Question 18 ”Should I use さん with foreigners?” 異文化理解
ビジネス英語の学習法やポイントについて聞く Q&A 第18弾は、
“Should I use さん with foreigners?” です。
英語で “san” を使うことは、相手に敬意を表す最もよい方法の一つであると考えています。
ちなみに私が子供の頃、生まれ育ったカナダでは “Karate Kid” という
私のことを皆が “Hika-san” と呼んでくれた、という思い出があります。
question and answer video lesson.
OK. And today's question is a little bit about
Japanese or Japanese culture.
It's should I use san with foreigners?
I had to think about this one for a while,
but it's a great question, a relevant question,
if you are living in Japan, working in Japan, yeah
and there're foreigners around you. OK.
So first an important question is this one.
Do foreigners know what san is?
Do they know? Because you know many many Japanese people
I've heard say well Hika, you know, I want to use san
because using san I think is a good way to show respect
to others whether they're American or Japanese or Chinese
or I don't care but it shows respect,
so I want to use san.
You are absolutely right.
I agree, I think so.
San is such a great, distinct sort of culture in Japan,
and I like it because...
And I'll tell you many foreigners, if not everyone,
they know the meaning of san. OK.
It's in movies; it's in books. They know.
When I was a kid, there was this movie called the Karate Kid.
Have you heard of it, Karate Kid?
I think the Japanese title is Best Kid.
And there was this karate teacher, the sensei, Mr. Miyagi, Miyagi-san.
And his student was Daniel.
OK, he was an American. You know he didn't know anything
about karate or Japanese culture and you know...
throughout the movie, he begins to respect karate,
and it's for self defense and so on.
But Miyagi-san would say Daniel-san, Daniel-san.
You know and it was such a popular movie when I was a kid
that after that movie released, everyone
called me Hika-san, because I was Japanese.
So all my Canadian friends would say Hika-san, Hika-san.
So everyone knows san. OK.
And so yeah, so how, how can you use this san in your office?
Well one is I think when you introduce yourself.
It's ok because if you say hi, you know.
My name is Taro Sato, please call me Sato, for example.
Then if you say that, please call me Sato,
they will call you Sato.
Oh hey Sato, because they think it's your first name.
Hey Sato, how are you Sato?
And you know that's not very polite.
So when you introduce yourself, you could say this.
You know, ah please call me Taro-san.
If you're happy with just Taro, that's fine,
but then they would just call you Taro.
And if you are their boss and they're calling you Taro, Taro,
and you know that's not so good, you should tell them.
Yeah please call me Taro-san.
I know we don't use san for yourself, but that's OK.
Just tell them. Call me Taro-san, and they will call you Taro-san.
Greeting someone. So Bill, Bill is my colleague and I say,
how are you, Mr. Bill?
And to Bill will go hmm? Mr Bill.
That's strange, oh but I want to show respect.
But don't show respect by calling me Mr. Bill
because it sounds weird.
So, in that case you could say,
Yeah how are you, Bill-san?
Then you are showing respect plus you're using
his first name. It doesn't sound unnatural. Yeah.
OK, in emails. Same thing,
it's OK to put you know the heading.
Not, Dear Mr. Bill, because you want to show respect.
Just write Dear Bill-san. OK Just like that, OK.
So those are just some different ways on how
you could use san with foreigners in business.
OK, so I hope answered your question,
and I look forward to the next one. Thank you.