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Calling A Client

If you're a businessperson, you probably call your shigoto no o-kyaku-san (shee-goh-toh noh oh-kyah-koo-sahn; clients) constantly.
And you probably know the important role phone conversations play in maintaining good relationships. You don't want to sound pushy or arrogant, but you don't want to sound unsophisticated or unintelligent, either.

When you call your shigoto no o-kyaku-san (shee-goh-toh noh oh-kyah-koo-sahn; clients), remember that you represent your kaisha (kah-ee-shah; company) or mise (mee-seh; store). Mention the name of your kaisha or mise first, before your own name. Instead of saying "This is Mr. White," for example, say "This is ABC Technology's Mr. White."

Greet your o-kyaku-san (oh-kyah-koo-sahn; client) and his or her hisho (hee-shoh; secretary) with O-sewa ni natte orimasu (oh-seh-wah nee naht-teh oh-ree-mah-soo; Thank you for doing business with us). It's one of the essential set phrases in Japanese business.

Words to Know
o-kyaku-sanoh-kyah-koo-sahncustomer/ client
o-sewa ni natteorimasu.oh-seh-wah nee naht-teh oh-ree-mah-sooThank you for doing busi-ness with us.

Leaving a message

Talking to someone voice-to-voice is difficult nowadays. We often communicate by leaving dengon (dehn-gohn; messages) for each other while our iso-gashii seikatsu (ee-soh-gah-sheee sehh-kah-tsoo; busy lives) keep going. You may leave a message on a rusuban-denwa (roo-soo-bahn-dehn-wah; answering machine) or with dareka (dah-reh-kah; someone).

What do you do with a dengon (dehn-gohn; message)? You nokosu (noh-koh-soo; leave) it. So conjugate the u-verb nokosu. Remember, it means "to leave" in the sense of leaving a message but not "to leave" in the sense of departing.


A message between friends might sound like the following:

Moshimoshi. Yukiko-san. Arekkusu desu. Ashita isshoni eiga o mimasen ka. Yokattara o-denwa o kudasai. 03-3355-5532 desu. Domo.

moh-shee-moh-shee. yoo-kee-koh-sahn. ah-rehk-koo-soo deh-soo. ah-shee-tah ees-shoh-nee ehh-gah oh mee-mah-sehn kah. yoh-kaht-tah-rah oh-dehn-wah oh koo-dah-sah-ee. zeh-roh-sahn sahn-sahn-goh-goh goh-goh-sahn-nee deh-soo. dohh-moh. Hello Yukiko. This is Alex. Would you like to see a movie with me tomorrow? Please call me at 03-3355-5532, if it's okay with you. Thanks.

When you leave a message on an answering machine, clarify which person will call the other back:

When you leave a message with a person, be clear about what you want. If you're leaving a message for a business contact, use these polite phrases:

The particle to, as in to tsutaete kudasai (toh tsoo-tah-eh-teh koo-dah-sah-ee; please tell so-and-so), is a quotation particle. Place it right after your message to indicate what your message is. Use it with verbs like iu (ee-oo; to say), kaku (kah-koo; to write), and tsu-taeru (tsoo-tah-eh-roo; to report/tell), as in the following examples:

Go-(goh) is another polite prefix, just like o-(oh) (see Chapter 3). You can add go- to the beginning of a noun to refer respectfully to other people's items. Whether you use go- or o- depends on the noun - you just have to memorize which prefix goes with which nouns. Check out some examples:

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