Pacem asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 3 weeks ago

What is the difference between ください and どぞ since they both translate as "please"?

1 Answer

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    That's not exactly true. 

    Kudasai - is a polite form of the respectful honorific verb kudasaru - meaning to give to me or to my in-group (my workplace, family, etc), from someone outside my group. 

    Kudasai -- actually means "Give" - in a very respectful way. 

    ano hon o kudasai - means: Give me that book (as a polite request.  Not as an order). 

    Since English lacks formal levels of politeness as well as honorifics (forms of speech indicating social relationships among speaker, listener, and those discussed), "please" is often added as part of the translation to hint at the respectful part of the meaning.

    When kudasai follows the TE form of another verb, it turns the phrase into a polite request, suggestion, or invitation.  

    Tabete kudasai - Literally means:  Give eating - but translates as: (Please) Eat.  As a request or an invitation.

    There are a about a dozen ways of making requests, suggestions, invitations, and orders in Japanese.  kudasai -- is NOT the most respectful way (neither is it the least respectful).  You probably would not use towards a superior, for example (but to a colleague or inferior), yet it's still respectful. 

    The true imperative forms of Japanese verbs are generally to rude to be used in daily life.  They indicate toughness, rudeness, and are an absolute order, not a request etc. A villain might use them, for example. 

    douzo (not: dozo), on the other hand, is not verb.  It's an interjection. One meaning is more like please.

    It can be added to kudasai requests: douzo suwatte kudasai -- Please sit down.  (note that although suwatte kudasai is often translated as "please sit down" it technically is just a reasonably respectful/polite way of saying "sit down"). 

    It can be used without verbs, for example:  kochira e douzo.  This way, please. 

    It can also be used in a reply to a request or give permission, meaning more like "sure" instead of "please" in a more general sense.  May I sit down?  Hai, douzo.  (Yes, sure/please). 

    It can also be used to offer something to someone, meaning "Here's ...".

    okashi o, douzo.  Here are some snacks (for you). 

    It has other uses as well, see source below for confirmation of the parts about douzo above and for those other uses. 

    Note that you would not use kudasai with a family member, for example. (You would use an ordinary verb, kureru, not an honorific one like kudasaru. The equivalent form of kudasai is kure). 

    Note that other verbs (both honorific and non-honorific) are used for giving to people outside your in-group or for other people giving to other people.  kudasai/kure, express the idea of "Give to me or to my people" without actually saying me/my people. 

    Japanese is a very different language. 

    Technically, kudasai doesn't truly mean "please", but douzo can. 

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