丁寧さ. From social politeness ("please", "thank you", etc) to the technical Japanese grammatical concepts of honorifics and respectful and humble forms known as "keigo".

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15
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2answers
333 views

What's the difference in usage between 氏名 (しめい) and 名前 (なまえ)?

What's the difference in usage between 氏名 (しめい) and 名前 (なまえ)? I often see these two words used interchangeably, but more often than not I see 氏名 on websites. Is this a politeness difference or an ...
9
votes
2answers
628 views

Addressing children in Japanese

Apologies for the very vague question. I'm unsure of how I'm supposed to address and talk to children - I imagine it varies a little depending on the social situation, and in general I should avoid ...
7
votes
2answers
996 views

Is it ok to use ~て下さりました instead of ~ていただきました?

Just to avoid repeatedly saying いただきました too much, can I occasionally switch it with 下さりました or 下さいました?
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Politely giving a reason for coming to the office late

How does one tell his manager that he is late because of a traffic jam? Is it okay to say: すみません、交通渋滞できから遅きます。
5
votes
3answers
124 views

How to politely inform other people of acceptable alternative ways of addressing you?

Being a foreigner often comes with having a name/surname that doesn't quite roll off the tongue in Japanese. So for example if my name/surname is "ABCDEFG", I'd like to say (after introductions) ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

Using 尊敬語・謙譲語 but not 丁寧語 on the same target

I was reading this passage from 下町ロケット (pp 15-16): {{pad}}「申し訳ないなあ、忙しいときに来てもらって。というのも、今日は折り入ってお願いがあってねえ」 徳田{とくだ}は、トレードマークの鷲鼻を指でさすりながら、佃{つくだ}にソファを勧めた。新しい会計年度がはじまって間もない、四月第三週のことである。 ...
9
votes
1answer
161 views

恐れ入ります correct “thank you” to use after customers make a purchase?

Is 恐れ入ります the correct form of "thank you" when used during a business transaction (for example, a sales person would say this when someone makes a purchase at his/her store)? In the context of an ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます

I have to write a letter to my future Japanese host family. It's in English, but I want to end it in Japanese. Should I use よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます or even どうぞよろしくおねがいします?
33
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it proper to thank waitstaff, cashiers, etc. for their service?

In my Japanese class we were taught that one does not need to thank a cashier when they check you out or a server when they bring you your meal, but I always feel awkward remaining silent. Was my ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

How do Japanese call their friend's sister or brother?

Do you still call them as NeeChan/ NiiChan or OneeSan/ OniiSan? Or just their name?
15
votes
1answer
190 views

Correct form of address for a bartender, or itamae

What is the right way to address the bartender? Or the person preparing sushi? On a recent visit I heard マスター used to address a bartender, and I already know that 大将 is one way to address the sushi ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

How to say “I don't know you well”

I'm trying to tell someone the reason I don't want to do something is because i barely know them. I'm not even sure if the verb I'm suppose to be using is 知る。I feel that might be really rude to say to ...
6
votes
1answer
451 views

Am I understanding ご覧になって頂く/送らせて頂く correctly?

Just for a little bit of context: There's a flyer about a Japanese church's beach retreat that's been sent around, and I'm trying to translate it for practice. That being said, the flyer has been ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Writing a birthday letter to a friend

Okay here is my dilemma, I am going to a write to a Japanese friend a birthday letter but I don't know how should I construct it; I've tried to search around the net and I found both formal and ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Is お needed before 誕生日おめでとう?

お誕生日おめでとう vs 誕生日おめでとう What's the difference? And is it needed?
1
vote
0answers
386 views

How important is gendered language in reality? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

How translators translate polite Japanese conversation?

I am asking about translation of written conversations between two or more persons in Japanese language, that we can find in books, novels, manga, etc. As we know, in Japanese language there are ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

How to address and greet Japanese people in an english email [closed]

I am aware that in Japanese it is considered to be rude to address other people with just their first name, but I wonder if this is only true for communication in Japanese, of if this still holds true ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Why is the phrase ご連絡申しあげます linguistially correct?

I assume ご連絡申しあげます and ご連絡を申しあげます have the same meaning, but differ in style. I use them interchangeably below. This question is not about existence of を unless it was relevant to understanding the ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

What is it about ~まして?

Is it just the て-form of ます? So, could I just use 食べまして instead of 食べて? Leading to my next question (everything from here on is assumed): Since 食べまして is the polite form of 食べて, why wouldn't you use ...
5
votes
3answers
814 views

Is it rude to ask a Japanese person using keigo to speak less formally? How to do it politely? [closed]

This has mostly to do with me not understanding Keigo well, so when I enter restaurants or other service-based businesses, and they talk in Keigo to me, I hardly ever understand, which is why I always ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

How do you politely ask permission to deviate from received instructions?

After I agreed to proofread a professor's 論文, he instructed me to print out a hard copy and write edits on it in red, as well as send him the Word document back with my edits done on the original ...
5
votes
1answer
509 views

How do you politely and gratefully reply to an invitation to be published?

Is there a set phrase for politely replying to an invitation to have your academic paper published as a journal article? I presented a paper at a Japanese academic conference, and I've received an ...
8
votes
2answers
174 views

How to respond to ありがとう?

I get it that ありがとう means "thanks", is informal without the ございます added to it and so on. However, I do not know what I should say after someone thanked me. In English, you generally say something ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you politely apologize to a professor for unintentional rudeness?

