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Usage of 二人称の人代?

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Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby jukebox » Mon 10.31.2005 4:43 pm

New here, and I began to learn Japanese only a few weeks ago.

As far as I know, we have お前・貴様・あなた・君・etc for 二人称 and 俺・僕・私(わたくし/わたし)・我・etc for 一人称.
Apparently, 貴様 are sort of some terms of respect. I was taught in class to use あなた as less as possible, for あなた could also mean 'dear' bewteen beloved. Besides, 君 also has some ambiguous meanings.
However, I remembered that あなた appears frequenly in daily life in TV dramas.
I googled for some further explanations, and only some sources in Japanese could be found. しかし、私の日本語がとても苦手です。

So here're some questions...
When I meet with someone for the first time, which pronouns should I use if I want to know his/her name?
After I had met him/her for a few times, which pronouns? or simply 姓/名字 + さん?
When we are closer, which pronouns?
Does use of 私 among friends make someone feminine?

Like in classical Chinese, Japanese language always omits personal pronouns, but I find these pronouns are really frustrating me.

Regards,
Last edited by jukebox on Mon 10.31.2005 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby clay » Mon 10.31.2005 5:28 pm

jukebox wrote:
Apparently, 貴様 are sort of some terms of respect. I was taught in class to use あなた as less as possible, for あなた could also mean 'dear' bewteen beloved.


Hi Jukebox! Welcome to Japanese.

First off, don't use 貴様 (きさま). Since you obviously know the meaning of the kanji, you may think it is very respectful, but it actually is quite rude. Sarcasm, I suppose. Not sure how that came about. きさま is a word you will use just before you cut down your enemy. :o

あなた really is the most common 'you'. While it can (and is) used between a husband and wife, you don't have to worry about being confused in conversation. Use あなた when you meet someone for the first time.

Here are some other fun pronouns:
http://www.thejapanesepage.com/readarticle.php?article_id=126

Ganbatte,
Clay
Last edited by clay on Mon 10.31.2005 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 10.31.2005 7:09 pm

jukebox wrote:
New here, and I began to learn Japanese only a few weeks ago.

As far as I know, we have お前・貴様・あなた・君・etc for 二人称 and 俺・僕・私(わたくし/わたし)・我・etc for 一人称.
Apparently, 貴様 are sort of some terms of respect. I was taught in class to use あなた as less as possible, for あなた could also mean 'dear' bewteen beloved. Besides, 君 also has some ambiguous meanings.
However, I remembered that あなた appears frequenly in daily life in TV dramas.
I googled for some further explanations, and only some sources in Japanese could be found. しかし、私の日本語がとても苦手です。

So here're some questions...
When I meet with someone for the first time, which pronouns should I use if I want to know his/her name?
After I had met him/her for a few times, which pronouns? or simply 姓/名字 + さん?
When we are closer, which pronouns?
Does use of 私 among friends make someone feminine?

Like in classical Chinese, Japanese language always omits personal pronouns, but I find these pronouns are really frustrating me.

Regards,


As Clay said, 貴様 is pretty much right out.

To deal with your specific questions first...

When you met someone for the first time give YOUR name.
はじめまして。 ---です。

If they don't respond with their name, you can ask for it with:
お名前は?

Notice there's no pronouns at all above. In Japanese, pronouns are generally not used when it's clear from context what is meant.

If you know someone's name, it is best to use that instead of a second person pronoun. For instance, when a friend of mine wants to ask me a question she will say:
志羅さんに聞きたいものですが。 = "I'd like to ask Shira-san a question". Sounds funny in English, but not Japanese.

Now this next bit is speculation on my part, but I THINK if you use a 2nd-person pronoun when speaking to someone you know, it might sound either too distant (as if you don't know their name) or too familiar. Pronouns like お前 and 君 are used toward close friends in informal situations. But also, sometimes using a pronoun can make you sound condescending. So -- best to use the other person's name + san if you know it, until you understand all the social nuances of using pronouns.

Obviously, if the person's name is NOT known, あなた is a nice, neutral choice.

As for 私, I think males more commonly use 僕. But my teacher told me about a friend of hers, an older gentleman who always used 私. He had very courtly manners, rather formal speech, generally refined tastes. From what she said, I don't think he came off as feminine, but just very ... 上品な言葉づかい.

HTH!

Shira

(As always, I welcome anyone who wants to correct anything I've written.)
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 10.31.2005 7:42 pm

Also, when addressing someone in a job situation, or of higher status, you should refer to them with their job title. I call all the teachers at my work "sensei" or "name + sensei." I never use the name of the head of my BOE, even though he's my friend. He's always "kyouikuchou" at work.

There are pronouns in Japanese, and people DO use them alot, but they're generally not used when talking TO someone because they can be construed as condescending or too informal.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby jukebox » Mon 10.31.2005 7:51 pm

Many thanks for your help.
never knew 貴様 is an insult word before.
I think I'd better use pronouns less before I could eventually grasp subtle differences.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby roosh » Mon 10.31.2005 9:57 pm

well, u can always pick up an anime for practising.
from that, i'm sure you'll know how 貴様will be used.hehe:D
よろしくおながいしむす!~~
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 11.01.2005 1:38 am

roosh wrote:
well, u can always pick up an anime for practising.
from that, i'm sure you'll know how 貴様will be used.hehe:D


I know you meant it as a joke, but using anime to study Japanese is a patently bad idea. Most anime are geared towards elementary students. It's ok for them to go around calling each other baka, omae and kisama, because they're kids. That doesn't fly in the real world. If you're to study from TV, I suggest Japanese dramas or love stories or whatnot. The speech is slow, the words they use aren't difficult, and they use the adult conversation patterns that will actually serve you well in Japan.

If you know how to say kisama, sake, mottekoi! or other standard anime phrases you may sound very fluent, but no one is going to like you.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby roosh » Tue 11.01.2005 3:34 am

sure..i get what you mean.
the anime language doesn't suit the real world for sure.:)
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby Kodi » Tue 11.01.2005 10:04 am

If you introduce yourself fully then hopefully the other person should do the same for you. Hajimemashite, etc.
As for 'anata'... Yeah, use the person's name instead.
Sorry I couldn't realy be bothered going to character map and finding the hirigana there hehe.
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RE: Usage of 二人称の人代?

Postby AJBryant » Tue 11.01.2005 2:31 pm

If you know how to say kisama, sake, mottekoi! or other standard anime phrases you may sound very fluent, but no one is going to like you.


Don't forget manga and the interesting "sound effects" like モックリ. ;)

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