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Watashi/Anata

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Watashi/Anata

Postby h3lladvocate » Mon 11.07.2005 7:55 pm

I was talking to my friend, who is japanese and i said "anata wa baka desu". Aftr i said this he started laughing, saying that watashi and anata are more feminine forms. So, then what are the other forms of you/me? I dont want to go around sounding like a girl when i talk with my friend.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 11.07.2005 8:18 pm

Anata and watashi are not decidedly femine, but carry a lighter connotation than other forms of addressing people. Thus, in an insult, you wouldn't use anata, as it is too polite. same with desu. If I was to translate that into English, I would say something like "Oh, you're such an idiot." which does sound rather feminine even in English, because of its politeness.

You should stick with anata and watashi (or boku) until you have a VERY firm grasp of Japanese. Using more impolite words while not having a firm grasp of the language can land you in some rather problematic situations.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby h3lladvocate » Mon 11.07.2005 8:37 pm

All right i understand, domo arigato harisenbon-san.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby Infidel » Tue 11.08.2005 12:11 am

Wives will often call their husbands anata, meaning Honey. If you don't want the listener to wonder if you mean Honey then anata isn't the best word to use.

A lot of words have multiple uses and this is what can lead to misunderstandings. Like kanojo. It means girl but often means girlfriend. Just another opportunity for misunderstanding.

This is hardly a strictly Japanese issue though. English has plenty of words with multiple meanings that might confuse the listener.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 11.08.2005 3:42 am

[quote]ishnar wrote:
Wives will often call their husbands anata, meaning Honey. If you don't want the listener to wonder if you mean Honey then anata isn't the best word to use.
quote]

Boyfriends and husbands (depending on their generation) also call their girlfriends and wives Omae. You can also use Omae to start a fight. Just because you can use a word in a situation does not mean that it is restricted to that situation.

In general conversation both anata and kanojo are fairly safe, polite words, and while can be construed as having different meanings depending on context, would not be misconstrued in such simple sentences as "are you hungry" and "her name is mary," I don't think.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby mr_pain » Tue 11.08.2005 7:01 am

This page http://thejapanesepage.com/readarticle.php?article_id=126 has a breakdown of some of the various I/You's.

Out of curiosity, would ANY of the ruder forms of you be accepted by a friend as a joke or would most be likely to sour things? (Sorry Ishnar, I hear what youre saying :) )
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 11.09.2005 12:26 am

It depends on your relationship with someone as to whether or not you can use the ruder forms of words with them. With my close friends of similar age, I will use omae, especially in jokes. When I'm pissed at my students I regularly call them anta. I would never call someone older than me omae, even in jest, though.
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RE: Watashi/Anata

Postby AJBryant » Wed 11.09.2005 1:28 am

There's always "baaaaaaaaaaaaka" -- which has a kind of joking quality to it. It doesn't translate well, but in a Japanese situation where I'd respond "baaaaaaaaka", in English I'd give a brief raspberry.


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