"あの、すみません。"

Translation:Um, excuse me.

June 9, 2017

70 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

あの is in anime all the time. Couldn't be more familiar with it.


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

えと Is also familiar in anime.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

ええと。。。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuisRolando3

I've heard えっと a lot more in anime


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

I say ポテート, you say ポタート…


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

Is あの and えっと basically the same thing? Just a filler, like "um"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

"Anou"/あのう is used to call someone's attention or to start a conversation or to politely intervene/interrupt one. "Eeto"/ええと is mostly used when the speaker is still collecting his thoughts while talking.

References:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

@lessthanthre3 あのう is just the longer, more hesitant version of あの. It's commonly written as あのー or あのーー, or however long you feel like holding the お sound. There's no real difference in politeness, aside from keeping someone waiting longer than necessary for you to finish thinking out loud.


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

I never thought of erm like a word. Is the と added because え alone means "yeah"?


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

I think u herad it before too. I like your pfp by the way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kece8

Why is it 'ah' here and not 'um'? Shouldn't 'um' be an acceptable translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BridgetKra2

Yes, あの here is basically just a filler word, or an interrupter. Ah and um are both acceptable


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

Why is ah not acceptable ?


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

Both are accepted


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

Not anymore it seems... I used ah and it wasn't accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ainu00

The sound え is actually prolonged here: ええと。


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

i hear more like えっと instead when they are talking... or like えっとうー


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

あの is one of many useful filler words you should use in conversation when you slow down to try to remember what word to use. It'll make your speech sound more natural and fluent, even if you aren't.


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

The problem is that in English, it makes you less fluent, and any English course, especially a speech course, will tell you to leave it out.

That creates a few problems. First of all, a proper translation tells what a native speaker would say to convey the same information. Second of all, um isn't a word used in writing. Third of all I keep getting it marked wrong, because autocorrect keeps changing it to "I'm" because it thinks that um isn't a word.

That makes the whole thing awkward.


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

well, it reminds me of my school days. when learning english, we were told to use "well" while we try to gather our thoughts or think about proper wording, drawing it out however long we need it. weeeeell, this seems to be the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrunoPerozz1

kind of a dumb question... with filler words you usually prolong them, like, you dont say "uhm." you go like "uuuuuuhhmm..." yaknow? with あの should you say あああああの or あののののの? lol sry for dumb


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

You wouldn't say "anonononono"


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

Doesn't ません imply negation?


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

Generally yes, but in this case すみません by itself is an expression, not a conjugation or negation of something.

Later some verbs will sound like it (like 住みません (すみません) = to not reside), but the context (VERY important in japanese) will tell you what it means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I agree with you that it's best to think of すみません as an expression, but I belieive the expression did come from a negative conjugation.

In the same vein as はじめまして originated from a longer phrase, I think すみません came from something along the lines of 「ご迷惑をかけて気が済みません」 meaning "I've inconvenienced you, and I don't feel at ease about it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

Ah, like the German "es tut mir Leid" (literally, "it causes me pain")?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Perhaps? My German isn't very ... existent >

But 気が済まない【きがすまない】is an expression describing more of an antsy or agitated feeling, rather than physical pain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

Well, there is scientific research suggesting that such pain is experienced in the brain exactly the same way as physical pain :) but I think "it pains me to think [that I hurt you]" is a good way to apologise :)


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

i think it's more like "entschuldigen sie bitte die stöhrung" (roughly "excuse me for interupting you") being cut short to "entschuldigung" (which would be translated as "sorry")


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

You are correct. すみません indeed comes from the verb 済む (すむ), which means "to settle," "to manage with," "to be okay with," with the expression meant to imply that one is not okay with the actions that they are committing or have committed. You also see this verb used in なくて済む, ~ずに済む, to mean "to be okay with not doing," or more broadly, "to get by without" or "not have to."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sihaz
  • 1257

Er or erm should be okay too...


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

I have a feeling I'm going to be saying this a lot when I finally get to Japan.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

You don't say?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kjhst123

This might be a dumb question, but how/why is there a specific word for "um"? Isn't that a sound you make when you can't think of what to say?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trishka9

Isn't "um" a specific word for um?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_I-am-a-cat_

Words to say when you don't know what to say: "um", "er", "あの", "uh", "えと”, "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"


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

i've heard of すいません, is that actually a thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Yes, it's quite common actually. But it's kind of an accepted bastardization of the expression, and as such, すません is more formal/correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddWilson443799

Interesting that 'well' is not accepted for あの - I guess 'um' is more universal, but it seems like 'well' is often used to buy time to think, as well. Maybe more often in written dialogue.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iad58g
  • 2271

‘Well, excuse me’ doesn't sound right. Actually, it sounds ironic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

I think it almost sounds sarcastic lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddWilson443799

Well, yeah - in that specific context before すみません it totally could! But what about in instances like how I used it to start that last sentence - would that be あの? Only reason I ask is that I've seen it in subtitles that way before, although I realize that may simply be a colloquial translation - 'well' is a funky word in that particular usage, and it may only be context that led to the translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agustn100118

So I wrote "Em" instead of "um" and lost points, thing that would be okay if the same had happened when I wrote "Moskow" or "Venece", but no. I feel that Duo's "strictness" sometimes don't make sence.


