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Wedding speech in Japanese 2007/12/13 21:20
It isn't my wedding, and it doesn't have to be a long speech. Short is good.

What are some standard phrases for this situation?

I need to:

1. welcome the bride's family to my country, them having come from Japan.
2. say that on this day the bride and groom are entwining their destinies.
3. Ask the assembled guests to rise, and to charge their glass for a toast to the health and future of the happy couple.

And I am also interested in any good Japanese jokes to tell to relax everybody.

I speak not-bad Nihongo, but this is a new situation for me.

by Tomas  

doesn't go like that 2007/12/14 16:16
In weddings held in Japan, speeches are _supposed to be_ as long as 3 minutes, often extending into more than 10 minutes, and you're supposed to tell what you know about the bride or bridegroom (how he was when he was little, how she is at work etc.). Also Japanese jokes aren't long. The humor of Japanese jokes are supposed to be its shortness.

But since you're in your country, I think it would be lovely if you make your speech according to your country's custom. That would be the best way to welcome them.

If you wish to have your speech translated into Japanese, I'd be happy to do it here as long as it's very short. Fill free to post your draft as you would read it out loud in English.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Oh, but... 2007/12/14 16:20
But actually, if you're having Japanese guests, I'm sure there is someone else coming to the wedding who can do the translation for you. That would be a lot more hearty, a lot more reliable and homemade than to ask an anonymous person on-line.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thanks for your response 2007/12/14 22:58
Uco-san, I have often seen your wise contributions in this forum and I am honored that you respond.

The wedding itself will be a cultural blend. Different friends will be making different short contributions. It will be my duty to welcome the Japanese guests and to make a toast to the couple, before or after the traditional sansan kudo with sake exchanged.

Actually, the wedding is approaching fast and everyone involved is under pressure, so I will persist and ask for at least 1 and 2 above.

For the welcome sentence, my English version will be something like:
To those of you who have come from Japan, the family of the groom would like you to know how much your coming such a long way is appreciated.

Now, the Japanese does not have to be rigidly choku-yaku. I would by nature say something like "yoku irashaimashita", but I am looking for an almost keigo level of formal politeness.

For #2, my English version:
"(Groom-san) and (Bride-san) find themselves here today, on the threshhold of a new life in which their destinies, which began in very different parts of the world, are about to be entwined for the rest of their days."

Any contribution of Japanese versions for the above two sentences would be welcome!

by Tomas rate this post as useful

Keigo sucks 2007/12/15 13:53
If there isn't much preparation time then give up. Sorry to be so harsh, but keigo is a big headache if you are not Japanese (and even if you are!)

You can't just memorize it. You have to think it.

Better to do your thing in English. No risk.
by Henry rate this post as useful

... 2007/12/15 22:26
I must keep my word, so I've wrote the translation for you. But before you take a look, again I would like to encourage you to at least try to make/get a translation by yourself, then I'd be happy to proof-read it so that there will be no criticle mistakes. Btw, I'm not sure what you mean by "almost keigo level" because all Japanese speeches are to be in keigo. What people learn in Japanese language lessons are keigo. "Ohayo-gozaimsu" is keigo, while "oyaho" is not, and "yoku irashaimashita" is very formal.

Anyway, weddings are always best homemade, or at least speeches should be translated by someone you have _met_. I once translated a Japanese speech letter into English for my friends' wedding, and as the best man read it out loud at the party he mildly and humoursly critisized my English translation by saying "I didn't translate this." but that was the part of the treat. Just my 2 cents, since I am not really the type of person who'd appreciate something translated on-line for my son's future wedding if there is to be one. But I promised you I'll translate it if it's short.

"To those of you who have come from Japan, the family of the groom would like you to know how much your coming such a long way is appreciated.:
"To those of you who have come from Japan, thank you so much for coming such a long way. The family of the groom would like to welcome you from our hearts."

Nihon kara irashita minasama e, tooku kara yoku irashaimashita. Shinrou no shinzoku ichidou kokoro kara kangei shimasu.

"(Groom-san) and (Bride-san) find themselves here today, on the threshhold of a new life in which their destinies, which began in very different parts of the world, are about to be entwined for the rest of their days."

(Groom's first name) to (Bride's first name +san) wa kyou, atarashii jinsei o ayumou to shiteimasu. Mattaku betsubetsu no tokoro de hagukunde kita sorezore no unmei ga, ima, eien ni mi o musubou to shite imasu.
(If you are the family of the groom, don't put -san on the groom's name.)
by Uco rate this post as useful

Domo arigatou gozaimashita 2007/12/16 17:27
Saraba ...

Really, thank you so much. I will make every effort to get a proper translation of other parts that I will write.

When I say "almost keigo" it means that I know that the Japanese guests (most of whom I know personally) will appreciate my effort to be polite, even though they have no expectation of me making the same speech that a Japanese would make.

They know me as a rough but functional Japanese speaker. I want to show them that for this occasion I am making an attempt to 'level up.'

The wedding is now 2 weeks away. I might still post some more sentences here in the next week, for anyone who feels generous enough to help or who wants the challenge.

By the way, now that I think of it, are there some stock sentences that a person MUST say at a wedding reception?
by Tomas rate this post as useful

Happy 2008 to all 2008/1/2 14:56
I am back, and the day grows close!

Here are three simple scripts I require in formal Japanese: (not necessarily literal translations)

1. The ceremony that is about to take place includes a traditional element from Japan, the Sansan Kudo in which the marrying couple link themselves solemnly and for the rest of their lives.

(at the end of the ceremony)
2. Thank you everybody. The couple will now go (somewhere) for their wedding photographs. We would like to ask you to now make your way to the Terrace for evening drinks while we await their return.

3. Please now join me in a toast to the newlyweds, X-san and Y-san. May their future be a happy and creative one.

Hope someone can help with this!

I have Japanese members of the wedding party translating other parts at the same time.
by Tomas rate this post as useful

oops! 2008/1/4 08:29
Please ignore #3 above. I just realised that has already been translated.

Sorry - still recovering from New year party.
by Tomas rate this post as useful

Marriage has taken place 2008/1/10 09:34
It is over, and it was a success.

Following the above exchange I subsequently spent a lot of time studying in books over New Year, and I humbly enlisted Japanese friends and a few people connected with the wedding.

Thank you, Uco, for helping me get started.

Instead of making my own speech I read prepared (synoptic) translations of speeches by the fathers of bride and groom, the best man and the groom himself.

I tried to be as polite as possible, although in the end it was "me" speaking.

Anyway, it was success, and I have learned a lot. I would actually like to do it again!

by Tomas rate this post as useful

thanks 2008/1/10 18:18
Good to know it turned out well. Thanks for the feedback.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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