The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Just googled it, doesn’t look like the most appealing manga/anime ever :joy: but I guess compromises are needed, to start

Ok this was a great explanation!


I’m honestly not sure how to explain it properly myself, but here I feel it’s a combination of the causative させる + いただくso he’s inviting the examinees to be asked questions (and deliver answers), kind of the same way one could use いただきませんか, but the nuance would be slightly more pressing, or いただきたいです where it would be somewhere in-between I guess?

I don’t keigo at home so not sure :sweat_smile:.


Yeah, I think it’s like the “royal we

Aye like that.


Filthy casual :unamused:

Makes sense, thanks!

EDIT: Ah yeah, the causative + もらう/いただく thing is something like “I’ll have you let me do X” IIRC… I don’t see that enough for it to not trip me up still :joy: So I guess this’d be along the lines of “allow me to start off with questions to the parents” or something like that?


Can recommend Honda Tooru from Fruits Basket, she keigo at home


Reading your guys posts I think you are missing the meaning of this

させていただく or させてもらう is just less direct way of say you’re going to do something (usually in a situation involving someone else). It’s a set phrase if anything at this point

始めさせていただきます is just “I’ll start” meaning wise.

Is I’ll first start with a question(s) for the parents. (Polite)

Causative+もらう is a very common pattern so I highly recommend commiting this to memory and thinking of it as a package deal.


If you want to, you can also start with something you’ve already read/watched before in english. That will open up harder things to being available . I personally found easy content to be terribly boring and got much more success out of harder but more interesting content.

There’s also hanahira lol


Will keep that in mind :ok_hand: but I guess there’s still a limit because maybe some anime/manga use many niche terms and a particular form of speech (such as much advanced kaigo) right?

Honestly…no I really don’t think theres a limit. I think it does make a big difference to have a foundation though of maybe a thousand or two of the most common words.

You seem like a cool dude just starting out, so I’ll give you my perspective from someone whos been at this for a long time now and you can take from it what you will. People out there will disagree with some things I have to say, but I’m not here to argue and just give a perspective:


In my opinion: Almost all of the value you get from inputting content is when you are able to make a small leap and understand a piece of information that you previously couldn’t, or understand information you don’t have down pat well enough to understand without any effort. The former is often called i+1 sentences and while its true you will come across more of these in some works than others, you’ll always have plenty as a beginner no matter what you chose. And as you improve, more sentences become accessible to you. Especially if you are familiar with the story, the downside of doing harder material isn’t that big if you ask me, and the plus side is you have a wider selection to choose from so you can pick something that will catch your interest. And in my experience, genuine interest and enjoyment in your content trumps basically everything from an efficiency standpoint.


After all it’s just the same language right? :joy:

Thanks, I will definitely keep that in mind, but in my specific case it’s worth mentioning that I don’t need the content to feel motivated to read, learn and search for things, the interesting part is being able to fully understand it and not what I’m actually reading. I’m having a lot of fun with every part of learning this language! So here’s why I’m looking for simple material, to go with n+1 approach
Let me ask you another suggestion too, I heard a lot of good things on graded readers. Given that I can afford some, would you suggest me buying it? Why is it that good? at the moment I have the feeling that all I can do with a graded reader, I could do with another simple read with a lot of research


Yep lol, exactly. Especially the core is gonna be the same. If anything its like the same cake with different icings and toppings.

I’d love to offer a perspective on that, but I never actually used graded readers. I read a volume or two of an easy manga (yotsubato) when I was starting out and was like “yeah this isn’t what I wanna read” so I went straight for an adult visual novel and never looked back.

There are some people on here who have used them, but ideally opinions would come from people who have made it to a high level while having used them and can reflect on the role they played in their studies and if it was worth it. Sadly, I just don’t know anybody like that so I can’t even point you in anybodies direction. AFAIK everyone I know who got far kinda skipped over using them (coincidence or not)


Adult visual novels honestly sounds like a way more appealing alternative, but I feel that since I’m ok with simple stuff, just taking that small step and easing things would be better

Let’s wait to see if someone has used them and can give a suggestion :ok_hand:


Yeah, if you wanna play a visual novel, though, hanahira is a great choice. Its considered like the ultimate beginner visual novel iirc. Nekopara too if you want something…adulty.

Either way, best of luck with whatever you choose!


Thanks! I will note these two


Yup. させていただく・もらう is basically (especially in the ます form) a polite version of する, just that you’re telling someone else you’re going to do it.

