Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - kazoku to tomodachi

kazoku to tomodachi

Japanese, general discussion on the language

kazoku to tomodachi

Postby rottenapples » Mon 09.05.2005 4:00 am

From my Japanese classes, my sense says that one should refer to their own father as chichi, own mother as haha, own elder sister as ane and own brother as ani. Otosan, okasan, oneesan and oniisan should be used to refer to the family members of others. On the other hand, from animes, why do I hear the characters calling their own father otosan, own mother as okasan,own sister as oneesan and etc? Is this a less formal way to refer to your own family members? And one more thing, say I know a girl who is older than me called Toujo, is it alright to call her Toujo onee-chan? what does it mean btw as i always hear anime characters calling slightly olders girls as onee-chan and slightly older guys as onii-chan..

domo arigato gozaimasu
rottenapples
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat 09.03.2005 11:23 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby MenomaMinx » Tue 09.06.2005 7:39 am

Welcome to hell. Population = every student who's ever solely relied on standardized classroom settings and their teachers for information.. Remember, the teacher's job is to simplify things as much as possible {usually to the point of leaving a lot of stuff out that's very important} in order to make your performance level look good and as a result make themselves look good on their own performance level evaluation. That is the number one goal, because without that, they lose their jobs. The only way around this hurdle is to be allowed to make your own class syllabus and most school administrators will not allow that as the learning level standard has already been set by competing schools concerning what should be taught in what amounts of time. That means that the really good teachers manage to overcome this particular obstacle set by administration not because they're good teachers, but because they're good a getting around school administrators. In my opinion, that's not a skill teachers should be required to have -- it should be enough that they're good teachers and be left at that -- but that simply not how it works in the U.S., and I would imagine that other countries have the same problems. Administrators don't have to account for individual people's learning speeds and styles -- teachers do -- and end result is usually a class dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

^ yep, I've had some issues over the years with standardized educational practices. Can you tell ;-)

Onto your actual question:

Like English, Japanese has a myriad of various ways of addressing family members related directly to you. Let's start with English first, since you probably already know it -- seeing as how your writing in it and all ;-)

Words that refer to the woman who gave birth to you =

Mom

Mommy

Mommy {slang that refers to an attractive young woman}

Moms {this is a singular form despite S on the end}

Momma

Mama

Ma

Mammy {hasn't been used in polite society for about a century, and is considered offensive nowadays}

Big momma {alternate spelling big mama} {actually refers to a grandparent or great-grandparent who is female. }

Mother

^ there's more, but I think you get the point. The Japanese are just as varied, and although unfortunately I don't know all the ones they use, some other people can probably fill the ones in that I don't know.

Let's start with the woman who gave birth to you =

haha {this one is actually the equivalent of Mommy above}

kasan {this would be the equivalents of mom based on its alternative spelling and usage as "kaasan"}

okasan {this is the equivalent of mother}

hahaoya {haven't run into this one outside of a dictionary, so maybe someone else can explain its exact usage}

meoya {another I've seen in the dictionary}


hahachan {think "Mommy dearest" without the negative Joan Crawford-esque implications}

kachan {never seen this one, but the dictionary implies its the same as hahachan}

^ all the above refer to your own parent, however, most of them cannot be used to refer to someone else's parent as far as I know.

I'll tackle the other family members later, but this should get you started :-)
Click below daily or a bunch of starving people will come to your house to eat you!(Either way, problem solved :-)
http://www.quickdonations.com/ http://www.donationjunction.com
MenomaMinx
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu 06.30.2005 9:15 pm

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby redfoxer » Tue 09.06.2005 8:37 am

very intresting stuff, this issue has been flying around the chat room for abit also. haha VS okaasan usage. also note that okaasama and otousama are also honorific terms for mother and father, but MenomaMinx seemed to explain it very well.

I think the reason why many people learn okaasan for other peoples mother, and haha for their own, is because, like other people trying to teach a language, they try to teach the "proper" standard way.

