Home arrow Japan Forum
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Japan Photos

Want to see more pictures of Japan? See the way people used to live and the way they live now. You can even buy the best of our Japan photos in high resolution. Take a look here for a sample.
TheJapanChannel Photos...

Japan Videos

Check out our great selection of unique Japan videos. See the country from a new perspective and learn about Japanese art, culture and history. See this weeks latest video. Check-it-out!
TheJapanChannel Videos...
Japan Forum
Welcome, Guest
Please Login or Register.    Lost Password?
Re:Switching from Polite Language to Informal Tone (1 viewing) (1) Guest
Go to bottom Post Reply Favoured: 2
TOPIC: Re:Switching from Polite Language to Informal Tone
#4330
Kedi (User)
Fresh Boarder
Posts: 2
graphgraph
User Offline Click here to see the profile of this user
Switching from Polite Language to Informal Tone 9 Years ago Karma: 0  
Greetings everyone.

I've searched lots of forums, but I could not find a proper one regarding this issue.

I've been studying Japanese at the university for a year now, and I can engage in basic/mid level conversations. I come from a country where being polite is also embodied in the language as well Turkey; Turkish. We have different verbs and pronouns for you - friend level (informal) and you - to someone higher than you in rank or age (polite). A bit similar to Japanese on that sense.

While I don't have a problem differentiating those in Japanese, I'm having a bit of an issue when it comes to relationships - be it just friendship or else. I basically can't read between the lines when it's appropriate for me to switch to casual form, unless someone explicitly tells me to do so.

For example, in Turkey we would just say "You don't have to speak in polite form to me" if we familiarize ourselves with the other person enough. That might be in 2 weeks or 2 hours, and it heavily depends on both sides.

It obviously differs a lot from person to person and from relationship to relationship. Considering two people are on "equal level" - age, school year, same company position etc - and they have been friends for some time, what would you reckon the appropriate time to be to switch the language usage? Would they always tell me to "feel comfortable and use informal tone"? Or should I search for clues? If I keep using informal language with someone, and the other person keeps on using the formal language, does that mean the other person would like to keep a distance between us so I should switch back, or he's just being extra polite?

Thanks for the read and answers

Ps: I'm studying at the Netherlands right now. Maybe someone might find that information relevant.
 
Report to moderator   Logged Logged  
 
Last Edit: 2011/08/08 19:36 By Kedi.
  The administrator has disabled public write access.
#4446
George (User)
Fresh Boarder
Posts: 17
graphgraph
User Offline Click here to see the profile of this user
Re:Switching from Polite Language to Informal Tone 8 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 0  
I think Japanese people don't use you for friends and you for polite speech, but you must know better as you are studying the language in school.
We Bulgarians also have the 2 "you", but I'm not really that far into Japanese ... learning it by myself, to know if they even have the 2 forms in the language.
I thought you are always supposed to be polite in Japan, unless you want to deliberately offend someone.

Best way for me is to move to Japan and speak with a Japanese person about that
 
Report to moderator   Logged Logged  
  The administrator has disabled public write access.
#4698
akky (User)
Fresh Boarder
Posts: 3
graphgraph
User Offline Click here to see the profile of this user
Re:Switching from Polite Language to Informal Tone 8 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0  
Japanese speak politely when they meet someone for the first time.But when they have known for each other,they don't necessarily speak politely.And you can say "You don't have to speak in polite form to me" if you want to.
 
Report to moderator   Logged Logged  
  The administrator has disabled public write access.
Go to top Post Reply
Powered by FireBoardget the latest posts directly to your desktop