Friday, October 28, 2016

shitsurei 失礼

In Japanese, shitsurei 失礼 means "impolite," in the sense someone has done something impolite, but it can also mean "excuse me," in the sense you've done or are about to do something that may be impolite. (e.g. enter a room, leave a room, etc.)

・・・え 何スか? そいつ攻めて来た宇宙人か何かスか? 失礼な! 生まれも育ちも地球ですよ
Manga: "Assassination Classroom," Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 暗殺教室 (Chapter 1, 暗殺の時間)


The kanji of shitsurei 失礼 mean "without," 失, and "manners," 礼, so "without manners," literally.

Some words that share these kanji are:

  • rei wo iu
    To say [my] thanks.
  • kane wo ushinau
    To lose money.


The word shitsurei 失礼 can refer to something "impolite," a "discourtesy," or even mean someone is being "impolite," "rude," when used alone. Grammatically, it's a na-adjective, so it can qualify nouns as "impolite" too.

  • sore wa shitsurei desho?
    That's impolite, [don't you think]?
  • shitsurei wo o-yurushi kudasai
    Please forgive [my] discourtesy.
  • {shitsurei na} hito
    A person [who] {is impolite}.
  • Tanaka-san ni shitsurei dakara
    Because it's impolite to Tanaka-san.
    • This sort of phrase is used in the "let's not do that" sense.
    • Let's not be impolite to Tanaka-san.
・・・え 何スか? そいつ攻めて来た宇宙人か何かスか? 失礼な! 生まれも育ちも地球ですよ
Manga: "Assassination Classroom," Ansatsu Kyoushitsu 暗殺教室 (Chapter 1, 暗殺の時間)
  • Context: anime.
  • ...e
  • nan-suka?
    (contraction of...)
    • nandesuka?
  • soitsu semete kita uchuujin ka nanka-suka?
    [This guy] is an alien who came attack [us] or something?
    • ...ka ...ka
      X or Y. (an alien "or" something in this case.)
      This is the ka か parallel marker.
  • shitsurei na!
    Impolite, [aren't you]?!
    • Rude!
  • umare mo sodachi mo chikyuu desu yo
    [My place of] birth and rising is Earth.
    • In west Philadelphia Earth, born and raised.
      X and Y, too. X and even Y.
      This is the mo も parallel marker.
  • Koro-sensei is offended because he was called an "alien" even thought he was born and raised on Earth: a genuine Earthling. Totally not an alien. Nope. (or so he claims.)

"Excuse Me"

The word shitsurei 失礼 can also mean "excuse me" in Japanese. It's used when entering rooms, when leaving the table, when stopping talking to people to answer a call on the cellphone, etc.

The idea is that by admitting you're doing a discourtesy, you imply you're asking to be excused. Some related phrases:

  • kore wa shitsurei
    This is impolite. (excuse me)
  • shitsurei wo itashimashita
    [I] did [something] impolite. (excuse me)

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