Being polite while traveling is important. After all, you may to ask for help at some point. Perhaps you need to ask for directions, get your waiter’s attention, or simply apologize for bumping into someone in the train station. Because of this, knowing how to say “Excuse Me” is very important.

The Japanese phrase for Excuse Me is Sumimasen.

To pronounce this correctly, let’s first break it down into syllables:


As you can see, you have four separate sounds.

The first sound, “su” is pronounced like the English word sue.

The second sound, “mi”, is pronounced like the English word me.

The third sound, “ma” is pronounced similar to the “mo” in the English word mop.

The fourth sound, “sen” is pronounced like “sen” in the English word send.

Now put the sounds together. Keep repeating the word until  you get more comfortable with it. Before you know it, you’ll have it!


For more useful Japanese words, go to WOW: Word of the Week

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