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100 native Japanese speakers have answered  the Sunshine questionnaires! 

The survey result and overall impression

You can check what the surveys were conducted, the results, the overall impressions. The important thing for this information is that the results don't show which are correct but they show just what the native speakers have answered now. The language is changing.

If you could send your voice to me, that would be wonderful. I would like to improve and develop the future surveys.

#5 「カフェの注文(ちゅうもん)」 (2nd August 2021)

What would you say to order coffee at a café? I usually teach this phrase, “Kōhī onegaishimasu”. However, I sometimes say “Kōhī kudasai’ as well. As a native speaker, it happens. Now, I asked what native Japanese speakers would say to order coffee. ‘Coffee’ is just an example. You might hear people say just “Kōhī”. I was wondering whether they say that in a café they visited for the first time or they say that only at the café they always visit. When Japanese language learners visit Japan, most of the cafes and restaurants are new for you. That’s why I made a certain condition for the participants to answer the questionnaire.

 There are 6 options: they say just “Kōhī”, “Kōhī kudasai”, “Kōhī onegaishimasu”, “Kōhī itadakemasuka” or “Kōhī moraemasuka” which is more polite than ‘kudasai’ and ‘onegaishimasu’,  “Kore” with pointing ‘kōhī’ on the menu to show you want coffee), or others.

There were 100 respondents.

[ Result ]

Kōhī: 4/100=4%

Kōhī kudasai: 36/100=36%

Kōhī onegaishimasu: 55/100 =55%

Kōhī itadakemasu ka/ Kōhī moraemasuka: 1/100=1%

Kore (with pointing ‘kōhī’ on the menu): 0/100=0%

Others: 4/100 (e.g. ‘Kōhī hitotsu’ and ‘Kōhī de’. They say the amount or a particle ‘de’ after ‘Kōhī’ instead of ‘kudasai’, ‘onegaishimasu’, etc)

[ Overall impression ]

The result shows most native Japanese speakers use ‘onegaishimasu’ when ordering coffee; however, it depends on one’s preference. So it doesn’t mean that ‘onegaishimasu’ is better than ‘kudasai’. I have read the comments from participants and the two of those are not different. Also, I noticed this: there is a variety of Japanese phrases for making an order, compared to English. Therefore, don’t worry too much. If you have a comfortable phrase to use, you can use it all the time. This question is under the condition when they are at the café which they visit for the first time. That means you can order in more casual mode if you know the café staff. Now, don’t hesitate to order in Japanese if you have a Japanese cafe or restaurants in your town.

Extra information:

When you order more than one drink or one food, please tell the amount, like ‘futatsu’, ‘mittsu’, etc. Native Japanese speakers tell the amount after the drink or food, like ‘Kōhī, futatsu onegaishimasu’.

#4 「おげんきですか」 (15th May 2021)

'O-genki desu ka' is a Japanese question similar to 'How are you?' However, these two questions are slightly different. 'How are you?' is a part of greeting whereas 'O-genki desu ka' is a real question, asking 'Are you well?'. Therefore, the Japanese question is hardly asked to someone who look sick. To them, they would say 'Are you alright?' Now, you understand native speakers would ask 'O-genki desu ka' to their friends who haven't seen for a while because they don't know whether the friends are well. The survey found out how long period native speakers need to ask 'O-genki desu ka'. There are 6 options: one week, one month, 3 months, 6 months, one year and others.

There were 150 respondents.

[ Result ]

One week: 13/150=9%

One month: 58/150=39%

3 month: 43/150 =29%

6 months: 25/150=17%

One year: 9/150=6%

Others: 2/150 (always & 2 years)

[ Overall impression ]

Native Japanese speakers would ask whether their friends are well in 1 to 3 months after the last meeting. However, if the survey had been conducted before the COVID, the result would have been different and much longer. The current situation makes them to ask more often than before. Some learners might be surprise at this less frequency; however, the result doesn't mean Japanese speakers are less interested in friends' health. They would understand friends are good from their appearance.

#3 「あなた」 (4th March 2021)

You learnt 'anata' for you in Japanese, didn't you. Of course, that's correct; however, this survey asked whether the native actually say 'anata' to their friends. In the survey, the target was only to friends, not family, strangers, anyone except friends.

There were 213 respondents.

[ Result ]

I use 'anata' to friends: 7%

I don't use 'anata' to friends: 93%

[ Overall impression ]

The majority of the comments pointed that 'anata' used to them sounded a distance from that friend and/or cold, and it also sounded looking down. Some said that they didn't know why and just didn't use it. The native use the friend's name instead of 'anata', in the same way when they talk about the third party.

#2 「ありがとうございます」VS「すみません」 (16th January 2021)

What would you say thank you in Japanese? Both 'Arigato gozaimasu' and  'Sumimasen' are used for thank you in Japanese. This survey focuses on the situation where you need to show your gratitude to a stranger who did something for you. It was asked whether the native say arigato gozaimasu or sumimasen to the helpful strangers.

There were 102 respondents.

[ Result ]

Arigato gozaimasu: 66%

Sumimasen: 34%

[ Overall impression ]

'Sumimasen' is used for 'sorry' as well; therefore, most of respondents with arigato gozaimasu associate sumimasen with the negative imagination and they a kind of force themselves to use 'arigato gozaimasu' instead of naturally saying it.



#1 「おはようございます」 (25th November 2020)

'Ohayo gozaimasu' means good morning; however, the greeting is used in the slightly different timing. Also, the timing is unclear for the natives either. Then, this survey asked when the native switch the greetings from ohayo gozaimasu to konnichiwa which means good afternoon or good day in English. 

There were 77 respondents.

[ Result ]

When it has passed 9:30am: 3%

When it has passed 10:00am: 40%

When it has passed 10:30am: 16%

When it has passed 11:00am: 34%

Others: 6% (e.g.  9am; 12pm)

{ Overall impression ]

Most of the people who responded to this question had never thought about that. They are quite flexible. They can give the same greeting back to a person who gives you first. Also, their work time influences a lot. If they start work early, their ohayo time will be over early as well. 

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