KoReKuRai
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I was mocked for saying sorry so I decided to say thank you instead.

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Often times, people ask me why Japanese tend to apologize and say "I'm sorry".

So I reply it's a polite way of saying "excuse me".

This question started me to think that not many individuals say sorry as much as Japanese do. Maybe I am imagining things but whenever I find out problems due to operational error or overlook issues, I remember they never said sorry. Even if I point out that it was completely due to the person not following the procedure, he does not apologize.

I guess there is a reason for that.

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Reason not to say sorry

It seems if he apologizes, he knows that it's a sign of admitting the mistake. All the blame will go to him and will be responsible for the mistake so that's a risk he cannot take.

When I was on a business trip, a guy bumped into me but he did not say sorry but instead told me to watch out.

Even pinpointing the mistake, a guy will not say sorry but instead says I will be careful next time.

From a Japanese perspective, I would have said lots of sorry.

 

Why was I laughed at for saying sorry?

When I was a new graduate, I used to say "I'm sorry" as if I were saying "Hello". In occasion where I ask a question I said "I'm sorry but I have a question".

And one day I forgot to add "I'm sorry" when I asked a question and my colleagues started laughing saying "Did you forget to apologize today?"

Well, this was the day I finally realized that it was a mistake to repeatedly use "I'm sorry". There is nothing to apologize. It took me a year to find this out. Now, I do really appreciate the guy for teaching me a good lesson.

 

What am I saying instead of sorry?

Now I am trying my best to say "Excuse me" instead of "I'm sorry". For example,

I try not to apologize but show appreciation instead like as follows:

The whole purpose here is to replace "sorry" with "thank you". Whenever I have a question, I always feel sorry for the individual of having to spend time answering my question but now if I say "thank you" I have no reason to apologize.

So whenever you notice a Japanese saying more "thank you" than "sorry", you might be talking to me:)

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ABOUT ME

Hi I'm KoReKuRai, which means 'About this much' in Japanese. Living in Kanagawa prefecture located near Tokyo, Japan. I'm an IT engineer working mostly at non-domestic companies for over 12 years, now spending much time with my 2 year old son. This blog is all about business work style, job transfer, interview, travel, business trips, site development, programming, childcare, health from a Japanese perspective. Ignore my Japanese English and hope you feel interested. You can contact me at here. Thanks for your attention.

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