Translation:Thank you for the meal.
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Thank you. What I meant was, does the phrase have a literal meaning (e.g. I guess that こんにちは comes from 「今日は[I hope you are doing well]」 or sth like that)? ごちそうさま looks like a noun for me, and indeed it’s listed in jisho () ご馳走さま , but not with a very enlightening definition. Could you explain what it roughly means?
The thing with japanese is that words and sentences dont usually have a specific english translation, because they convey ideas and concepts, which is why, for example, an anime film or manga translated by two different people is sometimes different. If you google "what does 元気 (genki) mean, you'll see what i mean, as learning about that helped me understand what was meant by Japanese words meaning concepts and ideas.
The are three different systems to write in romaji. そら It's using nihon-shiki, while the most common in this forum is the hepburn system. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese
Romaji has 'English' wiki! Wow! ( ˆoˆ ) Is romaji famous? Really?
It is called 'ヘボン式' as 'the Hepburn system' in Japan.
(However we call it 'オードリー・ヘプバーン' as Audrey Hepburn) 'the Hepburn system' is a bit hard. For example, I type 'tatititeto' as 'たちつてと' in J style. But 'ta chi tsu te to' as 'たちつてと' in H style. I think 'たちつてと' is one group. They are friends, similar friends. 'T' plus vowel. Why 'ch', 's'? (´･_･`) I do not know. Because English pronunciation is not my basic. More confuse 'ちゃ'. I use 'tya' as 'ちゃ'. ちゃ is a combination of 'ち' and small 'や'. 'ti' plus 'ya' → tya. Why 'cha’ as 'ちゃ'? I am confused... And sorry. So I use nihon-shiki.（＾∇＾）
But this is very interesting. I didn't know that everybody use the Hepburn system. I am a minority here.
In English, "ch" (sometimes "tch") is its own special sound, so ちゃ = "chya", but the ゃ seems to remove the "y" sound, so we write "cha." It was confusing to me, too, at first, because, logically, I would think ち would sound like "ti."
ふ is also confusing, because it is the only character in Japanese that makes an "F" sound, (logically, I would expect it to be "hu," not "fu"). They are very different sound classes in English. In English, "F" is closest to "V" (unvoiced versus voiced). But Japanese doesn't have "V" at all! You use a "B" sound, instead (e.g., my name is Dave, but in kata it's デイブ, and Deibu in romaji).
Every language has its special cases, I suppose. :D Thanks for all your very helpful comments on these lessons!
Chuck Norris is written as 'チャック・ノリス/ちゃっく・のりす'. Yes, it is 'ch...'. I see. You say like this sound.: )
Yes, typically we feel F and H are close sounds.
Line of は. はひふへほ ha hi hu he ho
It is difficult that thinking F and V are close for Japanese.
But the knowledge of your comment is much helpful for Listening! I am not a English native speaker and not a child already. It is necessary to counsciously listen it. It is very important that we know the theory of sounds, I think.
Thank you! :D
The way the Tips in Duolingo explained, there is a difference between Japanese and English F sound. Basically, we (English) touch our teeth firmly to our bottom lip to make a very strong Ffff sound. Whereas Japanese use mostly the lips to push out a soft phh sound. It's both a ffff sound, but ours is more firm and there's is more soft. But their ffff/phhh sound is still different from their hhhhh sigh sound. I find it interesting. Using just your lips in the right way to make a soft fff sound might help with pronounciation. But this is just my observation on my own so I could be wrong –I'm not a linguist. :)
Originally, these odd sounds were in line with all the others. But [i] has a habit of palatalizing a preceding consonant, producing palatals. [ti]→[t͡ʃi]. Consonants like [t], [d], [s], and [z] are prone to palatalizing. In English words of Romance (French and Latin being two of them) origins, /k/ and /g/ are palatalized instead. In English, however, you can often hear a palatalized /t/ or /d/ such as in: ‹did you›→/dɪd.juː/→[dɪ.d͡ʒuː].
