I have a series of useful phrases from Jukuu, that assist learners in developing conversations and learning new word/phrases. Which of these would be more appropriate for talking to a stranger? Would I choose a different phrase for a doctor or for a family member? If other phrases are more appropriate please let me know.


Will you speak a little more slowly?

I am sorry, sir. Can you repeat that more slowly, please?

I'm sorry, can you repeat that.

A: Can you repeat that, please?

Sorry, I don't understand.

EDIT: To clarify this question. Please note that I am looking for the situation where one would use one phrase rather than another.

Examples might be:

Use phrase x when talking to family members (etc.)

  • Well, I think the translation are quite close to their literal meaning, so use them depend on the situation. The first 4 generally express your interest in continuing the conversation, but the last one may not.
    – nhahtdh
    Aug 31, 2014 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Both five sentences above will be used under talking with strangers rather than people who you actually know. These are very polite expression and are in most case inter-changeable. However, it will be odd to talk to someone who you have already known with that level of politeness. It might work for Professor(s) / leader(s). Talking with friends or family will use more colloquial expression like

"稍微慢一点" "等一下,你说得太快了"

  • When talking to somebody very close, you could even just say "Huh!?" or 你很趕嗎!?(Are you in a rush!?)
    – Pikachu620
    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:00

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