= (I’ll have this cake now)
今日は、皆さん！Konnichiwa minasan! Hi, everyone!
Today’s lesson is about Japanese manners.
Japanese people say 「いただきます」(=Itadakimasu ) before they have meals at the table.
It means, “I will eat now!” “Dig in!” or “Let’s eat!”.
Many Japanese people say that automatically without thinking but
「頂きます」（＝ Itadakimasu ）is a polite form of
「もらいます 」（=moraimasu) “to receive“
「食べます」（=tabemasu) “to eat“
It is originally meant to show your appreciation to life, nature, a person who cooks a meal, serves the food or makes money to feed you, etc.
You put both of your hands in front of your chest or put them on your laps and say「いただきます」“Itadakimasu.”
People with good manners do that every meal when they eat with their family or when they are invited to other people’s houses as well.
Also it is customary for children to say “itadakimasu” all together before eating lunch at school. 給食係 (=kyuushoku gakari), a student who is in charge for lunch says
(=te wo awasete kudasai”)
“Put your hands together”.
And then all the kids say
together out loud.
When you finish your meal, you should say
=Gochisou sama (deshita)
Thank you for the delicious meal!
By saying that, you show your appreciation again to the person who serves, cooks, or provides the food.
The original meaning of ごちそう＝御馳走 ＝gochisou is
御馳走 gochisou = a feast, nice meal, good food, etc.
=Kyou wa gochisou dayo!
= It’s a nice meal today!
=Konya wa ude wo furutte gochisou shimasu.
I will do my best to cook a nice meal tonight.
=Sugoi gochisou desu ne.)
What a feast! / It looks great!
(Said as a compliment to a person who serves or cooks a nice meal for you.)
If someone treats you or invites you for a meal at their house, you should say
御馳走様（＋でした）(=gochisou sama (＋deshita)）
“Thank you for the nice meal!” after the meal.
= Kinou wa gochisou sama deshita.
Thank you for the meal yesterday.
(→This can be used when you are invited to someone’s family or when you are taken out to eat.)
Also when you treat someone you can also use this word.
The verb is 「御馳走する」 (=gochisou suru), and when someone treats you, the action will be passive, 「御馳走になる」（=gochisou ni naru)
Ex. 今夜は私が御馳走します。 Konya wa watashi ga gochisou shimasu.
It’s my treat tonight!
= Kono aida Suzuki san ni gochisou ni narimashita.
= Suzuki-san treated me the other day.
今度、誰か御馳走してね。Kondo dareka gochisou shite ne.
Somebody treat me next time! ;)