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My girlfriend (who is American) and I attend a gathering of people who like anime called Anime Banzai in Layton, Utah. She introduced me to it two years ago where we began dating. I'm about to propose to her and all her friends will be there.  I want to propose to her in Japanese, but in my research, I've found there isn't a direct approach to the actual words "Will you marry me?"

What I've found are old phrases like, "Will you cook my dinners for the rest of my life?" and, "We should rest in the same grave."

The first seems too chauvinistic to me, and the latter a bit macabre, but she LOVES an anime called "Death Note" and we will be cosplaying L and Light from that cartoon when I ask her.  So, I've found Google translate and it doesn't seem to be giving me the best translations for, "We should rest in the same grave." or any other variation of that.

The best I've been able to come up with is, "Anata wa watashi to onaji haka de neru nodarou ka?" or, "Anata wa watashi to onaji haka ni nemeru nodeshou ka?" which both translate out as, "Will you sleep in the same grave with me?" But I'm not sure which is better or if they are even accurate.

When I speak both into the translation app on my phone, it says I'm speaking Japanese and it comes back with the English words I'm wanting: "Will you sleep in the same grave with me?" So, I think I'm pronouncing it correctly.

If you can help me please, I'd appreciate it. I have two weeks to get it right.  How do you properly say, "Will you sleep in the same grave with me?" in Japanese? And is there a shorter way of saying it?

Answer
Hello Thomas,
For this I had to ask my wife, because I could actually find the contemporary translation, the one that is used nowadays; kekkonshite kudasai. It means 'Marry me', literally. The 'me' part is left out. In full it would be ''watashi to kekkonshite kudasai'.
The tanslations you found are the old fashioned way. I wonder where you found those. Japanese women these day would not appreciate these words; theyndon't want to promise to cook for you, and they don't have the money and space for an actual grave. That is something from a long time ago. If you would use them, please use 'haite' ('enter' or 'be in') instead of 'neru'. Sleeping is a nit strange, maybe a bit 'gothic'. ;)
What you could also do is find more romantic words and tanslate those. Words like 'would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?' those are words that would be appreciated by a Japanese girl in this age too. I'm sure you can do it, given that you found the right tools for translation and also pronunciation.
This might prove the smart thing to do if you would have the proposal recorded and years later find out that all you said was a simple 'Marry me' if someone tries to translate ack to Engilsh what you said in Japanese. :)
Ganbatte!

Regards,
Philip.

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Philip Lafeber

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Are you doing business with the Japanese? Do you wonder how to approach them, what to do and what not to do? I am happy to provide some advice.

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I have worked for a Japanese company for 6 years and taught myself how to work with the Japanese and also some of the Japanese language. Also, my wife is Japanese, which is why I have also learnt about Japanese in private life.

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