And kanji with manga
Sunday, October 16, 2016

irasshai いらっしゃい

In Japanese, irasshai いらっしゃい, meaning literally "come," is an expression used to welcome someone in a house or establishment. It's an abbreviation of irasshaimase いらっしゃいませ.

To welcome someone in a new place or group, youkoso ようこそ is used instead, and to welcome someone back home, okaeri おかえり is used instead.

扉を開けるとそこはホスト部でした いらっしゃいませ♥
Manga: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Chapter 1)

Meaning

The word irasshai いらっしゃい comes from the verb irassharu いらっしゃる, which can mean "to go," "to come," and "to be."

Although irassharu is a godan verb, its polite ~masu ~ます form isn't irassharimasu but irasshaimasu いらっしゃます due to i-onbin イ音便.

The meireikei 命令形, "imperative form," of irasshaimasu would be:

  • irasshaimase
    いらっしゃいませ
    Come.

This verb is "honorific speech," sonkeigo 尊敬語, and the ren'youkei 連用形 without ~masu, ~mase, can be used as the imperative form.

  • irasshai
    いらっしゃい
    Come.
    (same meaning.)

Compare:

  • kudasaru
    くださる
    [For someone of higher status] to give [something] to [someone of lower status like me].
  • kudasaimasu
    くださいます
    (same meaning, polite form.)
  • kudasaimase
    くださいませ
    Give [it] to [me].
    (imperative form.)
  • kudasai
    ください
    (same meaning.)
  • kore φ kudasai
    これください
    Give this to [me].

Examples

For reference, some examples of usage:

扉を開けるとそこはホスト部でした いらっしゃいませ♥
Manga: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Chapter 1)
  • Context: the protagonist opens a door.
  • {tobira wo akeru} to soko wa hosuto-bu deshita
    開けるそこホスト部でした
    {[I] open the door}, and there was the host club.
  • irasshaimase ♥
    いらっしゃいませ♥
    Welcome ♥.
いらっしゃいボク お父さんのお使いかい?
Manga: Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji 黒執事 (Chapter 2, その執事、万能)
  • Context: Ciel Phantomhive シエル・ファントムハイヴ enters a store.
  • irasshai boku, otousan no otsukai kai?
    いらっしゃいボク お父さんのお使いかい?
    Welcome, boy, is [it] [your] father's errand? (literally.)
    • Are you here doing an errand for your father?
    • bouten 傍点 - the dots on the furigana besides the word boku ボク, used to indicate emphasis, like bold text in English. In this case, the emphasis is due to Ciel taking offense on the word boku specifically.
  • piku'
    ピクッ
    *twitch* (with irritation, in this case.)
    (sound effect.)

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