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I usually hear 早速ですが used as a phrase in the office. After looking on examples in the net, it somehow mean "Well then" in English. Is the phrase just the same as "じゃ" or "では"?

For example:

早速ですが始めましょう。

じゃ、始めましょう。

では、始めましょ。

When do you use さっそくですが? Are there certain instance when you use this phrase?

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1  
さっそぐ→さっそく...... –  Choko Mar 22 '12 at 7:21
    
@chocolate updated spelling –  Nap Mar 22 '12 at 7:28
    
@Chocolate Unless it is a Tohoku dialect. –  sawa Mar 22 '12 at 21:13
    
@sawa-san, 笑ww. –  Choko Mar 23 '12 at 0:05
    
@Nap example: youtube.com/… –  Pacerier Mar 23 '12 at 3:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

早速ですが has a nuance of making an excuse for jumping to the main point directly, where some might expect a bit of smalltalk or an introduction beforehand.

Whereas では or じゃ are pretty neutral like "Well", 早速ですが would probably be translated like "Let's get right down to business", "Let me get straight to the point" or "Sorry for being a bit rushed". Or sometimes a translation wouldn't be necessary in English.

I do not share sawa's viewpoint that you necessarily use it for things that you have been looking forward to.

早速ですが、会費お支払いの催促です。
(Sorry for jumping straight to the point.) This is a reminder about payment of the membership fee.

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I see. The usage in your example may be for formal occasions. It is a distinct usage from what I mention. –  sawa Mar 22 '12 at 21:10

I agree with dainichi.

I generally use 「早速ですが」when I am getting to the point without typical small talk, 「早速ですが、まず今度の面談についてお聞かせください。」 or when asking for something or someone's help with something, etc. 「早速ですが、一つお願いしたいことがあります。」

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Unlike では (or its contracted form じゃ), 早速ですが implies that the thing to be done is (i) something that has been looked forward to, and (ii) people have been waiting for it. You can only use it when you have that implicature.

If a teacher says to the students:

早速ですが、試験を始めましょう。

then, it would imply (either in reality or ironically) that the students are willing to and have been waiting for the examination to start, perhaps meaning that the students are well prepared for the examination or want to be freed from it. Or, it can mean that the teacher was eager for the examination to start.

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2  
That is an explanation of 早速, but the phrase 早速ですが has a different meaning as dainichi explained. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Mar 23 '12 at 12:57

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