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Boku.

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Boku.

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Wed 12.26.2007 12:41 pm

Is boku informal, and if it isn't could you use it all the time?
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RE: Boku.

Postby gfunk » Wed 12.26.2007 9:38 pm

http://thejapanesepage.com/readarticle. ... cle_id=126

And I found MANY forum posts with info about this by using the search link... You should learn to use it too...

"Boku" is mostly masculine and somewhat self-deprecatory, and should be OK for you to use in situations calling for polite speech if you don't want to use "watashi".

richvh

Boku is not formal, but that doesn't mean it's casual. And, as has been noted before by one of our native speaking forumites, the tone of your statement is influenced by the entirety of your expression, not just what pronoun you use.

shirasagi

"boku" has a self-deprecatory feeling to it (because of its association with children), which actually does make it suitable for formal situations -- being self-deprecatory is a lot like being humble.

Yudan Taiteki
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RE: Boku.

Postby keatonatron » Thu 12.27.2007 2:12 am

Boku can be used all the time. It can be formal or informal.

Watashi is the same.

Watakushi is only formal, and shouldn't be used informally (unless you want to sound like a nerd)

Ore is informal and should only be used with people whom you have a close relationship with.

I thought the same thing as gfunk when I first read this thread (which is why I didn't reply immediately): this stuff should be easy to find with a little effort.
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RE: Boku.

Postby NocturnalOcean » Thu 12.27.2007 3:39 am

I actually know this girl that uses boku!
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RE: Boku.

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 12.27.2007 4:03 am

NocturnalOcean wrote:
I actually know this girl that uses boku!


As does my neice.
Along with Ore, and once or twice washi.
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RE: Boku.

Postby Oracle » Thu 12.27.2007 5:19 am

As does my neice.
Along with Ore, and once or twice washi.


We have friends in Tokyo who have a large circle of gay friends and a few of them used to baby sit our friends' son on occasion. As a result when he was about 5 years old he went through a phase of calling himself あたし and everyone else 「あんた!」 in that exasperated sort of tone of voice :D
Last edited by Oracle on Thu 12.27.2007 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Boku.

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 12.27.2007 10:00 pm

Oracle wrote:
As a result when he was about 5 years old he went through a phase of calling himself あたし and everyone else 「あんた!」 in that exasperated sort of tone of voice :D


As long as he didn't start saying どんだけ〜 ;)
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RE: Boku.

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Fri 12.28.2007 12:35 am

sorry about not using the search, I don't know why I didn't. It is a good thing that boku can be used formaly and informaly becaus I like to use it more than watashi.


And just to be clear I can always use boku and be safe?
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RE: Boku.

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 12.28.2007 3:47 am

guitarplayer7694 wrote:
And just to be clear I can always use boku and be safe?


No.

You can use it MOST of the time, but not always.
Sticking with Watashi is best when you don't know which to use.
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RE: Boku.

Postby Oyaji » Fri 12.28.2007 4:20 am

Harisenbon wrote:
guitarplayer7694 wrote:
And just to be clear I can always use boku and be safe?


No.

You can use it MOST of the time, but not always.
Sticking with Watashi is best when you don't know which to use.


Normally I would agree with Harisenbon, but I believe in another thread I read that you (Guitarplayer7694) are a 14 year old male. If so, then you would be safe using it in pretty much any situation. (I'm trying to think of a situation where it wouldn't be appropriate for my 14 year old son to use "boku", and I can't think of one.)

Naturally, Japanese children learn what word is appropriate for any particular situation through daily experience. You don't have that advantage, so when you become an adult you would do well to follow Harisenbon's advice.
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RE: Boku.

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 12.28.2007 11:05 am

Oyaji wrote:
Normally I would agree with Harisenbon, but I believe in another thread I read that you (Guitarplayer7694) are a 14 year old male.


I was going to say it was always ok to use boku, but then I just imagined my boss getting up in front of a staff meeting and saying boku, and I just had to shoot that down. ;) Then I imagined Fukuta総理 saying boku and that just kind of reinforced things.

But for a 14 yearold male, go hog-wild. :D
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RE: Boku.

Postby keatonatron » Fri 12.28.2007 2:06 pm

My 60-year-old teacher says boku all the time.


...And it's kinda weird.
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RE: Boku.

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 12.28.2007 4:15 pm

if she is from Tohoku, that wouldn't surprise me. The older women in that Roken say boku and ore more than the men do..
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RE: Boku.

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 12.28.2007 11:17 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
if she is from Tohoku, that wouldn't surprise me. The older women in that Roken say boku and ore more than the men do..


A few of my co-workers were talking about pronouns and whatnot, and we asked the Kyoto-sensei at what age he started saying washi. Then he turned and asked one of the female teachers when she started saying boku. She just looked at us and said, "I don:t say boku, do I?"

She had been saying boku for almost her entire life and had never really noticed. :D
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RE: Boku.

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 12.29.2007 4:31 am

guitarplayer7694 wrote:
sorry about not using the search, I don't know why I didn't. It is a good thing that boku can be used formaly and informaly becaus I like to use it more than watashi.


And just to be clear I can always use boku and be safe?


Context is everything. And your overriding context is being a 14 year old American male in Kentucky with both limited Japanese ability and very limited chances to make use of it.

Within those parameters, you may safely use boku to your heart's content. By the time you have greater opportunity to use Japanese in a variety of situations you will have learned quite a bit more and the fine distinctions of when to use what will have become more apparent to you.
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