This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Word To Use Today: ojama-shimasu.

As I come to the end of my second month of living with builders, plumbers, plasterers and electricians, I find myself wishing for an English equivalent of the Japanese ojama-shimasu.

It's a phrase that's said whenever a visitor enters someone else's house, and it means sorry to cause bother.

There's an idea behind the words of being modest, and aware that you're intruding, as well.

It's a conventional phrase in Japan, and it's used so often it probably doesn't always mean very much. But still, for someone like me watching as her house degenerate into a building site, it would give quite a lot of comfort.

Word To Use Today: ojama-shimasu. It's possible, of course, to say the same thing as ojama-shimasu in English, although it takes a lot longer and a lot of care. Still, if you are planning to wreck someone's house, it might be worth doing from time to time.

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