Japanese

Unnatural Japanese Phrases Frequently Used on Language Learning Sites and What to Say Instead

I often see some Japanese phrases that are grammatically correct but unnatural in terms of cultural context.
Here are some of them that are frequently used on some language learning sites or apps.

1) てつだってください。

It literally means “please give/lend me a hand,” but it’s not common when you ask someone to teach or advise you with something.
It sounds like “do something instead of me” or “share this work with me.”
So, when you want someone to do some of your homework, ”手伝ってください”(てつだってください) is perfect.
In the case of language learning,
日本語を教えてください
(にほんごをおしえてください) = Please teach me Japanese.
or
日本語の学習を助けてください
(にほんごの がくしゅうを たすけてください) = Please help me learn Japanese.
sounds more natural to me.

2) ありがとうございます。

Many Japanese learners write this phrase at the end of a request (like “Please do this for me. Thanks!”).
This phrase, however, is usually used for someone doing something for you,
so it’s too early to say that when you ask for a favour, especially when you haven’t received their answer yet.
You can say ありがとうございます when you get a positive response to your request, even though it is before they have done what you asked for.
In this case, ありがとう is for accepting your request.
Before getting their response, you should say “よろしくお願いします” (よろしくおねがいします) , which basically means “please treat it (me) nicely.”

Examples

[Before getting corrected]
△😖 添削お願いします。ありがとうございます。
(てんさくおねがいします。ありがとうございます。) ≒ Please correct my entry. Thank you for doing that.
◎😄 添削よろしくお願いします。
(てんさくよろしくおねがいします)≒ I’d appreciate your correction.

[After getting corrected]
◎😄 添削ありがとうございます。
(てんさくありがとうございます) =Thank you for the corrections.

FYI: To make them more casual, you can omit “ください,” “ございます” and “お願いします”.

2 thoughts on “Unnatural Japanese Phrases Frequently Used on Language Learning Sites and What to Say Instead

  1. Hi Micarie 🙂

    Yep, I remember using ありがとうございます like that many years ago when I was trying to find an equivalent for the English, “Thanks in advance”, or to the Spanish, “Gracias de antemano.”

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