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おいしそう versus おいしいようだ and おいしいみたい

healer

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Ref: Similarity or hearsay

It says there "On a side note, you can’t say 「おいしいようだ」 to say that something looks tasty. This is like saying, “This dish apparently is tasty,” which can actually be kind of rude. Again, we also can’t say 「おいしいみたい」 to say that something looks tasty because it implies that, in actuality, the food might not be so good."

Is おいしそう rude too? I think I did hear this spoken in some dialogues.
 

bentenmusume

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For one thing, it is important to distinguish between おいしそう (stem + そう) and おいしいそう (plain form + そう). The former is an expression of appearance ("That looks tasty!") while the latter is hearsay like よう or みたい, with the exception that おいしいそう specifically refers to verbal hearsay ("They say...")

Secondly, I would wholeheartedly disagree with Tae Kim that any of these expressions are inherently "rude", and feel that that's a needlessly confusing way to explain it.

I believe the point he's trying to make is that if you say おいしいそうだね, おいしいようだね, or おいしいみたいだね (hearsay) when you mean "That looks good!", it's going to sound oddly detached and stilted, like you're citing an unnamed third party's opinion about food that's just been placed in front of you. If you're reacting to what you see/feel in the moment, おいしそう and not the others is the phrasing you want.

Tl;dr There is nothing at all rude about おいしそう, nor about the others, but it _is_ very important to know the difference if you want to be understood.
 

healer

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I do understand that 目の"そう" uses the stem only while 耳の"そう" uses the plain form, but that is not my question. I don't know why you dwell on it so much.
So the final conclusion is that you don't think it's rude to any one of these three. Any difference in usage then?
 

bentenmusume

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Your response confuses me, and I'm not sure what you think I'm "dwelling" on. I simply thought it important to point a major, fundamental difference between a construction used to convey hearsay and one to convey an appearance of a quality (or, with verbs, the idea of being "about to do" something. cf. 雨が降りそう(です) vs. 雨が降るそう(です)) that it was not clear you understood given the phrasing of your initial question. It is far, far more complex than some idea of "目のそう" and "耳のそう", and I would suggest not thinking in those terms at all. (i.e. you might hear a friend describe the process of building a computer and think "That seems/sounds difficult." That would be 難しそう (stem), not 難しいそう (plain form). The idea is appearance vs. hearsay, not eyes vs. ears.)

Your follow-up question "Any difference in usage then?" also confuses me. Have I not been explaining precisely what the difference is in my posts? Or are you asking if there's a difference in usage between よう and みたい (I believe that's the only difference I haven't explained thus far.) If that's your question, the nuance between the two is identical, and the only difference is that みたい is more colloquial/spoken style and よう is more formal/written style (not to say it always _must_ be one or the other.)

______________

Edited to add the following: please don't take offense at this, but this response of yours struck me as very inconsiderate. Please understand that sometimes your questions can be confusing and unclear. I'm not blaming you for this, because you're still at an early stage of your studies. But Toritoribe-san (especially) and me (less frequently, but as often as I can) have been doing our best to give you information that will help you understand key concepts in Japanese, and sometimes your words come off as being frustrated that we're not reading your mind and giving you exactly what you want. When people spend time typing out detailed explanations of grammar points that are vitally connected to the areas you're studying (even if you don't always realize it), they'd like to feel like their input is being read and appreciated, rather than just being told "Yeah, whatever, that's not what I was asking."
 
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healer

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Thanks for the explanation.
I do realize the terms of "目のそう" and "耳のそう" are not exactly correct, in that 雨が降りそう means that it appears it is going to rain and 雨が降るそう refers to having information that it is going to rain. That is as far as verbs are concerned. As to the adjectives like 難しそう and 難しいそうthe former means looking difficult while the latter is having got the information that it is difficult.

Yes your guess of my follow-up question is correct. I'm sure there could be many times you guys feel frustrated with my questions, but please do whatever you can. What I get from you guys as far as I'm concerned it is a bonus. I can’t demand, perhaps not even expect. At this stage having no real contact with Japanese people I can only be aiming to be able to read, then write next.
 

bentenmusume

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As to the adjectives like 難しそう and 難しいそうthe former means looking difficult while the latter is having got the information that it is difficult.
Again, I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I just want to point out (as in my previous explanation) that 難しそう does not necessarily mean "looks" difficult. It could be "it seems difficult" in the sense that you're talking to a friend who is explaining how they built their own PC. This is why I advise you to think of it in terms other than 目のそう and 耳のそう.

I'm sure there could be many times you guys feel frustrated with my questions, but please do whatever you can. What I get from you guys as far as I'm concerned it is a bonus. I can’t demand, perhaps not even expect. At this stage having no real contact with Japanese people I can only be aiming to be able to read, then write next.
Thank you for the words of appreciation, and please understand that it's not so much that I'm frustrated with the nature of your questions. I feel frustrated a bit sometimes (not with you in particular, but with learners here and in other places as well) when I feel like I've made a thoughtful reply in good faith offering constructive advice, and it's dismissed with barely a word of thanks because it wasn't the exact answer the asker was looking for, and worded in exactly the way they wanted to hear it.

I will, of course, continue to help out to the best of my ability and as time permits. (It brings me back to my grad school days when I was a teaching assistant for intermediate/advanced Japanese language classes.)

Good luck in your studies.
 

Toritoribe

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As for the difference between みたい and よう, there is one more thing learners need to learn in usage other than jt-san's explanation. The forms to connect to nouns or na-adjectives are different.
e.g.
nouns
花みたいです。
ようです。

na-adjectives
静かみたいです。
静かようです。
 

healer

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目のそう and 耳のそう
I came across the terms of 目のそう and 耳のそう from Japanese Expression 目のそうです (me no sou desu) - Learn Japanese Online. I haven't encountered them anywhere else though I've been through a few different Japanese language learning web sites and at least two set of textbooks i.e. Genki by Japan Times and Elementary Japanese by Yoko Hasegawa. I quoted those terms as I've found they are quite peculiar and unique in that they refer to eyes and ears though in real situations they are much more to it than that. The so-called 目のそう refers to one's own inference not only from appearances but from information received as well. Whereas 耳のそう is more than hearsay.in that it refers to quoting information without one's own processing or inference, information that one has heard and read, been told or has overheard.
 

Toritoribe

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雨が降りそう means that it appears it is going to rain and 雨が降るそう refers to having information that it is going to rain. That is as far as verbs are concerned.
~そう doesn't always express near future even for verbs.
e.g.
あの鳥は今にも飛びそうだ。
It appears that the bird is about to fly away.

あの鳥は速く飛びそうだ。
It appears that the bird flies/can fly fast.
 
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