Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to know if these pronouns are used in real situations. I saw them come up in some video games and wonder if people really use them.

  • 我{わ}が輩{はい} - I've read that this an old usage word but I've seen it in Mario games said by bowser.

  • 方{かた} - I once saw this in an RPG and the commentator said it was a more polite form of 達{たち}.

I also want to know how I would sound if I used one of these (rude, feminine, old, young, etc.)

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Neither of those are common-use pronouns, but for different reasons - one isn't common-use, the other isn't a pronoun. I'll explain.

我が輩 is a relatively unusual first-person pronoun. It is used in exactly two contexts:

  • When a male speaker wants to sound stuck-up and self-important - almost always in fiction, and often with noticeably more literary speech than is normal for conversations
  • When someone is making a reference to 「我が輩は猫である」, the first line of a very famous Natsume Souseki short story (though the line is arguably more famous than the story as a whole)

No speaker outside of fiction would ever unironically use 我が輩, though it may show up in jokes.

As for 方, it's not a pronoun, but rather a pluraliser suffix (read がた thanks to rendaku). It is, as you say, a more formal version of 達, and it's used primarily to show deference to the people whose noun it's attached to. It's most commonly heard in set phrases like 先生方, but it can be attached to anything as the situation demands. Still, outside of set phrases, you're most likely to hear 方 used in situations where the people whose noun it's attached to are of high enough status to require verbs like なさる - it's not too much of an everyday word.

share|improve this answer
    
Someone should point out that the suffix is がた rather than かた. –  snailboat Aug 28 at 14:04
    
Edited to reflect that, thank you @snailboat. I always forget to mention rendaku - I'm so used to it that I barely even think of かた and がた as different things. –  Sjiveru Aug 28 at 15:50

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.