“You’re Welcome” or “Not a Problem”

I am a member of “Generation X”, meaning that I was born in the late 1960’s after the World War II “Baby Boomers”; during my schooling in Latin America I was taught that to answer “not a problem” was impolite and that “you’re welcome” was the better response. Today, that is not necessarily the case; in fact, to answer “not a problem” is the preferred way of answering for “Millennials”, the generation born after the early 1980’s through the early 2000’s.

As a linguist, I can only add that if I have to choose one way over the other, I will always choose “you’re welcome” if the text is polite, the register is high and the target audience is educated and born before 1970.  I might choose to use “not a problem” if the audience is younger, or it is an informal reply in a blog.

Sometimes in translation there is not a single right or wrong answer, it all depends on your target audience and whether we want the language to look and feel either “old fashioned” or “avant garde”.

If you are looking to translate something and need some help, please contact us at info@a-zworld.ca or visit us at www.a-zworld.ca.

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