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Exercise 9: Simulation Exercise for Apologizing – 1


Read the situation below and complete the dialogue as if you were speaking in real life. Type your answer in each box. Later you will be asked to reflect on your language use.

You are a college student. You have an appointment with a senior professor, Professor Ito in another department to discuss your project. He is in his late 50s and although you have communicated with him by e-mail, you have not met him yet. The appointment is at 3 today. However, for some reason, you find that you will not be able to make it. You call the professor and ask if he could change the appointment. The professor sounds reluctant.

Now try to use apology expressions effectively. You can give realistic reasons that you think would be appropriate for requesting a change in the appointment. Be careful of the way you present them!

1. Prof. Ito (on the telephone): はい、伊藤ですが。   Hai, Ito desuga.

You: (identify yourself)


2. Prof. Ito: あ、・・・さんね。どうしました?   A, …sanne. Doushimashita?

You: (tell him that you won’t be able to come today)


3. Prof. Ito: そうですか、どうにもならないの? Soudesuka, dounimo naranaino?

You: (present your reasons)


4. Prof. Ito: ああ、そう、大丈夫なの?   Aa, sou, daijobunano?

You: (ask if you can meet with him on another day.)


5. Prof. Ito: じゃあ、今回はなんとかしましょう。来週の同じ時間はどうですか?    Jaa, konkaiwa nanntoka shimasyou. Raisyuuno onaji jikanwa doudesuka?

You: (accept and close the conversation)




Now look back on what you have written and answer the following questions:

6. What reasons did you give to the professor for the cancellation?


7. Now compare your reason(s) with the reasons native speakers gave in this task.  Are your reasons appropriate?


8. Where and in what way was your reason presented in your dialogue?


9. Now view common strategies used by Japanese university students. Did you use these strategies in your apologies?


10. Which apology expression(s) did you use?


11. Compare your apology expressions with those of Japanese students and evaluate the level of politeness in your apology expressions.


12. How many apology expressions did you provide?


13. Notice the number of times Japanese students used apology expressions and evaluate the sincerity of your apology.


14. What was the level of politeness in your language in general? View the level of politeness used in the sample dialogue.


Now click below to listen to one example of how to be appropriate. First, try without looking at the transcript. Later you can click on "Read Transcript" to look at the conversation while you listen again.

Click to Listen

Read Transcript


Since all speakers speak differently, here is another example for you to listen to.

Click to Listen

Read Transcript

Your section (if applicable)/Your last name, Your first name:
Example: (in a box) 010/Smith, John

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