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As a foreigner in Japan, one has to get used to the fact that some Japanese will compliment you on things that are too mundane to really deserve mention. Like the fact that you can use chopsticks, eat sushi, say 「今日は」, and all that sort of thing.

Most of the time, it's harmless, and a mere stepping stone to genuine conversation.

But sometimes you'll meet that person who will just go on about it for a bit too long. They'll ask follow up questions, and keep the topic alive, blocking the potential to interact as more than just a gaijin novelty.

To those people, I want to say, "yeah, look, can we get past that?" Well... that would be the politer version (though obviously not devoid of a little frustration). Sometimes I just want to say "Get over it, will ya?"

I think the more or less literal translation for "get over it" would be:


First question is: Is that a suitable translation, or is it too literal in the sense of physically crossing something?

Next question: How would I, and could I, differentiate between "Get over it" (slightly stronger and a little more confrontational) and "can we get past this?" (a little softer but still conveying some annoyance).

Additional note 1: I'm okay with being a little confrontational on this, so please don't hold back on potentially stern suggestions for translation.

Additional note 2: I'm not looking to answer this question just to handle the situation when I'm dealing with someone who is wide-eyed about meeting a foreigner. That's just an example to convey the kind of situation, but hopefully a good translation can apply to any similar scenario.

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

乗り切る doesn't quite fit here because it's about enduring through a hardship. With 乗り切る, wave(s) of difficulties come and go while you persevere, where as in "get over it," you need to overcome it yourself.

乗り越える, 克服する and 打ち勝つ do have the sense of actively overcoming some obstacle, and may work if you use it together with the right noun. I'll come back to it later.

My word of choice for expressing "getting past it" would be 卒業する, in the sense of outgrowing (wwwjdic's second definition for 卒業: (2) (col) outgrowing something; moving on):

もういい加減その話題からは卒業したら? Can you just "outgrow" that subject already? (most naturally found in a parent-to-child or friend-to-friend scolding)

Turning it into a shared problem can make it softer:

こういう話題からはそろそろ卒業しませんか? Shall we "outgrow" these kinds of subjects?

Note that 「卒業しませんか?」 as a set phrase is most commonly found in cheap-sounding ads, and may sound unnatural in a real conversation.

Other phrases that can get the point over include:

  • 頭を切り替える switch one's mode of thinking
    • 「その点頭を切り替えてもらえるとうれしいです」 Would you change your way of thinking and stop dwelling on that point? (pretty condescending)
  • 偏見/先入観 を乗り越える/を克服する/に打ち勝つ
    • 「あなたにはぜひともその先入観を乗り越えてほしいんです」I really hope you overcome that preconception of yours. (pretty condescending)
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Upvoted and a might give this one the green check because it addresses the issue of talking about the person's perceptions and not just the situation at hand. I've definitely learned that the right terms will be situational, so I wouldn't expect to have a catch all phrase, but these definitely go in the direction I'm trying to get to. – Questioner Jul 21 '11 at 4:00
I also agree that the answer for this has to do with 卒業する, as in "Facebookを卒業した" => I'm over Facebook (I no longer use it) – wallyqs Jul 24 '11 at 8:06

I don't think 乗り切って is a suitable translation in this case. It is too literal of a translation. It does not have to be physical, but it will mean 'to overcome something'.

Maybe you can start a different topic by

  • それは置いておいて 'leaving that behind, ...'
  • それはそうと 'while that is that, ...'
  • ところで 'by the way'

If you want to be more direct, you can say

  • それはもういいよ/いいから 'I had enough of that'
  • しつこいよ 'You are persistent'
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I hear 'いいから' quite a bit in anime and tv shows. I quite like it. It shows just enough exasperation without really being too rude about it. It doesn't hurt that it sounds a lot like my normal, 'That's great. (Now can we get on with this?)' in English. – William Jul 15 '11 at 10:51
i think what sawa is saying about 乗り切って is that a japanese person wouldn't know what you are talking about. And if they don't know what you are talking about, they aren't going to know they are being an ass. – Mark Hosang Jul 21 '11 at 1:39
Also I don't think that there is going to be a phrase you can use to convey to a person that what they think is amazing is really not. It really lends itself to more of a conversation than a one off comment. There could also be somethign said about how it might not fly in japanese culture to outright tell a person how they should be acting. One last point, you have ot remember that your base of expectations and theirs is completely different. I am sure they have met alot of foreigners who can't even say 今日は. – Mark Hosang Jul 21 '11 at 1:41

I really like Sawa's "しつこいよ".

I would say (and happen to say) things like:


I've had enough of this


Of course I can use chopsticks! Can't you use a fork?


Didn't you know that every one abroad is capable of that? I can't believe it!


Great. Can't we talk about something else now?

But be warned. Those are a lot ruder that they may seem to a westerner…

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This article suggests that one can use 「ごちそうさま」to indicate that one is tired of hearing about a subject. However, I have not been able to verify that it applies to your case; it may only apply when one is bored of hearing the other person brag. I'll try and research some more.

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Good article, thanks for the link. I think what I am discovering, as also indicated in one of my comments to sawa's answer, is that so far this and other suggestions put focus on the situation, whereas I aspire to some focus on the person. Thus, 「ごちそうさま」 does convey that I am tired of a particular topic in that moment, what I really want to say is that the speaker needs to reconsider the reasons why they are so tenacious. – Questioner Jul 20 '11 at 7:55
I heard ごちそうさま used when someone was bragging about oneself. Note also that what's bragging for Japanese people could be perfectly normal "self-assessment" for westerns. – Uberto Jul 21 '11 at 13:36

How about the ever popular 仕方がない?

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仕方がない means "i give up" and wouldn't really work here. – Mark Hosang Jul 21 '11 at 1:37
It's a bit more subtle than that, it's basically to describe a situation that the speaker feels they have no control over. Like someone going on and on.... it's also an adjective, so you could use it to describe the current conversation as being something you have given up on. – mletterle Jul 21 '11 at 1:53
but in either usage would not get the person to stop and would actually encourage them to continue their praising. Which is the complete opposite of what the OP was asking – Mark Hosang Jul 21 '11 at 6:53

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