1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "どうもすみません。"

"どうもすみません。"

Translation:Please excuse me.

June 5, 2017

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yahel26

Doumu+Sumimason vs Sumimasen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tc3KDQp5

Doumo+Sumimasen is used more for excusing yourself from a situation, like if you're in a meeting or gathering or whatever and you have to take a call, use the restroom, something.

Sumimasen is used more for politely getting someone's attention, whether to say something or get through a crowded place, or crossing through a long line because there's no way to go around.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YonkCoon

So would i use "doumo sumimasen" if I sacrifice myself in an action anime scene without my loved one's awareness?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vic.chan

That is very formal to say, so if you hate your loved one. Then yes!

If you actually love your loved one, then you're rude. And your "loved one" will probably think you commit 切腹 because you cant handle her でたらめ anymore


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SolasTamashi

I feel like there is a story behind this...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hinatashoy14

What's that mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

You use different types of speech depending on your relation to the one you're speaking to. If you're too informal, it's rude, sure, but it's also rude if you're too formal.

"Aishiteru" is also very dramatic. It's the sort of "I love you" you say if you won't ever see the person again (probably because you're dying.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SolasTamashi

Yes. Whereas, if the villian is gloating that he took you down in one shot, but you're perfectly fine, you would snap him back to reality by saying "Sumimasen". Then he will stare at you blankly and go "NANI!?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leo456036

More like: Sayonara, aishiteru...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

This is to the loved one, not the villain, right? Unless there's a major plot twist here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Evan_sch.

What does the aishiteru mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

Uncomfortably intense love. "I love you" but very very intense. Not "romantic gesture" intense, but dramatic. Like, you'd only say this when one of you won't see the other one again (like if one of you is dying) or on your wedding day (maybe.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melo-Hanka

It means 'Goodbye, I'm sorry...' so it is very dramatic!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChahineMor

actually no XD you could say something like "suman" since it's more casual or also "sumanai"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissBMoon

To make it simple for english native speakers, "Sumimasen" is like you use "Pardon" on your daily life. Trying to get someone's attention, trying to pass through and so on :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mudpick

In the examples you propose wouldn't it be better to use some variation of "shitsure.." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tc3KDQp5

Yes, that's what I would use. I would say しつれいします. I was just giving one possible usage to the phrase, even if it's not the most used one (I probably should've said that, sorry).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmaranthZi

What about お先に失礼します? Is it common?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TARDISToni

"お先に、失礼します" is a way of excusing yourself from the room, conversation, gathering, etc., essentially saying, "Pardon me, but I have to leave." It is divided into two separate parts: お先に (おさきに, osaki ni) means something like "I am leaving ahead of you," if I remember correctly, and it announces your actual departure. The 失礼します (しつれいします, siturei simasu), meanwhile, adds an extra level of politeness; while it literally means "I excuse myself," it does not necessarily impart the information that you're actually departing (although it can mean that under certain circumstances), but is more of a general, blanket "excuse me." If you simply want to say "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry," then you'd say 失礼します (which is more or less interchangeable with すみません). If you want to declare your intention to take your leave, then you must include the お先に.

Also - and I'd appreciate it if someone with more experience than I could confirm this - I think you would usually say 失礼します first, followed by お先に.

This isn't a complete explanation of all the levels of politeness and formality involved, but I hope it at least answers the basic question. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scnlf

Duo just accepted "I'm very sorry" from me. Which is not really correct, right...??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tc3KDQp5

That is another usage, I had forgotten about that one. Not used very often though, in my experience anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

Sumimasen is actually shortened from a sentence meaning "It is my responsibility", doumo makes it nicer. So "doumo sumimasen" could definitely mean "I'm very sorry"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtistryHM

So the former is mostly for formal situations and the latter for casual?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KMosuzu

Tc3KDQp5 explained perfectly. Doumo Sumimasen is like 'Ah, excuse me, I am sorry.' or Doumo Arigatoh is like 'I do thank you so much'. It emphasises your thankfulness to the other. We also only use 'Doumo' meaning Thank you or I am sorry, up to the situation. It is not so polite but it is used very often. For example, if someone picked up your scarf dropped on the ground, you say either Arigatoh, Arigatoh Gozaimasu, Doumo Arigatoh, or simply, Doumo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LMVgranate

Great, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jennacide_2

Typically on the streets, a japanese person pronounces すみません as すいません


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaminoTakamaru

Well, technically speaking すいません is a colloquial form of すみません ...at least according to wadoku.de. So yeah, people might use it on the street, just like here in Germany people often say "sorry" "'Tschudligung" instead of something more polite.