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

You ever been in a class and got a test and it's not graded on spelling, I wish duo was like that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hermez30

I translated 'あの' as 'Ah' and the result wasn't accepted but 'Um' is the right one.So generally 'Ah' and 'Um' have the different meanings.Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jay136700

"Ah" would just be あ . I think it was mentioned in an earlier unit...? I don't remember, haha.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen654875

It doesn't like uh, or urm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

doesn't seem to like "Er, " either


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

Do あの and えと mean the same thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KendellWil1

Not quite. They both have different functions equal to "um", "ah", "uh," etc. in English. "Etto" is most commonly used for when you are thinking of something and not sure what to say, like if you're stumbling on a sentence or don't know the answer to a question. It can also be a reaction sort of like "huh..?" in some situations. "Ano", on the other hand, is like a more polite "um." You use it if you want to hedge what you're saying - like if you're trying to correct someone in a polite way (eg. "Um, I thought it was...), or know what you're going to say but want to sound a little unsure for politeness and so on. The example here is "Um, excuse me," and I imagine this is meant to be read like you're asking for directions from a stranger or something like that, because it sounds very polite. Long explanation but I hope it made sense! Sorry for no kana, I don't have a Japanese keyboard on my phone.


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

I feel like no kana isnt a bad thing for an explanation such as this. We are all native english here trying to learn japanese here so sometimes it helps it click imo when its all just laid out in our native language. This is also beginner type stuff so we all likely have varying levels of comfortableness with kana and especially kanji.

Tl;dr Youre rrsoonse is helpful, dont worry the lack of kana


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

i have to tell you, that certainly not all of us are native english speakers. since duo doesn't have all the courses in all the languages, many use english as a bridge, given it is the prime language duo uses. i, for example, am german, but the only german courses at the time are spanish, french and english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SergioLlor6

What is "um"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_I-am-a-cat_

"Um" is a common (American?) English filler word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rockri1

Is あの polite to say im just curious is it like えっと?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

As far as I'm aware, there's no difference in politeness between the two.


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

What does "sumimasen" have in common with "arimasen"? I mean, both of them are polite words, but why exactly? Can someone break it down for me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kai19154

They're unrelated; one means "excuse me" and the other means "there isn't". -masen is the polite negative conjugation of a verb, usually, so it's used in "there isn't". As for it being used in "sumimasen", it doesn't really show negation.


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

Actually, grammatically, sumimasen is the polite-negative form of sumu (to settle, to be clear). This word, over time, has evolved into a fixed one-word catch-all expression of 'Excuse me', or 'Apologies'.

As far as why it is polite, it is because they follow the -masen form. More simple forms end in -nai. Sumanai becomes sumimasen. Aru becomes arimasen.


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

I heard sumimasen means (it is) unexcusable! Apparently a polite way of asking for excuse.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryu152657

"Ano" and "eto" both means "umm"? Or are there any difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

"Anou"/あのう is used to call someone's attention or to start a conversation or to politely intervene/interrupt one. "Eeto"/ええと is mostly used when the speaker is still collecting his thoughts while talking.

References:


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

In other words, あのう serves the same purpose as "excuse me" in English, which is used exactly in those circumstances. So あのう、すみません is how one would say "excuse me."

If I wanted to tell someone how to say "excuse me" in Japanese, that phrase might be suitable. Likewise, if someone learning English wanted to know the English equivalent, I'd teach them "excuse me." No language source says that the proper way to say it in English is to put an "um" in front of it, and if that were remotely the case, then someone who spoke any language who was learning English would be told that.

So "excuse me" is a better translation, without the "um."

If I told someone to say that in Japan if they wanted to get someone's attention, and is the equivalent of "excuse me," you are unlikely to get a teacher who says "no it isn't because that means 'um, excuse me.'" That would imply that it's better to leave off the "あのう" .

Ironically, these same lessons are full of phrases that Duolingo translates to an English phrase that would be used in the same situation, even though the word for word translation would be nothing alike. I have no idea why Duolingo insists on the opposite here, instead of considering the whole thing a phrase that corresponds with a specific phrase in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purpleroar23

Could あの also be translated "Hey"? I would definitely use "Hey, excuse me" more than I'd use "Um, excuse me".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luna36E

Can "あの" be considered a "pet word" when speaking the language? Can you use "ummm" like you do in Spanish or English?

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