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The line reads

一礼せんかい

The translation should be something like "where is your bow?" or "you should/must bow" but I have never seen せんかい used in that way before. The only thing I can possibly think of is that せんかい is 千回 and is actually emphasizing the importance of the bow but just wanted to check if there's something else I'm missing?

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2 Answers 2

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It’s a western dialect. In Kansai-ben it is pronounced せんかい【HHHL】. せんかえ【HHHL】 is another variant. In standard Japanese it would correspond to しないか【LHLL】 with a strong demanding tone, and it basically means しろ(よ).

This かい is different from the かい in the question linked from the other answer, which is used to soften a question.


Some standard Japanese speakers, particularly men of a certain age or above, might say せんか【HLL】.

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せんかい here is actually せん (= しない in dialect) + sentence final かい, and so the intended interpretation is "Aren't you going to give a bow?" as you surmised.

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  • This せんかい basically means しろよ. Doesn't your translation sound too soft for that? Or can you say it as an indirect order?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 23:02
  • In standard Japanese it would be しないか, not しないかい.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 23:04
  • In my variety of English at least, my translation can have a mocking tone (which I thought fit the situation).
    – jogloran
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 23:28
  • I see, but in my variety of Japanese せんかい has a direct and pretty strong tone.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 23:33

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