Easy Peasy Japaneasy -「すみません」って本当はどういう意味?
Easy Peasy Japaneasy

Let me share with you some real stories happening to students –
how much do you know about Japanese language and its culture?
「すみません」は謝る時だけでなく、お礼を言う時にも使います。(というのは日本人なら簡単にわかりますね。)でもカルロスさんにとってみると、「すみません」はI’m sorryか、Excuse meだったはず…どうして謝るのか? 悪い事をしてないのに…。
What is SUMIMASEN’s real meaning?
This story is about Carlos, who started living in Japan and began studying Japanese a month ago. One day he came to his Japanese lesson with a confused look on his face. I asked him, “What happened?”
He replied that this morning he saw a lady drop something at the train station.He picked it up and said to her, “Douzo (Here you are)”. She then replied,
I did not understand the reason why he was so surprised. But he explained to me below…
Carlos was surprised and confused because he learned that “ SUMIMASEN” means “I am sorry” and “excuse me”. He thought, “Why did she apologise to me?She hasn’t done anything wrong.” That is why Carlos could not work out this expression…
“SUMIMASEN” is not only used for apology, but also appreciation.
Original meanings; ARIGATO= ARIGATAI (Thankful), SUMIMASEN=SUMANAI (unfinished)
Let’s break it down.“SUMANAI”(unfinished) → unfinished until I give something to you in return →  because I received your kind action →I feel appreciated. 
Ha ha! Can you understand the beautiful feeling of the Japanese mind? 
After that, Carlos thought “SUMIMASEN” was really useful as it also includes “thank you”.
So now he keeps saying “SUMIMASEN” a lot… (Please do not forget that ARIGATO is beautiful word, too!)
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Level 1, 152 Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne
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