Polite speech and education

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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tanuki
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Polite speech and education

Post by tanuki » Thu 03.09.2006 12:02 am

Hello, all!

So, I was watching some anime and I noticed something curious. There are some characters who speak in polite speech (i.e. desu, -masu, etc.) all the time, even with their friends. These people are portrayed as very well-educated and civilized. So, I was wondering...

Does this happen in real life? Are there people who actually speak in polite Japanese all the time? Maybe people who want to sound cultured or something like that?

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies! Bye!
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。

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Mukade
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RE: Polite speech and education

Post by Mukade » Thu 03.09.2006 4:34 am

Rather than giving an impression of being educated, speaking in polite form all the time tends to put emotional distance between the person and others. Do those characters seem cold and unemotional? If so, the polite speech would definitely contribute to that sort of characterization.
意味がなくてもええねん!

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hiraikotsu
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RE: Polite speech and education

Post by hiraikotsu » Thu 03.09.2006 5:05 am

so how can one remain polite and yet not be portrayed as stand-offish? :o

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Harisenbon
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RE: Polite speech and education

Post by Harisenbon » Thu 03.09.2006 5:10 am

I agree with Mukade, but also think that it does add an air of intelligence to the speaker (depending on situation). But it's the same in English. Which person do you think sounds more intelligent?

Person A: Hello everyone! Welcome to my humble abode. Would you like to come in for some tea and cake?

Person B: Dude!! Whazzup? How's it hanging? You wanna scarf some nachos and coke?

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tanuki
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RE: Polite speech and education

Post by tanuki » Thu 03.09.2006 11:28 am

Hm, no, these characters aren't cold and unemotional. On the contrary, they are portrayed as very caring about others' feelings. Very intelligent, too. Bookish, studious...
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。

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keatonatron
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RE: Polite speech and education

Post by keatonatron » Thu 03.09.2006 10:13 pm

Nerdy?

That's how English Person A sounds. :D

Using the polite form with your friends is kinda wierd. I guess once you became really really close and everyone got used to you speaking like that and you were known as "the polite guy" it'd be okay but... If you spoke like that from the time you first met, moving from the "知り合い" stage to the "友達" stage would be quite difficult.

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