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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-である form in written Japanese

I have a question about the following example sentence: これは日本の会社のだ(である)。だが、 タイで作られた。 From what I understand, である/だ and ます/です should not be mixed, and である is used in written language. However, is ...
Bronwyn Young's user avatar
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How do you say, "Sorry, we're closed for today."? [closed]

I am still studying Nihongo and I'm literally at the very basic part of characters but I had to say to a customer that our shop was closed for today, and I ended up embarrassing myself. Please help me ...
Hale's user avatar
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敬語 in Informal Situation

I have noticed reading manga/light novel and speaking with friends that, despite talking in informal way, sometimes they use 敬語 (like ますand です) for one or two sentences, then switch back to informal ...
Jacopo Ziroli's user avatar
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Why is "お前" and "あたし" used in Spirited Away?

I was watching the animated film by Hayao Miyazaki named "Spirited Away" in Japanese (I'm still a beginner) and I noticed that Yubaba and Zeniba use "お前" as second person singular. ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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Is there any usage of である outside the literary works?

I have heard であります being used in TED talks, as use of である i have heard it in Kotaro but that also in a comical way as Kotaro talks like his favourite Samurai character. Is there any dialect that still ...
Japanese Learner's user avatar
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Motokano S01E01: Addressing / referring your step-parents as 1st name-san vs aunt / uncle

1st episode of new anime adaptation of light novel series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex aka Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta: Widow Mineaki, father of male protagonist Mizuto, has recently ...
BCLC's user avatar
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When are less syllables or words MORE formal / LESS casual? Eg Goodbye: じゃあね vs just じゃあ

That Japanese Man Yuta seems to say じゃあね (jaa ne) is actually LESS formal / MORE casual compared to じゃあ. Btw, is the n supposed to be in red too? What's up with that MORE syllables are actually LESS ...
BCLC's user avatar
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Formality of: おXなされてくださりませ

What nuance would be given by this pattern, example: お助けなされてくださりませ Please help me
Japanese Learner's user avatar
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2 answers
167 views

Calling someone お兄さん or お姉さん in the street; is it irrespectful?

So... i been seeing a lot of cases in anime or real life japanese that pepole use 「お兄さん」or 「お姉さん」(depending on gender) to ask something to someone that you don't know. Is this direspectful or ...
ティアゴ's user avatar
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〜と考えている at the end of a sentence

An example sentence from NHK Easy (source) 政府は、日本に住む人みんなにマイナンバーカードを作って、健康保険証の登録をしてもらいたいと考えています。 Reading NHK Easy, I frequently see sentences ending in 〜と考えています when it's clear that it's not meant to ...
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Omitting the する after a する verb in formal writing

In reading several Japanese websites detailing how to write a Japanese resume, I ran across a pattern I found curious. There would be a sentence ending in a する verb used as a verb (i.e. with particles ...
stopped-clock's user avatar
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Difference between using -san and -shi

I was at an event with high ranking Japanese personal, heads of a martial arts organisation. People were asking for signatures on event passes, which had their name written on it. As part of the ...
JapaneseBeginner1970's user avatar
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Usage of 次第 with informal language (やる)

I encountered the following multiple-choice question on page 29 (question 10) of my JLPT N2 grammar textbook 「新完全マスター文法 日本語能力試験N2」: 佐藤君、今やっている作業が(   )、山口君の方を手伝ってやってくれ。 1 終われば       2 終わった上で 3 終わり次第   ...
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What do Japanese people think if I only use formal forms when speaking Japanese?

This is my question: What do Japanese people think if I only use formal forms when speaking Japanese?
Historia en Mapas's user avatar
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Is つつ for formal or literary use only -- or not?

I've found multiple sources instructing to use the つつ particle after the -masu stem of a verb only in formal or literary contexts. However, I sometimes find what appear to me to be contradictory ...
vaer-k's user avatar
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つもり vs Simple Future

Several resources I've looked over define つもり as (often) being used to say "I intend to ~", such as this example sentence from Genki I: 週末にたけしさんとテニスをするつもりです。 "I intend to play tennis ...
frog's user avatar
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How often is 略字 (handwriting simplification) used?

Is 略字 (handwriting simplification) used only in informal writing (like a diary or post-it annotations) or is it used in more formal situations (like teacher/professor blackboard writing or an essay)?
Yasushiki's user avatar
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1 answer
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Confusion on the politeness vs. formality terminology

I was reading the "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" series, and I found the way it uses the term formality vs. politeness contradictory and confusing, so I wanted some clarifications. Here ...
what the's user avatar
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Do Japanese people use formal or informal language for internal monologues?

I assume informal. Are there any cases when you would use formal, perhaps to be sarcastic? And general, is informal or formal language used more in life (I mean for the average person - is it around ...
user71207's user avatar
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Is the に time particle optional when talk about repeated action?

