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Questions tagged [formality]

Formal versus informal usage. In Japanese this can include, among other things, different endings and even entirely different words.

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84 views

Combining multiple verbs

I work in a hotel and I was asking a coworker if we are permitted to drink the coffee in a certain location near the desk. I am trying to be formal with this request. I asked "Are we allowed to take ...
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3answers
151 views

Question about switching formality in a conversation

In case I am talking with someone using the informal form but we are not close friends yet (perhaps a close acquaintance or someone I'm chatting with online) and I want to ask him a personal question (...
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1answer
83 views

Generic Japanese greeting new people?

The most commonly cited one is Konnichiwa, but knowing that is time specific, can it be used generically in all hours of the day as a "hello" instead of a specific "good afternoon"? Ohayou and ...
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1answer
62 views

Using を with verbs?

I was studying on certain phrases NOT to say in Japan (in particular, not using を before 何{なに}) and then examples were given using/not using を. This confused me, especially before a verb. These were ...
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1answer
111 views

Which code would someone use to their colleague at work?

Ms Saitō is now talking to her colleague Ms Shirai. She tells her that Mr Abe is currently eating lunch with the company president. Which of the following codes would Ms Saitō use? a. Sonkei-go (...
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1answer
69 views

Formality and usage of といった

I've just learnt that AといったB means "B such as A". I was wondering how this differed in formality/usage/popularity from AなどのB.
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1answer
100 views

Prohibition in Japanese depending on level of formality

I have learnt two variants for prohibition: -ちゃだめ -ではいけません depending on the level of formality… But does an intermediate form of -じゃいけない or -ではいけない exist as well?
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1answer
145 views

How is this unnecessarily informal?

I was reading this particular answer, when I found something interesting and confusing to me. The answer stated: If one had to insert a particle in [会社{かいしゃ}など230の会社] that made sense, that ...
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1answer
78 views

How do you translate “Bavarian Bierkeller” into natural Japanese rendition? (and more)

Here is what I think the translation of Bavarian Bierkeller: 1.Bavarian => Bayerische (German) = Of or relating to or characteristic of Bavaria or its people. バイエルン (translated from German - ...
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1answer
90 views

Formal way of expressing something (like a job) done for someone

I'm looking for a formal way (as in a CV) to express something done for a particular client, for example: (I've) developed websites for Clients X and Y The only form that comes to mind is ~のために, but ...
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1answer
87 views

Formal, feminine first-person pronoun

よろしくお願いします。 I am writing a scene (in English, with occasional Japanese for flavor and difficult-to-translate terms) where a rather androgynous woman is in a Tokyo department store, speaking with a ...
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1answer
177 views

Formality when talking to ex girlfriend

I am a 32 year old American male. I dated a Japanese female from Kobe for three years. She is now 35 years old, married with a baby. I met her in Kobe, where I lived as well. We haven't spoken in ...
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1answer
116 views

V + n-janai vs -ne vs -n-desu-ne

What's the difference between these 3 forms of a verb: 1) 勝てるんじゃない 2) 勝てるね 3) 勝てるんですね ?
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2answers
102 views

Is there a contracted/casual form of でないと?

でないと as in the conditional phrase. 例:これをやれ。でないと殺す。 例えば、じゃないと? Never heard of it though. If there is no such thing then is でないと even considered formal in the first place or just neutral if it doesn't ...
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1answer
140 views

Japanese concepts of formality and politeness (with a close passage)

Here is a test passage I came across that made me suspect that my perceptions of formality and politeness were wrong. In this passage, we are required to select the options we think are correct (...
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1answer
150 views

What is the meaning of 拝承致します?

According to the site RomanjiDesu: 拝承 means hearing; understanding; learning; being informed Another definition from goo辞書: 聞くこと、承知することをへりくだっていう語。謹んで承ること。「お申し越しの御趣旨拝承いたしました」 The latter ...
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3answers
342 views

How formal is 唯一?

