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What is the best way to address a group of people younger than yourself, that is more emphatic about the age difference than みなさん?When I say address, I mean personally, not like "I wish those young people would stay off my lawn," but "Young people, welcome to the conference!"

Is 若者 an okay choice? Does your social closeness to the group affect which noun you would choose?

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"若者!" is not used to publicly address young people. It's possible to add the vocative particle よ and say "若者よ!" to address them, but this would sound very stiff, old-fashioned and grandiose, like war propaganda in the 1940's. You would probably end up making them laugh.

若いみなさん is a good phrase to refer to young people in front of you in a speech. It sounds polite and friendly at the same time. Still, using this to address them would not sound very natural unless you have a good reason to do so. The most common and safest choice is to say just みなさん.

  • 若いみなさんには、もっと新聞を読んで欲しいと思います。 : OK
  • 若いみなさん、もっと新聞を読みましょう! : OK if "young" is important in the context
  • 若いみなさん、カンファランスにようこそ! : A bit funny when 若い is used suddenly
  • みなさん、カンファランスにようこそ! : Always safe
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