I know what はじめまして means. It means, pleased / nice to meet you. When reading Manga at school to learn these expressions, I see the phrase quite often.

But there was one Manga where I saw the phrase, いらっしゃいます。What does this phrase mean? From the Manga, I think it means welcome but does it mean that, or is it more specific; for example, something like welcome home or welcome to this place of some sort. The Manga featured a guy saying this idiom to guests walking into a restaurant.

Please let me know so I understand.

Thank you in advance.

  • 2
    Did it perhaps say いらっしゃいま? – snailplane May 1 '18 at 3:37
  • @snailboat no it did not... was it supposed to? Was it a typo? – Mr Pie May 1 '18 at 3:45
  • 1
    いらっしゃいませ is a standard greeting in shops. jisho.org/search/… Other than that, you can look up the word いらっしゃる jisho.org/search/irassharu – Leebo May 1 '18 at 3:50
  • Can you show us an image of this manga? – Aeon Akechi May 1 '18 at 4:01
  • @AeonAkechi I don't know if I am allowed to. I am doing Religion now and have already done Japanese for today. Later I will try and take a picture of the Manga and attach it to my question if I I can. – Mr Pie May 1 '18 at 4:31

いらっしゃいます is the ます form of いらっしゃる, which is the honorific or polite form of いる. Used when referring to or addressing customers, superiors, audience members, guests, etc.

「同{おな}じような思{おも}いをした方{かた}は いらっしゃいます か?」 would basically be the polite equivalent of 「同じような思いをした人は います か?」

Now, いらっしゃる has multiple nuanced meanings (come, go, be, etc.). In the usage of いらっしゃいませ, which is the greeting upon entering a place of business, the 'come' definition makes sense. It is in the spirit of 'come on in', but without a higher level of formality, hence the standard translation as 'welcome'.

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One of the uses of いらっしゃいます could be in sentences such as:

[Where does your family live?]

[My mother lives in Tokyo but father lives in Kyoto.]

Here, the first person asks politely about the family of the other person.

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