Japanese is a language with many levels of politeness, which are used to convey respect and formality in different contexts. Politeness is an important part of the Japanese culture and language, and understanding the different politeness levels can help you communicate more effectively when speaking or writing in Japanese. In this article, we will discuss what politeness is, look at the various politeness levels in Japanese, explore how honorifics and respectful language are used in Japan, as well as provide examples of polite language in Japanese.
2. What is Politeness?
Politeness refers to the use of courteous language and behavior when interacting with others. It is a way of showing respect for other people’s feelings, beliefs, and opinions while still expressing your own. Politeness can be expressed through both verbal and non-verbal communication such as your tone of voice, body language, choice of words, etc. In Japan, politeness is highly valued and is seen as a sign of respect for others.
3. Japanese Politeness Levels
In Japan there are five main levels of politeness: teineigo (casual polite), sonkeigo (respectful polite), kenjougo (humble polite), teichougo (deferential polite) and soutaigo (polite deference). Teineigo is used when talking to someone who you know well or who you don’t need to show respect for such as family members or close friends. Sonkeigo is used when talking to someone who you need to show respect for such as superiors or customers. Kenjougo is used when talking about yourself in a humble manner such as apologizing for making mistakes or thanking someone for their help. Teichougo is used when talking about someone else in a respectful manner such as praising their accomplishments or thanking them for their help. Soutaigo is used when talking about someone else in a deferential manner such as asking them for advice or requesting their assistance with something.
4. Honorifics and Respectful Language in Japan
Honorifics are words that indicate respect towards another person or thing such as san (Mr./Ms.), sama (Lord/Lady) or o-sensei (teacher). Honorifics are often added after names to indicate respect towards the person being referred to. Respectful language also includes using more formal pronouns like watashi instead of boku or ore which are considered more casual pronouns that shouldn’t be used with people you don’t know very well or those who have higher status than you do.
5. Different Levels of Formality in Japanese
In addition to the five main politeness levels discussed above there are also additional levels of formality that can be expressed through speech depending on the context such as keigo (honorific speech) which uses more formal vocabulary and grammar than normal speech; kudakareta hougen (polite dialect) which uses less formal vocabulary than normal speech; kudakareta gogen (informal dialect) which uses less formal vocabulary than polite dialect; shitsumonbetsu gogen (interrogative dialect) which uses more formal grammar than normal speech; kotoba no nagareboshi gogen (fluid conversation) which uses more informal vocabulary than normal speech; etcetera…
6 Examples of Polite Language in Japanese
Here are some examples of how different levels of politeness can be expressed through speech: Teineigo: “Kore wa nan desu ka?”(What is this?) Sonkeigo: “Kore wa nan desu ka?”(What might this be?) Kenjougo: “Sumimasen ga…kore wa nan desu ka?”(I apologize but…what might this be?) Teichougo: “Sumimasen ga…anata ni kiitara yoroshii desu ka? Kore wa nan desu ka?”(I apologize but…might I ask if it would be alright if I asked you? What might this be?) Soutaigo: “Sumimasen ga…anata ni kiitara yoroshii desu ka? Anata no oshiete moratte mo ii desu ka? Kore wa nan desu ka?”(I apologize but…might I ask if it would be alright if I asked you? Might I ask if it would also be alright if I received instruction from you? What might this be?)
To conclude, Japanese has many different levels of politeness that should be taken into consideration when speaking or writing in Japanese so that one can communicate effectively while still showing respect for others feelings beliefs and opinions.. By understanding these various politeness levels one will be able to express themselves better while still being mindful not to offend anyone by using inappropriate language or behavior.. Understanding these various forms will greatly improve one’s ability to communicate effectively with native speakers without causing offense!
1) https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10010779911000/k10010779911000.html 2) https://www3.nhk.or.jp /news /easy /k10010781271000/k10010781271000.html 3 ) https://www.nihongomaster.com /blog /levels -of -politness -in -japanese 4 ) https://www.thoughtco.com /honorifics -and -respectful-language-in-japanese-2027950 5 ) https://www3.nhk.or.jp /news /easy /k10010780471000/k10010780471000 html
How many levels of formality does Japanese have?
Honorifics in Japanese, or keigo (敬語), fall under three main categories: polite language (丁寧語, teineigo) respectful language (尊敬語, sonkeigo) and humble language (謙譲語, kenjōgo, or modest language).
Does Japanese have formal and informal?
Japanese has two pronunciations: formal and informal. Formal dialects such as kiko (honorific language) are first learned in textbooks by people learning Japanese.
Are Japanese people very formal?
Elegance or beauty is very important in Japanese culture because it is universal in all civilizations to express their behavior.
How long does it take to get to N5 Japanese?
Below you can find each JLPT level and the estimated study time for each level. N5 with knowledge of Chinese characters takes 250-450 hours and N5 without knowledge of Chinese characters takes 325-600 hours. N4 Chinese character knowledge 400-700 credit hours non-Chinese character knowledge 575-1000 credit hours. November 15 2021
How many years does it take to speak Japanese fluently?
Learning Japanese is not easy and it takes time. Its fair to say that youll need at least three years of hard work to reach the same level of fluency. Ordinary students would reach the advanced level in 3-4 years.
How long fluently speak Japanese?
According to the US State Department Japanese English is one of the most difficult native languages to learn. The structure is not very similar to the English language. They estimate that it will take 88 weeks or 2200 hours to learn to become fluent.