Questions tagged [politeness]

丁寧表現(待遇表現). From social politeness ("please", "thank you", etc) to the technical Japanese grammatical concepts of honorifics and respectful and humble forms known as "keigo".

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374 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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Difference between くださって and いただいて and when you should use it

I'm having trouble using these two to my higher ups. Which is more polite?
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How to address and greet Japanese people in an english email [closed]

I am aware that in Japanese it is considered to be rude to address other people with just their first name, but I wonder if this is only true for communication in Japanese, of if this still holds true ...
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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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509 views

Polite speech and うち よそ

I can't understand the difference between うち and よそ. I learned that they are used in polite speech, for example: ╔════════╦═════════╦═════════════╗ ║ ║ うち ║ よそ ║ ╠════════╬═════════╬...
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Asking for autograph politely

I am a big fan of badminton, especially the Japanese players like Kento Momota-san, and in a few months they will come to my country, and I would like to get some of them to sign their autograph in my ...
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538 views

What particles and what verb forms to use when attached to もらう or くれる

I was speaking with a friend and at one point in making plans said something like: 田中さんに連絡されてもらった後で… but was corrected to: 連絡してもらった後で. I understand how the particles and such work with the もらう ...
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465 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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How do you politely and gratefully reply to an invitation to be published?

Is there a set phrase for politely replying to an invitation to have your academic paper published as a journal article? I presented a paper at a Japanese academic conference, and I've received an ...
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Dropping ーさん when referring to someone humbly with 謙譲語

Why aren't we referring to Yamada as Yamada-san in the following sentences taken from the answer to a recent question (which took them from site at: http://www.e-hoki.com/column/current/68.html) ...
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950 views

Polite/nice way to ask for a language exchange partner

日本の言語パートナーを探して。 Is what I currently came up with but I think it is much to direct. I want to express something like this: "I would be very pleased to find a Japanese language exchange partner" (...
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Situational use of politeness

I am often confused on which level of politeness to use between people who are relatively close. For example, let say I am talking when a friend in Japanese and we use plain form. Although a close ...
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248 views

Is お父さん appropriate for formal writing?

As I understand it お父さん is the usual way to refer to someone else's father in everyday speech. What about when you are writing a formal discussion (for an academic audience) of an interview you had ...
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689 views

How translators translate polite Japanese conversation?

I am asking about translation of written conversations between two or more persons in Japanese language, that we can find in books, novels, manga, etc. As we know, in Japanese language there are ...
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Is こんばんは too formal for everyday conversation?

When giving a talk on Japanese, How to talk like a ge1sha, I made a terrible mistake: I invited someone who knew something about the language along. The only times he heckled me was when he reckoned ...
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Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
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Thank you note to Japanese professor

I just finished an introductory Japanese class, and the class bought a small gift for the professor. I'm planning to drop the gift off at the professor's office, so I need to write a brief tag saying ...
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Usage and meaning of とのことです

I see this often in business emails, I guess it is not very important in terms of meaning but I couldn't find any post on stackexchange about it. What does とのことです add to a sentence? Here is the ...
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「いただきます」 to accept to a food offer?

In this JLPT N3 audio practice question (#3), the correct reply to the statement is 3. コーヒー、もう一杯いかがですか。 けっこうだと思います。 おかげさまで。 いただきます。 If the question translates as "How about another cup of ...
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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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When speaking with client, how to say “I will tell my coworker”

I have found this in a phone usage manual (電話対応マニュアル) written by a Japanese person: かしこまりました。必ず田中に申し伝えます。それでは失礼いたします。 (speaking to customer over the phone) Understood. I will tell Tanaka (my ...
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Do only shop staff use 当店, or could I use it too to say 'here'?

I heard it in the context of a shop staff saying it in anime, but it got me thinking about the different ways I might say 'here' in a sentence like 'Do you serve vegetarian meals here?' ここは。。。 こちらは。。...
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What does でござんしょうな mean in 馬車はいつ出るのでござんしょうな

馬車はいつ出るのでござんしょうな Does this sentence mean "When will the horse cart come out?" But what does でござんしょうな mean here? Should this be broken down into three parts as で + ござんしょう + な? I know ございます means ...
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What is the proper way to write a professional email to a business?

I'm not sure how I would write a professional email to a business in Japanese. For example, if I wanted to start out with "Hello," I wouldn't say こんにちは, would I? I know there are polite ways of saying ...
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What are the meanings of ました, ます, and ません?

What are the uses for ました, ます, and ません? For example with the word, ありがとう, what are the differences between ありがとうございました, ありがとうございます, and ありがとうございません? Also, is it possible to properly use どうも as a ...
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The use of passive voice to describe the Emperor's activities

The Imperial Palace gardens were opened to the public recently to celebrate the Emperor's 80th birthday. Can someone confirm the use of the passive voice in the following sentence on the subject in ...
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Why お寺 but 神社 (not ご神社)?

