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Since Wednesday’s comic involves sales (or lack thereof), and I just opened up a Project Wonderful ad slot, I’m in a money mood, so allow me to introduce one of the most ubiquitous of Japanese expressions: Irasshaimase!!! (I’m assuming exclamation marks are a legal requirement when writing irasshaimase!, but the multiples are a bonus.) Enter any store, restaurant, or shopping center, and you’ll hear this hail of “Welcome!” ring out like a capitalistic battle cry, or, maybe more appropriately, like the mating call of the domestic sales clerk desperate to attract a willing wad of cash (brought to you by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom).

Irasshaimase can come in variations, depending on the region and the speaker. My favorite, The machine-gun welcome: ‘rasshai-’rasshai-’rasshai!! Often heard in more down to earth establishments, like busy fish markets, I think. There’s something very… car salesman-ish about this approach.

In contrast, consider a common American store greeting: “Whaddaya want? (sneer optional).

I’ve found a sample at David in Japan, but nothing yet of my favorite version. Holler if you find a link!

:: One Comment... ::

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    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to
    new posts.

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