What does Arigatou mean? – あいうえお Blog! 「あ」
What is the meaning behind Arigatou?
「あ」ありがとう – あいうえお Blog!
Hello, everyone! This will be the first in a series of blogs we will call “AIUEO”
Can you think of what the next blog’s word will be?
Why choose Arigatou?
I chose the word “Arigatou,” because I wanted to talk about a wonderful word that everyone uses. It’s the very first word that we learn when we go to a foreign country! The word that makes others smile!
It’s a great filler word for times when you do not know what to say in Japanese – but here is a tip – If you’re not sure what to say, just say “Thank you”!
(Come on Japanese guys … say “Arigatou” to your girlfriends … ( ﾉД`) *sniff*)
Anyway, please use “Arigatou” in your everyday life in Japan, since it makes everyone happy!
Origins of Arigatou
Now then, the word “Arigatou” in kanji is “有り難い.”
The word was originally used in Buddhism, where “有る = existing; being” was considered “難しい = difficult,” and thus pointed to “something that rarely exists“ or “something rare and precious.“
In other words, “having someone do something for you, is a rare and precious thing.”
The word “Arigatou” is now widely used in everyday life – at home, at school, at work, at the store, etc. However, when you remember the word’s original meaning, when you receive a homemade meal, feel kindness from your co-workers, or encouragement from Coto’s teachers before the JLPT (^_^), you might feel a deeper sense of gratitude, knowing how precious all of these things are.
After hearing a thank you from someone should’nt you reply with “You’re welcome”? Find out how you can say it here!
Alright, it’s time for the end quiz!
You can probably already guess the answer, but what is the opposite of the word “Arigatou”?
— Thinking Time —
The answer is “Atarimae = something ordinary or common.” 当たり前
If you take away the feeling that the event is precious and rarely happens, you just get “That’s normal, completely ordinary.”
Only when something stops being ordinary, will we start feeling gratitude. So, remember to say “Arigatou” to show your appreciation. (If you usually forget to say “Arigatou” to your partner, then today you have to do it! Hehe ^_^)
This blog was written by Ayana Nezu – Nezu San works at our Azabu Japanese Club location – www.cotoclub.com – with more than 10 years experience in the education, training, and human resources industries – she brings a wealth of experience to Coto – as well as a bright smile and a love for Sake tasting workshops in her free time.
If you would like to study in Japan, do check out our courses offered here!
Other A I U E O Series