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This is probably related to How would I respectfully disagree with a superior? however the context is a tech forum where the thread starter is asking for someone technically advanced to help, and the culture is more concerned about solving problems than politeness. Is a plain ~違います appropriate in this context?

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  • Are you asking about Japanese internet etiquette or about conversational Japanese?
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 19, 2013 at 20:05
  • internet etiquette Feb 19, 2013 at 20:07
  • My university published this a few weeks ago: wellness.nmsu.edu/eap/resources/Howtosay.pdf Same concepts could be applied to Japanese.
    – istrasci
    Feb 20, 2013 at 17:46
  • How about 「そうでしょうか。」「(さあ、)それはどうでしょう(か)。」(I doubt it.)「私の意見/考え/見解はちょっと違います。」「私はちょっと違う意見/考えです。」(I think differently.) or maybe 「それはちょっと違うんじゃないでしょうか。」?
    – user1016
    Mar 8, 2013 at 21:53

1 Answer 1

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Someone well-versed in internet Japanese may need to correct me, but...

You can always soften a straight 違います with saying something like

違うと思うんですが
違うと思うんですけど

You can also present a fact, which disproves the claim of your technically advanced helper. There may be no need to say explicitly "you were wrong".

This is not only true for Japanese, but trying to confirm the correctness of the claim in some situation that does not apply to you doesn't give the message "you are wrong", which by itself is not very helpful. You could try

一般的にそうかもしれませんが、私の場合は……
That may be so in general, but in my situation...

That said, 違います is a lot better than 違う and, although probably unnecessary, may be perfectly acceptable in that particular tech forum, in particular if you are on the end of the technically advanced helper.

If that is the case, there is also the expression

それはそれでいいんですけど……
That's fine, but...

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  • thanks, does the result change if I am the technically advanced helper? Feb 19, 2013 at 20:22
  • I see, I didn't get that from your question. I guess in that case it does change. A bit more context would make for better example sentences, but there is "それはそれでいいんですけど..." meaning roughly, "That's fine, but..."
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 19, 2013 at 22:05

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