spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Exercise 7: Simulation Exercises for Making a Request

Red Core Strategy
Blue Important Supporting Strategy
Black Aditional Strategies
Green General Strategies

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Let’s review these dialogues in terms of the strategies effectively used:

Using an appropriate level of politeness

Compare the requests in Exercises 7 and 8. 

Exercise 7: Asking a roommate to turn down the volume of the TV

そのテレビの音がちょっと気になっちゃって、音少し下げてくれないかな?  Sono terebino otoga chotto kini nachatte, oto sukoshi sagete kurenai kana?

Exercise 8: Asking a kouhai (a younter clubmate) to loan you 1000 en)

もしよかったら、1000円貸してくれない?  Moshi yokattara, sen en kashite kurenai?

けいちゃん、あの、悪いんだけど、ちょっと1000円貸してくれない?  Kei chan, ano, waruin dakedo, chotto sen en kashite kurenai?

The level of politeness of the requests is much the same in Exercises 7 and 8, regardless of the magnitude of the imposition.  The language of requesting in speaking to a roommate and a kouhai is unlikely to involve the use of honorifics.

        Reinforcement of the request

Since the hearers in the sample dialogues are initially unwilling to comply with the request, the speakers need to reinforce their request:

            お願い。Onegai.  ‘Please.’

頼むよ。このとおり。  Tanomuyo.  Kono toori. (pleading gesture)  ‘I’m asking you.  Look, please.’

                 そんなこと言わないで、コンサート見られないから。Sonna koto iwanaide, konsaato mirarenai kara.  ‘Don’t say that, I won’t be able to see the concert.’

        Promising to repay/pay back

This is an effective strategy specially in a situation where you borrow money!

絶対返す。Zettai kaesu.  ‘I’ll definitely pay you back.’

            このコンサートが終わったらすぐATMに行ってお金返すからさ。  Kono konsaatoga owattara sugo ATMni itte okane kaesu karasa.  ‘I’ll go to an ATM and pay you back immediately after the concert.’

        Showing consideration of the hearer

The expression like もしよかったらmoshi yokattara ‘if it’s okay with you’ is often used and exhibits the consideration of the speaker for the hearer.

        Using downgraders (chotto)

        Expressing apologies and gratitude (ありがとう  arigatou, 悪いんだけど  waruin dakedo)

        Submit Your Questions and Comments about Exercise/Website

Go on to Exercise 8

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