else have another way to put it?

Shawn

Posted on: 2003/7/22 15:33
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kamaimasen ka?
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For some reason Kamaimasen-ka keeps popping into my head. Its bugging me.

Oshiete Kamaimasen-ka?

Little bit different meaning I guess.

Posted on: 2003/7/22 17:09
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Re: kamaimasen ka?
村長 :: Sonchou
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Kamaimasen means "it doesn't matter."
I suppose technically you could say "oshiete kamaimasen ka", but it seems a little bit strange (and perhaps a bit rude) to my ears.

On the other hand, if you mean "kudasaimasen ka" would be an extra polite way to ask, as it makes the "kudasai" to be negative ("-masen"). This often has the effect of making something more polite in Japanese. In English you might say "Won't you teach me?" as an equivalent.

As an aside on "kamaimasen", the informal equivalent is "kamawan", again meaning "it doesn't matter." If you break the word apart, you can make two unrelated words "kama" (sickle) and "wan" (bowl). Apparently some old dojo in Japan used to have a sign of a sickle and bowl outside of their training hall as an indication that anybody was welcome to come into their dojo to challenge them. It didn't matter ("kamawan"), because they were confident of their ability to take on any challenger. Interesting use of play-on-words.

Shawn

Posted on: 2003/7/22 18:02
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Even more formal...
Village Old Timer
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You could also say 'onegaiitashimasu', which is even more polite.

Posted on: 2003/7/22 20:20
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kama.........imasen
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Hmmm, in MY part of Japan where I learned japanese im pretty sure we used it in that form. For example. Haite Kamaimasen ka? (Can I come in/ Is it ok if I come in) which was about a step up from haite ii desuka?

Though I agree, its not super formal.
Anyways............

Posted on: 2003/7/23 3:31
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Re: kama.........imasen
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Hi.


When you say 'Xxx-shite(mo) kamaimasenka?', 'xxx' has to be your own deed. But in 'Oshieru' in 'Oshiete kamaimasenka?' mentioned here is not. That's why this expression is wrong. (So, this can be OK if you mean 'May I teach the stuff to other people?')


Back to the topic...

'Onegai shimasu' means 'I ask you a favor.' or 'Please do what I've asked you to do.'
I don't think either is always the best translation because the two languages have completely diffent ways of thinking. Please find an appropriate English expression in your own context. (I hope all of you can speak English much better than me.)

'Please teach me.' can be said as 'Oshiete kudasai' in Japanase but how polite it should be depends on the human relationship between you and the person you are talking to.
If you are talking to someone you have known long, 'Oshiete kudasai' is OK. If you are talking to a famaous teacher you are not familiar with so much, then you can use 'Oshiete itadakemasenka?', '... itadakenaideshouka?' etc. (The Japanese KEIGO system is too complicated to describe here, I'm afraid.)


HTH

Posted on: 2003/7/23 7:59
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Re: kama.........imasen
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Thank you Ohashi sensei. That helps clear things up for me.

PS. Another way to look at Onegai Shimasu is "please do this for me".

Posted on: 2003/7/23 10:35
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