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18

Chris です。 さん is never used (except jokingly perhaps) to refer to oneself. The same goes for other common endings such as くん, ちゃん, さま, 先輩 and 先生. That's because these endings usually convey a kind of relation: for instance, さま conveys respect, くん and ちゃん convey some endearment and while さん conveys very little meaning, it does convey separation. You ...


15

You may use it in emails, especially when you contacting to another company or another department which you never contact before. 関係者各位殿 To whom it may concerned 〇〇社〇〇殿 To (someone) in company   (部署名)殿 To (Department name) Note: I personally don't use it, because I feel that its extreme polite, but when I search mailing list in my company, I ...


14

"-さん" is an honorific suffix added to give respect. It can be used either with males and females, and also with given names and family names, not to your own name, though. It can be even used attached to the name of the occupation and titles. It's ok to use it with people that you are familiar with, but it's kind of mandatory when you are talking to ...


14

ただいま is definitely not the right word for this situation. It is exclusively used when arriving home (typically, when you step inside the house). Sometimes, by extension, it can be used when coming back from a trip and stepping into the airport or the train station of your destination, talking to your loved ones waiting for you (or perhaps over the phone). ...


12

かしこまりました is by far the most formal, and is a humble form (謙遜語). It says that you are inferior to the listener. Most specifically this should be used to interface with customers (hence why wait staff at a restaurant may say it). 承知しました is polite (〜します), but not humble. It is also appropriate to use with customers or superiors. 了解です is also polite in ...


11

As you suspect and Nathan writes, softening the nuance may be one factor, but there is another factor. Without o-, the underlying form is te-araw-, which ends with a verb stem araw (later, the epenthetic vowel i is inserted, and wi changes to i , which is not crucial). Even though a verb stem can be used as a noun, it is often not stable as a noun. Addition ...


10

It's used quite normally. My business emails, spam mail, post from the bank or government are all normally addressed to David 様, or whatever exact name they happen to know me by. The same goes for more informal communication using 〜さん or other less honorable honorifics. A certain client of mine is addressing me as DAVID SAN in emails. Non-roman, non-Japanese ...


10

Also, while さん is right for almost all cases, [先]{せん}[生]{せい} should be used for: Doctors, lawyers, politicians, professors, of course teachers, or anyone else that's (a) a direct mentor or (b) has some serious professional qualifications (ala a professor).


10

I don't know of any dictionary or reference book, but since 御 is most often written as お or ご, as appropriate, you could check the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese (BCCWJ, 少納言, http://www.kotonoha.gr.jp/shonagon) as the proper way of "doing Google counting". For 忙しい and 自分 the numbers are お忙しい 217 results ご忙しい 0 results お自分 8 ...


9

Totally unrelated. 山 さん [mountain] is a Chinese word "shān" assimilated in Japanese. さん as a honorific suffix is an old さま undergone some phonetical change. There are many homophones in Japanese besides that.


9

Since honorifics generally apply when you are interacting directly with that person, they usually aren't used for people that have died (Maybe spiritual mediums do something different because they are supposedly 'interacting directly' with the deceased, but I don't know). Think of great people from Japanese history: 織田信長(おだのぶなが) 徳川家康(とくがわいえやす) ...


9

“Are they used?” and “Are they acceptable?” are different questions. The regular forms such as お借りします and お食べになります are used, but they are less formal than the irregular forms such as 拝借します and 召し上がります. Whether the less formal expressions are acceptable or not depends on how formally you want to speak. By the way, you are confusing grammatical terms ...


9

お…になる sounds more respectful than …れる to me. In particular, when used to ask for the listener to do something in speech (for example at a restaurant), こちらでお待ちになってください is fine, but こちらで待たれてください sounds impolite (not respectful enough) to me. I do not know whether this difference is counted as “just the tone” or not.


8

I just want to add one point to other nice answers: 了解です is not a proper polite form for this meaning. The proper polite form is 了解しました. Saying 了解です instead of 了解しました is acceptable and many young people use it but decreases the formality level. It shows an attempt to be polite, but at least if it is used by an educated native speaker of Japanese, it may ...


8

It sounds like you are looking for the vocative case particle in Japanese. Taken from wikipedia's article on vocative case: In archaic Japanese, or when written as verse, a particle よ and や may be affixed. 少年よ、大志を抱け (Boys, be ambitious, quote by William S. Clark) 神よ、汝の誉れはその御名のごとく (O God, Thy praise is according to Thine name, from ...