I hope this explains sufficiently, or if not, it should set you on an expedition to learn more about phonological changes.
@LiKenun Thank you for the wonderful explanation. Few things are as interesting as reading about phonological changes across languages.
English also has this palatalized /s/ as in <as you> ~ /æʒju:/. But I am not sure if it is just an American English thing or encountered in other dialects as well.
I think there are three reasons for that:
First, native Japanese speakers don't really use any of the romaji systems in their daily lives in Japan, so you wouldn't be able to read most of the information around you if you go to Japan. If you find romaji Japanese in Japan when it's not there to give information to non-Japanese (or some random online chat/forum), it's there probably because someone thought it looks cool.
Second, because of the various romaji systems, there's not much point to strictly follow one of them, while it would be confusing for the beginners if the teacher accepts all official romaji variations and even the mixed, unofficial ワープロ-romaji, and learn that all of them are correct.
And finally, I've heard many of them say that reading whole Japanese sentences in romaji and guessing their meaning is often a struggle them. Arukitsuzukeru looks so much longer than 歩き続ける which looks more neat. Maybe you would add a space between aruki and tsuzukeru because it really helps reading longer sentences in romaji, but reading it is still slow. Many times they don't even think of these inflected or bound words as "one word" or "two words." Thus, in my humble opinion, turning from the romaji to "true Japanese characters," giving up the spaces and gradually learning the kanji is the way to really understand Japanese.
Hm, very interesting. I've been learning Japanese using the Romanised translations as although good, I don't feel the audio on Duolingo is good enough to rely on solely. I do need to start trying to learn more of the Hiragana & Kanji as that's where I'm struggling at the moment.
si => shi is a regular sound change in Japanese; all si’s are pronounced as shi. This is the reason why, if you look at a Kana table, you will find in the row with the consonant "s-": さ、し、す、せ、そ (sa, s(h)i, su, se, so). So since there really is no differentiation between si and shi in Japanese, Rōmaji input methods will usually allow you to type either to get the syllable し, so many people end up omitting the “h” since it’s one more keystroke.
ご (go) is an honorific in the same vein as お (o), and both are represented by the same kanji, though it's rarely used in current Japanese. さま (sama) is another honorific, typically reserved for deities and royalty, and さん (san) is actually derived from it, as a shortening in more casual speech, but in current Japanese is distinct form. ちそう (chisou) is a feast, rather than a simple meal, or just food.
The meaning then, is a very polite and flattering to the host, "That was a feast". A good idiomatic English translation of the literal meaning might be "That was a feast fit for a king!", however, it's actually a set phrase in current Japanese, and essentially means "Thank you very much for the hospitality".
I do not say it at only McDonald's purchase. Because it says at the time of meal, not at the time of purchase. If you will eat at McDonald's, the time is before eat. you are sitting down and put a hamburger on the table and say "いただきます." We do not think 'to whom'. You begin eat it. You have finished eating a hamburger. While sitting down, you will say "ごちそうさま". if at a restaurant you will pay after meal. you payed and clerk will say 'thanks' etc. then you say 'ごちそうさま' to clerk. not duty. it is okay if not say.
If person is alone, may be not say.
Perhaps, I think that we are so happy because we can have eat today as well. We can not live without to eat. This situation what we can eat is big happy. We can get food easily at the shop or so. But formerly it had been too hard to get food. Maybe there are many people who cannot get today's food somewhere on the earth now. People who experienced war have known real hungry. The number of them become few in Japan. Perhaps they think that you have to feel thankful to get food.
Of course we do not think deeply each time. It is just the custom. And this is personal opinion. Don't mind.
If anyone wants to know further into the history of this saying. Looking at the kanji for chiso you notice the horse and run characters. Chiso itself meaning to run around. This is because a long time ago people used to run around town to get ingredients to prepare a meal and invite guests, sometimes on horseback. It took much effort to prepare such a feast. Go and Sama were added onto Chiso for honorifics showing gratitude. Hope that gives anyone else insight into it.
