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Wazawaza o-todoke-kudasari, arigatō-gozaimasu. (Thank you for taking the trouble to bring me these.)

Situation 1: Mr. Suzuki delivers documents to Mr. Tian.

ティエン: お忙しいところを、わざわざお届けくださり、ありがとうございます。

鈴木: いいえ、今日はヤマニ部長とアポがありましたので、ついでに寄らせていただきました。

Tian: O-isogashii tokoro-wo, wazawaza o-todoke-kudasari, arigatō-gozaimasu.

Suzuki: Iie, kyō-wa Yamani-buchō-to apo-ga arimashita-node, tsuide-ni yorasete-itadakimashita.

Tian: Thank you for taking the trouble to bring me these papers, even though you must be very busy.

Suzuki: Not at all. Today, I had an appointment with Department Head Yamani in your office. So, I just dropped in here.

Today, we will introduce the meaning and ways of using the adverb わざわざ ([doing] deliberately/on purpose) and its antonym ついで ([doing] on one’s way).

A speaker will use わざわざ to thank someone for something helpful they have done, as a way appreciating the trouble or labor that the person took in order to do it, as in Mr. Tian’s sentence in Situation 1. On the contrary, the speaker usually uses the adverb ついでに or the noun ついで in order to reduce the other person’s mental burden, as in Mr. Suzuki’s sentence, or as in: ついでがありましたから ([I’ve just come here], since I have another thing to do here anyway ). ついで is used to express that doing something wasn’t much trouble — it was done while doing something else. Example: わざわざ買(か)いに行(い)くのはめんどうだから、来週(らいしゅう)展示会(てんじかい)に行ったらついでに買ってくるよ (Since it’s difficult to go all the way to buy it, I’ll take the opportunity to go to the exhibition next week and buy it on the way).

Situation 2: Mrs. Okubo is irritated by her son Mitsuo.

妻: まったく、光男ったら! こういうところ、パパにそっくり!

夫: はいはい、ぼくも気をつけます。だけど、わざわざぼくに聞こえるように言わなくても…。

Tsuma: Mattaku, Mitsuo-ttara! Kōiu tokoro, papa-ni sokkuri!

Otto: Hai, hai, boku-mo ki-wo tsukemasu. Dakedo, wazawaza boku-ni kikoeru-yōni iwanakute-mo….

Wife: Oh, Mitsuo, again! This is just the kind of thing that his father would do!

Husband: Yeah, yeah, I do that, too. But, you shouldn’t say so on purpose while I can hear you.

Sometimes わざわざ is used out of spite, as the wife does in Situation 2. When it’s used in this way, わざわざ can be replaced with わざと (intentionally), which infers that someone has malicious intent. Example: 決(けっ)してわざとやったわけではないんです。信(しん)じてください (I never did it intentionally; please believe me).

Bonus Dialogue: One morning, Mr. Mita comes rushing to the office, but Ms. Gray blames him for being late.

グレイ: 遅(おそ)い! 三田(みた)さんの資料(しりょう)、待(ま)っていたんだから。

三田: ごめん! 今朝(けさ)、ねぼうして、あわてて家(いえ)を出(で)たら、駅(えき)に着(つ)いたとき、携帯(けいたい)を忘(わす)れてきたのに気(き)がついて…。

グレイ: それで、わざわざ取(と)りに帰(かえ)ったの?

三田: うん。だって、携帯がないと不便(ふべん)だし、それに、遅刻(ちこく)の連絡(れんらく)もできないし。

グレイ: でも、わざわざ取りに帰ったせいで、もっと遅刻になったでしょ。あ、それより、遅刻の連絡、もらっていない。

三田: ごめん。携帯が電池(でんち)切(ぎ)れだったから…。

グレイ: じゃあ、わざわざ取りに帰った意味(いみ)がなかったじゃない! とにかく、忙(いそが)しいんだから、早(はや)く資料をください!

三田: うん。あ、しまった…! [青(あお)ざめる。]

Gray: You’re so late! I’ve been waiting for you to bring the documents.

Mita: I’m sorry! I overslept this morning and I left home in a hurry. When I reached the station, I noticed that I had left my cell phone at home, and . . .

Gray: And, you took the trouble to go back home for your cell phone?

Mita: Yeah, since it’s inconvenient without a cell phone, and what’s more, without it, I can’t call to let you know I’m late.

Gray: But, you became much later, because you went back home. Oh, and one more thing, I didn’t receive your call to let me know you would be late.

Mita: Sorry, my cell phone battery died.

Gray: Then, it’s meaningless that you took trouble to go home to fetch your cell phone. Anyway, I’m in a hurry; please give me your documents.

Mita: OK, I will . . . Oops! (He turns pale.)

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