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Many people say that gendered language is especially important in Japanese. To a point, I can understand this, but only to a certain distance. For example, if I (Fe/male) were to say 'Wow, that show was impressive!', in a neutral pitch, it wouldn't sound queer if I were male of female. However, if I were to say 'Ooh, that show was fantastic!' (generally female sounding), or 'Damn, that show was fucking awesome, man.' (generally male sounding), it wouldn't be wrong, but to some it would sound quite strange.

I can understand this in Japanese too, but some stress it to a point I can't believe. For instance, for the most part, things in Japanese seen as 'masculine' (most common examples I've heard), are: 僕、俺、だ(copula)、か(interrogative); and ones seen as 'feminine' are: 私、あたし、です、〜ます、の (interrogative)、わ. Now, keep in mind, 私、です、〜ます、only apply in casual conversations and situations, and in polite ones, it is 'correct', and wouldn't be 'feminine'. Similarly, の as an interrogative, I hear isn't feminine in some situations as well, and わ is sometimes used by males, and in some dialects, it's not feminine at all. (correct me if I'm wrong).

Also, things seen as masculine, I hear females saying all the time, and at no sacrifice to their femininity. Although I have yet to hear a woman say 俺, there has been no shortage to the amount of women saying 僕、だ、か. Although more women are using 'masculine' language than men using 'feminine' language, it is still there.

I have heard that if you don't use the appropriate set, people will be confused, maybe upset. If you mix them, you may be seen as a transvestite or a hermaphrodite. Is this really true? Just how important is gendered language in Japanese?

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closed as not constructive by ssb, Dono, istrasci, nkjt, jkerian May 16 '13 at 14:22

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This 'question' meanders through several opinions, conjectures and sub-questions before eventually asking a subjective question. Some subjects here, if reformulated into a more concise format, would certainly be welcome as separate questions. Many of the more specific questions actually have been answered in other questions such as this question and its various duplicates, the feminine-speech and gender tags. –  jkerian May 16 '13 at 2:56
"Just how important is gendered language in Japanese?" -Very. –  yadokari May 16 '13 at 4:04
I'm afraid your examples are biased. Personally I never heard (in textbooks) that だ, か are masculine and です, ~ます are feminine. This, and the overall tone of your post, is more like flame-inviting than truth-seeking, to my eye. –  firtree May 16 '13 at 7:39
To be fair to the OP, sometimes very simplified statements are made about gendered language, when the reality is more complicated and involves interactions with location/dialect, situation, social class, age, etc. japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/97 and many of the answers are also relevant (just added the gender tag to it) –  nkjt May 16 '13 at 12:52
It is strange, but not rude or offensive (unless the speech is also rude or offensive). And even the degree of strangeness depends on context. Imagine a girl wearing jeans. It is totally okay in some situations but questionable in others. Just the same, saying 僕 is okay for a teenager girl playing fighting games in a game center, but looks strange for a housewife shopping for groceries. Though no one would be offended. (俺 is not only masculine, but also somewhat rude or arrogant.) Generally, it just adds a certain extra sense to speech, and it's up to you to decide if it is appropriate or not. –  firtree May 19 '13 at 9:03

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