The Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...
has many honorific
An honorific is a word or expression with connotations conveying esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term is used not quite correctly to refer to an honorary title...
s, parts of speech which show respect
Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity , and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected...
, and their use is mandatory in many social situations. Honorifics in Japanese may be used to emphasize social distance or disparity in rank, or to emphasize social intimacy or similarity in rank.
The system of honorifics in Japan is very extensive, including various levels of respectful, humble, and polite speech, and it closely resembles the honorific systems of the Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...
, and in some elements, Chinese
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...
Types of honorific
Honorifics in Japanese are broadly referred to as keigo
(敬語, literally "respectful language"), and fall under three main categories: sonkeigo
(尊敬語), respectful language; kenjōgo
[kenjōgo (謙譲語) is more rarely called kensongo (謙遜語), "kenson" being an alternative word for "humility, modesty".]
humble language (or "modest language"); and teineigo
(丁寧語), polite language. Linguistically, the former two are referent honorifics, used for someone being talked about
, and the last is an addressee
In linguistics, an addressee is an intended direct recipient of the speaker's communication. A listener is either an addressee or a bystander.Second-person pronouns refer to an addressee or a group including an addressee...
honorific, used for someone being talked to
. Sometimes two more categories are also used, for five categories total: teichōgo
(丁重語) "courteous language" and bikago
(美化語), "word beautification", but more often these are included in the above three: teichōgo as a kind of kenjōgo (humble), bikago as a kind of teineigo (polite)—these two other categories use the same forms as the general categories, but are used in different contexts, hence differentiated by some linguists. Each type of speech has its own vocabulary and verb endings.
For example, the standard form of the verb "to do" is suru
(する). This form is appropriate with family members and close friends. The polite form of suru
, the addressee honorific, is shimasu
. This form is appropriate in most daily interactions. When showing respect, such as when talking about a customer or a superior, however, the respectful word nasaru
and its polite form nasaimasu
are used, and when referring to one's own actions or the actions of a group member, the humble word itasu
and its polite form itashimasu
are used. These respectful and humble words are referent honorifics, and thus can coexist with addressee honorific -masu
Polite language, teineigo
, is characterized by the use of the sentence ending "desu" and the verb ending "masu" and the use of prefixes such as "o" and "go" towards neutral objects. Television presenters invariably use polite language, and it is the form of the language first taught to most non-native learners of Japanese.
Polite language can be used to refer to one's own actions or those of other people.
Respectful language, sonkeigo
, is a special form or alternate word used when talking about superiors and customers. It is not used to talk about oneself. For example, when a Japanese hairdresser or dentist requests their client to take a seat, they say o kake ni natte kudasai
to mean "please sit down". However, they would use the verb suwaru
rather than o kake ni naru
to refer to themselves sitting down. The respectful version of language can only be used to refer to others.
In general, respectful language is directed at those in positions of power; for example, a superior at work, or a customer. It also implies that the speaker is acting in a professional capacity.
It is characterized by lengthy polite expressions. Common verbs may be replaced by more polite alternative verbs, for example, suru
(do) by nasaru
, or hanasu
(talk) by ossharu
when the subject is a person of respect. Some of these transformations are many-to-one: iku
, (go), kuru
(come), and iru
(be) all become irassharu
, and taberu
(eat) and nomu
(drink) both become meshiagaru
Verbs may also be changed to respectful forms. One respectful form is a modification of the verb with a prefix and a polite suffix. For example, yomu
(read) becomes o-yomi ni naru
, with the prefix o-
added to the i-form of the verb, and the verb ending ni naru
. The verb ending -(r)areru
can also be used, such as yomareru
Nouns also undergo substitution to express respect. The normal Japanese word for person, hito
, 人, becomes kata
, 方, in respectful language. Thus a customer would normally be expected to be referred to as a kata
rather than a hito
In general, humble language is used when describing one's actions or the actions of a person in one's in-group to others such as customers in business. Humble language tends to imply that one's actions are taking place in order to assist the other person.
Humble language (kenjōgo
) is similar to respectful language, in substituting verbs with other forms. For example suru
(do) becomes itasu
, and morau
(receive) becomes itadaku
. These two verbs are also seen in set phrase
A set phrase or fixed phrase is a phrase whose parts are fixed, even if the phrase could be changed without harming the literal meaning. This is because a set phrase is a culturally accepted phrase. A set phrase does not necessarily have any literal meaning in and of itself. Set phrases may...
s such as dō itashimashite
(you're welcome) and itadakimasu
(いただきます—a phrase said before eating or drinking).
