If you think a person has been irresponsible with his work (changing responses to inquiries without reason and not really researching for the answer) and you sent a message with the ending sentence 「もう少し誠実に対応頂けませんか。」can you consider this word as too harsh or rude or unprofessional?

Does 「もう少し誠実に対応頂けませんか。」mean, 「Can you be more serious with your work.」?


Meaning-wise and grammar-wise, this sentence is perfect. Indeed it is harsh, but it may be rightly so; there are situations you may need to write an email like this one. Anyone who has received it will notice his/her overall work attitude is severely doubted.

  • Thank you very much for your reply. You answer really helped me a lot. :)
    – Karen88
    May 15 '19 at 3:00

Doesn't the question of whether this sentence would be "too harsh or rude or unprofessional" depend largely on your relationship with the other person? What is appropriately harsh in an email to a subordinate who has already been warned about his or her poor performance might be completely out of bounds if you're addressing a colleague of equal rank – let alone a client or your boss. Since you've only identified the target of this sentence as "a person," it's very hard to answer your question as asked.

As for how one might translate the sentence, I'd say this is one of those cases where it's difficult to come up with something that is both close to the meaning of the original and also idiomatic in English. 誠実 is particularly problematic, because it involves not just "seriousness," but also sincerity and even honesty. In this case, at least, I think something along the lines of "Can you please conduct yourself with a bit more integrity?" might be more in the spirit of the original than your "Can you be more serious with your work?"

  • 1
    Thank you very much. Your response is very helpful. I understand what you mean regarding the relationship aspect. This communication is between 2 different personnel's of 2 different departments but are inter-related. They do not have the same job title but I view them as both with high position and quite of equal standing. Thank you very much for your insight. :)
    – Karen88
    May 15 '19 at 3:07
  • I'm glad you found my reply helpful!
    – Nanigashi
    May 15 '19 at 16:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.