I think a number of translations would work here: For example, "That was a feast!" would capture the sense of "gochisou," which means something like "feast." "Thanks for the great meal" would also capture that sense. Just "Thank you for the meal" seems to miss the fact that the meal was considered extraordinary, a "gochisou"!
If the vowels i and u appear between two voiceless consonants (or after a voiceless consonant and before a pause), then they are pronounced voiceless in Japanese (at least unless they are accented). After fricatives (“hissing sounds”) – that is for syllables shi, chi, hi, su, tsu, hu – this can often sound like there is no vowel at all.
So if we represent the unvoiced vowels with a ° (he marker used by the International Phonetic Alphabet):
- いくか is pronounced iku̥-ka with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes between two voiceless k’s
- いく (at the end of a sentence) is pronounced iku̥ with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes between voicless k and a pause
- いくの is pronounced iku-no with voiced u because although the preceding k is unvoiced, the following n is voiced
- いつか is pronounced itsu̥-ka (which can sound almost like its-ka) with unvoiced u̥ because both the preceding s and the following k are unvoiced
- いつ at the end of a sentence is pronounced itsu̥ (which can almost sound like its) with unvoiced u̥ because the u comes after (voiceless) s and a pause
- いつの is pronounced itsu-no with a voiced u because although the preceding s is unvoiced, the following n is voiced.
Same deal for other syllables with vowels i and u after voiceless consonants.
In previous questions, it said that "gochisousama" means "thank you for the meal", but this one included "deshita" at the end, so I assumed it was looking for something different involving some sort of past tense construction, so I put "It was a good meal", but it marked it wrong, saying that it should've been "thank you for the meal". So... according to this... the "deshita" part is just meaningless? It has no bearing on the sentence whatsoever? I find that difficult to accept.
There should be more alternate answers but (according to my japanese colleagues) ごちそさまです and ごちそさまでした have effectively the same meaning. Personally I've heard the latter used more (but that may just be a regional custom) and it makes more sense to me as you are talking about the past tense.
It’s not “gochisa” but “gochisōsama” ;)
The female voice I hear when clicking the button above also pronounces the i very lightly, almost like it’s not there as well. Definitely not stressed. This pronunciation is very common for i and u if both the preceding and the following consonant (assuming there is a following one) are voicless (p, t, k, s, h). You probably already noticed that す is often pronounced just “s”
In any case, Japanese doesn’t have stress in the English sense. English stress is a combination of louder volume, lengthening and a higher pitch on a particular syllable of a word. Japanese does not have these. What it does have is a so-called pitch accent. Some words (but not all) may feature a fall in pitch at some position, and there are a couple of words which are distinguished only by the position of that fall. For example 箸 “chopstick” is haꜜshi and 橋 “bridge” is hashiꜜ (with the ꜜ marking the position of the fall: the syllable before the ꜜ is high pitch, the following one will be low) in Standard Japanese. But such contrasts are not all that common and any confusion that could theoretically arise will normally be easily resolved by context. So incorrect placement of the pitch accent will not make you incomprehensible. All it will do is give you a foreign accent (or at least a non-standard one. Different dialects of Japanese often differ in their pitch accents).
When you say ごちそうさまでした in a restaurant or to someone who made you the meal, should you expect a response? Since it means "thank you for the meal" i assume someone can say "youre welcome" or "i hope you enjoyed it" Not sure it its just seen as just a polite way to finish your meal or if you actually say it to someone who made your meal.
"Thanks for the meal" is also an accepted answer.
The problem is most likely because you've added an ('s) which is an incorrect spelling. "Thanks" doesn't take an apostrophe as it isn't a contraction of anything ("thank is" doesn't make sense) and isn't possessive (nothing is "belonging to thank"). "Thanks" is the plural noun form, as in 'many thanks': 'multiple expressions of gratitude'