Why the difference between Buddhist temples, お寺, and Shinto shrines, 神社? (The latter does not take ご神社, お神社 or 御神社.)
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やる in interviews and other polite contexts

日本語 この前、就職の面接で、この質問が頭に浮かんできました。普段しゃべるとき、私はよく「やる」とやるの活用を使っていますが、面接では「やる」より「する」や「します」の方が丁寧だと感じます。たまに「する」が使えませんが、その場合、「やる」を使ってもいいですか。そうでない場合、何と言うべきですか。 ちなみに、先に Differences in usage between する and やる ...
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Do story/literature need to be written politely?

Vary quick question. But i have vary little in the way of available Japanese reading material in the form of stories, but i thought it might be fun to try translating one of my short-stories into ...
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Dialogue and politeness level in 風の又三郎

I have two questions regarding the style of the classic story 風の又三郎 by 宮沢賢治. (Full text available on 青空文庫) 1) Most of the characters use a dialect which I believe is 岩手弁, which comes from the author'...
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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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963 views

Imperative form is rude…?

So I've been digging around some more and found this image from a PDF here. Basically, it said that the Imperative form (such as 見ろ{みろ} or 飛べ{とべ}) is usually considered ruder than the ~て form (such ...
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What to say when answering the phone

I'm often unsure what to say when answering the telephone when I am the customer; people usually say their name and then wait for me to say something before stating their business. I'm guessing there ...
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How would I respectfully disagree with a peer?

This is probably related to How would I respectfully disagree with a superior? however the context is a tech forum where the thread starter is asking for someone technically advanced to help, and the ...
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List of suppletive honorific and humble forms

Is there a reference that lists words whose honorific and/or humble forms are suppletive? For nouns, I am supposing that 父親, 父, and お父さん are different forms of a single noun differing only with ...
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もらう level of politeness

When describing もらう DBJG says "The first person or s.o. the speaker empathises with recieves some benefit from an action by someone whose status is not as high as the receiver's" It then goes on to ...
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General rules in negative adjectives in superpolite form

I have trouble trying to find this specific grammar in text books. I have a negative adjective in polite form: 寒くないです I want to use the superpolite form: 寒くないございます That seems right, but I ...
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Past negative tense じゃなかったでした

We can use じゃなかったです for past tense, but can we replace the です with でした so that it becomes じゃなかったでした? Why or why not?
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Using 尊敬語・謙譲語 but not 丁寧語 on the same target

I was reading this passage from 下町ロケット (pp 15-16): {{pad}}「申し訳ないなあ、忙しいときに来てもらって。というのも、今日は折り入ってお願いがあってねえ」 徳田{とくだ}は、トレードマークの鷲鼻を指でさすりながら、佃{つくだ}にソファを勧めた。新しい会計年度がはじまって間もない、四月第三週のことである。 ...
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The grammar behind お願いできる

Lesson 1 of みんなの日本語中級I teaches that 何とかお願いできないでしょうか can be used to insist on a request while acknowledging that it is unreasonable. Regarding the grammar behind お願いできる, is the following ...
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How to politely and indirectly tell someone they forgot to do something?

Let's say someone who's above me, like a teacher or a boss, forgot to do something. How would I notify them without being rude? I only know the basic "~するのを忘れました"(though I'm not even sure if that's ...
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Why would one change from using polite form (です/ます) to using the plain form in the middle of a conversation (and change back later)?

I am reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon in Japanese. Towards the end of chapter 67, Christopher is talking to Mrs Alexander, trying to find out who killed ...
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Difference between 「来ませんでした」and「来なかったです」 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません? Both have the same meaning ("did not come") and according to my Japanese co-workers both are acceptable while they can't define the ...
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When and where did 丁寧語 emerge?

I've been reading some old text recently and I find that everybody seems to use plain forms even in polite contexts (like proclamations from the Emperor). When did the modern ます and です come from? I ...
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Difference between おかあさん and ははおや

What is the difference between these two terms for the word «mother»? おかあさん ははおや Is there a difference in politeness/register in addressing someone, our some other form of difference between these ...
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Ways to say 'You needn't apologize'

How would one politely assure another that there is no need to apologize? For formal use I think it might be 謝られる必要はありません; does this sound good? For more casual use, could you say いえ like when you ...
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What is the polite way to say, “move?”

My grandma always says, "そこ" when she wants someone to move, -usually she just says that to my mom or me- but I have heard that that translates more as a brusque, move than an, "excuse me". Would I ...
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Polite way to ask about something that I previously requested

Say I have the sentence below about papers I requested previously. (as I am reminding somebody that I haven't received something) 先日{せんじつ}に頼{たの}んだ書類{しょるい}ですが・・・ Is there any way to make a sentence ...
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What's the polite way to invite someone to do something?

For example: "If you want to practice English, feel free/you are welcome to message me". How do you carry the nuance of "you are welcome to but don't feel obliged?" If I said 英語を練習したいならメッセージしてください ...
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Can using ある in place of いる be offensive?

Considering that ある is objectifying wouldn't it be offensive to use it in いる's place when talking about a person, or would it just be seen as a mistake?

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