Gomenasai vs. Sumimasen vs. Suimasen: Sorry in Japanese
Gomenasai (ごめんなさい) and Sumimasen (すみません) both mean I am sorry, and in everyday conversation, Japanese people often use Suimasen (すいません), which also means I am sorry.
Gomenasai vs. Sumimasen vs. Suimasen
These Japanese phrases all have a meaning of sorry, but how do they differ in usage and nuance?
Japanese children often use this phrase toward parents.
We often use this phrase with strangers, close bosses/superiors, and close customers.
And the last, Suimasen (すいません) (Pronunciation), is the colloquial/informal way to say Sumimasen.
From my point of view, towards strangers and close bosses/superiors, this phrase is spoken as frequently as Sumimasen.
But using this word with customers can be rude in many cases.
Moushiwake Gozaimasen (申し訳ございません)
Gomenasai, Sumimasen, and Suimasen are all informal expressions to say I’m sorry in Japanese.
In formal scenes, you should say Moushiwake Gozaimasen (申し訳ございません) (Pronunciation).