What Does Matte Mean in Japanese?

Japanese Phrases

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

Related Articles:


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

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Abe, Namiko. "What Does Matte Mean in Japanese?" ThoughtCo, Jun. 18, 2017, thoughtco.com/matte-simple-japanese-phrases-2028395. Abe, Namiko. (2017, June 18). What Does Matte Mean in Japanese? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/matte-simple-japanese-phrases-2028395 Abe, Namiko. "What Does Matte Mean in Japanese?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/matte-simple-japanese-phrases-2028395 (accessed February 23, 2018).