“I don’t care”と”I don’t mind”のニュアンス|”I don’t care” or “I don’t mind”?

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[日本語訳へ]

Read “Part 1”

The phrase ‘I don’t care’ is used to express lack of concern.

At times I’ve heard Japanese people say, ‘I don’t care’ in a seemingly unintended fashion.
An example of incorrect usage would be:

“Could I sit here with you?”

“Yeah, I don’t care.”

This makes you seem disinterested.
Even if you are uninterested, you may not intend to communicate that directly. Unless you’re a rebel type.

Now, you could say “I don’t care if you sit here with me” and it doesn’t sound so uninterested. More carefree.

However, the phrase you are looking for is:

“I don’t mind.”

The verb form “to mind” means: To be annoyed, bothered, or worried.

Going back to the previous example:

“Could I sit here with you?”

“ Yes, I don’t mind.”

is an appropriate and welcoming response.

In addition, similar to the previous politer version of “I don’t care”, you could also say, “I don’t mind if you sit here with me.”

ドンマイ、ドンマイ ‘Don’t mind’?

Well, I do mind.

Because normal English speakers do not easily understand this phrase. It’s possible they could, but it sounds like you are telling them you don’t mind. Meaning the subject implied is “I”. They could easily be confused, because in the Japanese language people naturally omit the grammatical subject (I, you, it).

Not to mention, that the pronunciation and delivery of ‘Don’t mind, Don’t mind”, could be hard to understand also.

Instead use:

“Don’t worry about it.”

It kind of contradicts the meaning of this article but if you feel confused, never mind the differences.
It’s much more important for you to try to speak in any way possible, so ‘don’t worry’.

[日本語訳へ]

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