A foreigner has been queried about the translation for ‘otsukaresama’ last night being the possessor of all English-related knowledge.

“I was asked this only four times last week,” replied Aaron Simpson.

“Roughly translated, we would say, thank you for working yourself to death.”

The group proposed a toast to “working yourself death”.

Simpson was also asked to provide a translation for ‘itadakimasu’.

The group was stunned to learn all foreigners treat their food with the minimum of respect by saying nothing before eating.

“And what do you say for ‘gochisousama’?”

Image: Flickr/Nanako


  1. The best translation for otsukaresama is “Good job.” Like many expressions which have been boiled down to a single work, there is no direct translation. “Thanks for your hard work,” is pretty reasonable. Literally, it means “you’re tired.”

    Itadakimasu is easy. “Bon appetit.”
    Gochisosama is tough. “Thank you for the wonderful meal,” is the best I can do without context of the sentence or situation.

      • I’ve never heard it used in that context, but I can imagine it working too. For example someone hogging the mic at a karaoke booth.
        “Who wants to hear me sing Dragon Night next?”
        “No thanks. Otsukaresamadesu!”

        Good idea Ben!

  2. Hello my dear….Charming blouse.
    Damn. It’s a dress. I have no chat up lines for dresses and she’s too far away from a wall for Kabedon, I’ll just fall into her. Hmm could work!

    • Don’t you know, that’s what all the cool foreigners living in Japan do.

      Unfortunately, they are not also dying in Japan, due to suicide.

  3. itadakimasu

    These expressions were originally meant to thank God before and after eating a meal. Now however most Japanese people have forgotten the true meaning of these expressions. They merely say the expressions without give it much thought.

  4. Otsukaresama desu is used in the work place as a midday greeting of sorts. Of course people say it when they go home for the day but it’s also said when you haven’t seen someone already that day and it’s not exactly morning anymore.


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