17

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 always good for a startup. Getting to know how to call each other is one of the difficult tasks in foreign communications. If I received a name card with ムルさん on ...


15

The pronounciation さん being derived from [様]{さま}, I guess it should never be written using the kanji.


14

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 would feel to the outsider like you are acting superior and putting yourself(your boss) on a pedestal. A little bit like those brats that everyone hates in anime ...


14

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, for verbs not listed in that chart, you can usually transform them into the basic/regular honorific/humble forms, like this: Honorific forms: 「お~~になる」 ...


12

I don't know of any dictionary or reference book, but since 御 is most often written as お or ご, as appropriate, you could check the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese (BCCWJ, 少納言, http://www.kotonoha.gr.jp/shonagon) as the proper way of "doing Google counting". For 忙しい and 自分 the numbers are お忙しい 217 results ご忙しい 0 results お自分 8 results, ...


10

Totally unrelated. 山 さん [mountain] is a Chinese word "shān" assimilated in Japanese. さん as a honorific suffix is an old さま undergone some phonetical change. There are many homophones in Japanese besides that.


10

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 lower rank, 53.4% used お疲れ様, vs. 36.1% for ご苦労様. So I would conclude from this that it is safe to use お疲れ様 to someone of a higher rank, whereas ご苦労様 should ...


10

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 women with a high social status. I found an example here. Note that horizontal sentences were written from right to left in those days. Today, 女史 has almost ...


9

お…になる sounds more respectful than …れる to me. In particular, when used to ask for the listener to do something in speech (for example at a restaurant), こちらでお待ちになってください is fine, but こちらで待たれてください sounds impolite (not respectful enough) to me. I do not know whether this difference is counted as “just the tone” or not.


9

In language, a process is said to be productive if it can produce new words (or phrases, etc.). For example, in English, you can add un- to lots of words, so we say that un- affixation is a productive process. And in Japanese, affixing go- and o- to words is relatively productive. But when a word can no longer be formed via a productive process in the ...


9

Yes. ~様 is an honorific and can be easily thought of as a more respectful version of ~さん. It is gender neutral, so it can be used by both men and women when addressing either gender. It is often used when addressing someone of a higher social position, or someone for whom you have high regards. On a day-to-day basis, it's commonly used to address ...


9

おいかが(ですか) sounds unnatural. いかが(ですか) is already polite so you don't need to add お.


7

お + [masu-stem] + ください is keigo (honorific speech) for [te-form] + ください. This rule works for verbs, which don't have a separate keigo verb, e.g. 切る お切りください If the verb does have a separate keigo form, the formation is different: お見ください → ご覧ください お言いください → おっしゃってください お行きください → いらしてください お来ください → おこしください


7

-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, this article has an explanation for -tan, too) Binchō-tan You should never use -たん in business settings even though it may be grammatically classified as an "...


7

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 attaches to a kango roughly 20% of the time, but ご very rarely attaches to a wago (they identified only ごもっとも and ごゆっくり). Even a long academic article dedicated for ...


6

In particular, inside a company, would it be normal to use 尊敬語・謙譲語・丁重語 with anyone older or higher in rank? It seems like that might be too excessive. Does usage depend on factors such as context or personality? This is very tricky even for a native Japanese, and it does vary among companies. One has to observe others and gauge what the temperature is (aka ...


6

As you probably have already guessed, there is no hard rule about how many times you can use お and ご prefixes in a sentence. We often avoid using too many honorifics, and it is true that there is a general tendency to use honorifics in the final verbs. However, we sometimes use honorifics also in other places. This is different from 二重敬語. For example, ...


6

The common way to create humble/respectful forms (謙譲語・尊敬語) of verbs of the form Sinitic(音読み)-compound-する, e.g. 利用する is (ご)利用する・(ご)利用いたす humble forms ご利用になる・ご利用なさる respectful forms (Let's ignore for now whether the humble form should have ご or not) You could argue that ご利用して下さい requests the other person to be humble, so prescriptively it is incorrect ...


6

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 worse. Rest assured that you can always write "The Tanaka Family" or "Mr. Taro Tanaka", using English alphabet, on the first line. (EDIT: By the way, did you ...


6

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 as neutral sources of information do not have such a perspective. If you yourself met this person, or wanted to describe or talk about this person to someone ...


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 ...


6

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).


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible