28 Pages

Unit 4: Requesting in Japanese

When making a request, the speaker is asking the listener to take some action for the benefi t of the speaker. Normally, such an action does not profi t the listener. Th erefore, the speaker uses various strategies to minimize the imposition on the listener. For example, in English, the speaker makes the request seem smaller than it really is (e.g., Can I just take a peek at your homework for a second?), or the speaker may acknowledge the imposition by making it sound bigger than it really is (e.g., I know I’m asking you a huge favor, but . . . ). What are some important strategies in Japanese that would help you get what you need?