ほとんどの人が間違えて使っているNever mind|The real meaning of “Never mind”

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I don’t care, I don’t mind, never mind.What’s the difference between them? Alright, in the New Oxford, American Dictionary, “care” means feel concern or interest for. So, uh, I don’t care means,it doesn’t bother me; it doesn’t worry me; and it doesn’t interest me.So, um, basically it shows a strong carefree attitude about something, alright?So, get that in your mind, for example, you can say, “I don’t care about name brand clothing.” Or, “she said that about him? I don’t care. Or, flat out, “who cares?” Now, “I don’t mind” is the polite version of “I don’t care”. For example, “you can play some music, I don’t mind.” Or, “she doesn’t mind if I bring a friend”. Now, “never mind” is actually in the dictionary defined as, an urge of someone to not feel anxiety or distress.Or to urge someone not to feel anxiety or distress. “Never mind” is what you say when, you don’t want someone to worryor care about something. Alright? For example:“I wanted to take the last train but, never mind, we can take a taxi instead.” “Never mind what he said before, I don’t care.” Now “Don’t mind” is an unnatural phrase that many Japanese people use. So, let’s, never mind, don’t mind. Don’t mind, don’t mind. You need to mind subscribing, and tapping the bell,  at the bottom, so you can get our videos.


[日本語訳へ]

“I don’t care
“I don’t mind
Never mind

This article is partly written based on an expression my first Japanese roommate used to say to me
whenever I would thank him: “Never mind”.

I can imagine that when he first said it to me that I was confused. ‘Never mind’ is used to urge someone not to worry about something concerning the speaker.

My friend, however, would use ‘never mind’ every time I thanked him. So when I would thank him, I never understood why he would tell me not to worry.

Because I wasn’t worried.

In English the only way ‘never mind’ could make sense is if my ‘thank you’s’ were incessant and reflected some extreme concern to show gratitude. In this case, ‘never mind’ would work because this “incessant thanking” would make this situation a concern of mine.

Examples of ‘never mind’

In the case of urging someone not to worry about something concerning you, here are some normal examples:

  • I was planning to go to the supermarket, but never mind, I have enough food.
  • Speaker A: You wanted to eat some ice cream, right?
  • Speaker B: Never mind, I’m full.
Exception

If you’re trying to encourage someone close to you not to worry about something concerning them, you can use ‘never mind’ (This is a friendly term to be used with someone you consider very close to you).

  • They think your hair style looks funny, but never mind what they think.
  • Your parents say you should marry that type, but never mind what they say.

My roommate, however, would say it every time I thanked him. So you could probably understand why I began to wonder.

Cultural Difference

One of the coaches here at Eigo2020 explained that in Japan people use an expression like ‘Don’t worry’ as a natural reply to ‘thank you’.

Eureka! This is the underlying issue!

Our huge cultural difference in simply expressing gratitude and their responses.

  • In America, we generally receive gratitude happily. This is a cultural norm.
  • In Japan, its customary to humbly deny the gratitude. This is a cultural norm.

This must be understood to convey your true feelings; also not cause misunderstandings.

We deviate from these norms only in special circumstances to be or show some kind of cleverness.But in almost every case our response is consistent to the cultural norm.

How to respond to a ‘Thank you’

In order for you to understand how we respond to expressions of gratitude in English the following is a set of modern responses.

Along with ‘No problem’, other modern ways you can respond to ‘Thank you’ are:

  • “No worries” – friendly, warm, and casual
  • “No, thank you” – classy yet casual
  • “Not a problem” – business
  • “I’m happy to help” – business
  • “The pleasure was all mine” – business

Look out for Part 2 of the series. Where we’ll explain how to really use ‘I don’t care.’
If you care, that is.

[日本語訳へ]

 

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