Similar to respectful language, verbs can also change their form by adding a prefix and the verb "suru" or "itasu". For example, motsu
(carry) becomes o mochi shimasu
. The use of humble forms may imply doing something for the other person; thus a Japanese person might offer to carry something for someone else by saying o mochi shimasu
. This type of humble form also appears in the set phrase o matase shimashita
, "I am sorry to have kept you waiting", from mataseru
(make wait) with the addition of o
. Similarly, o negai shimasu
, "please [do this]", from negau
(request or hope for), again with the addition of o
Even more politely, the form motasete itadaku
literally means "humbly be allowed to carry". This phrase would be used to express the idea that "I will carry it if you please."
The same forms may also be used when the speaker is not the agent, as a courtesy to the listener, as in the common phrase 電車が参ります (densha ga mairimasu
"a train is arriving") at rail stations. In the case, the announcer himself is not arriving, but he is simply being courteous. Some linguists distinguish this from kenjōgo (where the speaker is the agent), calling it instead teichōgo (丁重語) "courteous language", and defining it formally as:
- Honorifics by which the Speaker shows consideration to the hearer through all expressions of the subject matter.
This category was first proposed by Hiroshi Miyachi (宮地裕). Teichōgo, as an addressee honorific, is always used with the teineigo (-masu
) form, the politeness sequence (using "go" as an example) being 行く、行きます、参ります.
In humble language, name suffixes are dropped when referring to people from inside one's group. Thus, a Japanese-speaking company executive would introduce himself and his team by saying "I am Gushiken the president, and this is Niwa, the CEO."
Similarly to respectful language, nouns can also change. The word hito
, 人, meaning person
, becomes mono
, written 者. The humble version is used when referring to oneself or members of one's group, such as one's company.
some irregular respectful forms
| meaning || plain || respectful (sonkeigo) || humble (kenjōgo) || polite (teineigo)
| see / look / watch
|| 見る; miru
|| ご覧になる go-ran ni naru
|| 拝見する haiken suru
|| 見ます mimasu
|| 会う au
|| regular (ex.お会いになる o-ai ni naru)
|| お目にかかる o-me ni kakaru
|| 会います aimasu
|| ある aru
|| ござる gozaru
| いる iru
|| いらっしゃる irassharu
おいでになる o-ide ni naru
| おる oru
|| おる oru
| come / go1
|| 来る kuru (come)
行く iku (go)
| 伺う ukagau
| 参る mairu
|| 知る shiru
|| ご存じ go-zonji
|| 存じあげる zonji ageru
|| 存じている zonji te iru
| eat / drink
|| 食べる taberu (eat)
飲む nomu (drink)
| 召しあがる meshi-agaru
|| 頂く itadaku
|| 頂く itadaku
|| もらう morau
|| 頂く itadaku2
| もらいます moraimasu
(who receives is respected)
| やる yaru (considered rude today, except in Kansai dialect)
あげる ageru (once the humble form)
|| 差しあげる sashiageru
|| あげます agemasu
(who gives is respected)
| くれる kureru
|| くださる kudasaru
|| くれます kuremasu
|| する suru
|| なさる nasaru
|| 致す itasu
|| します shimasu
|| 言う iu
|| おっしゃる ossharu
|| 申し上げる mōshi-ageru
| 言います iimasu
| put on
|| 着る kiru
|| お召しになる omeshi ni naru
|| 着ます kimasu
|| 寝る neru
|| お休みになる o-yasumi ni naru
|| 休みます yasumimasu
|| 死ぬ shinu
||お亡くなりになる o-nakunari ni naru
|| 亡くなる nakunaru
- 1 The distinction between these three verbs is lost in some respectful forms.
- 2 Both are the humble form of receive (もらう morau); it can also be used for related verbs like eat (食べる taberu) and drink (飲む nomu).
Word beautification (bikago
, 美化語, "beautified speech"
, in tanka
also sometimes gago
, 雅語, "elegant speech"
) is the practice of making words more polite or "beautiful". This form of language is employed by the speaker to add refinement to one's manner of speech. This is commonly achieved by adding the prefix o- or go- to a word and used in conjunction with the polite form of verbs. In the following example, o
and the polite form of the verb are used to this effect.
お茶にお煎餅、よく合いますね O-cha ni o-senbei, yoku aimasu ne:
Tea and rice crackers go well (together), don't they.
In finer classifications, the above example is classified as word beautification—rather than honorific speech—as the speaker is voicing a general opinion
regarding tea and rice crackers and is not intentionally deferential towards the listener.
In the following example, the speaker is directly referring to the listener and items received by them and is regarded as honorific language.
お宅様からいただいたお菓子は大変おいしゅうございました O-taku-sama kara itadaita okashi wa taihen oishuugozaimashita:
The sweets you gave me were most delectable.
See the section on honorific prefixes, below, for further discussion.
