Japanese Chant #2 – Sumimasen

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I created this Japanese chant to help you practice asking questions. With enough gestures you can usually figure out the answer but before that you need help trying to make people understand your question.

This chant was inspired by an experience I had during my first year in Japan over 20 years ago. I was an exchange student at Asia University and one day we all had to show up in the gym for an annual medical check-up. The gym had been transformed into stations and looked like a maze. We had our eyes, ears, blood and even urine tested. I’m sure they do it differently now but then, I was left at the end of the medical check-up with a cup of pee and I had no idea where to throw it away or even how to ask. It was one of those silly experiences that felt extremely awkward at the time. I hope this chant helps you escape the same kind of experience!

I share more in the video and you can follow along with the chant transcript below.

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni ittara ii desu ka.
どこに行ったらいいですか。
Where should I go?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni kaketara ii desu ka.
どこに掛けたらいいですか。
Where should I hang this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni suwattara ii desuka.
どこに座ったらいいですか。
Where should I sit?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni kaitara ii desu ka.
どこに書いたらいいですか。
Where (on this) should I write?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni dashitara ii desu ka.
どこに出したらいいですか。
Where should I submit this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni tsuketara ii desu ka.
どこに付けたらいいですか。
Where should I attach this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni oitara ii desu ka.
どこに置いたらいいですか。
Where should I put this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni sutetara ii desu ka.
どこに捨てたらいいですか。
Where should I throw this away?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni ikeba ii desu ka.
どこに行けばいいですか。
Where should I go?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni kakereba ii desu ka.
どこに掛ければいいですか。
Where should I hang this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni suwareba ii desu ka.
どこに座ればいいですか。
Where should I sit?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Dokonikakebaii desu ka.
どこに書けばいいですか。
Where (on this) should I write?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni daseba ii desu ka.
どこに出せばいいですか。
Where should I submit this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni tsukereba ii desuka.
どこに付ければいいですか。
Where should I attach this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni okeba ii desu ka.
どこに置けばいいですか。
Where should I put this?

Sumimasen
すみません
Excuse me?

Hai, nan desu ka.
はい、何ですか。
Yes, what is it?

Doko ni sutereba ii desu ka.
どこに捨てればいいですか。
Where should I throw this away?

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. When I'm not writing, building websites, or coaching clients, I love walking the streets of Japan and discovering spirit in all shapes and forms. Here on the blog, you'll also get a peek into what it is like to live with and care for my Japanese father-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Enjoy!

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