EDIT: Saw that answerde above my comment here, but eh, was kinda blind. ^^"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/granitba

Is that the reason why some say aeigatou instead of arigatou?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarrenYeo2

More or less its easier to say. As long as people understand then its good enough


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1161542143

Not that it matters for this question, but is there a difference between suimasen and sumimasen? So much is interchangeable but i would also like to take into consideration what is more/less formal since the culture is so heavily rooted in being respectful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

suimasen is more slang-y way to pronounce sumimasen. Less formal


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LouisEganM

I thought doumo means thanks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldEaglin

Doumo can be used with arigatou to be a more polite version of "thank you" or "thank you very much." Like many phrases in Japanese, doumo arigatou can be shortened to doumo, which is a very casual "thanks." I've only heard it with a customer at a sushi restaurant thanking the chef.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/triftcity

If used alone it is an informal way of saying thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OcylX

From what my japanese teacher taught me my first semester, Doumo is kind of a catch all word and can be applied to situations to either, in this instance, make it more formal/polit, and, he stated that it could also be used in other ways and doesn't always have one set definition, just like Sumimasen in this instance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sellithy

No arigato means thank you. Doumo, when paired with arigato, means very much. In this quesrion it is added to add more politeness. As far as I know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YagamiHikari

Why does this accept both:

"I am very sorry", "please excuse me"

Can someone explain this a bit more.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

Sumimasen can be used to say you're sorry, as well as to politely get someone attention. Doumo makes it even more polite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_IX

It accepted "I'm very sorry" for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zebbodee

Sure for me too, but the more typical usage is to excuse yourself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mommarigo

In English, we could say "Pardon me". It could mean both "I'm sorry." and "excuse me." Sumimasen seems tho be similar, and here doumo is added to make it more polite, or to give extra emphasis (very sorry).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannaha70093

すみません means sorry and also excuse me so both are accurate


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaruHigdon

Never in my entire 4 years of studying and 2 years of living in Japan have I heard a native Japanese person use どうもすみません。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda.pagnozzi

Can someone help me with its literal meaning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_IX

Just in this example:
どうもすみません
[どうも] [すみません]
[very] [sorry]

Both どうも and すみません can have different meanings if used in another context.

★ どうも - much, very, quite; greetings, hello, goodbye, thanks, (etc.)
★ すみません - excuse me, pardon me, I'm sorry, thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliceHornb

If domo sort of translates to thank you, and dozo to please, then why isn't dozo used here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConnorHugo1

Dozo is commonly used as a sort of "this is for you" or "go ahead", Dozo (please) is more of an invitation than how "please" is used in english which is more like Onagai (please).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MexicoMadness

The times I've heard "dozo" used have been before eating you say, "Ii ta daki masu" (not sure of spelling) and the host replies "Dozo". It means something like "please go ahead and eat" or "you are welcome to have the food".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannaha70093

どうぞ has more of a "here you go" meaning. "Please take this" or "please accept this" would also be accurate translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mirror-Moon

"Excuse me very much"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deviousrat

lol that's what I thought it said


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhiawolf

So, I've often in anime seen characters say sumimasen when being given something, and seen it translated as "thank you". I interpreted this as a sort of, "aw, you didn't have to do that for me" or "Sorry you had to trouble yourself on my behalf". For this reason, I assumed that doumo sumimasen could be used the same way as, potentially, "thank you", depending on context. No dice. Does doumo intensify the sumimasen phrase so that it no longer works as a humble "thank you"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelipeMate560330

The reason that translating it to i'm very sorry is wrong is that it doesn't convey the literal meaning nor the feeling ; even in the case when someone is receiving the gift and saying sumimasen in response, the feeling isn't gratitude but embarrasement or humiliation for not having something reciprocal in response of equivalent value


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/forgetful-frank

That was very insightful, どうもありがとうございます


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelipeMate560330

Sumimasen is like excuse me whereas Gomen(nasai) is like I'm sorry/appologies

So adding the empasizer (very) (doumo) is just increasing the meaning, not altering it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaeExplosion

I can see that it says Please excuse me. But can someone please explain to me how I got it right even though I put "I am very sorry"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Both answers are correct

sumimasen is used as "excuse me" or "I'm sorry". It's the negative form of the verb "sumu" 済む which means 'to feel at ease' or 'to finish'. So the negative sumimasen would be to feel guilt or to be unfinished (as in I can never apologize enough for troubling you please excuse me)

doumo is used for emphasis so "much thanks" "very sorry"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k.uroo_x

doesn't doumo means thanks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsartomato

it is an emphasis domo origato big thanks then sometimes it's shortened to domo

but then owl starts pouring informal stuff without context and expects you to follow it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriella978596

I keep getting this question wrong bc they dont give me the option to pick the right one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Megan_J

Can someone please explain doumu and why here it can be used as thanks, very much and please excuse me/pardon me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flypirat

I am not very experienced, but my guess is that the meaning of dōmo depends with context. There are many Japanese words which meaning depend on the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uhmdown

Strangely, in one of the earlier steps, Domo was translated as "Cheers". Thought Kampai was cheers...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FelipeMate560330

Because in british english cheers means thanks, so it accepted based on slang english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HotaruKaleidos

It's the first time I see すみません after a どうも… is not so used maybe? If it is "I'm very sorry" it is more like 本当にごめんなさい?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

すみません is more like excuse me or apologies when you requested something from someone and sorry for causing the trouble. ごめんなさい is used when you did something bad and caused trouble because of your deed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

That's what I always assumed and then I read in some other textbook gomennasai used for suimasen.

