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Exercise 1: Thanks and Apologies in Japanese




u      In Japanese, feelings of apology and gratitude are closely intertwined. They are best understood as being on a continuum rather than reflecting two separate feelings.   So, be aware of this strategy of using an overlapping concepts and expressions of apology and thanks.



            Feeling apologetic                                                                                                                         Feeling thankful


                                                                                    Mixed feelings of apology & thanks



Review More Information in Apology Unit



u      Arigatou is the most prototypical expression of thanks, and it cannot be used for apology.  Gomen(nasai) is a common expression of an apology, although this expression can denote “thanks” as well.


u      Another strategy is to be aware of how many times expressions of apology and thanks are typically used in Japanese.  The number may generally be higher in Japanese than in English.  


u      Throughout this unit, the term “an expression of thanks” may often overlap expressions and feelings of apology.


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