What would be appropriate expressions or idioms to convey the typical English response:

What's it to you?

(in a sense that goes somewhere between "None of your business" and "This is not your problem")

The best I can think of is あなたには関係ない. I am looking for other possibly softer, more polite ways of expressing the same idea.

(as an aside, if you have less polite, more direct, I am also curious)

PS: Before anybody comments: I realise that any variation on this will sound too direct and potentially rude for many situations in Japan, however softly it is formulated. But the general idea is to be trenchant, in situations which might call for it... so no need to dwell on the rudeness aspect too much.

Edit: tough to pick from many overlapping (quality) answers, but in the end, I think Rey's encompassed exactly the nuance(s) I was interested in. Thanks everybody for the great suggestions!

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    It's interesting when you ask for something that is obviously not polite they cant help but give you polite answers. My wife refuses to teach me rough language in fear ill use it! Jul 4, 2011 at 8:02
  • @Gerard I think concerns for politeness level is a reasonable thing, especially when answering beginners' questions (no matter how much some people may think they understand how rude something sounds in Japanese, they generally underestimate it). In the present case, I feel I have a reasonable hang of it and am indeed interested in unvarnished translations to something that is, to begin with, not all that polite (did not want people to waste time thinking up "polite ways to respond without saying that").
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:10
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    Considering the relatively vague intimidating meaning of "What's it to you?", I would also add the aggressive それがどうした? and そうだけど、何か[文句]? Those are near-fighting words, though. Dec 12, 2013 at 4:00

9 Answers 9


I honestly don't think there's any way to answer this given the condition that it should be polite, even with Japanese's overgrown arsenal of euphemisms and niceties.

I can't think of one in English either; probably because any insinuation of the sentiment "get lost" is universally obvious.

But depending on the situation, you might be able to get away with something like:

ご心配なさらないでください。 (Please do not worry about me.)


ほっといてください。 (Leave me be.)

Being the Canadian-raised cynic with juvenile tendencies that I am, I'd probably say:

だったら何だっての? (So what?)

Which in cleanest clothes might be:


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    Sorry if my question wasn't clear enough, but I was definitely not asking for a "polite" way to say this (it is intrinsically rude). Merely a somewhat less forceful way...
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:42
  • @Dave: So what do you mean by "[...]but I am looking for other possibly softer, more polite ways of expressing the same idea." ?
    – repecmps
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:54
  • @repecmps: what I meant is "I understand any similar expression is going to be rude, but I'd like one that is less rude". @Rei's answers are actually pretty much what I am looking for. Just wanted to clear up the "politeness" issue... And I apologise for being overly fussy in my scope: I am striving to avoid an open-ended question...
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:02
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    I can't address the translation aspects of this, but a more polite phrase in English, also meaning "(imperative) Do not get involved." would be "This is my (fight/battle).". The implications are completely positive toward the person you are addressing: You most likely could solve this problem for me, but honor/duty/pride require me to refuse your help. but still carries an emphatic stay out. I imagine that Japanese would have a way to express that thought as well.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jul 4, 2011 at 16:41

Less aggressive / forceful and more matter-of-factly way of saying "What's it to you?", "None of your business"

There are several strategies for countering an invasion of your private matters, as you can see from this conceptual diagram:

my idea of "private matters"
------------------> A
me                  |             you
            |<------------------- are invading it 
  • (a) Declare that line B is inappropriate
  • (b) Plead the other person to back off from line B
  • (c) Indicate that you're uncomfortable with the divergence of line A and line B
  • (d) Make clear that line A is your last line

あなたには関係ない and other variants (余計なお世話、筋合いはない、知ったことじゃない) all fall under strategy (a) and, more or less equal in terms of forcefulness.

While (c) is the least aggressive and also very Japanese for being vague, (b) or (d) better meets the requirement of explicitly expressing the acceptable boundary of privacy. Examples:

昨日薬局にいるのを見かけたんだけど、何買ってたの? I saw you in the chemist yesterday, what did you buy? (from wiktionary:what's it to you)

(c) いや、ちょっとね...それよりさあ、 Well, you know...uh, anyway...