Thx for clearing that up


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/golukumar875576

'Doumo' means Thanks. And 'Sumimasen' means Sorry . But '"Doumosumimasen"' means please excuse me how ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

どうも is an adverb describing a feeling of gratitude or apology that is so deep that cannot be verbalized. So translated to "very" or "wholeheartedly."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlyssinWil

So, it told me the correct answer is "Please excuse me", but I know Ive had this come up and not be that answer in the past. Also, when I moused over 'doumo' it said that it can be translated to 'please', but the dictionary I used to check that (jisho.org) didnt indicate 'please' in any off the many possible translations it had.

Later, just 'doumo' came up, but 'please' wasnt a correct answer. So........


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

"doumo" doesn't really mean "please" by itself; it is an intensifier.
The dictionary lists one of its meanings as "Very (sorry), Much (thanks), Quite (regret)"
In English saying "Very excuse me" doesn't sound right though because we do not intensify that word in that way. When we want to be more heartfelt and polite when saying 'excuse me' we add 'Please' in our apology instead. That is where the 'please' in this sentence is coming from. It is the more natural English equivalent of its usage in the full phrase, not the individual words themselves.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

This explains so much! Thanks! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PanchaDiaz

Is domo used to amplify the strength of the word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura_P98

Which is the difference between this and gomenazai?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christian.M.o.n

From what I know, gomen'nasai is slightly less polite than aumimasen. Additionally, sumimasen is used more to excuse yourself for something that is a trouble to someone else e.g. asking for directions, whereas gomen'nasai is used to apologize for a wrongdoing you commit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OfficerKitty

I dont like the どうも_ question. Doumu on its own means very much. It can be paired with a lot of phrases


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimNorton11

Wouldn't doumo oyasuminasai work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

おやすみなさい means "please rest" or the english equivalent of how we use "goodnight",

I think you mean ごめんなさい gomennasai, which is a bit closer to "I'm sorry"
They can both mean 'excuse me' but sumimasen is a bit more formal and used when getting someone's attention or a smaller apology/misunderstanding/inconvenience, and gomennasai is more for like when you're apologizing for something wrong you've done.

If it helps in their kanji form:
御免なさい・go-men-nasai・(honorific) (permission/dismissal) (please do) - asking politely for forgiveness/allowance
済みません・sumimasen ・negative form of 'sumu' - to finish, end, feel at ease. Lit: "It does not end" or "Does not feel at ease". - expresses regret for troubling someone
お休みなさい ・ oyasuminasai ・(honorific) (rest) (please do) - 'goodnight' - the kanji for 'rest' 休 is a person leaning against a tree


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/correa.will

Can anyone help me by explaining how we know whether we must add a space between the words or not. I mean, the sentence above means "Please, excuse me" - three words. I assume they're narrowed down to two words in Japanese. Still, there's no space. I got confused. Would anyone be willing to explain? Thanks in advance!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

In Japanese, spaces are pretty much never used. In fully written Japanese the multiple writing systems (kanji, hiragana, katakana) as well as particles (the bits that indicate grammatical function) are used to help distinguish where words begin and end. You'll only really see spaces in things like children's books which are written almost entirely in hiragana, to prevent it from becoming kana soup.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnGamble10

Meh... it's literally 'excuse me' ... 'thanks'. I don't think the answer is helpful because 'どうも' is 'thanks', not 'please' so there's no way that 'please' gets in there. Also, I've never heard anybody say 'thank you, sorry' in English. It's an awkward 'answer' IMO and not very useful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

It isn't really, though. どうも is a far more versatile word than just "thanks". It can be used as an adverb meaning "very/much/quite" with apologies and thank-yous. It can also be used as a greeting similar to 'hello'.
https://jisho.org/search/%E3%81%A9%E3%81%86%E3%82%82


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mahi824436

I wrote it's meaning as ' I'm really sorry' and it was accepted as correct! Is it actually correct? Or should it's meaning be 'Please excuse me' only?

Can someone give me an explanation with examples maybe?? Pleaseeeee


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David710072

I entered "I am very sorry" and it marked it correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnGamble10

Translation... 'here you go, excuse me'. IMO this should be removed as it's not natural and it's a 'gotcha' rather than an actual lack of understanding for me (I speak decent Japanese but always get this wrong during revision because it's such a meaningless sentence that I will never use for the 'translated' intention).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

There is no "here you go" here, that would be どう
This sentence uses どう, which has a wide range of uses not including 'here you go'. The recommended translation at the top is "Please excuse me."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnruiShih

I wrote "quite pardon me" which should be entirely correct, but was marked wrong. Guess you have to phrase it in a way that the program recognizes. Seems silly though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

"Quite pardon me" doesn't sound natural at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EASHMINI

ありがとうございます


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel819482

どうも equals here you are すみません equals escuse me

どうも、すいません equals please excuse me ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cryopneuma

Douzo = here you are (as in offering something to someone.)

Domo = thanks.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.