What is the difference between 故{こ}障{しょう}中{ちゅう} and だめです when speaking, for example, if some electronic appliance is not working. When each should be used?

  • Well, one means literally 'broken' and the other has quite a few other meanings ... – oals Sep 2 '16 at 6:24
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    We have quite a number of "What is the difference between..." questions, but rarely one that tries to compare two things as different as 故障中 and だめです... – Earthliŋ Sep 2 '16 at 7:53
  • I agree, but this one makes sense, because the question emerged when I saw Japanese language lesson - the girl asked if ceiling lamp is blown out - だめですか?, and then the man answered - はい、だめです。 – Ernestas Gruodis Sep 2 '16 at 9:09
  • だめだ is obscure and not sure what it's turning down. – user4092 Sep 2 '16 at 12:10

故障中 is better than だめです.

プリンターは故障中です is a natural sentence.

プリンターはだめです is unnatural.

故障中 means 'broken'. だめ has a lot of meanings, for example, no good, broken, hopeless, cannot, must not...

If we already know the printer is broken, we may understand だめです means 'broken', but if we don't know the situation we will not be sure of the meaning of だめです.

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    そのプリンターはダメです seems pretty natural to me... – virmaior Sep 2 '16 at 10:44
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    Just to add: if someone says that a printer is 「ダメです」, then the printer is may not be broken, but just "not good" or maybe the speaker needs the printer for a job and is telling me I can't use it. – Jimmy Sep 2 '16 at 17:57

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