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Japanese formal and informal style
Thread poster: PALOMA DE LAS CASAS
PALOMA DE LAS CASAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
English to Spanish
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Mar 7, 2007

I would like to know the main differences between Japanese formal and informal style. When and why do you use each of them? Does this depend on the targeted audience? Or does it depend on the length restrictions? Thanks!

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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:56
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
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Many books have been written on this subject Mar 7, 2007

This is something that takes years of study and practical experience speaking the language to truly understand, and cannot really be fully explained in a forum.

I recommend getting a Japanese textbook on the subject. One I have is "敬語" from the Japanese for foreigners series, by 荒竹出版. This book is in Japanese and explains the finer points... If you are looking for a beginner's book, there are many textbooks in English that cover this subject.

Another textbook in English is "Minimum Essential Politeness: A Guide to the Japanese Honorific Language" by Agnes M. Niyekawa (published by Kodansha). This is a good book as well.

There are many, many levels of politeness, such as:
1. same-age same-rank people talking to each other
2. high-rank person talking to lower-rank person
3. lower-rank person talking to higher-rank person
4. parents talking to children
5. 'neutral' polite language

etc etc....

It depends on the people involved, who is what rank, etc.



[Edited at 2007-03-07 20:28]

[Edited at 2007-03-07 20:31]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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See this as well Mar 7, 2007

http://www.proz.com/topic/37791

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ejprotran
Local time: 07:56
English to Japanese
To get a rough idea of Japanese honorifics, Mar 8, 2007

To get a rough idea of Japanese honorifics - Keigo, I recommend you visiting the following URL.

http://www.answers.com/topic/japanese-honorifics

Believe it or not, Keigo can be quite confusing to even native speakers of Japanese for sure. The most assured way for you to master Keigo would be probably using it in everyday life situations over and over again.

pdelascasas wrote:

I would like to know the main differences between Japanese formal and informal style. When and why do you use each of them? Does this depend on the targeted audience? Or does it depend on the length restrictions? Thanks!


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