Best to know the polite speech before learning the slang sorta thing. Which is why stuff like "dewa arimasen", is still taught even though it isnt used very often as it is ultra polite and many nihonjins just go with the casual "ja nai".
Last edited by redfoxer on Tue 09.06.2005 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
日本語はとても面白いと思いますよ!私は日本語が大好きです!
User avatar
redfoxer
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed 03.02.2005 6:09 pm

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby rottenapples » Tue 09.06.2005 11:00 am

wow, thats very interesting.... i think menoma is very right about the teacher and syllabus thing.... and yes, just like red fox says, i use dewa arimasen and not ja nai... i guess i have to talk to nihonjins to have a better understanding of the language.. to think of it, my teacher is a Japanese.... I hope to learn more from here... arigatou gozaimasu...
rottenapples
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat 09.03.2005 11:23 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Spaztick » Tue 09.06.2005 1:09 pm

Start yakkin' with coco, she's real good about correcting you. :)

I think the -ちゃん's at the end of 母ちゃん is probably used when you act, what, maybe childish or really playful with your parents? A friend of mine calls her grandfather おじいちゃん, and I'd imagine I'd call my mom 母ちゃん、but in English I usually use the slang "mum" for her, not quite sure where that came from though.
XD At this sig.
Number of people that have: 13
SaiaiKenja
Daisuke
Kodi
dreamingxashley
redfoxer
ben
Elumi
LordDisa
Kates
AaRoN
Rezeyu
Hideiko_san
roosh
ParanoiaK3
User avatar
Spaztick
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue 01.25.2005 7:04 pm

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 09.06.2005 7:34 pm

MenomaMinx wrote:
Remember, the teacher's job is to simplify things as much as possible {usually to the point of leaving a lot of stuff out that's very important} in order to make your performance level look good and as a result make themselves look good on their own performance level evaluation. That is the number one goal, because without that, they lose their jobs. SNIP


As an educator, I take great offense at this. The reason things are simplified for students is the fact that teachers are trying to teach to a number of students at varying education and intelligence levels. You should always supplement formal training with your own work. That's what homework and self study is for. But don't make it seems like the teachers are trying to teach at the lowest level so that they improve their own standing. Teachers are trying to teach, and to help other students learn and enjoy that which they have devoted their lives to.


MenomaMinx wrote:
Let's start with the woman who gave birth to you =

haha {this one is actually the equivalent of Mommy above}


This would be more like Mom. It's perfectly acceptable to use as an adult, and is used only to refer to your own mother. If a 30 year old says Mommy, I look at him weird. If a 30 year old says はは, nothing werid.

Mommy would be ママ

MenomaMinx wrote:
kasan {this would be the equivalents of mom based on its alternative spelling and usage as "kaasan"}

okasan {this is the equivalent of mother}

hahaoya {haven't run into this one outside of a dictionary, so maybe someone else can explain its exact usage}


okasan is mother used both for your own mother and other people's mothers. kasan would be used generally only when talking TO your mother, instead of about her.

hahaoya exists, and I see it in books sometimes, but the more common phrase is ofukuro

MenomaMinx wrote:
hahachan {think "Mommy dearest" without the negative Joan Crawford-esque implications}

kachan {never seen this one, but the dictionary implies its the same as hahachan}


Actually, I've never heard of hahachan. I'm sure it exists, but in general kachan is more common, as is the colloquial okan. Both are used when talking TO your mother, not ABOUT her.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby MenomaMinx » Tue 09.06.2005 9:26 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
MenomaMinx wrote:
Remember, the teacher's job is to simplify things as much as possible {usually to the point of leaving a lot of stuff out that's very important} in order to make your performance level look good and as a result make themselves look good on their own performance level evaluation. That is the number one goal, because without that, they lose their jobs. SNIP


As an educator, I take great offense at this. The reason things are simplified for students is the fact that teachers are trying to teach to a number of students at varying education and intelligence levels. You should always supplement formal training with your own work. That's what homework and self study is for. But don't make it seems like the teachers are trying to teach at the lowest level so that they improve their own standing. Teachers are trying to teach, and to help other students learn and enjoy that which they have devoted their lives to.




As a student, I take offense at you taking offense ;-)

Seriously though, are you really that blind to what's going on in the educational system concerning your peers? I didn't say anything that hasn't been said by anyone else concerned with the way the predominate {in the U.S. at least} educational system has suffered and I've heard things similar from my own teachers over the years.

Speaking from personal experience, I'm probably one of the few people who's ever ditched school in order to study more advanced subjects on their own. Yes, I was a big-time hokey player in my time for all the right reasons -- a genuine oddity. But then again, I was reading college textbooks by the time I was in third grade. Most people are not me and can't do that. In fact, most people are incapable of consistent quality self-guided learning in a simultaneous wide variety of areas -- that's why they have teachers.

