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When speaking to teachers, to boss works, to strangers and high status person we have to use the honorific language, like です and ます, 謙譲語 and 尊敬語. On the other hand, with friends and family members it's used a more colloquial language. So far so good.

But when we speak to ourself (note: to ourself, not of ourself), is the colloquial language acceptable? I give an example to better understand my question (this is my example, so it can be grammatical wrong, sorry for that!):

先生:ああ、田中くん、今日の宿題やった?
田中:(思わずに声だしてつぶやいた)あ、しまった。えっと、家に忘れました、先生。

It's natural?

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    Otherwise, would you expect the student to say しまいました?
    – aguijonazo
    Apr 23, 2023 at 7:40
  • @aguijonazo Well, to me it sounds natural, but i'm not japanese so i cannot tell if it's a properly sentence or not. Apr 23, 2023 at 16:57

1 Answer 1

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If you mean monologues (as seen in manga, anime, or stage plays), they are normally in informal language, even when the character is in front of their boss.

As an exception, some stereotypical お嬢様 and highly loyal servants speak in polite language even in monologues. When an お嬢様 speaks this way, it probably means that she was raised like royalty, not a commoner.

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  • I think he’s talking about real life. Like when you say something to yourself while talking to someone. Apr 24, 2023 at 15:06
  • Like @DariusJahandarie point out, i was talking about real life. Anime/manga sometimes use stereotypical characters, so i can expect they break the politeness' rules. Apr 24, 2023 at 19:40
  • Then it's hard for me to answer this kind of question. Although I may construct sentences in my brain as a rehearsal to write something or say something out loud, I don't create complete sentences in my brain just to say something to myself. Of course, it just doesn't make sense to use honorific words to myself.
    – naruto
    Apr 24, 2023 at 23:26
  • Hmm? I feel like it’s a common conversational mechanism in Japanese to switch politeness levels a bit when talking directly “at” someone (more polite) vs making more of an undirected or self-directed comment (less polite). For example, it’s much easier to say 「ない、か…」 (self-reflecting reaction) in a conversation with my coworker than 「これやった?」 (direct question, sounds too rude without keigo). OP’s question is whether this acceptable and in what situations is it acceptable (eg with your teacher)… Apr 25, 2023 at 23:29

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