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I am going to leave Japan soon and I need to say farewell to many people. One of the people I know is a little girl who is about 6 years old. She is very cute and very close to me during the time I stay here in Japan. Now, I want to write a letter to her to say goodbye as well as to tell her to be healthy, that I will remember her for a long time. I am really not sure how to write it properly in this case. Because I think I should use informal Japanese, just like a brother talking to his sister. I have learned Japanese for a while but mostly in formal and respectful forms like masu, desu.

Can you give me some guidelines for writing this letter? How should I express myself in the letter (boku, ore, watashi?), how should I mention her (anata, A-chan)? What useful phrases I can use here?

Thank you in advance!

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I think children of about six years old can't read kanji, so you should write the letter in hiragana.

If you are female(male), you should use ~のおねえさん(~のおにいさん) when you explain yourself. For example, if you are from the U.S, you can say アメリカのおねえさん(おにいさん). You can call her (first name)ちゃん. And you shouldn't use difficult words. If you draw some easy pictures in the letter, she may be pleased.

For example,

(First name)ちゃんへ

~のおねえちゃんは、じぶんのおうちにかえるね。~ちゃんとあそべてとてもたのしかったよ。またあそぼうね。げんきでね。バイバイ。

~のおねえさんより

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I think that you should feel free to write however you like or just the same way you spoke to her while you were with her. Children are used to being spoken to in plain form for the majority of their early childhood but I would need a native to clarify when they start using and understanding polite forms regularly.

To me, it would make sense to refer to yourself as 'boku' and use her name followed by '-chan'.

Some good phrases are "お元気でね" (Take care) and "Aちゃんのことをわすれないよ" (I won't forget about you).

(Basically any phrase ending in 'ne' or 'yo' works nicely when talking with children)

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