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Feminine and Masculine Japanese

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Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby KekkeBaka » Thu 02.03.2005 1:18 am

I was just in another forum discussing the anime 'Naruto', and someone where pointing out that one of the male characters in that series had a very feminine way of talking, that is to say, he used words in Japanese which are mainly used by women. The guy who pointed this out, indicated that the character might be gay. Do the Japanese have a lot of words used by only males or only females? Do the men and women in Japan generally speak in a way answering to their sex?

Anyone who has something to say about this, is very welcome to discuss, as I find it interesting..
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RE: Male and Female Japanese

Postby clay » Thu 02.03.2005 9:58 am

Yes, there are a lot of words or ways of saying things that differ between the sexes. The most obvious is using WA at the end of a sentence. Women do that often. I had a male friend who had seen a movie where the women often said WA at the end of each sentence. So he started doing that. He would often say いいわ。 ii wa (that is fine). It drove his sensei crazy. At first it was a joke, but later he started saying it automatically. Very dangerous... :D But very funny...

Another difference is with pronouns:

Male:
おれ ore - I
ぼく boku - I

Female
あたし atashi - I
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RE: Male and female speech

Postby Sunny Pig » Wed 02.09.2005 3:33 am

There are many differences between male and female speech in Japanese.

1. Gender-specific Pronouns

Some pronouns are gender-specific.
僕(ぼく)- boku, informal male pronoun
俺(おれ)- ore, boastful sounding male pronoun, rarely but sometimes used by females in anime
私(あたし)- atashi, same kanji as watashi & watakushi, female pronoun, many females opt to use "watashi" rather than "atashi" because "atashi" is really girlish.

2. Gender-specific Words

A lot of words are used only by one of the genders. One common example would be...
素敵(すてき)- means "lovely". Not used by males in speech. It is the same logic as a man would not point to a flower and say "Wow, that is such a lovely flower!", which would sound gay.

3. Gender-specific Sentence Enders

語尾(ごび)gobi are sentence enders. Some of the most well-known and most misused ones are 「ね」 and 「よ」.
Some gobi's are gender-specific. Almost all of these are added for emphasis for the overall sentence.
- feminine gobi
- masculine gobi, a common example would be "iku zo!"
- masculine gobi, a common example would be "kakkouii ze!"
かしら - feminine gobi, non-gender specific counterpart is "ka na", used to indicate that the speaker has some considerations about something.

4. Speech rhythm and pitches

Japanese males and females uses different "beats" and rhythms when speaking. They also pitch words with a slight difference. I have not done much research about this so I cannot give much comments about it. So be wary when you are learning conversational Japanese and your instructor is of the opposite sex. You may pick up his/her speech rhythms subconsciously and begin to speak like the opposite sex. So, be careful.
Last edited by Sunny Pig on Wed 02.09.2005 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby punkgrl326 » Mon 03.06.2006 12:34 am

So be wary when you are learning conversational Japanese and your instructor is of the opposite sex. You may pick up his/her speech rhythms subconsciously and begin to speak like the opposite sex.
That would be scary, ne? ;)
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby TrilinguisT » Mon 03.06.2006 12:38 am

why is it that the girly guys in japan gets all the girls? or so i heard--
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 03.06.2006 1:07 am

The most obvious is using WA at the end of a sentence. Women do that often.


I actually have a bad habit of doing that, which I picked up from my wife. ;/
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby _allismine_ » Tue 03.14.2006 6:33 pm

OMG how cunfuzing...;)
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby Sachi » Tue 03.14.2006 7:29 pm

This topic is pretty interesting, and I'm sure valuable to some, too.

After all, I've seen in several places that "Japanese does not use gender." Pretty obvious to most (I'm sure there are several instances in English, as Japanese, where men vs. women talk differently.), but I'm sure the average person could get confused and think there is absolutely no gender in Japanese, and pick up bad habits ;)
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby AJBryant » Tue 03.14.2006 7:32 pm

The most obvious is using WA at the end of a sentence.


When in a rising tone. In a falling tone, it means you're an old fart from Osaka. ;)


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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby Justin » Tue 03.14.2006 7:55 pm

AJBryant wrote:
The most obvious is using WA at the end of a sentence.


When in a rising tone. In a falling tone, it means you're an old fart from Osaka. ;)


Tony

Yep, I tend to use WA like that a fair amount as most of the Japanese I know came from when I studied in Osaka, but it's not just old farts, pretty much anyone can use it...or so I hope at least. Maybe it's just me starting to get old here though, who knows. :D
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RE: Feminine and Masculine Japanese

Postby keatonatron » Tue 03.14.2006 11:43 pm

A lot of it has to do with soft/hard (weak/strong) speaking styles. A weaker male will use more feminine speach, while a strong (alpha) male will use lots of ぞ and ぜ. :D Same goes with girls, the girls that are kind of tough will occasionally use 僕 and not speak as girly.

I don't think it definately means your Naruto character is gay though. Just like any other part of the world, gay people in Japan don't all act like the opposite gender. In fact, "flaming" gays are fairly scarce, and feminine (yet completely straight) guys are quite common.

But if your character wears makeup and hits on the guys, maybe he is gay ;)
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