5,849 reputation
11343
bio website kanjibox.net
location Kyoto
age 93
visits member for 3 years, 1 month
seen yesterday

Many years of living in Japan, none with formal Japanese-language classroom studying, mean I have:

  1. horrible grammar
  2. decent conversational level
  3. pretty good Sprachgefühl...

Gauge my contributions accordingly.


Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
@hippietrail: I say that's a slippery slope. As I pointed above, it's more about your age than your gender. But you can get away with teenage-ish slang a lot later in life as a girl than you can as a guy (sexist, female-infantilising society and all).
Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
+1 for the typical Kansai use of わ with two important caveat: 1) your sentence would have to be more or less 関西弁 to begin with, otherwise it will sound out of place. 2) the pronunciation of わ in 関西弁 is very different from your average 江戸おばさん (and that's where the text medium fails us, but I'd say if you haven't heard it pronounced by natives, you should stay away anyway).
Jun
13
comment What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?
As pointed out by @hippietrail, I don't think there are major pronunciation differences between sexes (and they would be vastly overshadowed by regional accents). From your description, it sounds like you meant to ask about "speech [patterns]"/"grammar"/"vocabulary" differences between male and female Japanese... And it's just too vast a topic to cover exhaustively in one question, I am afraid.
Jun
13
comment Is “ガール” (gāru) now considered a Japanese word? What about “ガールズ” (gāruzu)?
ギャル is most definitely associated with the specific trend skillfully described by YOU above and would never be used as a general synonym for "girl" or "gal". Don't think I have ever heard ガール[ズ] and only ever read it in contexts similar to what hippietrail describes, ie.: places that tend to use lots of random katakana English for fashion effect.
Jun
13
comment When is the katakana form of wo (ヲ) used?
As Kef and Amanda point out, manga like to use all-katakana to give a certain style. Tetsuka Osamu for example tends to make all his foreign characters speak in all-katakana to emphasise the fact they aren't actually Japanese (and are either speaking a foreign language that's translated for our convenience, or speak Japanese with a foreign accent). I also used to think ヲ was of no use... until I read one of those...
Jun
12
comment What is the real difference between the proper use of the words さむい and つめたい?
Conversely, they can also be あたたかい/あったかい ("warm")... Kansai people are stereotypically described as more あったかい than Tokyo people...
Jun
12
comment Is the word ハーフ derogatory?
Also of note: ハーフ does not always refer to mixed-ethnicity Japanese (NB: race is an inaccurate and not-all-that-PC word in that context): although the default is "kid of Japanese + non-Japanese parents", it can very well be used to refer to any children of mixed heritage (in which case the two nationalities are specified). This would be an argument toward seeing the word as "Half&Half" rather than "one half of a person"...
Jun
12
comment Use of 自分【じぶん】as a personal pronoun in direct speech
Thanks for this element of response: this is also my instinctive impression. I just wonder how far I can get away with 自分, as I have noticed I tend to use it in borderline situations where I am too lazy to pick between 僕 and 俺, or even sometimes 私 (even though situations with the latter tend to be a lot clearer).
Jun
12
comment is “超” (chō) seldom used in written works?
@Pacerier: as everyone else has pointed out (and I was joking about), the problem is that "written works" (even novels) can exist in any style. There are a whole bunch of contemporary Japanese novels written (afaik) in very colloquial Japanese. These do not make it any less colloquial. So your question makes more sense on a formal vs. colloquial scale (and the answer is: as colloquial as you can get without being outright rude ;-) [btw, did not get the notification for your comment]
Jun
12
comment When can I exchange くださる for いただく in expressions of gratitude?
I am afraid my grammar is way too weak for anything more than what's been said (that instinctively one puts the emphasis on 'receiving' and therefore the receiver as the subject, whereas the other puts it on 'giving' and makes the [higher ranked] giver the subject). I was just wondering if I was missing something beyond this straightforward difference :-)
Jun
12
comment Is the word ハーフ derogatory?
Same anecdotal evidence here: ハーフ definitely isn't derogatory in intent, in that I have heard it used by well-meaning people many times. It does have questionable implications (just like some object to the 外人 shortening of 外国人). Perhaps this recent movie might shed more light about how both Japanese society and ハーフ themselves feel about the word (haven't had a chance to see it yet, but heard good things).
Jun
12
comment Is the word ハーフ derogatory?
@Derek: I don't know what would be more offensive between the idea that only the Japanese half would count (ハーフ), and the assumption that the other half will always be American (日米人). ;-)
Jun
12
comment When can I exchange くださる for いただく in expressions of gratitude?
My way of thinking about it has always been to see いただく as the polite (but otherwise semantically identical) form of 貰う. In such a case, the difference in use between いただく/もらう and くださる becomes straightforward. Am I wrong with this?
Jun
12
comment What are the stereotypical characteristics of yakuza speech?
@Tsuyoshi: Arg! indeed, I made a typo... This is corrected now. Thanks for pointing it out!
Jun
12
comment is “超” (chō) seldom used in written works?
Pretty much depends on your definition of "written works", as I'm sure it is featured in every other page of any given issue of Egg Magazine ;-) Aside from that: I would never use it in any formal or semi-formal communication. In fact, even in speech, it tends to make you sound like a trashy teenage girl, so use with caution.
Jun
12
comment Difference between にかんして and について?
@Tsuyoshi: I see. Now this makes a lot more sense. Yes, I can access that page, but for some reason, SA doesn't otherwise display any mention (that I can see) that such an edit was proposed and refused, hence my confusion.
Jun
11
comment When is it appropriate to refer to yourself by これ?
wwwjdic lists the use of これ to mean "I/myself" as archaic. I don't think I have ever heard or seen it used in that way. Are you sure you are not thinking of こちら (which is a fairly common and conveniently neutral way to refer to yourself when talking to a stranger)?
Jun
11
comment Difference between にかんして and について?
@Tsuyoshi: I am a bit confused about your comment (especially since it is addressed to Rolf, not me)... but on the off chance you are referring to my edit above: the only reason I posted this update as a post edit and not as a comment is that, at the time, I still did not have enough reputation pts to comment (including on my own posts, which is a bit silly)
Jun
10
comment What are the stereotypical characteristics of yakuza speech?
Thanks... and thanks! Yes, that's me, but I'm here as a private civilian ;-)