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Asking to interview someone

bobbybaker

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Hi everyone. I'm Bob.

At my newspaper club in college, we wanted to interview a Japanese professor. Since I have the most experience with the language I was tasked to reach out to this professor. I realized that I don't know much words related to interviews.

I wanted to say:
Hello. My name is Robert and I am a writer in the Campus Mystery Newspaper Club. Every month we feature a professor and would like to interview you. Is this something you would be interested in? Thank you for your time.

はじめまして。ロバートと申します。キャンパスミステリ新聞クラブの筆者の一人です。毎月は大学の先生を特集するので申しよければ田中先生を取材していただけませんか?お返事を待ちしております。

ありがとうございます。

Does this look formal enough?
 

joadbres

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There are native speakers of Japanese who contribute regularly on this thread, so I will defer to them to fine-tune your words, if they choose to, but what you have now is polite and understandable, and not bad. It can be edited to sound more natural and more sophisticated, but what you have now is acceptable for something coming from a non-native speaker, I think.

The three things I noticed that should definitely be changed are:
1. There is a mistake with the second 申し. The correct Japanese here is もし, not もうし. It is most often written in hiragana, but you can also use kanji: 若し.
2. Instead of よければ, use the polite form よろしければ.
3. In this kind of request, it is essential to use the phrase よろしくお願いします. You can insert it in place of the 'thank you' at the end. You can make it even a little more formal and polite by writing どうぞよろしくお願いします, or even どうぞよろしくお願い致します.

Also, I think it is better to use your full name in the request. (Perhaps you were already planning to, but don't care to include it in the forum post.)

And you can use the Japanese word インタビューする for 'interview'.

Finally, to help entice the person you are inviting to agree to participate, I strongly suggest that you refer him/her to several already published news articles, so that he/she can see what they look like, before agreeing to your request. With a web link, or included as an attachment, etc.
 

Toritoribe

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There is a critical grammatical mistake there. As Mike-san pointed out, ~していただけませんか? is a polite version of ~してください, i.e., a form to ask the listener(s)/reader(s) to do something. Thus, you are asking Professor Tanaka to interview himself/herself by 田中先生を取材/インタビューしていただけませんか?. You must be confusing it with a similar polite form used when asking for permission to do something.

毎月は sounds odd since "every month" is not the topic there.

特集する is interpreted as the future tense. You need to use another tense if the interview is not the first one. (I believe it's most likely not, right?)
 

bobbybaker

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There are native speakers of Japanese who contribute regularly on this thread, so I will defer to them to fine-tune your words, if they choose to, but what you have now is polite and understandable, and not bad. It can be edited to sound more natural and more sophisticated, but what you have now is acceptable for something coming from a non-native speaker, I think.

The three things I noticed that should definitely be changed are:
1. There is a mistake with the second 申し. The correct Japanese here is もし, not もうし. It is most often written in hiragana, but you can also use kanji: 若し.
2. Instead of よければ, use the polite form よろしければ.
3. In this kind of request, it is essential to use the phrase よろしくお願いします. You can insert it in place of the 'thank you' at the end. You can make it even a little more formal and polite by writing どうぞよろしくお願いします, or even どうぞよろしくお願い致します.

Also, I think it is better to use your full name in the request. (Perhaps you were already planning to, but don't care to include it in the forum post.)

And you can use the Japanese word インタビューする for 'interview'.

Finally, to help entice the person you are inviting to agree to participate, I strongly suggest that you refer him/her to several already published news articles, so that he/she can see what they look like, before agreeing to your request. With a web link, or included as an attachment, etc.
Thank you. I am a bit rusty with Japanese. I'm used to translating them but not actually crafting a message to reach out to people.

That's asking the person you're talking to if he would interview Professor Tanaka.
I just noticed that I made that mistake. Thank you so much.

There is a critical grammatical mistake there. As Mike-san pointed out, ~していただけませんか? is a polite version of ~してください, i.e., a form to ask the listener(s)/reader(s) to do something. Thus, you are asking Professor Tanaka to interview himself/herself by 田中先生を取材/インタビューしていただけませんか?. You must be confusing it with a similar polite form used when asking for permission to do something.

毎月は sounds odd since "every month" is not the topic there.

特集する is interpreted as the future tense. You need to use another tense if the interview is not the first one. (I believe it's most likely not, right?)
はじめまして。ロバートともします。キャンパスミステリ新聞クラブの筆者の一人です。毎月大学の先生の一人を特集しているんですが申しよろしければ田中先生を取材してもよろしいでしょうか?どうぞよろしくお願いします

ありがとうございます。

これはどうですか?
 

Toritoribe

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You misread joadbres-san's corrections.

1)
While he wrote There is a mistake with the second 申し, you corrected the first 申し.

3)
While he wrote You can insert it in place of the 'thank you' at the end, you inserted どうぞよろしくお願いします in place of お返事を待ちしております. Actually, unlike "thank you" in English, you can't use ありがとうございます in advance in Japanese.

よろしければ~よろしいでしょうか sounds repetitive.
取材してもよろしいでしょうか is not wrong, but sounds a bit pushy. The polite expression asking for permission I mentioned in my previous post is ~させていただけませんか. I would use the politest version 取材させていただけませんでしょうか instead, though.
Try again.
 

bobbybaker

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You misread joadbres-san's corrections.

1)
While he wrote There is a mistake with the second 申し, you corrected the first 申し.

3)
While he wrote You can insert it in place of the 'thank you' at the end, you inserted どうぞよろしくお願いします in place of お返事を待ちしております. Actually, unlike "thank you" in English, you can't use ありがとうございます in advance in Japanese.

よろしければ~よろしいでしょうか sounds repetitive.
取材してもよろしいでしょうか is not wrong, but sounds a bit pushy. The polite expression asking for permission I mentioned in my previous post is ~させていただけませんか. I would use the politest version 取材させていただけませんでしょうか instead, though.
Try again.
Thank you for your reply. I had a feeling I should have used the させていただく form

はじめまして。ロバートと申します。キャンパスミステリ新聞クラブの筆者の一人です。毎月大学の先生の一人を特集しているんですがもしよろしければ田中先生を取材させていただけませんか?お返事お待ちしております。

どうぞよろしくお願いします
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, much better than the initial one.
Here's my attempt.
はじめまして。キャンパスミステリー新聞クラブの記者、ロバート・(your second name)と申します。新聞では、毎月一人の教授を特集致しております。もしよろしければ、田中先生を取材させていただけませんでしょうか?お忙しいところ申し訳ありませんが、何卒よろしくお願い申し上げます。

(お返事お待ちしております。 sounds too pushy. It can be conveyed by よろしくお願い申し上げます without mentioning it directly.)
 

bobbybaker

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Since I don't want to spam the forums with multiple threads, I was thinking I should just continue to post my questions here.

Someone reached out to us to be interviewed this month but we wanted to tell them the following:

We have moved forward with another teacher, but we may reach out to you again in the future. Thank you for your time.

あいにくですが別の教授で進みます。そのうち内田先生に連絡しております。ありがとうございます
 
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Mike Cash

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せっかく
決まる
ご連絡
Watch your verb tense

Try again with those in mind
 

bobbybaker

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せっかく
決まる
ご連絡
Watch your verb tense

Try again with those in mind
Thank you for the hints. Here goes attempt #2

あいにくですが別の教授でせっかく決まりました。そのうち内田先生にご連絡します。ありがとうございます
 

Toritoribe

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I moved a part of you post since the topic is closer to this thread.

あいにくですが別の教授でせっかく決まりました。そのうち内田先生にご連絡します。ありがとうございます
That's not grammatically wrong, but "not wrong" is not the same as "enough".

せっかく modifies 決まりました in that position, so it means you decided to interview another teacher with considerable effort, and therefore it connotes a negative nuance that "nevertheless you reached out to us", i.e., "we are not pleased".

そのうち sounds very cold, something like "someday if we feel like it" with connoting "we may not reach out to you again, but wait for your turn anyway".

As I explained about "thank you in advance", ありがとう is not always used for all "thank you" in English. すみません or 申し訳ありません corresponds to "thank you" in "Thank you for your time".

my attempt
ご連絡ありがとうございます。せっかくお申し出を頂いたのですが、現在別の教授にお願いすることで計画が進んでおります。申し訳ございません。次回再びご連絡を差し上げることがあるかもしれません。その際はよろしくお願い申し上げます。お手間をおかけして申し訳ありませんでした。
 

bobbybaker

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I moved a part of you post since the topic is closer to this thread.


That's not grammatically wrong, but "not wrong" is not the same as "enough".

せっかく modifies 決まりました in that position, so it means you decided to interview another teacher with considerable effort, and therefore it connotes a negative nuance that "nevertheless you reached out to us", i.e., "we are not pleased".

そのうち sounds very cold, something like "someday if we feel like it" with connoting "we may not reach out to you again, but wait for your turn anyway".

As I explained about "thank you in advance", ありがとう is not always used for all "thank you" in English. すみません or 申し訳ありません corresponds to "thank you" in "Thank you for your time".

my attempt
ご連絡ありがとうございます。せっかくお申し出を頂いたのですが、現在別の教授にお願いすることで計画が進んでおります。申し訳ございません。次回再びご連絡を差し上げることがあるかもしれません。その際はよろしくお願い申し上げます。お手間をおかけして申し訳ありませんでした。
Thank you for your reply and for moving my thread. I've been learning a lot about keigo grammar so I'm happy to know that there are differences between "sekkaku" and "yatto"

I'll always be saving your reply as one of my templates...

I'll continue to use this thread for my interview language.

I wanted to send an email to a professor asking them to reattach the items sent in their previous two emails because there was something wrong with the attachments.

先生が添付したファイルのことなんですがさっきの二つのメールで画像が表示されないからもう一度送っていただけませんか?
 

Toritoribe

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添付した and 表示されない are not polite forms. Also, you can avoid mentioning the agent directly by using other expressions.

前回及び前々回のメールに添付していただいたファイルですが、画像が表示されない不具合が起きております。お手数をお掛けして申し訳ありませんが、再度お送りいただけませんでしょうか。お忙しいところ恐縮ですが、よろしくお願い申し上げます。
 
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