Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Domo arigato gozaimashita

We all know how to say thank you in Japanese (though remember if you’re in Okinawa it’s Nihwee-deebiru). And if someone says it to you it's a good idea to come back with a fast Doitashi mashite.
There can never be enough posts featuring polite usages (to set against the large number featuring obscene invective), and in August last year I wrote some notes on ta ever so in a piece thus titled.
This was a fairly uninteresting post and I was surprised and pleased to find last week that after a lapse of some 14 months it actually had a visitor. Someone had evidently put ta ever so into a search engine without putting it in quotes to link it as a phrase, so of course up came 12,400,000 search results.
The search engine was Yahoo Japan, and it had brought up my 2004 post at No 1. I like to think that this gave the Japanese searcher all the information that he needed so that he didn’t have to read through the other 12,399,999 websites.

(One of the sites that came up was, probably because –ta is a Japanese verb ending. Entrancingly, this site invites you to Explore the fun side of the Japanese language… This sounds a bit like suggesting you might like to Investigate the comedy aspects of Margaret Thatcher.)

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