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Gender differences in spoken Japanese

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Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby deelicious » Fri 01.29.2010 4:54 am

Hi! :D
While studying Japanese through textbooks and friends I came across some words or phrases that were specifically only for male or female speakers. I'm talking about onna kotoba (女言葉, "women's words") or joseigo (女性語, "women's language").

I'm aware that it mostly concerns slang terms... but some aren't, so that brought this question up. Some terms are used by both geders nowadays, although they were clearly only found in male speech some years ago.

Now, because I'm a girl I don't really want to use male terms and come off rude or tomboyish.:sweatdrop: I'd like to know some common and colloquial phrases/words that can be used by women also. Of course I know when to use keigo and teineigo, but this is more out of interest and to gain more vocabular variety when speaking to my Japanese friend. He's male and I think too shy to correct me sometimes, so he just says the only polite thing there is "Nihongo ga jouzu" and when I question his honesty about it "...umaiyo tte!" :D

Anyways. Ore, boku etc. are totally clear. But I have troubles with these:

Soukana~
The ~kana is said to be male only, while women say ~kashira.
Is it really like that? Because I've heard women say "soukana" or "doukana". I've only heard "doushiyou kana~" by women and not "doushiyou kashira~" which sounds odd.

Sou da ne~
I know male speakers only use this especially the "da", but I've heard women say "da ne".

Sounano?
I think it's used by both right? Because male and mostly female use "na no?" and "no?"

-Chau
tabechau, shichau, tsukarechatta etc.
I know they can be used by both genders, but haven't heard it a lot by women, maybe young girls?

Maybe there are more...
So if anyone has an addition or knows more or can correct me I'd very much appreciate it :colonthree:

Ja,
Dee
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby becki_kanou » Fri 01.29.2010 9:27 pm

deelicious wrote:Hi! :D
While studying Japanese through textbooks and friends I came across some words or phrases that were specifically only for male or female speakers. I'm talking about onna kotoba (女言葉, "women's words") or joseigo (女性語, "women's language").

I'm aware that it mostly concerns slang terms... but some aren't, so that brought this question up. Some terms are used by both geders nowadays, although they were clearly only found in male speech some years ago.

Now, because I'm a girl I don't really want to use male terms and come off rude or tomboyish.:sweatdrop: I'd like to know some common and colloquial phrases/words that can be used by women also. Of course I know when to use keigo and teineigo, but this is more out of interest and to gain more vocabular variety when speaking to my Japanese friend. He's male and I think too shy to correct me sometimes, so he just says the only polite thing there is "Nihongo ga jouzu" and when I question his honesty about it "...umaiyo tte!" :D

Anyways. Ore, boku etc. are totally clear. But I have troubles with these:


A fascinating and detailed topic, but I'll try to give some help with the examples you've mentioned.

Soukana~
The ~kana is said to be male only, while women say ~kashira.
Is it really like that? Because I've heard women say "soukana" or "doukana". I've only heard "doushiyou kana~" by women and not "doushiyou kashira~" which sounds odd.


I would say the opposite, かしら is marked for gender and is only used by women (or purposefully effeminate men) while かな can be used by both men and women.

Sou da ne~
I know male speakers only use this especially the "da", but I've heard women say "da ne".


It's OK for women to use this, but it's more typically feminine to omit the だ and just say そうね.

Sounano?
I think it's used by both right? Because male and mostly female use "na no?" and "no?"


This is feminine.

-Chau
tabechau, shichau, tsukarechatta etc.
I know they can be used by both genders, but haven't heard it a lot by women, maybe young girls?


This one has nothing to do with gender 〜ちゃう is just the casual form of 〜てしまう and as such it can be used by anyone.
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 01.29.2010 10:44 pm

becki_kanou wrote:
Sounano?
I think it's used by both right? Because male and mostly female use "na no?" and "no?"


This is feminine.


Are you sure about that? My impression has always been that の concluding a *statement* is feminine, whereas in a *question* it is not gendered (although it is more "gentle", perhaps, than そうなんだ?)
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby jcdietz03 » Sat 01.30.2010 12:27 am

I have a related question:
Are there gender-related restrictions on sentence-end-particles ぜ or ぞ ?
My guess is women like ぞ and men like ぜ but I am not sure.
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby JaySee » Sat 01.30.2010 12:50 am

I don't think I've ever heard a woman use either ぜ or ぞ. These particles have quite a strong emphatical meaning to them anyway, so they generally don't come up that often in daily conversation at all.

And I agree with Yudan, そうなの sounds feminine to me when used in a statement (e.g. そうなのよ), but not if it is used in a question.
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby deelicious » Sat 01.30.2010 6:00 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:
Sounano?
I think it's used by both right? Because male and mostly female use "na no?" and "no?"