Let's be realistic here. If it isn't covered and required by the teacher, most people will not learn it. Even if they do have the ability, most people lack the motivation to self-study -- especially in a forced study situation such as the years covered by the public school systems entail. I believe you have a very romanticized sense of what the average teacher's motivations are; but even if I'm wrong, that doesn't change the political situation every good teacher faces every day in their classroom. As an educator, I'm going to presume you're already familiar with the situation. In any case, it's unfair to expect a student do your job for you. People who can learn on their own, do not need to show up the class.

As an interesting sidenote, I'd also like to point out that over the years I have been scolded by various teachers for going ahead of the class in textbooks and also for self-study. It nearly got me hauled the principal's office on one occasion. The subject was history. The teacher in question was not aware that nearly all the signees of decoration of independence owned slaves. I was. I said something. I refused to back down. There was no shouting involved and no harsh words. This wasn't any personal feud between me and the teacher in question. It was just a matter of me knowing I was right and her knowing she was right and if the teachers aid hadn't walked in at that moment and agreed with me I would have continued my walk to the principal's office that I had already been told to begin.

No, that doesn't mean I was always right. But I was, and still am, someone who would speak up if I knew for certain I was right -- initially because I don't know when to shut up, but later because I knew I would be tested on the subject matter later and my right answer would be considered wrong. It's hard enough to hold all the right answers in your head without having to memorize the wrong answers as being right as well ;-)
Last edited by MenomaMinx on Tue 09.06.2005 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Click below daily or a bunch of starving people will come to your house to eat you!(Either way, problem solved :-)
http://www.quickdonations.com/ http://www.donationjunction.com
MenomaMinx
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu 06.30.2005 9:15 pm

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 09.06.2005 9:38 pm

MenomaMinx wrote:
As an interesting sidenote, I also like to point out that over the years I have been scolded by various teachers are going ahead of the class in textbooks and also for self-study. *Snip*


This scares me more than anything I have ever heard. ;)

I will be the first to admit that most lower/middle level education systems in America are teh crap. I am amazed at some of the trash dubbed knowledge that is thrown out into society due to the products of a poorly supervised and funded education system. Which is why I tend to block out anything before college. ;)

My mistake, I think, was immediately assuming college level when you were blasting teachers. Although I had great teachers in high school, the majority are very similar to what you describe. College, for me, was quite different, and it was there that I took offense.

I'm also blessed with the fact that I teach outside of America, so am not subject to the politics of public school teaching there in. I fully believe that my co-workers try to help the students the best they can, in order to bring about sound and productive members of society. It may sound like drawing the party line, but I have seen magic turning bastard punk kids into model students at my school.

And also, sorry for the venemous reply to your post. I won't offer excuses, but I just want you to know that I'm sorry.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Spaztick » Wed 09.07.2005 10:34 am

Yes, I've noticed the decline in American education systems, which as the above posters said is meant so that, um...people of all intellects could pass (before, say 30-40 years ago, it was either you passed or you got kicked out). That doesn't mean that there aren't good schools out there, but almost no high school prepares you for college anymore, while private schools do. I went to a public school, and my self study was 5-6 times faster than what the school was teaching. Granted that I just got frustrated and gave up on listening to the teachers because they offered no challenge, and ironcially my grades suffered from what I missed. :)

As for knowlege errors or contradictions between textbooks, that doesn't seem to be a problem, I'd say omitting information is more of the problem (Americans wouldn't admit they lost the war of 1812 in history books until the 60's, for example). The above example of the founding fathers owning slaves, etc. I think it varies from state to state and school to school, I was taught (eventually) that they owned slaves, etc.

In short, most schools aren't as good as they were, and it's harder to learn on your own if there are contradictions in the education system versus what the rest of the world said, but that doesn't mean that you can't learn on your own or that all school are terrible. I know we have a tendancy to amplify the negative in writing or focusing on the negative of what we've read, and that wasn't my point at all. Hope I contributed!
XD At this sig.
Number of people that have: 13
SaiaiKenja
Daisuke
Kodi
dreamingxashley
redfoxer
ben
Elumi
LordDisa
Kates
AaRoN
Rezeyu
Hideiko_san
roosh
ParanoiaK3
User avatar
Spaztick
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue 01.25.2005 7:04 pm

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Supergrunch » Wed 09.07.2005 1:33 pm

It's the same in England. The exam system (especially at GCSE level) is ridiculous- for instance, my Biology paper had the sentence "Here are some results. You do not need to look at them." It is now common in English schools to avoid rewarding academic success so that the people who didn't do as well don't feel bad about it.