I have already learned about に time particle (in short: determines the action time if the time expression isn't relative). But I saw some text where dropped when used the まいとし, まいつき、まいにち etc. For ...
ZeroProcess's user avatar
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What translator is best for learning how to say a phrase or sentence in modern, conversational Japanese? [closed]

Edit: I'd like to clarify that I'm asking: Given a phrase or sentence that pops into my head in English, how can I find out how to say that in conversational Japanese? Sorry about the confusion. I ...
Andrew Cheong's user avatar
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What instances would you use someone's full name?

I've run into this a couple times and was always curious. In what instances might you call someone by both their surname and given name? Ex. In a conversation, person B, refers to person A (named ...
Galo Sengen box's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
487 views

What's the proper form (formal or informal) to use when speaking to others online?

I should preface this by saying that I'm myself fairly young (a teenager) and I speak primarily to other young people. While I may not know their exact age, it's safe to assume they are either ...
Catherine Palmer's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
132 views

What level of formality is used in companies and web pages?

I'm new here, and I'm full of doubts... (sorry) Today I want to ask about how should I address people that work in a company in a webpage? I was recently hired at a consultancy agency to translate ...
nfdiego's user avatar
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10 votes
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How would you refer to a married couple if you were familiar with both prior to marriage?

If you had two close seniors or friends that you referred to by last name got married how would you address them? Would you refer to one as their given name, call them both by the shared last name, or ...
maggie's user avatar
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How to contact again someone who did not reply to my previous mail?

It's a little bit awkward but I would like to know how I could contact again someone who didn't reply yet to my email ? It's been almost 2 month since I sent some questions in Japanese to a Tokyo ...
Piau's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
239 views

What are simple "No" responses?

I've learned from textbooks and online sites like Duolingo that "no" is いいえ, but I've rarely heard native speakers say that. I learned さあ today as sort of an "I don't know" response. I saw a ...
Strawberry's user avatar
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How do you ask someone to '' please yobisute ''?

I just learned about the concept of yobisute. If someone calls me John San , and I want them to drop the honorific and just call me John how should I say this ? Would it be just ''Yobisute kudasai'' ...
Kantura's user avatar
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Which is more polite, ではまた or じゃまた?

Context: The terms are used when leaving chat sessions. Some people type deha/wamata and others, jya/jaomata. Which one is more polite?
Jack Bosma's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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Information about っちょ noun suffix

I recently encountered the suffix っちょ after a noun in a manga. According to Jisho, it is a suffix used after a noun or the root of an adjective and which means "person who is/thing that is". Since it ...
Marco's user avatar
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そっち or そちら What is the difference? [duplicate]

そっち or そちら? The terms are used frequently in chat situations. I know that the terms mean there/you. Is one term preferred over the other?
Jack Bosma's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Ask for a facility visit to another Japanese company

I'm in the process of asking another company if they would be so kind to let us visit their facility. Some kind of tour of the company. They already accepted us going there, but we would like to ask ...
ABC's user avatar
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Do people only end sentences with ように after the -ます form?

Someone left a comment on the answer to this ending sentences with ように question saying that it only works with the -ます form. I tried looking up (どうか)~ように。sentences and all the ones I found were in ...
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explanation verbs form 座る 座って 座り

Hi may I ask for explanation of the following, I read here form verb 座る (sit) and polite form 掛ける for form Please sit down there is this forms 座る -> 座れ (very rude) -> 座って (better form) -> 座ってください (...
user34609's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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Politeness / Respectfulness / Humility / Formality

The wikipedia article "Honorific speech in Japanese" states that Japanese has grammatical functions to express several different emotions. Not only politeness but also respectfulness, humility and ...
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Why and when do Japanese speakers switch between formal and informal language among friends? [duplicate]

So I’ve read and noticed that Japanese speakers regularly switch from using だ to です and using both plain and 〜ます forms very frequently throughout a conversation even with friends. Why is there such a ...
jacoballens's user avatar
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What's the ultra-polite way to invite someone to do something?

While reading What's the polite way to invite someone to do something?, I noticed that many of the comments/answers talk about how things are polite enough for an online chat service. Well, I'm ...
Ringil's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is honorific speech ever used in the first person?

I'm just starting out learning Japanese, and I've read that when using honorific and humble forms and conjugations, you use humble forms to refer to yourself, and honorific forms to refer to others, ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
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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 ...
Angus Campbell's user avatar
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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 (...
Ofek Aman's user avatar
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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 ...
shoryuu's user avatar
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2 votes
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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 ...
ヤラユギ's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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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.
user3856370's user avatar
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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?
Pregunto's user avatar
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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 ...
ajsmart's user avatar
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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 - ...
Flonne's user avatar
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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 ...
R. Kazeno's user avatar
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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 ...
Tualha's user avatar
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How common is こちらこそ used? Is it considered very formal?

If i meet a friend's friend and he/she says よろしくお願いします, would people usually say こちらこそ? I saw this in the NHK japanese lesson page and was wondering if this is considered very formal and weird if i ...
Darren Chow's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
291 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 ...
Eoin's user avatar
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