My big challenge at the intermediate level of language acquisition has always been getting my personality across.
Because I’m autistic, I have an unusual way of speaking even in English. But I’m also a laidback and easygoing person. I don’t get easily angered by disappointments or changed plans or messed-up restaurant orders. We’re all doing the best we can.
I was talking to my italki teacher about the challenges I face reading about mathematics in Japanese. She politely reminded me that she teaches Japanese but she’s not qualified to teach math. I wanted to say that that’s OK, but I wasn’t sure of the best way to do that towards a 目上 person. I’m vacillating between 「大丈夫です」, 「構いません」, 「問題はありません」. Any thoughts?
Besides that, I’d welcome any other advice on things to say to strangers or acquaintances (basically the 丁寧語 level) that would get my personality across!
全然大丈夫です！大丈夫ですよ！Is what I might say in this situation (talking to an italki tutor) : ) to seem easy going. The last two may be a little bit stiff and formal in my opinion. For example, the use of ありません rather than ないです in 問題はありません may give a touch of formality which is more common for more formal situations, different from this one.
I would probably say something like あっ、そうでしたね。たしかに
This puts the blame on oneself in a sense – ah yes, I knew that. (Or should have known that.)
全然大丈夫です is good too. You should be aware that it’s technically grammatically incorrect even though it’s common language. I wouldn’t use it with a teacher or in a formal setting but no one would think twice about it if you did. In depth explanation is here.
Also agreed with 全然大丈夫です. When I use it, it does feel like people become a bit more relaxed, which probably helps contribute to the “easygoing” atmosphere you’re aiming for.
If you watch or read native content, mimicking how some of the characters are replying in similar situations might be useful here, I think. From my personal experience, in no particular order, some phrases I’ve picked up to try and seem more easy to talk to:
- やっぱ or やっぱり
YMMV but I’ve found some mild success throwing some of these into my speech. I’ve only really spoken to people around my age or younger, or with older folks who will let me practice more casual conversation with them.