「ありがた迷惑」をオージーに英語で説明してみよう !


Japanese Culture


文:池田俊一 オーストラリア国立大学アジア・太平洋カレッジ日本センター

What is arigata-meiwaku?


Aussie: I’m assuming 迷惑 (meiwaku) in the word “ありがた迷惑” is still used in the context of ‘annoyance’ or ‘nuisance’?

You: Yes, that’ scorrect. The ありがた(arigata) part comes from the word ありがたい (arigatai), which means ‘grateful’ or ‘thankful ’. The two combine to form the word ありがた迷惑 (arigata-meiwaku), which, I don’t think there is an equivalent word for in English.

Aussie: Oh, OK, what would be the closest?

You: ありがた迷惑 is like… when a person goes out of their way to do something for you, but you mightn’t necessarily have wanted them to in the first place. This “favour” ends up causing annoyance or a nuisance to you (hence the 迷惑 part), but to be civil and polite, you’re required to show your gratitude anyway.

Aussie: Wow, that’s a pretty specific situation. What would an example be like?

You: Well, let’s say your girlfriend kindly cleaned out your room for you. But because she did it without a heads-up, she’s binned a few things you didn’t want to throw away, she’s moved stuff around, and now you don’t know where some of your belongings are – this would be considered ありがた迷惑, because it was honestly an unwelcome favour.

Aussie: Yep, got it. I have someone at work who comments on my choice of lunch every single day. She probably thinks she’s being helpful by pointing out some of my unhealthy lunches, but honestly, it’s ありがた迷惑 because…

You: …It’s really none of her business?

Aussie: Exactly! I don’t want, or need, a nosy calorie-counter – let me just enjoy my lunch!

You: That definitely sounds ありがた迷惑. As I mentioned before, though, despite the troubles or irritations you’ve incurred, you’re still expected to express gratitude due to social norms, since they’re “just trying to help”.

Aussie: “Help” – yeah, right.

You: There’s a saying though, and it goes like, ‘people have the right to their opinion, and you have the right to ignore it’. So, maybe the best thing to do is just to shrug it off.

Aussie: I suppose so.




in the context of ~ ~という文脈で/~という意味で
go out of one’s way わざわざ何かをする 
in the first place そもそも/まず
to be civil and polite 礼儀正しく丁寧に
gratitude 感謝(の念)/謝意
let’s say 例えば/~と想定して
a heads-up 前もっての知らせ/注意/警告
bin(ned) ごみ入れに入れる
move stuff around 模様替えする
honestly 本当に/正直に言って
unwelcome favour 歓迎できない親切心
point out 指摘する
unhealthy 体に悪い/健康に良くない
none of one’s business 余計なお世話
Exactly! その通り!
nosy calorie-counter お節介なカロリー計算者
incur 被る/受ける
social norm  社会規範
just trying to help 親切心から
shrug (it) off 無視する/受け流す


“Yep, got it.” の “Yep” は “Yes” の口語表現、“got it”は “I have got(ten) it” の簡略形で、相手の説明に対し「なるほど/分かった」と応じる時に使われる。

“Your grandpa wants you to take him to his GP.” “Yep, got it. Guess he doesn’t want to go alone.”

“…And that’s how you solve this equation.” “Yep, got it… I think.”
「以上が数式の解き方だ」「分かった…… と思う」

“Could you pick up Charlie from school?” “Yep, got it, I’m on my way now.”

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