How to say fan in Japanese

“You practically don't hear the clear, clear no in Japan. “Iie” - literally “no” - is often used rather than “oh, i wo!”. Of course, this does not mean that the Japanese have no way of rejecting a proposal or an invitation. Only western visitors find it difficult to recognize this. Here are a few popular phrases that of course also work in English:

"Ii desu": "Is good" in the sense of: "Let it stay, I don't need it."

"Chotto muzukashii desu": "That is a little difficult" and is therefore guaranteed to be nothing ...

"Moshiwakenai desu kedo": "It is unforgivable, but ..." is still nothing. This formulation also works in the variant: "It is unforgivable that I stand in your way so often", which means nothing other than that the person addressed is always in the way and annoying.

"Chigaimasu": "It is different", and not in the way the person addressed explains. That is already clear.

"Dame desu": "It is pointless" is the height of the hidden no and the end point of the discussion. Basta."

An excerpt from the useful and readable book "JAPAN for the trouser pocket - What travel guides conceal" by Francoise Hauser.

Even in business meetings where English is spoken, there is usually no clear “no” on the Japanese side. This often leads to misunderstandings among Western participants. The principle of consensus also occasionally causes confusion among us fact-driven, western interlocutors: A resolution is only implemented if every Japanese participant in the round agrees. The senior of the group, even if he enjoys the highest reputation, will usually not prevail against someone who does not agree, but will also wait for the consensus with him. Even if that means that all questions are asked again, all points, including those that were already ticked off, are discussed again. In Japan we encounter unusual, exciting moments again and again, we are allowed to learn new things….


Travel diary (recorded in Kyoto, Japan)

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