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僕? 俺?

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僕? 俺?

Postby suko » Sat 09.29.2007 6:31 am

I was talking to a friend of mine, and our oppinions of 僕 and 俺 differ somewhat. So, i thought i'd just like that to be clarified...
It's my opinion that:

僕 is (male) informal and
俺 is arrogant-sounding...

Is that about right?

ありがとう皆さん。
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.29.2007 8:59 am

That's too simplistic a definition, unfortunately. A classmate of mine uses "ore" regularly when talking to other classmates and he definitely is not being arrogant. I do not have a good understanding of which first-person pronoun a male should use; I personally almost always use "watashi".
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby JaySee » Sat 09.29.2007 9:34 am

The FAQ on this site describes ore as "俺【おれ】-- Boastful word for "I". Used historically by the samurai to impress upon others their own greatness. It is used infrequently in modern day Japan and is almost always rude." but I think this description is completely incorrect. I don't know about how often 'older' people use it, but when being around groups of Japanese people of around my age (up to 25 years old or so) in informal situations I don't think there are any males who do not refer to themselves as 'ore'. So I'd say it's in fact used pretty often and only rude if used in the wrong circumstances (being anything other than informal, and talking to anyone higher in 'status') Hell, I've even heard Japanese 4 year olds use 'ore' all the time.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.29.2007 9:49 am

Children use "ore" more frequently than adults, in my experience.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 09.29.2007 9:53 am

All the claptrap about 俺 being "boastful" or "arrogant" is just that: claptrap.

The choice of first person pronoun is just like practically every other aspect of Japanese usage; it is very highly context-driven.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 09.29.2007 10:05 am

I agree with JaySee; that definition is really off.

It's hard to explain, but let me give it another try. "Ore" is in roughly the same register as "damn". Which is not to say that it's an expletive like "damn"; after all, four year olds use it. But essentially, look at the situation around you. Would you ever use "damn" in this social context? In something innocuous like, "I can't find my damn keys," or "Damn! That's a nice car!" If you would, then that's likely a situation where you could use "ore".

Of course, Japanese social contexts differ from American ones. And so it requires paying a lot of attention to what other people do. When you hear someone use "ore" in real life, take note of who they were talking to, and what the situation was. If you're in a workplace meeting with a bunch of straight talking fellows of roughly the same age and status, you'll hear "ore", even mixed in with some "desu/masu". Go to a construction site and it'll probably be ubiquitous. Talk with your girlfriend's father, and he'll probably use "ore", and you should use "boku/watashi". Talk with her younger brother and you'll probably both end up using "ore".
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 09.29.2007 10:37 am

I think there's probably some hypercorrection going on -- there is a prevalence among some beginners to think that "ore" is to "watashi" as "wakaru" is to "wakarimasu", and that's definitely wrong, but the FAQ's description is wrong as well, so there's some middle ground.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby katsunori » Sat 09.29.2007 12:40 pm

"俺(ore)" is one of first personal pronouns. It might be boastful. It might be friendly. I think it is a trivial matter in everyday life. However, 日本男児(adult Japanese men) *must* use "俺(ore)" for the special person like 親友 or 彼女 even though they never use it for the others. It is difficult to choose the special...
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby inuinu » Sat 09.29.2007 1:18 pm

ひとつの言葉だけを取り上げて「失礼だ、傲慢だ」とは言えない場合があります。
いろいろな部分で「丁寧さ」をあらわすことが出来るので、
他の「傲慢」な部分をひとつの文章の中でもカバー出来るからです。
たとえば
「俺は○○です。よろしく」
「私は○○だ。よろしくな」
「僕は○○と垂オます。よろしくお願いします」
3つ目の例に「俺」を入れると少し丁寧さの組み合わせがアンバランスになりすぎますが
あとは柔軟に「私」や「俺」の部分を入れ替えることが出来るし、丁寧さの印象は違ってきます。
そして私にとっては、この中では2番目の例が最も「傲慢」に見えます。
(もちろん、それ以前の文脈や、その発言者の人柄や立場の要素が加われば、
まったく傲慢に感じなくなり、普通に感じる場合もあります)
このように「私」を使っていたとしても、残りの文で丁寧さが足りなかったら
丁寧さは相殺されてしまうということです。

つまり、俺・僕・私など、どれを使うとしても、
他の言葉とのバランスを上手に組み合わせれば「丁寧さ」はある程度コントロールできるので
あまり「俺」は乱魔セなどと決めつけないで、他の言葉といっしょにした使い方を覚えていくと
いいんじゃないかなと思います。
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby suko » Sat 09.29.2007 6:37 pm

Shirasagi wrote:
It's hard to explain, but let me give it another try. "Ore" is in roughly the same register as "damn". Which is not to say that it's an expletive like "damn"; after all, four year olds use it. But essentially, look at the situation around you. Would you ever use "damn" in this social context? In something innocuous like, "I can't find my damn keys," or "Damn! That's a nice car!" If you would, then that's likely a situation where you could use "ore".


