Reply on knocking door

What if someone knocks on my door and you can’t exactly see who it is. How exactly do you respond because, in English, you would probably say, hello or hello who’s there?

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I would ideally say どなたですか?or 誰がいますか?but I’ve never encountered that situation cause my doorbell has a camera.

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[bad advice] Assume it’s NHK TV and say 誰もいないです。

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Or just make really loud dinosaur noises!

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「テレビを持っていないんですが。。。」

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My gut says どちらさまですか is more common, though Google’s not really backing me up on this.

That may be because most of the results Google is coughing up relate to answering the phone rather than answering the door, and whether it’s more polite to use どちらさま or どなたさま. The answer generally seems to be “neither, you uncouth barbarian, you should say お名前をお聞かせいただけますでしょうか?”, but I, for one, am not planning on shouting all of that through a closed door.

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Now that you’ve mentioned it, my grandfather fakes not remembering me after not visiting him for a while and asks me どちらさまですか or どなたさまですか。as soon as I say hi. I never thought about that applying to other situations.
Especially since I automatically just play along and say 泥棒です with hand guns.

But yeah, お名前をお聞かせいただけますでしょうか?seems pretty legit.

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Not exactly what you asked for, but the other day I did read the phrase
ちょっと待ってください
for when you can’t make it to the door instantly.

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Yes, どちらさまですか is what I hear living here. どなた seems rarer.

But generally people just say はい?and the person on the other side explains themselves.

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Or when want to keep them waiting indefinitely

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Slightly different, but

When people ring my doorbell I check the video monitor and answer with はい? and then they say who they are and I go はい~. And then go to the door.

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Question is, why would I care who’s at your door? But I’d probably go with @gojarappe’s answer.

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This applies for the UK too when the TV Licensing people come round.

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Same, but I never say anything at all. If they’re a delivery person or guest, I just open the sliding door with the remote button. If they’re not someone I’m expecting, I ignore them. The modern convenience of video doorbells made this question moot for me.

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What if I ask 「誰ですか」 - would that be impolite?

P. S. To be honest, nowadays, whenever someone rings my door, I’m always tempted to pretend I’m not here… Unexpected visitors are scary… :fearful:

P. P. S.

Well, I agree that you probably don’t have any reasons to care who’s at my door, but I think you might have some reasons to care who’s at your door… :sweat_smile:

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誰お前?
For all unwelcome visitors.

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I did not write these

A:トントン
B:どなた?
A:バービーよ
B:バービー誰?
A:バービーキュー
:unamused:

More?

“Knock, knock
Who’s there?
A little old lady
A little old lady who?
Wow, I didn’t know you could yodel!”

“Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Nana.
Nana who?
Nana your business, that’s who.”

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Just keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to respond. If it’s someone you’re not expecting, then if they really want to talk to you, they’ll leave a pamphlet/ad or something in your mailbox. I don’t know if it’s different where you live, but in the about 10 years I’ve been in Japan, the unexpected knocks are usually (in order of frequency):

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses
  2. Newspaper subscription sellers
  3. Some other person wanting to sell something

People that I would normally expect:

  1. Parcel delivery service personnel
  2. Pizza delivery drivers
  3. Friends

If you’ve moved to a new area, and especially if you haven’t signed up for NHK, then:

  1. NHK representative (they will keep coming until they catch you)
  2. A police officer (if you’re new to an area), to confirm your identity and status of residency
  3. Neighbors? Seems kind of unusual these days though.

Have fun! :wink:

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A bit offtopic, but everyone seems to avoid NHK… Why?
NHK Easy News is such a great service!

I actually gladly pay the license fee because I love NHK. It’s usually bitter ex-pats living in a bubble of foreigners who give me real grief for paying it. Everyone else just treats it like a tax—maybe griping, maybe 脱税, or just pay it for the greater good. Evasion is kind of a running joke because of the whole cat-and-mouse dynamic of them collecting door-to-door.

Having lived in America not too long ago, I appreciate having any kind of television that isn’t dominated by appeals to the absolute lowest common denominator. All TV is propaganda, but some is more harmful than others.

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