Lesson 25 The problem with “problem”
If you want to ask others about their problems, you should try to avoid the mistake Jiro makes.
Alan: I’m feeling a bit sick. I might need to go home.
Jiro: Really? What’s your problem?
A non-native speaker might think there is no difference between “What’s your problem?” and “What’s the problem?” But although “What’s the problem?” simply means 問題は何ですか, “What’s your problem?” is much more aggressive. An approximate translation is お前は文句あるか. So if someone has a problem, ask “What’s the problem?” or “What problem are you having?” I hope you have no problems with this.