(d) 秘密。 It's a secret.


サムと何を話してたんですか? What were you talking with Sam? (adapted from wiktionary:none of your business)

いや、 (d) こっちの話ですから、 (b) お気になさらず。 It's our business, so please don't trouble yourself.


どうも納得できません。 I'm still not convinced.

(d) 私の問題ですから、 (b) もう何も言わないでください。 It's my own problem, so please don't say no more.


I was just now idly browsing through saiga-jp.com and stumbled upon:

大きなお世話だ(おおきなおせわだ) / This is none of your business., Never you mind.
  • This is what popped into my mind when I read the question.
    – Muhd
    Oct 29, 2011 at 17:20
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    Kinda forceful, though. Dec 12, 2013 at 4:01

Maybe a question that should become community wiki as there is no definite answer.

All these expressions can show different levels of annoyance depending on your tone.

1- 関係ない



2- せんさく

Intrusive / nosy, same as above, you can play with different variations





3- せっかい



4- 知る


5- 首を突っ込む


6- 聞く


7- Return the question


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    I don't think all translation questions should become CW. While different people may have different suggestions, I am not looking for an exhaustive list, but the most appropriate and idiomatic way of saying it.
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:44
  • @Dave: So you should just go for variations of 関係ない. I's the most widely used expression. Change the subject (あなた、あんた、おまえ、オメー、君...) according to the level of respect you want to show. Then modify the verb (ない、ないでしょう、ねぇー、あるのか...) and finally use the appropriate tone.
    – repecmps
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:51
  • It's not a translation question as there is no 1-on-1 translation for "what's it to you" (あんたはどうだ? is close enough). So the best you can get is a list of similar expressions. Thus->CW There is just no BEST way to say it and it depends on a lot of factors, situation, person asking the question...etc.
    – repecmps
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:04
  • actually, a lot of the suggestions above (yours included), seem to fit what I'm looking for, better than 関係ない. I am not necessarily versed enough to judge whether they are satisfyingly idiomatic, but that's what comments and voting by others is for :-)
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:04
  • No translation question is ever going to be 1-on-1. As you say, it's down to many factors and constraints. I believe I have framed it tightly enough that there can be close to a best answer (the same as most questions on JLU). That being said, this is my personal opinion and I am very open to debate: feel free to open it on meta (or even in the comments to the OP) and I'll bow to the consensus...
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:07

How about something along the lines of:


Depending on how you deliver it and who you're talking to, it can be pretty aggressive or just a somewhat innocent question.

  • Thanks for the suggestion... I'd say my problem with this is that it could be understood as an actual question, couldn't it? Whereas I meant the above as a purely rhetorical question, more like an injunction...
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:23
  • If you deliver it aggressively enough (which apparently is your intend), I don't think there'll usually be a comeback. なぜそんなの知りてぇのか、オマエ!関係ねぇんだろう。 ;o)
    – deceze
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:29
  • Well... my (hypothetical) intent is precisely to be less aggressive and more matter-of-factly (if not particularly friendly or polite)... Otherwise I think a variation of 関係ない would do...
    – Dave
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:46

What about a classically rude "none of your business"? Something along あんたに用はない! おっら! (with scottish r's).

  • maybe you mean コラ?
    – repecmps
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:53
  • Probably. I believe this sound is just here to make noise and parade, so I doubt it's in any dictionary (correct me if I'm wrong). Thus, one could probably say anything similarly harsh, like "ホッラ" too.
    – Axioplase
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:20

Saying basically, "why are you so worried about it?"

  • Why is あなたは in quotes?
    – virmaior
    Apr 30, 2014 at 4:38
  • @virmaior - I was trying to denote that it could be left out of the sentence.
    – dotnetN00b
    May 5, 2014 at 13:29

こっちの{問題 / 話}です。かまわなくていい。

This translates basically into:

"This is my {problem / issue}, you don't have to get involved."


This would be a little on the polite side, as if it's an actual question as much as a warning-off:


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