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17 votes
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If my business card says 〇〇さん, does that mean I'm referring to myself with an honourific?

Adding -さん is definitely not conventional as a formal Japanese name card. But English-only name cards are not conventional in the first place, and hardly sticking to the traditional style may not be ...
naruto's user avatar
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15 votes
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Is there a kanji term for "-san" when used to address someone?

The pronunciation さん is derived from [様]{さま}. I guess it should never be written using the kanji.
Gumamori's user avatar
  • 519
14 votes

When shouldn't I use 「〜さん」when referring to a third person?

The group mentality is very strong in Japan. When talking to an outsider about your company members, it's like you are talking about yourself. You must never use さん when talking about yourself. It ...
stack reader's user avatar
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12 votes
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Do all verbs have an honorific and humble form?

As a general rule, almost all verbs can be transformed into an honorific form, and many, but not all, can be transformed into a humble form*. The chart you pasted lists special/irregular forms. So, ...
chocolate's user avatar
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11 votes
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Is the honorific postfix -氏{し} usually used towards men?

There used to be a clear bias toward men, but today you can safely use 氏 for women as well. If you read articles written in the Meiji or Taisho period, you'll probably see 氏 used for men and 女史 for ...
naruto's user avatar
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10 votes
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What should I say when a senior colleague is leaving before me?

According to デジタル大辞泉, the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁) conducted a study on this topic and found that 69.2% of people used お疲れ様 to someone of a higher rank vs. 15.1% for ご苦労様. To someone of a ...
Blavius's user avatar
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9 votes
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Does 「拝見ありがとうございます」 ever make sense?

おっしゃる通り、「拝見ありがとうございます。」は敬語の使い方が間違っています。「拝見いただきありがとうございます。」「ご拝見ありがとうございます。」「拝見していただき...」などは、(言おうとしていることはわかるんですが、)どれもおかしいです。 「拝見」「拝読」「拝聴」などは謙譲語ですから、相手の行為には使いません。「ご覧くださりありがとうございます。」「ご覧くださってありがとうございます。」(...
chocolate's user avatar
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7 votes
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Pitch Accent for Honorifics

I have just checked the matter in my Handbook of Japanese Phonetics and Phonology, Chapter 11 ‘The Phonology of Japanese Accent’ (as it describes, say, the prosody of [氏]{し} or [家]{け} suffixes, it ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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7 votes
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Is the ''o'' in ''osara'' (plate) an honorific o 御 or just a normal o お?

In osara, the o is indeed honorific and it is commonly written in kana as お, but sometimes also as 御. As you are likely aware, there is often some flexibility in choosing between kanji, hiragana and ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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6 votes

How to address a family?

Actually it's not a good idea to translate it. Japanese mail carriers can read envelopes written in English format, and a bizarre mix of the Japanese and English styles would make your envelope look ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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-たん (-tan) suffix (honorific) meaning?

-たん is a lisped version of -ちゃん. It's probably the most cute-sounding, casual name suffix in Japanese. There are many fictional (usually female) characters who are always called with -たん. OS-tan (oh, ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

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

You'd have to consider the perspective in which you view this person yourself. Wikipedia and other such articles will not refer to a person with a suffix because Wikipedia or encyclopedias in general ...
psosuna's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is honorific speech ever used in the first person?

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Which honorific is correct, oshumi or goshumi?

It's ご趣味. As a general rule for nouns, ご beautifies a word which uses the on-yomi (e.g. ご質問 or ご主人), while お beautifies a word which uses the kun-yomi (e.g. お米 or お金).
henreetee's user avatar
  • 3,727
6 votes

How do I say 'I am a professor/PhD' without sounding pretentious, arrogant, and presumptuous?

Jargon aside, people in academia do not use any special language. It's sufficient to use what is taught as standard business Japanese. If you're talking about your first-person pronoun, you can stick ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is this archaic female honorific form called, and what relationship does it describe?

In the Edo period and the early Meiji period, prefixing a name with お was common but ~子 was not. Prefix お for names - how is it used? If a girl's real name was かき, for example, she introduced ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is お in お元気ですか?

お and ご, both represented by the kanji 御, are prefixes that increase the politeness of a word. They are often used when referring to other people to put them on a higher level than yourself, which is ...
Darcinon's user avatar
  • 1,213
5 votes

Is 最愛の神さん the proper way to write "Dear God?"

最愛の is not wrong, but 親愛なる sounds more respectful and natural. さん is not really a respectful approach. It's only polite enough in ordinary conversations between your colleagues with equal status, for ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Quotation marks around name without honorific: invitation to 呼び捨て?

Generally, Japanese quotation marks are used somewhat more loosely and frequently than the English equivalent. What is the meaning of「一強・安倍政権」? 「」 don't seem to be 'quotation marks' in ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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お祖父さん and 祖父さん: is there a difference?

Yes, おじいさん is "relatively" more respectful. But it's better to regard おじいさん as 'plain/neutral' and じいさん as 'usually rude'. You may address an old stranger with おじいさん, but you must not use じいさん unless ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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San, sama and other honorifics in translated literature

If you prefer natural translation and such name suffixes are not particularly important in the context, I think you may just rephrase them so that there is a natural contrast in English (e.g., "Mr. ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Historical use of さん

First, according to Wikipedia, this 宮さん is not Emperor but Prince Arisugawa. The most formal and polite way to address him is 有栖川親王殿下{ありすがわしんのうでんか} ("His Imperial Highness Prince Arisugawa"), or 殿下{...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why does ゆっくり take the honorific prefix ご?

There are a number of exceptions regarding the usage of お/ご, and, ultimately, you have to learn them individually. According to a survey by Tanaka (1972) based on the word usage of newspapers, お ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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いらっしゃいます and なさる difference

These are honorific forms of different verbs, and the degree of respect is not relevant. いらっしゃる is an honorific version of いる, くる and (で)ある/だ. 先生は部屋にいます。 → 先生は部屋にいらっしゃいます。 Sensei is in the ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes

Why is Atom not given any honorifics in アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム? Is it because he's a robot?

The fact that he is a robot is not important. Close friends and family members do not use くん/さん at all when they call one another. At classrooms, English-based names may resist くん/さん earlier because ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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When is 博士 (hakase) used as honorific?

Your observation is correct. In real life, people almost always use ○○先生 or ○○さん rather than ○○博士. Calling someone ○○博士 or 博士 is something we see in fiction (e.g., オーキド博士 in Pokémon) and educational ...
naruto's user avatar
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