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When do I have to use naru hodo, and when do I have to use wakarimashita? As far as I know, they both mean something like "I understand" or "I understood".

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2 Answers 2

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Both "naru hodo" and "wakarimashita" mean "I understand," but there is a difference in the usages and nuances between those two words.

"Naru hodo" means "That makes sense to me." and includes the feeling of admiration such as "Wow" or "Oh".

A: "Why is this jacket so expensive?"

B: "Because it is handmade and moreover it is '60 vintage."

A: "Naru hodo!"

On the other hand, "wakarimashita" means just "I got it." or "Will do." You can use this phrase when you are asked to do something from your boss.

A: "Could you make two copies of this document ?"

B: "Wakarimashita."

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  • @presterjohn The etymology is somewhat like "as right as it is" with "right" omitted. Jul 18, 2016 at 18:02
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I like to think that Naruhodo is more like "Oh, I see!"
You say it when you have just understood something that you did't understand until this moment.

Wakarimashita is simply "Ok" or "Understood". You say it when someone asks you to do some task, or when someone is explaining you something in a more formal situation.

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  • istn "soka" more for "oh I see" ?
    – Pablo
    Jul 17, 2016 at 23:37
  • "Sokka" is an abbreviation of "Sou desu ka". It can also be a kind of "oh I see" but I think it's more used when you were wrong about something and somebody just corrected you. It's very casual and can be a little rude to use it on formal occasions. If you are not talking to a friend, I would suggest to say something like "Sou desu ka? Wakarimashita" instead. Jul 18, 2016 at 3:03
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    Japanese people often mix them up like : "Aaa soka soka soka Naruhodo desu ne! Wakarimashita!" Jul 18, 2016 at 3:06
  • soka soka.. I mean, I see
    – Pablo
    Jul 18, 2016 at 11:04

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