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Questions tagged [honorifics]

Affixes, particles and conjugations applied to words to mark respect.

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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, ...
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What is the meaning of ご in どうかご in the following sentence? [closed]

If it helps at all with the context, I'm going to put down the sentence that comes before the dialogue. The silver-haired man is now listening to the other character's reply, the start of which I am ...
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1answer
71 views

Is the お used at the start of the sentence a honorific お?

Is the お used at the start of the following dialogue a honorific お? [お得意の洗脳か]
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1answer
89 views

How to decide between ている and てます

ています is the polite form of ている. On the other hand, てます is the casual and colloquial form of ています. The plain form 「ている」is also used in casual situation. How to know if it is better to use ている or てます?
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Family questions

When I speak with my mother I must say "haha", when I talk about other people's mother, I must say "okaasan", but what about when I talk about my mother to other people? There is nothing about that ...
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Honorific suffix 御 as in 甥御 and 姪御?

Just learned that the honorific equivalents of nephew and niece in Japanese are: 甥御 and 姪御, which raise the question: How come 御 functions as a suffix instead of a prefix which is the case we usually ...
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244 views

Is there a kanji for “-san”?

All other titles, used when addressing someone, have a kanji character. Is there a kanji for -san?
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272 views

Use of でいらっしゃる and でござる

I found a chart listing the plain, polite, honorific, and humble forms of verbs. The chart listed だ →です→でいらっしゃる→でござる with the note “animate only.” I know that だ and です can be used for inanimate ...
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114 views

Adding honorific prefix in a compound construction? (E.g. 買ってくれになる)

I'm currently learning how to use くれる/あげる correctly, and I want to practice using 敬語 in my sentence. However, I am not sure where I should put the pre-verb honorific prefix お used in おVERB+になります as I ...
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2answers
347 views

San, sama and other honorifics in translated literature

I have always been told that centuries of Japanese literature had been successfully translated without keeping "san" or "chan" suffixes. Is it an unbreakable rule or are there famous examples of such ...
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Standard phrases to use in presentation speech

I'm going to speak a short foreword in a conference attended by Japanese guests, so I'm looking for standard phrases (as usually there are) to connect the sentences. I tried to translate them ...
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お祖父さん and 祖父さん: is there a difference?

Probably a stupid question, but I would like to clear up any doubts... For a native speaker, is there a difference between the word お祖父さん and the word 祖父さん? The first one, simply, is more honorific?
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What does it mean when someone uses -kun after a person's name?

I have heard in many Anime they use then ending -kun. I'm interested on knowing since I can get more of the feeling of how the person feels about the other.
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1answer
312 views

Can さん or 君 be used on animals?

In Mikan Enikki, the protagonist cat was referred to as ネコさん when his name was not known (e.g. Kikuko Kusanagi called him as such when she didn't know his name), and as みかん君 when someone else talked ...
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1answer
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Do all verbs have an honorific and humble form?

I was reading about this phenomenon in a few places and saw, for instance, this table of transformations and substitutions for various verbs. Is it only these common verbs which change, or do all ...
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2answers
427 views

Appropriate Honorifics for Fan Letter

I wrote a fan letter to Japanese actors that I admire. It was compulsory to write his name on the envelope, so I just simply put Xさん However, I later noticed that everyone seems to address him as ...
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2answers
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Meaning of ごきけんになるわけだ

The narrator explains his way of talking to adults, and then: するとそのおとなは、自分と同じように趣味のいい人間と知り合えたと感じて、ごきけんになるわけだ.... And that adult feels that he has been able to get to know a person with good ...
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1answer
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Historically, how would a military lord and his direct subordinate address each other? [closed]

I am currently writing a short story, for a text prompt demanding I set my plot among medieval Japan's nobility, but I am unfamiliar with older honorifics. The main dialogue takes place between a ...
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2answers
448 views

Quotation marks around name without honorific: invitation to 呼び捨て?

Last week I began corresponding with a Japanese penpal. I initially addressed her with 丁寧語, but she responded using 尊敬語/謙譲語 so I began responding that way as well. We've been addressing each other ...
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1answer
86 views

If I were named San, and somebody wanted to write out my name with the san honorific, what would it look like? [closed]

A fiend of mine wants to name a plant San-san, but written correctly.
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1answer
138 views

How to refer to a famous writer? (-さん?-先生?)

I was trying to write something about Osamu Dazai, I know that for mangakas we use 先生, but usually celebrities' names are mentioned without any honorifics.
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Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns?

Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns? I was thinking of sentence structures and wondering if o could be placed in front of all nouns. Thank you.
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Is the honorific postfix -氏{し} usually used towards men?

Is using the honorific postfix -氏{し} usaged biased towards men or is it equally appropriate to be used for women as well? Building from this excellent answer about honorifics: What does 氏 mean after ...
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4answers
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Is 最愛の神さん the proper way to write “Dear God?”

Say, you're writing a love letter to God. Is this the right thing to write on the envelope? 最愛の神さん (I'm writing a short story featuring that theme.) EDIT: Maybe this 親愛なる神へ is better grammar?
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The humble (謙譲語) prefix 愚 when used to refer to own family members

I read about kenjougo (here and here) and understood that it is a type of honorific speech used to lower your rank below the person you are speaking to when you describe the actions of yourself or ...
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1answer
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What is this archaic female honorific form called, and what relationship does it describe?

