() marks all the personal English pronouns (I) used in writing this post
So let’s say a friend asked me in English about what (I) find the most challenging about Japanese and (I) want to explain to them:
Japanese is hard because, (you) are often not sure on 100% what (they) are talking about, unless (you) understand the context.
*Could someone please translate this bit for me into natural Japanese?
Notice how (I) used the pronouns. (I) used “you” to make it objective (not to refer to the friend) and “they” to refer to the Japanese native speakers.
I could have also perfectly said “I am often not sure” and “unless I understand”, but it would feel too personal, and sometimes (you) do not want to speak like this. (here again (I) would naturally opt for “you” to make it less direct for example).
I could have also said “one does not understand”, but sometimes that feels too wordy.
These are actually fundamental principles on which many Western languages are based. This explicitness expressed by pronouns. In japanese (you) can leave it blank, but how can (I) be sure on 100%, it won’t be understood by others as “I”, as if (I) was talking about myself, but actually I was not?
So, how does this actually work in Japanese, a non-indo-European language? What are some common ways of generalizing statements? This “you” is just one of the many (I) regularly use in English actually.