ありがとうございます、Shirasagiさん。I think I'll adopt that kind of idea... that clears things up quite a bit.
Although, in anime at least, when one character uses 俺, it seems that they're saying something like : "the great so-and-so"... Is that common, or just in the anime-world?

ありがとう
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 09.29.2007 8:22 pm

Anime (and manga) is escapist fantasy.

Wrapping your mind around that is probably one of the most useful things you could do to advance your Japanese studies.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 09.29.2007 9:51 pm

suko wrote:
ありがとうございます、Shirasagiさん。I think I'll adopt that kind of idea... that clears things up quite a bit.
Although, in anime at least, when one character uses 俺, it seems that they're saying something like : "the great so-and-so"... Is that common, or just in the anime-world?

ありがとう


"Ore" can't mean anything other than "I". What I expect is the issue here is that the character is using "ore-sama". Now, "ore-sama" actually is very close to the definition in the FAQ - entirely boastful, rude, and rarely used in modern Japan. But the key point here is not "ore", but rather the "sama". You are never supposed to attach things like san, kun, chan, etc. to your own name, and doing so creates very extreme impressions. "Chan" is a dimunitive, so adding chan to your own name is an obnoxious affectation of cuteness. Sama is an honorific term of address, so tacking it onto the casual term "ore" is extremely arrogant, and presents as such.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby stevie » Sat 09.29.2007 10:21 pm

Last weekend I asked my friend Sayaka about this. I asked about 僕 and she said it comes across a little childish. So I asked her about 俺 and she said it sounds casual, a little rough. I asked her if I should stick with わたし when I talked to her and she said no, use 俺. It was kinda funny, I'm so not used to saying 俺.

Contrast to another friend who I know a lot better, and for a while longer, and who I'd say I am a good deal closer to - that friend said it sounds 'a bit wild' if I say 俺, and that 僕 is more comfortable.
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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby spin13 » Sun 09.30.2007 9:58 am

JaySee wrote:
I don't know about how often 'older' people use it, but when being around groups of Japanese people of around my age (up to 25 years old or so) in informal situations I don't think there are any males who do not refer to themselves as 'ore'. So I'd say it's in fact used pretty often and only rude if used in the wrong circumstances.


I know a few gentlemen in their 70's who use 'ore' on a regular basis. I'd say its the latter part of the quote that is key, just like every other bit of Japanese.

stevie wrote:
Last weekend I asked my friend Sayaka about this. I asked about 僕 and she said it comes across a little childish. So I asked her about 俺 and she said it sounds casual, a little rough. I asked her if I should stick with わたし when I talked to her and she said no, use 俺. It was kinda funny, I'm so not used to saying 俺.

Contrast to another friend who I know a lot better, and for a while longer, and who I'd say I am a good deal closer to - that friend said it sounds 'a bit wild' if I say 俺, and that 僕 is more comfortable.


Which just goes to show that each person feels and reacts differently to various language. People are context, too, you know!! *

Or as Mr. Heston once said, "Soyent context is PEOPLLLLLE!" OK, OK, I admit. He never said that.

Shirasagi wrote:
Now, "ore-sama" actually is very close to the definition in the FAQ - entirely boastful, rude, and rarely used in modern Japan.


Just one thing about 'ore-sama.' I'd liken its use in the presence of females to the following Wayne's World quote:

Garth Algar: Uhm, Wayne? What do you do if every time you see this one incredible woman, you think you're gonna hurl?
Wayne Campbell: I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.

...because 'ore-sama' is vomit: it's not only a good way to loose weight but also a hilarious way to test the mettle of your newest lady friend!

-Eric

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RE: 僕? 俺?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 09.30.2007 11:51 am

As a side note, the idea that 僕 is "informal" is also not completely correct. There are many instances in which ぼく can be used in formal contexts, particularly when attempting to humble yourself (e.g. この僕に任せてください).

"informal" is always kind of a dangerous word to use when talking about Japanese because the issues of style and politeness are so complicated that they can't really be boxed into dualities like "formal" vs. "informal".
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