I stumbled upon this way of referring to women that was apparently used in pre-war Japan。I can't remember where I found it, or what was said about it's name or purpose, just that it went something ...
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1answer
335 views

What should I say when a senior colleague is leaving before me?

When leaving before a senior colleague does, people say お先に失礼します, and the senior employee responds お疲れ様でした or ご苦労様でした. お疲れ様でした is also usually said when a colleague of the same seniority is leaving. ...
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2answers
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Using 「~さん」 when referring to both oneself and others: precedence?

In this question ("When shouldn't I use 「〜さん」when referring to a third person?"), the consensus seems to be that one should avoid referring to one's own boss, coworker, etc. in an elevating manner by ...
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3answers
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When shouldn't I use 「〜さん」when referring to a third person?

In In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?, the accepted answer says: You can either refer to a person by the name like 山田, which is not (particularly) polite, or ...
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2answers
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How would one refer to someone else's lover in 尊敬語?

I've searched the internet, but can't really find anything. My first thoughts were お恋人 and お付き合いの方, but the first doesn't seem very common, and the latter seems to have a different meaning.
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1answer
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神 compared to 神様

When the Abrahamic God is referred to in Japanese, 神様 is very common, but on occasion I simply see 神 on its own. This even applies when they are clearly speaking reverentially, using words such as 御心{...
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222 views

Can the honorific お be used with a person's name?

I have seen the honorific used in front of nouns and was wondering if it can be used in front of a person's name. Thank you.
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1answer
115 views

Adding さん to places [duplicate]

i have recently come across text which adds さん to places. For example, bookstore is ほんやさん. Is this normal, and in what context?
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1answer
2k views

How to address a family?

I am sending a gift to a Japanese family (friends of ours). Rather than address the gift to one individual I want to address it to the entire family. How do I write The Tanaka Family in Japanese?...
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2answers
943 views

Honorific and humble forms of suru verbs

This question is about suru-verbs, verbs made from a noun and the verb suru (for ex: 鼓 + する). I am familiar with the potential form of suru being 出来る, then suru-verbs potential become Xしえる or Xしうる or ...
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The politeness level of 辞書形(ある/する) in replacement of ます form

こんにちは! I'm just a beginner in Japanese (started my Japanese self-study from this March) but now I'm working in a Japanese company in Tokyo. Since most people in my company can't really speak English, ...
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2answers
435 views

Under what Japanese honorific should manga/anime fans address manga-ka/anime directors?

I speculate that there might be some sort of spectrum of the honorifics to use for manga-ka/anime directors. For example, I think one might be able to get away with addressing younger, and more, for ...
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725 views

What is the difference between chan and san and sempai?

What is the difference between chan and san and sempai?
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1answer
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-たん (-tan) suffix (honorific) meaning?

Came across the honorific -たん in Re:Zero (episode 4, 6 minutes in): You saved me, didn't you, Emilia-tan? Does anyone know what it means? The protagonist who said it clearly likes the female lead ...
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1answer
332 views

What is お in お元気ですか?

Sorry if this is a very basic question, but I'm trying to understand everything in my first lesson (online, Rocket Japanese). I don't understand what the purpose of お is in the phrase お元気ですか, which ...
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How rude is it to speak to a Japanese stranger informally instead of using the polite form?

Are there any native Japanese here that could tell me how rude it is to speak informally to Japanese people I have never met instead of using the polite form? I'm assuming it's more rude the older the ...
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In this sentence, is changing “迎える” to “迎えられる” for a potential or honorific reason?

Here is part of a document that I am reading: 本日は、世界最高の大学のひとつで卒業式を迎えられる皆さんとご一緒できて、とても光栄です。 "everyone who is able to be attending" or "everyone who is attending" as an honorific ?
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194 views

When in doubt between -chan and -kun what to choose?

I want to call one of my friend, who is not Japanese, by adding -chan or -kun to his name. The friend is a student of Japanese as myself from the same group. A male, not homosexual. I think he's about ...
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1answer
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Why is “さん” used as a suffix for these people's CVs / profiles?

Please look at the profile for any of these interpreters: http://www.hicareer.jp/inter/ In the プロフィール section, underneath the photos, their names are written, and "さん" is added to the end of each name....
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3answers
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て-form and other conjugations of 謙譲語

In my limited exposure to 尊敬語【そんけいご】 and 謙譲語【けんじょうご】, I feel like I've only really seen them used in their normal -ます forms and never in て form or conjugated such as a -たい form. Are honorific and ...
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2answers
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Desire form verbs (~たい), is there a polite form?

I was just curious if there is a way to make the ~たい form polite? for example 戦いたい - Want to fight I was thinking possibly using the honorific form instead of the masu form might be acceptable? ...
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158 views

What is the function of “o”?

Why do people have to add "o" to "namae" like "Onamae wa?"
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2answers
1k views

けっこんしていらっしゃいますか or けっこんなさっていますか

I was doing an exercise in which you are supposed to change questions into honorific expressions (Genki II second ed, pg. 175 Ex. C.9.) when I stumbled upon a question which had an answer that seems ...
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1answer
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How to say “Do you want to know?” in Japanese 尊敬語?

In 尊敬語、we use 「ご存じですか。」to say "Do you know?". Now, how do we say for asking 「知りたいでしょうか。」or "Do you want to know?" in Japanese 尊敬語?
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Should I repeat -san to refer to someone whos name ends in san?

My friend's name is Allisan, how can I make it clear that her name is オーリサン and the honorific 'san' is not included and furthermore how can she introduce herself without sounding like a smug to ...