If I wanted to say "She is his only friend" I could say 「彼女だけ(が)彼の友達だ」or 「彼は彼女しか友達がいない」right? What about 「彼女が彼の唯一の友達だ」? How common would that be?
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1answer
301 views

Usage of beginning and end expressions in formal letters - include names?

I am new to writing formal letters in Japanese, and I am currently writing to a kind person who will be very understanding if I make small mistakes, but I would like to get as much right as possible. ...
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1answer
164 views

「私は日本語会話を分かってみますからTwitchに日本のゲーマーズをみます。」

I wanted to write a short biography on my twitch account which I'm going to use to get used to spoken Japanese, but I am a beginner so I had to write this sentence with my Japanese grammar handbook ...
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2answers
3k views

When is it rude to call someone by their given name? [duplicate]

Would it be considered rude to suddenly start calling someone by their given name, like, should you ask permission to do so first? if you don't ask permission, and this someone only wishes to be ...
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3answers
4k views

“Please let me know if you have any questions” in japanese

I'm trying to send a report to my superior, and want to say "please let me know if you have any questions" about this report. The only form that I can think of is "何か質問があれば言ってください". But I am sure it ...
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2answers
249 views

In what circumstances is it appropriate to use the word 連中

From the contexts in which I have heard it used, and also according to jisho.org, the word 連中{れんちゅう} appears to be a fairly informal word, on par with the use of the word "lot" in British English as a ...
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2answers
718 views

Use of お in the beginning of these question phrases

Studying Japanese in a book, I saw this dialogue: A: お名前は? B: ペドロです A: お国は? B: スペインです From what I know, the お works as an honorific of respect, then, it is used only in formal phrases. But these ...
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1answer
960 views

How to say that a proposed date/time is OK without sounding condescending?

In a very formal context, how to answer properly when an unknown person who is hugely higher than you in the hierarchy (a recruiter, an N+3, an official, etc.) invites you to some unexpected event/...
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2answers
115 views

In a speech, should です/ます be used, or である form?

I am writing a speech, and it is a speech presentation. I was wondering if I should be using です/ます form, or である form which is used in formal essays? Thanks
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2answers
662 views

Farewell letter in Japanese to a little sister

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 ...
5
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2answers
112 views

今(temporal counter) vs. 本(temporal counter)

Aside from levels of formality, is there a difference in the meaning/nuance of 今日・今週・今月・今年 as opposed to 本日・本週・本月・本年 ?
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1answer
199 views

Casual way to enter a home?

As far as I know, おはいりください might be used to invite someone in when they are visiting your home. I was wondering if this would be used by friends who have visited each other's houses a few times before....
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1answer
150 views

formality of ちゃう・じゃう

Is it sometimes considered politer or more formal to say ちゃう・じゃう as opposed to してしまう? Does it give a more positive nuance than してしまう? An example: One time I was going to be late to a dinner date and ...
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1answer
141 views

Use of personal pronouns when talking to different “ranked” people. (In the same conversation)

First time posting here. I have a question that have been bothering me for quite a while. I wonder how to use the personal pronouns (僕/俺 & お前/きみ/あなた) in a conversation with different "ranked" ...
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2answers
170 views

Which is more formal/polite: 大いに or ずいぶん?

I know とても is not very formal, but what about ずいぶん and 大いに? Are ずいぶん and 大いに interchangeable, and if so, which is more formal?
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1answer
166 views

How to introduce oneself in relation to ones husband?

I know there are a few ways to essentially say "wife" (妻、家内、女房). Can they be used by a speaker to refer to themselves? Examples I thought of: (私はAの)妻/家内/女房です。 妻/家内/女房の○○です。 I have a feeling ...
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1answer
636 views

How to introduce myself in relation to my wife?

