When you’re in Japan, you’ll hear a variety of apologies in countless situations. Respect for others is a valued virtue in Japanese culture, and apologizing plays a large part the it.

You are watching: How to say sorry in japanese

As you may know, the Japanese have a so-called cumulative mentality, and one the the fundamental principles on i beg your pardon this method of reasoning is based on is harmony. Due to the fact that they room young, the Japanese youngsters are taught the importance of keeping the balance the harmony in their surrounding communities and respecting those about them.

Various elements of Japanese customs and also etiquette revolve about avoiding meiwaku (迷惑), or annoyance come others, so that the harmony in the community can be kept.

Being polite and also courteous is the an essential to maintaining social harmony undamaged in Japan, but everyone renders mistakes. As soon as we room in the wrong, or sometimes also when we’re not, we have to apologize, regularly with a deep bow.


How to apologize in Japanese

In Japan, apologizing is a huge part of great manners, even when you may not be at fault. Since of this, there space a variety of ways come apologize in Japanese, an ideal for any kind of situation.

shiwake nai (申し訳ない)

One that the an ext formal method to apologize, moushiwakenai is provided with client or those over us in the society or company hierarchy. It about translates come “there space no excuses,” but could typical “I’m sorry.” depending upon who you space addressing, you can use gozaimasen (ございません) , arimasen (ありません) or nai (ない).

Gomeiwaku (ご迷惑)

As pointed out before, gomeiwaku means “annoyance” or “bother,” but it can additionally be offered to apologize as soon as burdening the recipient. Sports of gomeiwaku okake itashimashita (ご迷惑おかけいたしました) or gomeiwaku okake shimashita (ご迷惑おかけしました) might be used to mean “forgive me for the trouble.”

It can also be combined with other forms of apologies, together as gomeiwaku okake shite mōshiwake arimasen (ご迷惑をおかけして申し訳ありません).

Sumimasen (すみません)

You’ve most most likely heard this if you’re in Japan, or also if you’re not. The functional phrase method “excuse me,” and also is provided as a type of apology and also as other method of excusing oneself. You have the right to use that in a selection of situations, together as as soon as you bump right into someone on the train or if you need to capture the fist of a restaurant server.

Osoreirimasu (恐れ入ります)

The more polite and also formal means to to speak sumimasen, or excuse me, you can use it alone or in the beginning of a phrase, such as “osoreirimasuga…” to mean “I’m i m really sorry but…”

Kyōshuku (恐縮)

Showing humility, this expression is versatile in to express appreciation and apologizing at the same time. Regularly used v desu or degozaimasu alone or in the beginning of a phrase, it is a polite and courteous way to attend to elders and clients.

Shitsurei (失礼)

Used with the verb shimasu, the phrase means “being rude,” and also can be supplied in a variety of situations as well. These include when interrupting a conversation, beginning a room, leaving prior to someone rather or saying goodbye. It can additionally be offered for irradiate apologies.

Gomen’nasai (ごめんなさい)

The most informal apology is offered with family, friends and acquaintances in lower pecking order than you. In can be supplied in any type of informal situation and also can it is in made even an ext informal by shortening it to gomen (ごめん), or sometimes using it in addition to ne (ね) to soften the blow.

Apologizing to show appreciation

An amazing use that apology phrases is in thanking someone because that a gift or favor. In Japanese culture, it is most polite to apologize 보다 thanking in a simple way, to show deep appreciation because that the thought and effort they put into their courtesy. Common forms to use space osoreirimasu and also kyoushukudesu.

See more: Infected Nose Piercing: How Do You Know If Your Nose Piercing Is Infected ?

Mastering these phrases will obtain you much in structure relationships in Japan and also understanding the Japanese culture. That is challenging to understand and differentiate the usage, but the best way to learn is come live and study in Japan. With several exposure and practice, you should be fine on your way to mastering Japanese apologies!

For an ext information around Japanese culture, keep complying with our go!his Go! Nihon blog.