Languages › Japanese What Does Matte Mean in Japanese? Share Flipboard Email Print freemixer / E+ / Getty Images Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated October 07, 2019 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 待って。（まって。） More Request/Command Words and Phrases: Previous phraseNext phraseRequest/Command Archive Source "Japanese (language): What does 'chotto matte' mean and how is it used?" Quora, September 2015.