I know there are a few ways to essentially say "husband" (夫、旦那、主人). Can all be used by a speaker to refer to themselves? Examples I thought of: (私はAの)旦那/夫/主人です。 旦那/夫/主人の○○です。 I have a ...
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1answer
161 views

Ending letters with ~~よりご多幸を祈って

This phrase showed up in one my phrase books with the translation of "Best Wishes" but I'm curious if it can be used to sign off letters and emails with the same casual politeness that the phrase ...
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2answers
197 views

Omitting を in writing

I came across the sentence その子は指で十数えました in writing, and I was under the impression that, in written Japanese particles are not omitted. I can see that that sentence means, "That child counted to ten ...
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3answers
2k views

Should I use the formal form (~ます) on the buttons of an app?

I'm an iOS app developer who's learning Japanese. I want to localize my app to Japanese (make a Japanese version of it, basically). For context, my app falls into the "Utilities" category on the app ...
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5answers
1k views

When does omission of です constitute casual speech?

In many textbooks, polite style speech is taught, which means です and ます endings are introduced, and used in many sentences. However, I have encountered sentences with omissions, for example sentences ...
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2answers
193 views

When to use おなかすいた and when to use はらへった?

From what I understand from listening to anime, both mean I'm hungry. But when do I use them properly? Is one more formal/polite than the other? Or is neither of them polite/formal enough? In ...
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1answer
136 views

Sentences can be joined using te-form. What about in plain form?

As far as I know, くて and で can be used in conjunction with te-form to join multiple sentences in Japanese. But can the same thing be done in plain form? I get the opinion that it can from my Year ...
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2answers
80 views

How do I ask someone to limit the scope of their questions? [closed]

I am required to represent my university with an introductory speech to our Japanese Exchange students. I would like to express at one point that my Japanese, though I may appear to speak it well in ...
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2answers
707 views

What is the difference between formal and polite verb forms?

In the answer to this question I asked (When to use である vs であります?), sazarando responded by saying that "である" is formal but not polite, and "です" is polite but not formal. I sort of understand the ...
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1answer
760 views

When to use である vs であります?

I understand that である is the "written" form of だ/です. Because it's a "written" form, doesn't that already imply a certain level of formality? So when would one use であります as opposed to just である? If you ...
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2answers
646 views

when to use formal and informal conjugations?

wakatta and wakarimashita are used sometimes in anime. I understand one is informal and the other is formal past tense. When do you have to use the informal and when to use the formal tenses of the ...
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0answers
78 views

Is there a politeness change when replacing です with (っ)す? [duplicate]

I've heard in video games and TV shows some male speakers using す or っす in place of です. For example, instead of "本はどこですか" they say "本はどこすか". Does dropping the で make the sentence any less polite? ...
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3answers
550 views

Difference between onyomi words and kunyomi words

I think the more I read up on complicated topics the more I encounter onyomi words that have kunyomi synonyms. For example: 新しいvs新規 最新 終わりvs終了 危ないvs危険 Is the rule generally that onyomi words are ...
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3answers
318 views

How to politely inform other people of acceptable alternative ways of addressing you?

Being a foreigner often comes with having a name/surname that doesn't quite roll off the tongue in Japanese. So for example if my name/surname is "ABCDEFG", I'd like to say (after introductions) "...
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2answers
404 views

Is *domo arigato* considered formal?

Is domo arigato considered formal? Context: Buying something at a store, thanking a waiter, etc
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1answer
387 views

The difference between するには and する為には

The one answer I have really found says there is no semantic difference. Is there a formality difference? Is する為には more formal than するには?
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1answer
801 views

全く vs 全然 (formal / casual)

What is the difference between 全く vs 全然? Is there a preference between using 全く or 全然 in essay writing? Is this true: 全部 (zenbu) all [casual] 全て (subete) all [formal] 全然〜ない (zenzen nai) ...
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1answer
414 views

How do you replace 「お悔やみ」 in condolences to a Japanese Christian?

In Yosh's answer to the question What are the ways to express someone's condolences?, this link states that Buddhist terms should not be used in expressing condolences to a Christian in Japanese: ...