AEON BIZ column




In many cultures, including Japanese culture, it is considered impolite to interrupt someone when they are speaking. However, there are times when it is unavoidable. For example, a co-worker is stating something you know is untrue, or one member of the group is taking up everyone else’s speaking time.
So, what is the best way to interrupt someone politely?
The first thing you should do is start the interruption with a brief, polite introduction. Some examples are:
“Excuse me. Could I just say something?”
“Sorry, do you mind if I interrupt?”
“I hate to interrupt, but….”
If the speaker ignores your interruption, then you can try getting their attention by gesturing with your hand, or by making eye contact with them. If this doesn’t work, then clearing your throat will usually get people’s attention, giving you a chance to say what’s on your mind. Be careful when using the final technique, though, as some people do consider it to be impolite.
Good luck, and remember that sometimes, interrupting is necessary.
“Excuse me. Could I just say something?” すみません。ちょっと一言よろしいですか。
“Sorry, do you mind if I interrupt?” 申し訳ありませんが、割り込んでもいいですか。
“I hate to interrupt, but….” 話に割って入って申し訳ないのですが、

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