Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - masu and iru

masu and iru

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

masu and iru

Postby Schattenjedi » Mon 03.07.2005 10:59 am

Can someone explain to me precisely when you can use the friendly form iru. For example, if you meet someone your age (im 20) can you immediately start using iru or do you have to wait until they were actually your friend rather than an acquantiance. It seems very similar to the German Sie and Du but i think there are some slight differences.
Schattenjedi
 

RE: masu and iru

Postby Spaztick » Mon 03.07.2005 1:16 pm

You should at least get to know them a little bit. The Japanese will use the -masu form with people they just met (to be polite I suppose), but start to use the -ru form after a while. If you're around them it's easier to know when to do what.
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: masu and iru

Postby Gaijinian » Mon 03.07.2005 11:11 pm

Knowing what politness level is probably the hardest for most gaijin.... What I do is usually use masu for when I first meet someone, after all, it is a "safe" option. For adults, people usually speak ~masu to eachother anwway, unless the are friends. (so an avrage co-worked you would probably speak in ~masu). Kid's though, espically younger, speak ~ru a lot, even if they do not know eachother as well.
Gaijinian
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat 03.05.2005 6:22 pm

RE: masu and iru

Postby Mukade » Tue 03.08.2005 12:39 am

Keep in mind, too, that ~masu can sound cold and impersonal. If you start becoming friendly with someone, it will soon be expected of you to start using the ~ru form.

I think the best thing is to take your cue off the people you are speaking to. If they are using more relaxed forms, use them yourself. If they are being polite, be polite back.

The only real exception to this would be if you are speaking with your boss. They are in a position to use relaxed forms with you even though you cannot use the same with them.

My boss speaks like a dock worker to me all the time, but my job would be forfeit if I responded in kind. :o

Gaijinian wrote:
Knowing what politness level is probably the hardest for most gaijin....


...and younger Japanese people. My students can't explain the intricacies of Japanese formality levels to you to save their lives. :(
User avatar
Mukade
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Location: Osaka
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: masu and iru

Postby Spaztick » Tue 03.08.2005 1:15 pm

What was that thing called, where Japanese people will sort of hide themselves behind a social mask except to the people they are close with? I forget what the name was, heard it once and never heard it again.
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: masu and iru

Postby Schattenjedi » Tue 03.08.2005 1:23 pm

Spaztick wrote:
What was that thing called, where Japanese people will sort of hide themselves behind a social mask except to the people they are close with? I forget what the name was, heard it once and never heard it again.


Japanese aren't the only ones who do that. :|
Schattenjedi
 

RE: masu and iru

Postby Mukade » Wed 03.09.2005 6:46 am

Spaztick wrote:
What was that thing called, where Japanese people will sort of hide themselves behind a social mask except to the people they are close with? I forget what the name was, heard it once and never heard it again.


I believe what you're thinking of is tatemae and honne.

Tatemae - 建前 - is the public "face," while

Honne - 本音 - is the interior thought or feeling.
User avatar
Mukade
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Location: Osaka
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: masu and iru

Postby Mukade » Wed 03.09.2005 6:58 am

Schattenjedi wrote:
Japanese aren't the only ones who do that. :|


No, but the Japanese will do it, quite frequently, to an extent that we Westerners would consider hypocritical or deceitful.

You: "Are you sure this is okay?"
Mr. Tanaka: "Yes."
You: "Are you SURE?!"
Mr. Tanaka: "Yes."
You: "Are you REALLY REALLY SURE?!"
Mr. Tanaka: "Yes."
You: "Okay."
So you do it, and Mr. Tanaka, furious, never speaks to you again.

Granted, it's just a cultural difference...but one that can lead to a lot of misunderstanding.

A bad thing is that it's also often coupled with this phenomena called ishindenshin - 以心伝心. This is a sort of "non-verbal communication" that the Japanese can be notorious for. In our above situation, Mr. Tanaka was saying "yes," but via ishindenshin, he was communicating the fact that A this was his tatemae and B what he really meant was "no."

Unfortunately, the Japanese often perform this non-verbal communication via a passive, stoney, emotionless face.

They think they are communicating volumes with you, and you think they have fallen asleep.
:o
User avatar
Mukade
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Location: Osaka
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: masu and iru

Postby hihlordjp » Wed 03.09.2005 11:51 pm

I think those social concepts are common to us Asians. Well, I can say that for Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos, at least. Usually, when interacting with people we aren't really close with, we say "Oh, sure you can do X." to our guests when they ask if they can do X, but the guests decline to do said X. Confusing, I know, but it's a cultural thing. Mind you, though, that it varies from case to case.
俺様は何時か此の地球の帝王に成るぞ!
...ジョウダンだよ。ヘヘ ^^;;

「君という光が私を見つける // 真夜中に」-- 「光」という歌より(歌手:宇多田ヒカル)
hihlordjp
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri 02.11.2005 11:37 am


Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests