Chotto

By Kharan Pierce

As read in A Geek in Japan, the word chotto is used by the Japanese on a daily basis as an alternative for saying no. In America, it’s absolutely no problem to tell someone “no, I don’t want to eat salad,” but in Japan, the abruptness of simply saying no is rude and almost only used in tense situations. Along with chotto is a slight tilt of the head, which indicates that someone wants to say no or is disagreeing with whatever situation. I think that if someone were to use chotto in America, they’d be thought of as extremely shy and would eventually be pushed to share their opinion directly. On one hand, stating exactly how you feel isn’t bad, but this is coming from someone who was raised to do so. In a culture completely involved in avoiding confrontation and being direct and therefore terse, something like chotto is perfectly okay.

What do you think?

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