Onegaishimasu (おねがいします) is a formal Japanese greeting used in the game of Go before a game starts.
"Onegaishimasu" is the correct polite Japanese phrase to say to one's opponent before starting to play: o negai shimasu
"Please do your best", "Please have a good game", "if you please", or "I pray you..." Literally: "do me this favor"
The English-language version of Hikaru no Go retains the words "Onegaishimasu" and "Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu" in the translation and adaptation.
OneWeirdDude: Oh? I thought it was always, "Please," in the English version.
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Chestnut: onegai is the honorific form of negai which is a "wish" (verb negau). shimasu is just the formal form of the verb suru which means "to do". So saying onegai shimasu is like saying "do me this favor". It's a common phrase in Japanese, and is what you generally will say to someone when they're going to do something for you or when you're asking them to do something for you. In greetings it's kind of like saying "please favor me with your attention" or something.
Bill: I wonder what the onegai (request) is. "Please don't beat me too badly"? ;-)
Bisqwit: "Please do your best", "Please have a good game", "Please begin" (although it wouldn't make sense to say "please begin" to white)... I think it's just a common polite phrase to say when somebody is to start doing something. In the plain form ("onegai"), it can be used in negative, as "please don't ...", too.
kokiri I always took it for an abbreviation for 'yoroshiku onegaishimasu' as this is what you say when you meet someone for the first time, at new year etc
Bob Myers: Rather than thinking of the "yoroshiku" part as something that's being abbreviated in the shorter form, you can think of it as adding additional emphasis--"please do be so kind as to...".
RafaelCaetano: After nigiri.
joh?: What is the proper response?
Bob Myers: Just say onegai shimasu back.
nodog: Is there a Korean or Chinese equivalent to this?
EdChi?: The chinese version that is somewhat equivalent is: "qǐng duōduō zhǐjiāo" ("请多多指教") ("Please instruct me.")
Kainey?: Korean equivalent is '한수 잘 부탁드립니다'(han-su jal bu-tak-de-lib-ni-da), its indirect translation being 'I ask for a good game', and directly, '한수' means 'a hand', '잘 부탁드립니다' means 'ask nicely', hence full sentence forming, '(I) ask nicely for a hand' (a hand in Korean also can mean 'a move' for Korean Go terminology)
IS?: "Yoroshiku" translates to "kindly". So the whole phrase means "Kindly do this favor."
sh: When I said "onegai shimasu" before a match, I got the response "Kochirakoso yoroshiku". By googling for this term I found out that it could be translated with "it's me who should say that". It is used when a weaker player replies to a stronger player who said "onegai shimasu". It is also possible to say "kochirakoso yoroshiku onegai shimasu"
In a game on DGS recently someone greeted me with "Onegaishimasu (may we act with honor)". Should I take it from this page that this translation is incorrect (it seems so, but I know Japanese can be layered with some multiple meanings)? If that is the case, is there some other go phrase in Japanese with this meaning? The phrase "may we act with honor" just sounds very... Japanese. And I think it's a very good embodiment of good attitude towards the game! -- Dickie
IS?: This is a good translation for the intent of the phrase, but not the literal translation.