This is feminine.


Are you sure about that? My impression has always been that の concluding a *statement* is feminine, whereas in a *question* it is not gendered (although it is more "gentle", perhaps, than そうなんだ?)


Thanks a lot for the answers so far! :D うれしい!

Hmm, my japanese friend often uses そうなの as in "really?" or "is that so?". Not sure if he wants to be effiminate, hehe, but on the other hand uses alot of ~ぞ or なんだよ. (I know women don't say なんだ they say なによ in that case.

Never heard women say ~ぞ, so I'd say it's totally male. It would also sound very harsh I think.

I kind of realised women use a lot of わ, ねand の to end their sentences. Right?

I think overal japanese women like to speak ladylike and don't use slang terms too often.
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby keatonatron » Sat 01.30.2010 7:00 am

jcdietz03 wrote:I have a related question:
Are there gender-related restrictions on sentence-end-particles ぜ or ぞ ?
My guess is women like ぞ and men like ぜ but I am not sure.


ぞ and ぜ are both quite masculine. The difference in usage is not based on gender; they are colloquial forms of よ and ね, and therefore the difference in usage is the same as よ and ね.
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 01.30.2010 10:31 am

ぜ is not a form of ね; it's just a sound variation of ぞ.

(In my experience, neither men nor women use ぞ or ぜ much in real life outside of some common fixed phrases like やるぞ or 行くぞ, which are used both by men and women.)
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby becki_kanou » Sat 01.30.2010 8:41 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:
Sounano?
I think it's used by both right? Because male and mostly female use "na no?" and "no?"


This is feminine.


Are you sure about that? My impression has always been that の concluding a *statement* is feminine, whereas in a *question* it is not gendered (although it is more "gentle", perhaps, than そうなんだ?)


Sorry, yes, you're correct. Feminine for statements but neutral for questions.
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby keatonatron » Sun 01.31.2010 1:20 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:ぜ is not a form of ね; it's just a sound variation of ぞ.

(In my experience, neither men nor women use ぞ or ぜ much in real life outside of some common fixed phrases like やるぞ or 行くぞ, which are used both by men and women.)


In my experience, it's not that rare :wink:

My teacher liked to use ぞ whenever we did something wrong and he wanted to add a negative tone (このままじゃ卒業出来ないぞ). I've heard it quite a bit, from other people as well.

From what I can tell, the usages do seem different for ぞ and ぜ, similar to that of よ and ね. I'm sure you are right, but it would be easy to misinterpret by listening to common use.

ぞ seems to have a more definitive feel ("this is going to happen so pay attention!"); also seen in another common example "殺すぞ!"

ぜ seems more playful or confirmative. I have a friend from Fukuoka who likes to say 飲もうぜ! as we are heading to the izakaya, which definately sounds much closer to 飲もうね! than 飲もうよ! .
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 01.31.2010 1:02 pm

Right, once you get into these casual speech features it's heavily dependent on individual person and place in Japan. The people I know use わ instead of ぞ as the assertive particle pretty much always.

(ぞ really is more of an emphatic particle than a "new information" one like よ, I think. There are a lot of times you can use よ that ぞ doesn't work.)
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby deelicious » Mon 02.01.2010 8:03 am

I might be using よ too much...
Of course it's important to always speak politely and all that, but when meeting people my age in Japan I might also come off pretty weird. But then again, I'll just have to hang around more Japanese people to get the hang of it. :D Thanks a lot so far!
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby deelicious » Thu 02.04.2010 4:26 am

I'm a total beginner/newbie/whatever at Japanese so... another two questions:

How about そうだよ, especially the ~だよ part?

And I've heard a lot of じゃん attached to adjectives, for example うまいじゃん or かわいいじゃん. I get that it's definitely casual. But is it also used by both genders?

Thanks in advance :D
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby tōkai devotee » Thu 02.04.2010 4:38 am

The じゃん was used a lot where I lived in Japan. It is dialect for ですね。It's used by both genders but seemingly a bit more commonly by females.

I'm not all that sure about the そうだよ。I don't use よ very much and neither do people around me, and to me だよcomes off as being kind of rude. I don't know, but that's just how it sounds to me, or maybe it's just the manner in which people use it. Anyway, hopefully someone more knowledgable will come along soon!
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Re: Gender differences in spoken Japanese

Postby deelicious » Thu 02.04.2010 4:41 am

tokai devotee wrote:The じゃん was used a lot where I lived in Japan. It is dialect for ですね

Dialect used in Tokyo area?
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