View topic - dono, san, sama----ACK!
my edict gives me:
殿: どの (pol) person; Mister (mostly in addressing someone on an envelope); Mr; Common
It was used to address a monk, miroku-dono. Is this more polite than san, sama, etc? How would this be used?
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I know that -sama is for high authorities, royalty or somebody you admire very much.
-san is the common, not sure when it suits the best.
I read in other site that the best way to master this little words is listening to native speakers.
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くん - Used by a higher authority on males. For example, a senior in school (せんぱい) would use this suffix on their juniors.
さん - Most commonly used. There are no gender restrictions on the usage of "san". A general feeling of respect is associated with it, so it is normally used on people that you are not familiar with. However, at the same time, "san" doesn't create the kind of "distance" between individuals like "sama" does. Well, just use it when you want to be polite, whether it is between friends, strangers, family members...
様（さま）- Confers a higher level of respect than "san". "sama" is often used for someone who has a much higher authority than you, someone that you admire (you do see in anime that girls always add a "sama" after the name of a particular male they really admire) and someone who is famous and recognised. However, as mentioned before, "sama" sort of creates a uncomfortable "distance" between two individuals, as if "sama" is showing the difference in status between the two. I've heard that at car aunctions in Japan, any potential customer would be addressed as "sama". After the car is bought, the company keeps in touch with the buyer using "san". Not to say that the respect is lowered once the customer has already bought a car, but rather, "san" is used because the buyer is now considered "familiar" and more closer to the company. Also "sama" is used for the addressee on the envelope. You will always find "....様" on the envelope and "..." is the name of the person that you are writing to.
殿（どの）- Confers the highest level of respect. I think "dono" used to be a suffix used to address royalty, although I am not sure how the general Japanese public address their Emperor. "dono" is sometimes used like "sama", on someone of extreme authority or one who is very very much more experienced and senior compared to you, almost as if that person is your master. Like "sama", using "dono" would be equivalent to drawing a clear line of status difference between the two, and thus, not as intimate as "san". "dono" is quite rare in real life I think, I only hear and see them a lot in anime and manga.
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