What Does Matte Mean in Japanese?

Woman is late for a train and trying to catch it

 freemixer / E+ / Getty Images

Wait is a word we often yell to catch someone who might be leaving a room or building, or if we are running to catch a bus or train.

The way you say "wait" in Japanese is Matte.

The more formal form of the word is "Chotto matte kudasai."

Chotto means "a small amount/degree," and kudasai means "please."

This phrase can be used in many different ways where it's appropriate to say "wait a moment." For example, a shop keeper speaking to a customer in a more relaxed tone.
A much more formal way to say "wait a moment" is Shou-shou o-machi kudasai.

Pronunciation of Matte:

Listen to the audio file for "Matte."

Japanese Characters for Matte


More Request/Command Words and Phrases:

  • Previous phrase
  • Next phrase
  • Request/Command Archive


"Japanese (language): What does 'chotto matte' mean and how is it used?" Quora, September 2015.