8

As others said already, ただいま is just wrong in this situation: you're not announcing people around you in your house/lab/office that you're back, but just saluting someone who basically knows nothing about you and doesn't share any private space with you. Appropriate greetings for this kind of encounter with your neighbourhood range from こんにちは to いい天気ですね. I ...


8

Most generally: Words of Chinese (On-yomi) origin take ご Words of Japanese (Kun-yomi) origin take お If I recall correctly, there are also a very few chinese-origin words which take お as they are very commonly used, but I can't think of any of these off the top of my head. Edit: One such example is お電話.


7

If you talk to a teacher, it is always appropriate to use -先生. If you are a student and talk to a teacher, you should always use -先生, even outside the school. If you are a teacher and talk to a fellow teacher, depending on the relation (you are a boss or the other teacher is a boss, you are younger or older etc.), it may be also acceptable to address the ...


7

お馬鹿さん isn't "idiot"; it is softer, more like "silly". Also note the -san suffix. If a little boy named Daisuke is looking for his cap, while actually wearing it, you could say, 今日、大ちゃんは ちょっと お馬鹿さんになってきた、ね! 灯台もと暗し This is soft compared to something abrupt like おまえが馬鹿だよ! There is a need in language to have a soft way to say "silly". This is not to say that ...


7

The general guideline is to use さん whenever you're unsure. As a learner, you cannot really go wrong with it.


7

様 is more respectful than 殿. The reason Ammy gets it wrong is because 殿 used to be more respectful in the past, but it has changed overtime and 様 has become more respectful. Nowadays, 殿 is used as a fixed expression in some circles. Many companies use it in their e-mails when referring to a coworker, but I would use 様 instead if I were referring to someone ...


6

かしこまる/承知する are used mostly for answering requests from superiours (bosses, clients, etc.). Like, "Yes, I understand what you're asking me to do (and I'll do it)." 分かる just implies you mentally understand. 了解 is not formal as far as I know, and I hear it quite often. I learned it to mean almost like "Roger!" or "copy that".


6

In language, a process is said to be productive if it can produce new words (or phrases, etc.). For example, in English, you can add un- to lots of words, so we say that un- affixation is a productive process. And in Japanese, affixing go- and o- to words is relatively productive. But when a word can no longer be formed via a productive process in the ...


6

As you probably have already guessed, there is no hard rule about how many times you can use お and ご prefixes in a sentence. We often avoid using too many honorifics, and it is true that there is a general tendency to use honorifics in the final verbs. However, we sometimes use honorifics also in other places. This is different from 二重敬語. For example, ...


5

You can use 先生 to anyone who teaches anything in Japan. In traditional sports or arts, Japanese use [師匠]{ししょう}.


5

It's fine for ski instructors and pretty much anyone else who teaches you something. Using it as an honorific after the name is a little more formal than just using 先生 by itself. But it conveys your respect and appreciation for the fact that they are imparting their knowledge to you. I think it's possible someone might correct you and say that just さん is ...


5

I've heard that rice (when cooked and not being used in a curry) has the honorific ご in ごはん because it is an essential item, i.e. something you can't live without. Perhaps the same is true of water. Ice, on the other hand, is not an essential, and presumably wouldn't have had enough time in the language to get any honorific prefix anyway. Edit: I probably ...


5

Just conjecturing but based on: tendency for longer expressions to sound more polite みず is two morae こおり is three morae こおり is "one mora more polite" than みず. お in おみず makes it three and so it compensates for being short and abrupt. Also it could just be a rather simple reason being that in isolation, おみず has a higher occurrence than みず and こおり has a ...


5

If you're talking to somebody who is not an extremely good friend, use さん, but if you're about to start a fight with someone, you should drop the さん. If you're a foreigner and are on good terms with someone, you can often use their first name without さん, but using their family name like that will sound rude and abrasive. If you need to attract someone's ...


5

I can only speak to my personal experience, but my Japanese coworkers usually refer to us as [English First Name]さん (like Michael さん), even though we sometimes sign our emails in Katakana. Perhaps it's because the Katakana isn't always exact (in fact, some names sound completely different in Katakana because the syllables don't exist in Japanese). By using ...



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