How to say :” Sorry, I spilled my coffee” in Japanese?

Posted by on June 12, 2019 – Japanese Study, Life in Japan

Have you ever spilled a drink in a restaurant or a convenience store? What about dropping a glass and breaking it?

This can be embarrassing and it may be troublesome to try to think of the right words to say in Japanese.

In the below article we will teach you how to tell shop staff that you have spilled something and ask for help to clean it up!

 

 

So, have you ever wondered, if you spilled something – what should you say in Japanese?

Notice the Staff

Firstly, let the staff know that you have spilled something so that they can help you to clean. It is likely that they have seen that you have spilled something – but in case you were at the back of the store you can say the following:

“すみません、コーヒーをこぼしっちゃたんですが…”
(Sumimasen, Ko-hi-o koboshicchattandesuga)
Sorry, I spilled my coffee…

* You may change “コーヒー” to whatever it is that you have spilled

The reason why you should notice the staff to clean up the mess is to prevent other customers from stepping on to the stain.

Because it is a publicly used space, do not feel ashamed to ask the staff, you will not be blamed but rather thanked for letting them know!

Will You Get Another Drink For Free?

Depending on the situation, the restaurant/store you are at, and also the staff working there, you often get another drink for free even if it is your fault. This is just one of the unique things about Japan.

However, you should understand that the restaurant or the store is not responsible for your own mistake – so it is very likely also that you may not receive another drink without paying for it.

What If You Broke a plate or a cup by dropping it?

While spilling your own drink in a restaurant or a convenience store is not a big deal, what happens if you accidentally break something that belongs to them?

Most of the time, it is not the broken item that the restaurant is concerned with but actually, the safety of the customer.

(Unless of course you break something very expensive.)

For example, when you dropped and broke a plate at a restaurant, the first question the staff will ask you will be:

“大丈夫ですか、おけがはございませんか”
Daijoubu desuka, okegawa gozaimasenka
Are you alright? Did you injure yourself?

If you cut on your hand or got burned by the food, the staff may assist with emergency care. Such as sanitizing the wound with alcohol and wrapping it.

If the injury is really serious and uncontrollable, the restaurant will help to call an ambulance.

Moreover, to prevent you from getting cut by the shrapnel of the broken plate, the restaurant will also arrange another seat for you.

Although most of the people would take initiative to compensate for the plate by saying “弁償させて下さい” (Benshou sasete kudasai) which means “Let me compensate for it”, it is rarely the case that the restaurant really lets the customer pay for the broken plate.

Because of this graciousness – it will be great to show that you are apologetic by saying “すみません、弁償させてください”

No matter what is the thing that you accidentally broke, always remember to apologize.

If you think this blog post clears your doubts, check out other Japanese learning blogs written by Coto Japanese Academy!

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