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  1. Secret4Now

    Addressing family members

    How would one address family members politely? Let us say members of the Sakamoto family are in the room: Tomoki (Grandfather), Myoko (Grandmother), Hiromi (daughter), and Yuri (granddaughter). Let us say that I wish to greet each one in turn. I am confused about the family name - first name...
  2. Japanese Respect Language

    日本語 Japanese Respect Language

    “Respect language”, better known by most students as keigo, is a difficult topic for a learner of Japanese to get their head around. Most beginner textbooks barely touch on it, and while some of the grammatical forms may be explained in higher level grammar books the most difficult part is not...
  3. Polite Forms in Japanese

    Language Polite Forms in Japanese

    In the Japanese language, polite forms play an important role in defining status, position, “direction”, and intimacy. Not using the correct level of politeness can be confusing, unprofessional, or even insulting to the Japanese. Informal language The informal language should only be used by...
  4. Japanese Manners and Etiquette

    Culture Japanese Manners and Etiquette

    Social behaviour and etiquette are considered very important in Japan. While specific rules of courtesy are supposed to be universal, quite a few Japanese manners and habits are unique and should also be respected by foreigners. Please notice that some of the customs outlined below are based on...
  5. Polite Japanese Language

    Language Polite Japanese Language

    This is an overview of the various layers of the polite Japanese language. While many Western languages have polite usage, such as polite personal pronouns (Sie in German, vous in French, usted in Spanish, etc.) taking plural verb forms even when used in the singular, Asian languages – and...
  6. Honorific Suffixes

    Language Honorific Suffixes

    The Japanese language uses a broad array of honorific suffixes for addressing or referring to people, for example -san, as in Davey-san. These honorifics are gender-neutral (can be used for males and females), though some are more used for men or women (-kun is primarily used for men, while...
  7. Mikawa Ossan

    The Politeness Myth

    Perhaps it's just Aichi prefecture, but when the people around me speak, I feel like I had been misinformed all that time I was learning Japanese. I'm talking about the politeness myth. This is the myth that in Japanese you MUST speak politely to people older than you, people you don't know...
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