10 Useful Japanese Honorifics in Business email!

10 Useful Japanese Honorifics in Business email!

Japanese honorifics are fundamental in the sociolinguistics of the Japanese. Thus, When exchanging business emails with them, for appropriateness, respect and proficiency, foreigners who want to make business dealings in Japan, must know how to start, write and end an email with Japanese honorifics. Here are 10 widely used honorifics:



 

10 Useful Japanese Honorifics in Business email!

 

1. when refering to oneself – third person

One refers to himself in the third person in Japanese honorifics. Instead of saying “I”, one says “My company,” and instead of saying watashi, one says Watakushi. Watakushi is used for formal situations like talking to a person of great rank. Watashi is for everyday language. Likewise, you do not say “my company”, instead you say “our company” or Heisha for humility.

 

2. Openning

When opening a topic with Japanese honorifics, you can introduce your purpose by saying “I am writing to you (or contacting you) regarding…” you say no kende mail wo sashiagemashita. Then you might say that you want to discuss with him: no kende gosoudanga gozaimasu. The word “regarding” is often the most appropriate in Japanese honorifics.

 

3. greeting

To emphasize respect and humility, you start the email by greeting him or her with Japanese honorifics. If his name is Kikuchi, you might want to use the honorific san, Kikuchi san. For Dear Kikuchi, you might say Haikei. You need to state the subject or Kenmei. For instance, you say shikyu if urgent, or kakuninzumi for notice. If you want to address it “to whom it may concern,” you write Go tantousha sama.

 

4. Summary

To start or end the email, a summary may be valuable to the reader. Remember, if it is in paragraph form, you must write each line of about 20 words, as a new line. The summary must be written as one phrase only, no more no less. The body of the email must have only one topic for simplicity in following Japanese honorifics.

 

5. thanks

And, before closing the letter, you must thank him or her with Japanese honorifics: thank you very much: Makoto ni arigatou gozaimashita; fukaku kansha shite orimasu if you want to say: I really appreciate it. Thanking is a form of respect and must not be omitted when writing a business email.

 

 

6. Apology

When there is a need to apologize, such as for delays in delivery or for a damaged item, or for poor connection in communications. Apologies like sumimasen deshita are very important indicators of respect in email writing with Japanese honorifics. Thus you may say: Moushi wake arimasen deshita (I am really sorry); owabi moushi agemasu (I apologize); or sumimasen deshita (I am so sorry).

 

7. request

By writing a negative question, you can increase your politeness with Japanese honorifics. For instance, if you say, katte itadakemasen (deshou) ka (won’t you do this for me) then you are being extremely polite. Sometimes by adding doubt to your request, you can also signify humility.

 

8. Accept

Acceptance may be of offers, conditions, challenge, sympathies, situations and more. When acceptance is accompanied by thanks, you can say arigato gozaimsu (for a gift being received) or gozaimashita (for a gift already received) or domo arigato (domo means very much) as needed, or osore irimasu (formal). Thanking with Japanese honorifics is another indication of respect and humility.

 

9. refuse

Refusing a date or an offer in Japanese ought to be done as politely as possible. To refuse an offer, say for coffee, you can probably say kekkou desu which literally means “I’m quite full already”. Remember, the Japanese do not say “no” directly but decline with Japanese honorifics.

 

10. Conclusion

Japanese want to formally conclude their emails with the proper phrase. The most common respectful phrases with Japanese honorifics to close an email would be to mention that you are ending it and that you wish for a long fruitful relationship. End emails with Ohenjiwo omachi shite orimasu (I look forward to hearing from you) and Douzo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu (best regards).

 

Conclusion

The Japanese have been taught how to humbly and respectfully address other people from childhood. Japanese honorifics are mandatory in business letter writing and in emails. In Japan, it is crucial that a foreigner be extra sensitive of the feelings and reactions of his business correspondent since rudeness has no place in their language.

 

10 Useful Japanese Honorifics in Business email!

1. when refering to oneself – third person
2. Openning
3. greeting
4. Summary
5. thanks
6. Apology
7. request
8. Accept
9. refuse
10. Conclusion