spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Requests in Japanese


Contents in Request Unit:

As you move through examples and exercises you will learn about requests in Japanese.

In the requesting situation, the speaker is asking the hearer to take some action for the benefit of the speaker. Normally, such an action does not profit the hearer. Therefore, the speaker uses various strategies to minimize such an imposition on the hearer. For example, in English, the speaker makes the request seem smaller than it really is (e.g., Can I just take a peek at your homework for a second?), or the speaker may acknowledge the imposition by making it sound bigger than it really is (e.g., I know I’m asking you a huge favor, but …). What are some important strategies in Japanese that would help us get what we need?

Exercises 1-2: Observing Requests in Japanese

There are likely to be cultural differences between your native and target language that you may wish to adjust to as you perform speech acts. In these exercises, compare your use of language in relation to that of your interlocutor, taking into account the nature of the request you are making. See what insights you can come up with as to how the language shifts in Japanese.

Go to Exercise 1

Go to Exercise 2

Exercise 3: Applying Politeness to Request Expressions

In making requests in Japanese, it is useful to know how to apply appropriate politeness markers.

Go to Exercise 3

Exercises 4-5: Evaluating Request Expressions

There are a number of ways to make a request in Japanese as in any language. It is important to be able to judge when and to whom you should use them.

Go to Exercise 4

Go to Exercise 5

    Coffee Break

You might want to offer an attractive deal if you think you are asking a big favor! Listen to what the speaker offers in this situation. 

Click Below to Listen

Exercises 6-7: Simulation Exercises for Making a Request

Let’s practice what we have learned about requests so far. You will be asked to self-evaluate the requests you have made in these exercises.

Go to Exercise 6

Go to Exercise 7

Exercise 8: Pre- and Post-Request Expressions

A request expression usually does not stand alone, but rather is embedded in the discourse. In this exercise, we will examine some of the strategies that precede and follow request expressions.

Go to Exercise 8

Exercise 9: Tone of Requests

Your tone of voice could make a big difference – it can make your request sound sincere or impolite. Listen and practice so that your request will signal that you are truly in need of help.

Go to Exercise 9

Exercises 10-11: Simulation Exercises for Making a Request

Now let’s just practice all that we have learned about requests! You will be asked to self-evaluate the requests you have made in these exercises.

Go to Exercise 10

Go to Exercise 11

Revisiting Useful Links

Ex1 Comments

Ex2 Comments

Ex3 Grammar Review>

Ex6 Comments

Ex7 Comments

Ex8 Strategies Summary

Ex10 Comments

Ex11 Comments

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414 | Contact CARLA