I received an email from a new professor in my department asking for a native English speaker's check of his paper. Since no one had ever asked me to check their English before, whereas I had ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

もらう level of politeness

When describing もらう DBJG says "The first person or s.o. the speaker empathises with recieves some benefit from an action by someone whose status is not as high as the receiver's" It then goes on to ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

In Japanese, how do you say you will skip ahead past one section for time's sake while reading aloud to an audience?

How do you succinctly say that you are going to skip ahead past the next section or paragraph for time's sake and tell the audience which spot you are picking up again when reading a paper aloud at an ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

What to say when answering the phone

I'm often unsure what to say when answering the telephone when I am the customer; people usually say their name and then wait for me to say something before stating their business. I'm guessing there ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

What are the meanings of ました, ます, and ません?

What are the uses for ました, ます, and ません? For example with the word, ありがとう, what are the differences between ありがとうございました, ありがとうございます, and ありがとうございません? Also, is it possible to properly use どうも as a ...
5
votes
3answers
477 views

Saying “you're welcome” at the workplace

There are a few ways to say "You're welcome". Which is the best for somebody in the workplace (inside and outside the team and of about the same level as myself) どういたしまして いいえ いえいえ others?
36
votes
5answers
32k views

When to use ください (kudasai) or お願いします (onegaishimasu) in requests?

When asking for something I seem to hear sentences end in both ください (kudasai) and お願いします (onegaishimasu). Is there a difference and how do I know when to use which?
3
votes
2answers
295 views

Polite way to ask about something that I previously requested

Say I have the sentence below about papers I requested previously. (as I am reminding somebody that I haven't received something) 先日{せんじつ}に頼{たの}んだ書類{しょるい}ですが・・・ Is there any way to make a ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Is いけません used as an interjection like いけない?

Realizing you've left your money at home when you're out to buy something, (I think) you can say いけない!お金ない; could you, politely, say いけません!お金がありません? (I suppose, for that matter, my question could ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What to say at the cash register in the convenience store

I just came back from Japan, it is my first time, so I found myself in the situations, that I wasn't prepared for. At the convenience store I noticed natives tend not to say much to the staff at all, ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Thank you note to Japanese professor

I just finished an introductory Japanese class, and the class bought a small gift for the professor. I'm planning to drop the gift off at the professor's office, so I need to write a brief tag saying ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

(美化語)なさい - sound

The difference between (連用形)なさい and (美化語)なさい is rather clear; the first would only be used for social inferiors, and the second can be used for social superiors (it's also part of set expressions ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?

My Japanese professor (I'm in first-year Japanese) advised us to primarily avoid the use of second-person pronouns like あなた or 君 or おまえ throughout the year, and essentially treated their utterance as ...
7
votes
1answer
266 views

Is it OK to keep saying ありがとう

I was asking a Japanese person for some help and noticed that I kept saying ありがとうございます over and over as they helped me more. Culturally, is it OK to keep saying it multiple times in Japanese? Would it ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Polite/nice way to ask for a language exchange partner

日本の言語パートナーを探して。 Is what I currently came up with but I think it is much to direct. I want to express something like this: "I would be very pleased to find a Japanese language exchange partner" ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

僕 in 敬語 - is it possible?

With 丁寧語, it's very possible - 僕が行きます is a perfectly normal thing to say. But what of 僕が参ります? Would that sound odd? 私が参ります would be more normal, I think, but is 僕が参ります possible at all?
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Can using ある in place of いる be offensive?

Considering that ある is objectifying wouldn't it be offensive to use it in いる's place when talking about a person, or would it just be seen as a mistake?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the polite way to say, “move?”

My grandma always says, "そこ" when she wants someone to move, -usually she just says that to my mom or me- but I have heard that that translates more as a brusque, move than an, "excuse me". Would I ...
6
votes
1answer
675 views

How are twins addressed by their teacher at school?

If two twin brothers attended the same class, how would their teacher address each of them to indicate to whom they were speaking to, since they shared the same family name? Would one be seen as the ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

How does 「から」 work in regards to 「だから」 and 「ですから」?

I'm confused at how から works, and there's very little information on this subject. だから is used in front of a な adjective or noun. い adjectives simply use 「から」. Verbs can be in ます form, and only use ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Situational use of politeness

I am often confused on which level of politeness to use between people who are relatively close. For example, let say I am talking when a friend in Japanese and we use plain form. Although a close ...
9
votes
2answers
897 views

How to answer someone else's phone?

I am in a Japanese office setup sitting next to my boss. He often gets phone calls but most of the time he is not in his seat. How do I answer his phone say that "This is Mr. XX's seat and this is YY ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ask someone to do something for you

I'd like to know how to politely ask someone (as a question, not a statement) to do something for me in Japanese. I'm already aware of the basic "___をください" and "___をおねがいします" patterns, but I don't want ...
2
votes
2answers
376 views

くだけた日本語 towards people you dislike?

Is this used ONLY amongst family and close friends or can you use it when you're trying to be rude? For example if you use it on someone you don't like such as a stranger, could it be understood ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “kisama” more refined than “temee”?

From Wikipedia:  –§–  貴様 — formerly an extremely honorific form of address; in modern speech is as insulting as, but more refined than, "temee" 貴様 is often ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Adjective negation: difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません

What's the difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません? Both are added to an i-adjective (イ形容詞, verb type adjective) to make it negative. For example: 寒くない 寒くありません But what's the difference? Is one more ...