‘It hardly happens=thank you’ in Japanese「有難うございます(ありがとうございます/arigato gozaimasu)」

Aug 31, 2023

いつも当アカデミーをあたたかくサポートしてくださり、どうも「有難うございます」。実はこの「有難うございます」の直訳は英語のThank youと少し違います。今回は①「有難うございます」の本当の意味と②「有難うございます」の使い方を紹介させていただきます。何か学びがあったらうれしいです。

Thank you very much for your warm support as always. Actually, the literal translation of ‘arigato gozaimasu’is not ‘thank you’ in English. Therefore, it might be tricky to use this expression for you. I will show you the real meaning and how to use the expressions. I hope it will be useful for you.

①「有難うございます」の意味 The meaning of ‘arigato gozaimasu’


It originated from ‘arigatai’ which is formed with ‘ari(masu)=to exist’ and ‘gatai=difficult/hard’. So, it means ‘It is difficult to exist. = It hardly happens.’ Therefore, it shows your appreciation for something that happened even though it hardly happens.

②「有難うございます」を使い方 How to use the expression


You show your gratitude by saying ‘arigato gozaimasu’ when someone did something that they did not have to do for you. For example, you say ‘arigato gozaimasu’ when someone picks up your smartphone and passes it to you when you dropped it on the street. But you simply say ‘domo (cheers)’ and bow when the restaurant staff brought the meal that you ordered.


Therefore, the attitude to feel impressed is important when someone does something for you rather than someone should do something for you.


In addition, you can use ‘arigato gozaimashita’ instead of ‘masu’ to show appreciation in the past, such as after a long project and event that you worked together, for example.

Arai Academy of Japanese Studiesをサポートしてくださり、この8年間どうも「有難うございました」。これからも日本語の表現や文法を理解するのに大切な日本人の考え方についていろいろお伝えしていきたいと思います。日本語を学んでくれている皆さんを心から応援しています。今後ともよろしくお願いします。

‘Arigato gozaimashita’for all your support for the last 8 years. We would like to share more about the Japanese mindset which helps you to understand the expressions and grammar better. Thank you very much for learning Japanese and we’d love to support you.  

輝いて  Enrich your life!

新井峰子(Mineko Arai)

Managing Director

Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

Calligraphy by Moji Brush mojibrush.com

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