I started learning Japanese Keigo and there is something that is really confusing me. Assume I am talking to my supervisor so I will talk about myself using 謙譲語 and address him with 尊敬語.

Then what is the case that I am neither talking about my self nor about my supervisor what should I use? for example I am telling him that japan has a rare cultural. how would I address a third party?

1 Answer 1


尊敬語 and 謙譲語 are both unnecessary when you talk about inanimate things like Japanese culture, your friends of equal status, etc. Just use the plain versions of verbs. For example, even when you talk with someone far higher than you, you can simply say 友達が言いました, instead of [×]友達がおっしゃいました (using 尊敬語) or [×]友達がもうしあげました (using 謙譲語). Likewise you should say 日本は珍しい文化を有しています instead of [×]日本は珍しい文化をお有しになっています.

That said, whenever you talk with your superior, you should stick to 丁寧語 (polite speech, e.g., using です/ます).

  • oh that cleared a lot thank you for the detailed explanation Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 22:44

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