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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 ...


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).


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

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


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 ...


4

My experience has been very similar to what @Tsuyoshi Ito described. In one context, I am a student at a study group not associated with any school. Everyone always calls the teacher/expert/organizer Takase-sensei at all times. In my work as a teacher, it seems to be part of the local culture of each school. At one university all teachers called all other ...


4

The use of ~先生 is a bit wider. Usually it's adopted for doctors, teachers and professors, but can also be used for politicians, martial arts masters, etc. So, with anybody that has a knowledge superior to ours, or better, with anyone who has achieved a certain level of mastery or skills in a certain field or that are very popular; so, also movie directors, ...


4

If you're talking with someone you don't really know, you definitely want to add さん. If you add it for friends and family, it might upset them as it may make the two of you seem a little distant with one another. As to your age/respect thing, if you're below them, then just add さん. Like Matti said above, if you're just starting, you can't really go wrong ...


4

I would only use a persons name without suffixing さん if I knew them very well and they were at the same social standing (in whatever given context) as me. In fact, scratch that, it would feel wierd not using -さん in any given situation unless it was referring to family.


3

Basically, you can use all honorifics with nicknames. Of course, it is unlikely that you call Robert "ボビー*様*" (except as joke or if it's part of the nickname), but if you meet a guy and he says "My name is Daisuke, but you can call me Dai!", you'll probably end calling him "ダイ君". And Tomoko will be "トモちゃん". And if you're not that close to the other ...


2

There really are no hard and fast rules with nicknames plus honorifics when actually speaking. Usually something will end up sticking even though it may be "wrong". For someone new to Japanese, go with -san (for older or business) and -chan (for younger or girlfriends) and then follow the lead of the Japanese people you are with. For example, one friend of ...


2

It is OK. Even though it mixes formal and informal, colleagues often call me ニコさん. ちゃん and くん is used with nicknames more often.


2

San, always a sign of respect, is used in a few other situations such as 象さん, the elephant, precisely the kind of animal you do not want to make angry :-)



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