Intrestingly, as a student of science, the teacher has to "lie" to the pupils, as they must make the concepts understood without explaining and justifying very complex science. They thus have to make up slightly alternative explanations which involve facts which are not always entirely true. An example of this is "gravity is a force"; explaining that it is not a force, but caused by an exertion which all objects cause on spacetime is too complex to explain to younger children (I may not be completely right on the science; after all, it may be another "lie").
Supergrunch
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu 08.18.2005 11:15 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby mandolin » Thu 09.08.2005 1:08 am

Not even all private schools manage to fit the bill. I attended a private school from 5th grade on.

(anecdote)

In 6th grade, I had a major surgery that kept me out of school for 6+ weeks. I'm disabled yada yada surgeries were frequent whatever, that's not the point. :P

During this time, I had all my homework sent home to me, obviously, along with teacher-written notes on things that needed explaining. Most of the teachers were really cool about things, as long as I seemed to be grasping the material.

My math teacher, however, kept returning my assignments with F's. Now, math was never my favorite subject, but I managed to scrape by. My mom decided to have my sister, who was also an elementary schoolteacher, start to check my homework and maybe tutor me.

That went over better, but I was still bringing in F's for some reason.

So, my mom had my sister do my homework FOR me once. It came back with an F.

Turns out, it was because I wasn't using the right METHODS in my assignments. Or something. I don't know, I got it second hand from my very angry mother who went to the school to give the teacher a reaming.

I was using things she planned to teach later, that it was a step-by-step building block process, and me bypassing it by getting tutored was not acceptable. Even though I understood the work, and got the right answers.

(/anecdote)

That's just one example. Like MenomaMinx, I was always yelled at for reading ahead. And like Spaztick, classes bored me horridly so I didn't do my daily work, which meant I brought home C's throughout high school, when they easily could have been A's.

My entire elementary / high school experience was not only unable to prepare me for college, but pretty much seemed to have affected me -adversely-. I was so used to the "Do it our way or die" method, that the university way of "Here's some information, figure it out and come to lab if you have questions" left me aghast.

I failed out with a 0.0 first semester, and haven't gone back. :/
User avatar
mandolin
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon 06.20.2005 3:44 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Daichi » Thu 09.08.2005 5:14 am

Supergrunch wrote:
It's the same in England. The exam system (especially at GCSE level) is ridiculous-


The GCSE system is particularly bad with language study. I passed my GCSE French with an A grade, but if I was put in situation in which I had to speak French I would fall apart. (Although I could perhaps get the gist of some basic written French)

The problem is, I was never taught how to speak French - only how to pass a French exam!

I'd be quite interested to hear of any similar/contrary experiences...
User avatar
Daichi
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri 08.12.2005 8:36 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Mariya » Thu 09.08.2005 5:22 am

Daichi = absolutely right.
GCSE languages in this country only teach to to scrape through in theory. If we were thrown into France or Germany, we'd feel like we've learnt nothing because we cant speak much of it. :o
User avatar
Mariya
 
Posts: 457
Joined: Tue 07.05.2005 6:56 pm
Location: London, UK

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Beau » Thu 09.08.2005 10:31 am

Haha, Chi Chi, Ani, Ane etc. : These are usually used when talking to SOMEBODY ELSE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. They make you seem humble. They can also be used when speaking to your own family, but it's sometimes seen as a little disprespectful- depends on the family.

Okasan, Otoosan, Onisan, Oneesan etc: These are used when talking TO YOUR OWN FAMILY, or ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAMILY, to show respect.
Beau
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri 09.02.2005 11:19 am

RE: kazoku to tomodachi

Postby Supergrunch » Thu 09.08.2005 12:55 pm

I got an A* in French and Spanish, but I reckon that I would be much more able to cope in Japan than in France and Spain because even though I've only been studying Japanese for a month or so, I haven't been learning to pass GCSEs.
Last edited by Supergrunch on Thu 09.08.2005 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Supergrunch
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu 08.18.2005 11:15 am


Return to Japanese General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests