How Non-Native English Speakers Respond to "Thank You"

They almost never say "You’re welcome."

I usually got:

"Don’t worry"

"It’s ok"

"Oh, thanks"

I suppose "no worries" is the more natural expression for "don’t worry" but still, "you’re welcome" is the best response to "thank you."

One Response to How Non-Native English Speakers Respond to "Thank You"

  1. Kathy Cheng says:

    Hi Ben.

    Excuse the delayed response, but I was talking about this same topic with a friend just recently.

    I think the way different cultures respond to gratitude might have something to do with what that culture considers an act to be thankful for, whether an act deserves thanks in the first place, and how a culture feels about accepting thanks for its generosity and kindness.

    For example, if an Italian holds the door for you and you thank him/her, their response might be “Nothing”, as in “It’s nothing”. A French person might say “It’s nothing” too, or “With pleasure” (in the case of a Frenchman, perhaps). In China, you might hear “No thank necessary” or the equivilent of “You’re welcome”, which translates “Don’t be polite”.

    In English, the correct response to thanks may be “You’re welcome”, but I find the best way to thank someone is with a smile.

    I always enjoy your blog and wish you the best for 2007.

    Kathy

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