27

I'm actually a developer working for a Japanese programming company. It might depend on some people, but as far as buttons go. 「保存」、「登録」、「完了」、「キャンセル」 etc. seems like the way to go. Of course your will probably need a confirmation box in which you will usually write in the ます form. 「削除します。よろしいですか?」 It might be more common to write a verb on the ...


14

In my experience, the nature of the relationship and the nature of the communication are both important for knowing when/how to use the plain form and to knowing what the use of plain form signals. In written workplace communication, I never see plain form (I work at a university). In written personal communications (things like Facebook or IM), I rarely ...


11

Taking "formally" to mean 丁寧語 here, I think it depends. Chatting/Twitter/BBS If you use your real name, I think the usual rules apply (which are too complex to fully describe here, but I'll mention some aspects). Use 丁寧語 with people you don't know well and people older than you. If you aren't talking at someone (say, a non-@ tweet, or saying something ...


11

Please check Microsoft's Japanese Style Guide (for UI), in particular the Style section on Page 46. Style Use Desu-masu (ですます調, polite style), Dearu (である調, plain style) and noun phrase (体言止め) appropriately. When to use Desu-masu: In general, sentences should be translated in Desu-masu unless otherwise instructed. When the sentence prompts ...


10

I think there's definitely lots of truth in that tendency. 漢語 was essentially the Latin of Japan for a long time; i.e the language of the elites. In fact, Chinese poetry is still compulsory in Japanese education, a bit like Latin I guess. Because of this history, 漢語 is associated with art, science, government etc. and is thus generally more formal.


9

(Even though I will be correcting many parts because that is how I make my living, I could guarantee you that every native speaker will understand your sentences as are. So, what is the point of making only this part of your whole letter sound like it was written by a native speaker?) 「[難]{むずか}しい[頼]{たの}みであることをわかっています. [困難]{こんなん}であれば[拒絶]{きょぜつ}しても[大丈夫]{...


9

である is formal, but not polite であります is formal and polite, but not humble でございます is formal and polite and humble だ is informal, but not polite です is informal-* and polite *- compared to である A politician giving a speech on TV: 我々は日本国民である - We are Japanese citizens A lawyer speaking to a judge: (I think this usage is rare though...) この通りであります - ...


8

The standard formal opening, equivalent to English "Dear Sir/Madam", is 拝啓. The closing, equivalent to "Sincerely Yours", is 敬具. I don't see why you couldn't put in the Chinese greeting as well, along with a little explanation. The teacher might find it interesting/charming, and there's nothing wrong with a little cross-cultural exchange.


8

唯一 is relatively rarer and more difficult than しか~ない or ~だけ, and it's not a word kindergartners are likely to use. But once you've become a teenager, it can be safely used both in formal and casual settings. Even when used in casual conversations, no one would think it's particularly stiff, archaic, poetic, etc.


7

Shifting from polite speech to casual speech is usually a gradual and implicit process when a mature adult makes friends with someone. Depending on the situation, it may take months or even years to switch. Actually I often find myself using some polite sentences when I chat with people who have been my close friends more than 10 years. Here are some random ...


7

All of them are syntactically correct, but they are semantically strange as explained below. Depending on the situation, もらう may not be polite enough. いただく will be even more polite. In the second one, 泊める is just about the night, so it is unnatural to mention 8日から9日まで, which means the whole two days (unless you are talking about both nights of 8日 and 9日, ...


7

I think you had better use 全{まった}く than 全然{ぜんぜん} in your essay because 全然 carries a bit stronger emotional overtones than 全く does. 全然 probably gives an informal, easy, friendly, or familiar impression. It's no problem for you to use 全然 in conversation or in E-mail to your friend, however, it isn't appropriate for a serious or polite essay.


6

While 漢語 is more formal/technical/academic than the 和語 equivalent in most cases, there are a few exceptions. 一番 (kango) is less formal/academic than 最も (wago). 喧嘩 (kango) is less formal than 争い (wago). 本当に (kango) is less formal/polite than 誠に (wago) in greetings. I think the number of such exceptions is very small. I understand these may not be good ...


6

I'll leave any definitive answers to our native speakers, but rather than formal–informal I've started to think that maybe poetic–prosaic might be a more apt duality. (And formality usually implies little poeticality.) One other example where both readings are common is 竹林 with チクリン being "prosaic" and たけばやし being poetic.


6

In addition to what @Sjiveru said, it's probably also OK to use ○ 読ませていただきました ; ? お読みしました ○ 目を通しました (this might require some discretion, as it may make the email sound unimportant) ○ メール、確認させていただきました ; △ メールが届きました ○ 拝見しました (again, depending on how high up this superiour is)


6

As a native Japanese speaker, I have never said お元気ですか to someone I meet almost everyday. You can tell, at a glance, if they are 元気 or not today, if you meet them everyday, right? お元気ですか seems to me a greeting in letter or in phone call, that is, when you can't see them. You can say お元気ですか when you meet someone you haven't met for a while but still ...


