丁寧表現(待遇表現). 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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3
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3answers
181 views

て-form and other conjugations of 謙譲語

In my limited exposure to 尊敬語【そんけいご】 and 謙譲語【けんじょうご】, I feel like I've only really seen them used in their normal -ます forms and never in て form or conjugated such as a -たい form. Are honorific and ...
9
votes
3answers
19k views

Address someone by their first name, or their last name?

When addressing John Doe, would you say "John-さん", or "Doe-さん"? Does it depend on how polite or formal you're being? Does it also depend on whether the person is a nihonjin, a kankokujin (who have ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Noun + da kara desu — why are da and desu mixed? why not both “da” or both “desu”?

In this sentence: Neko da kara desu. Because it's a cat. Why are the "da" and "desu" used at the same time? Logically, it should've been: Neko desu kara desu. Or in a casual conversation ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Asking 'how much'?

Which of these is a more appropriate/polite way of asking how much something costs without specifying the object? (I'm working at a very low level, so please be straightforward - no kanji, please ...
1
vote
0answers
403 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Addressing other members of the same great familly when everyone shares the same surname

Hypothetical situation, let's say we have a great familly meeting, where everyone have the same surname but some members of the familly see each other for the first time. Of course, introductions are ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Past negative tense じゃなかったでした

We can use じゃなかったです for past tense, but can we replace the です with でした so that it becomes じゃなかったでした? Why or why not?
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What is the difference between ている and ています?

For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences? 私はメアリーとトムに会った事実を知っている。 私はメアリーとトムに会った事実を知っています。
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Appropriateness of using ~たい in a polite setting: “Have you always wanted to be a teacher” in Japanese

I wanted to ask this question to my Japanese instructor, but I understand that in Japanese, it is inappropriate to use 〜たい to 目上の人 So how would I phrase this question in a polite way? よろしくお願いいたします。
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How impolite is it to call a waitress お姉{ねえ}さん?

Were I in a situation where I want to get the attention of a waitress in a noisy restaurant, I kind of feel like calling-out: "お姉{ねえ}さん、すみませんが、ビールもう一本お願いできますか?". I think that I've seen this done in a ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

Does 私の名前はXYZです sound natural?

Consider the following sentence: [私]{わたし}の[名前]{なまえ}はライノーです。 watashi-no namae-wa rhino desu. Would a native speaker use this form, as opposed to ”[私]{わたし}はライノーです” or ”[名前]{なまえ}ライノーです”? An ...
7
votes
2answers
188 views

Use of non-polite form between Japanese companies

I'm reading the novel 下町ロケット now and one part that really surprised me is when several of the members from one company speak to members of the other company without using 敬語 (for example "やめた方がいいよ”). ...
15
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
678 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
1k 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
128 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
152 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
229 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
189 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
89 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?
34
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
160 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
204 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
183 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
462 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
145 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
125 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?
4
votes
1answer
155 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
735 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
189 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
192 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
838 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
152 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
557 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
187 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
186 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
193 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
141 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
197 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
585 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?
38
votes
5answers
36k 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
356 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
73 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
106 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
2k 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
268 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
159 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" ...