Now, if we want to get technical, this stuff turns up on the Manual keigo - Wikipedia page, which covers improper keigo that’s common in バイト training manuals – to be clear though, させていただく is not necessarily wrong; there are just some conditions – and there’s a document from 2007 from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (敬語の指針) that analyses this expression (among others) and details what’s appropriate usage, along with why this expression has become more common. (The analysis is on page 40 if anyone’s interested.)

Strictly speaking, there are two conditions that should be satisfied for proper use of させていただく

  1. One receives permission from someone before taking action
  2. One benefits or feels that one benefits from being allowed to take action

The issue is that in everyday usage, condition 1 usually isn’t explicitly satisfied, and the analysis from the agency suggests that this is a usage that supposes that the condition is fulfilled, which has expanded the set of cases in which this expression is used. How natural one finds this – according to them – is a matter of how tolerant one is of させていただく.

So yeah, in summary, given this

this could be an example of inappropriate usage. How acceptable it is depends on whether the parents’ consent can be safely assumed. The more correct option in the general case, in my opinion, is to use お〜(いた)します instead of 〜させていただきます. The problem in this particular case is that turning 始める into お始めします・いたします doesn’t seem common at all, and the only suggestion I’ve found so far is to replace it with a kango (i.e. word of Chinese origin/written in kanji) equivalent, as in 開始かいしいたします.

All this is in the context of traditional rules though, and such usage may not be as troubling for non-purists. A more recent opinion (from 2020) from someone writing for NHK suggests that 〜させていただく tends to be preferred to(お/ご)~(いた)します when the speaker would benefit while possibly inconveniencing the listener. In short, the situation each is used in is typically described by

  • 〜させていただく → the speaker benefits and the listener may be inconvenienced
  • (お/ご)~(いた)します → the listener benefits

In conclusion, I personally think that it would have been better to use 開始いたします in the context of the anime quote, simply because I doubt the interviewer asked for permission. However, if that wasn’t the opening phrase, and the conversation had already started with something like ‘you’re here for the admission interview, yes?’, then we could assume tacit approval had been given since they had agreed to the interview. I can see how the interviewer might have wanted to express the nuance of inconveniencing the parents with his questions though. If we wanted to keep the 〜させていただく structure while remaining formally correct, 〜させていただけますか (i.e. turning it into a question) would have been fine.

At the end of the day, however, it seems 〜させていただく has become so common that incorrect usage probably just flies over people’s heads, so it’s really nothing to worry about unless you’re in a formal context where you really want to make a good impression with your mastery of proper keigo usage (e.g. in a business setting), which is probably why there are so many articles about how to use it for business. It’s generally just a polite declaration before taking action otherwise.


I watched the episode just a bit ago and the usage was perfectly fine.


I’ll take your word for it. (I intend to watch the anime soon anyhow.) I just wanted to mention the two conditions for technically correct usage in case anyone was interested. I presume you already knew them, but not everyone does. I didn’t mean to imply that it was automatically incorrect (and I should edit my original post to make that clear). Like I said though, even if it had been wrong, it’s so common that most people wouldn’t notice, so it’s not a major issue. This is just me splitting hairs as I usually do.

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I started my untranslated VN reading with Hanahira, and it was indeed nice, fluffy and simple - although sometimes I almost wished it used a little more kanji, because looooong strings of kana are sometimes hard to parse :sweat_smile: . OTOH almost everything in this game is voiced, and that’s a big plus.

From the others that I’ve read and found to be relatively easy, I’d recommend 夏空カナタNatsuzora Kanata by Yuzusoft.

Or the one I’m reading right now - アオナツラインAonatsu Line - it even has vocab lists on :slight_smile:

Although some of the translations provided ignore the context, for example for メッセ they used first definition from JMDict - exhibition center, from german “messe”, while in this VN it is used as the abbrevitation of “messenger”/“messages” - as in instant messages.

The also failed miserably with そんじゃ、taking it as a kana form of 尊者, and not recognizing it as an casual abbreviation of それじゃ :smiley:

So yeah, it seems that vocab list on should be taken with a grain of salt, but nevertheless my recommendation for this VN stands :slight_smile:


Found this and thought someone could find it interesting

Source: SCMP data on 6.3 billion people (of 7.9 billion)

I didn’t know there were more Mandarin native speakers than English native speakers

Ps. Sorry for the OT


Aye, but that’s the 1 billion people living in China and the 100 million or so in the diaspora.

If you count English as a second language, you get around 1.5 billion and, for better or worse, it’s the most widely spoken language in the world.