6

To answer your question: Onyomi is more formal and mature. There are nuances with a lot of the related words. So I would recommend you to use Keigo or polite です・ます形 with Kunyomi words until you have a better grasp of the situations that they are acceptable and not acceptable to be used in. I like to compare the difference between the two types of words ...


6

To me, "お腹が空いた" sounds normal and polite as compared with "腹が減った," which sounds informal and sometimes vulgar, depending on the situation. When you are taking a walk with your friend in downtown, say Asakusa, you may say "腹が減ったな。めしを食おう." But when you are taking a walk with your teacher or senpai, you may say "先生 (先輩)、お腹が空きましたね。何か食べて行きましょう." We have a ...


6

Often a shorter version sounds stiffer or more literary/academic/technical. Masu-stem is stiffer than te-form to join clauses だ before ~と見なす, ~とする is usually not said in legal sentences AなどB is another example. But the difference is small, and AなどのB is not particularly casual, either. An even stiffer variant is 等(とう), which is a norm in legal sentences but ...


6

In ancient Japanese, honorific verbs was used by very noble people to refer to their own actions (自尊敬語, "self-honorifics"). But you won't see this unless you learn archaic Japanese seriously. In modern Japanese, even Prime Minister and Emperor use humble verbs properly to refer to their own actions. You may see a high person use humble verbs to refer to ...


5

I think there's a lot of variation between speakers. Even as a foreigner at a university, I have met various types of speakers: never use teineigo at all, even though I'm clearly older people who use keigo for a few minutes and switch when I reply in casual form (most common) people who use keigo for weeks, and say it's uncomfortable to use casual form ...


5

「どこかに[間違]{まちが}っているか[聞]{き}きたいんですが」 The problems with this sentence is multifold. 1) 「どこかに間違っている」 is ungrammatical. 2) There is no respect, politeness or humility expressed anywhere in it. 「聞きたい」 is something you would say to your close friend or someone much younger. When speaking to a person of a higher status, it is very important not to sound ...


5

In my personal experience, the transition from polite to plain form is done spontaneously, specifically if you are of the same age level or same position (at work). A month or two after your introduction, you may switch to plain form if there are no inhibitions from your part of any kind, or you have done a milestone together (project closure, etc) . ...


5

It is not particularly bookish or formal to say ~~の後で or ~~した後で, but it is true that the で gets omitted quite often in conversations. If one uses a で, one could emphasize the 後 part, stressing the fact that the action should be performed AFTER something, not before.


5

When “するためには” is used, the following context is likely to be “必要{ひつよう}がある”, “しなければならない”, or a similar expression. You can say ためには instead of には in example A, B, and C. A. 朝日{あさひ}を見{み}に行{い}くには、5時{じ}に起{お}きないと間{ま}に合{あ}わない。 B. 外国{がいこく}で車{くるま}を運転{うんてん}するには、まず交通{こうつう}ルールを知{し}る必要{ひつよう}があります。 C. 彼女{かのじょ}に喜{よろこ}んでもらうには、何{なに}をあげたらいいだろう。 You can say D, ...


5

As you know, 音読み is the method of reading 漢字 in accordance with classical Chinese pronunciation either in Han’s pronunciation (漢音) or Wu’s pronunciation (呉音). Whilst 訓読み is the method to read 漢字 by applying Japanese proper language. So 新 is pronounced as “sin” in 音読み, and “arata” or “atarashi” in 訓読み. 読 is pronounced as “doku” in 音読み, and “yomu” in 訓読み. It ...


5

I think じゃあ、早稲田まで isn't polite but plain. じゃあ、早稲田まで行ってください and じゃあ、早稲田までお願いします would be polite. Sentences without です, ます aren't polite, so the sentences that end with particles like 早稲田まで, ほしいから, and 別れたから aren't polite. And どうして? isn't polite either because it's without です, ます. I think omission of です, ます always makes sentences casual / plain.


5

No particle is omitted in this sentence. We rarely say 十を数える regardless of it's written or spoken, in the first place. This 十 is like an adverb that directly modify a verb without any particle, and this happens very often. By the way, this 十 can be read as じゅう and とお, both of which are fine but the former is common. Here are some formal ways to use 数える: ...


5

口頭でしたら、 (はじめまして。+) 「妻の花子です。/ 太郎の妻です。/ 山田の妻です。」 「家内の花子です。/ 太郎の家内です。/ 山田の家内です。」 (+(いつも)主人がお世話になっております。) のように言えると思います。(「家内」を使うのは正しくない、という人もいますが、実際には結構使われています。)でも、 「山田です。(いつも)主人がお世話になっております。」 というふうに、「妻」「家内」などの言葉を使わずに、少し遠回しに表現することも多いと思います。 または、ご主人が、 「あ、(こちら)妻/家内(1)です。」 と言って、そこで奥さんが、 「(はじめまして。)(花子です。)(いつも)(主人が(2))お世話になっております。」 ...


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