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When is it appropriate to put さ at the end of a sentence? Do women say this also? I think I remember seeing a female character say it in an anime.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

In standard Japanese, ending with a さ is a colloquial way to make a statement more playfully assertive. After a Hanshin victory over the Tokyo Giants, a Hanshin fan might say:




To preserve the tone, I might translate the first version as a flat statement of opinion, as in:

Well, Hanshin is the stronger team.

while the second version might be more of a playful burn, like

Well, Hanshin is the stronger team: fact!

It's not rude, but it is assertive, and colloquial, so I wouldn't use it with a superior. It's gender-neutral. If it seems to be employed slightly more by Japanese men than by Japanese women, that's just true of assertiveness in general.

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It should be noted this is a feature of the Kanto regional dialect. People in Yamagata or Kansai don't really use it さ〜 – crunchyt Jul 13 '11 at 23:45
@crunchyt: Hmm, are you sure? I've only heard it used from speakers (in life and works of fiction) who had been speaking standard Japanese. Or did you mean "Kanto dialect" in the general sense, as including the Tokyo dialect/standard Japanese? – SuperElectric Jul 14 '11 at 0:07
Yeah i mean it in the sense of 標準語 (ひょうじゅんご), I should've been clearer :) – crunchyt Jul 15 '11 at 11:06
−1: You should use Chunichi instead of Hanshin. (I’m kidding) – Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 15 '11 at 18:11

さ can be used by both males and females. Though my dictionary says mainly masculine and used for assertion.

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Plus the dialects change the usage of this sound a lot. Ie, in Osaka, children and young people use it at the end of the sentence as a crutch or speech style. So what we hear can be either standard or dialect. – Gerard Sexton Jul 13 '11 at 6:53

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