Honorifics are considered extremely important in a business setting. Training in honorifics usually does not take place at school or university, so company trainees are trained in correct use of honorifics to customers and superiors.
In groups and out groups
When using polite or respectful forms, the point of view of the speaker is shared by the speaker's in-group
), so in-group referents do not take honorifics. For example, members of one's own company are referred to with humble forms when speaking with an external person; similarly, family members of the speaker are referred to humbly when speaking to guests. Similarly, the out-group
) addressee or referent is always mentioned in the polite style (though not necessarily with honorifics).
Mastery of politeness and honorifics is important for functioning in Japanese society. Not speaking politely enough can be insulting, and speaking too politely can be distancing (and therefore also insulting) or seem sarcastic. Children generally speak using plain informal speech, but they are expected to master politeness and honorifics by the end of their teenage years. Recent trends indicate that the importance of proper politeness is not as high as before, particularly in metropolitan areas. The standards are inconsistently applied towards foreigners, though most textbooks attempt to teach the polite style before attempting the others.
Depending on the situation, women's speech may contain more honorifics than men's. In particular, in informal settings, women are more likely to use polite vocabulary and honorific prefixes, such as gohan o taberu
for "eat cooked rice", whereas men may use less polite vocabulary such as meshi o kū
for exactly the same meaning. This is part of a general pattern of difference in speech by gender. However, in many settings, such as customer service, there will be little or no difference between male and female speech.
Japanese has grammatical functions to express several different emotions. Not only politeness
but also respectfulness
can be expressed.
There are three levels of politeness, plain
or 常体 jōtai
or 丁寧 teinei
), and formal
(generally, 敬語 keigo
or 最敬体 saikeitai
). Formal and polite can be combined. For example, for the sentence "This is a book",
| informal || polite || formal || polite formal
kore wa hon da.
kore wa hon desu.
kore wa hon de aru.
kore wa hon de gozaimasu.
The informal style is used among friends, the distal or polite style by inferiors when addressing superiors and among strangers or casual acquaintances, and the formal style generally in writing or prepared speeches. The plain formal and informal styles of verbs are identical, with the exception of the verb de aru
used as a copula. However, formal language in Japanese uses different vocabulary and structures from informal language. For example, formal language uses many two-kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...
Chinese-derived words conjugated with suru
, and substitutes highly formal vocabulary such as joshi
Further to this, there is another factor, respect, which is indicated in yet other ways.
For each politeness level there are two respectful forms
- The respect language (尊敬語 sonkeigo) form shows respect to the subject of the sentence.
- The humble language (謙譲語 kenjōgo) form gives respect to the (direct or indirect) object by a variety of means, the most common being to humble the speaker.
These respectful forms are represented by different verb endings. Since verbs come at the end of the sentence in Japanese, most of the factors formality, politeness, and respect is expressed at the very end of each sentence.
| Plain form
Jon san ga Satō san wo matsu.
John waits for Sato.
| Respect for subject
Sensei ga o-machi-ni-naru.
(The) teacher waits.
| Respect for object
Sensei wo o-machi-suru.
We wait for you, Teacher.
humble forms carry an implication that the waiting or other activity is being (humbly) done by the speaker for the benefit of the person being addressed. Thus a humble
sentence is unlikely to take a third person subject. For example, a sentence like jon ga sensei wo o machi suru
(John waits for the teacher) is unlikely to occur.
Japanese requests and commands have many set forms depending on who is being addressed by whom. For example, the phrase yoroshiku o negai shimasu, meaning "I ask you for favor" can take various forms. At the bottom of the scale comes
- yoroshiku tanomu,
which might be used between male friends. Its more polite variant
- yoroshiku tanomimasu
might be used towards less familiar people or to superiors.
Going up in politeness, the phrase
- yoroshiku onegai shimasu
means the same thing, but is used in business settings. It is possible to go further, replacing the polite "shimasu" with the humble itashimasu
, to get
- yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.
In extremely formal Japanese, such as that used on New Year's greeting cards, this may be replaced with an even more polite expression
- yoroshiku onegai mōshiagemasu.
When making requests, at the bottom of the politeness scale comes the plain imperative tabero
, literally "Eat!", a simple order to be said to an inferior or someone considered to have no choice, such as a prisoner. This form might convey anger. Similarly, the "no/n da" suffix can make an order: taberu n da
, or kuu n da
"Eat!". To express anger, the suffix yagaru
also exists: "kuiyagare", an extremely forceful and angry instruction to eat, expressing contempt for the addressee.
Negatives are formed by adding suffix na
: taberu na
"do not eat", gomi o suteru na
: "do not throw away rubbish". Similarly, the negative of da
, ja nai
, can be used: taberu n ja nai
More polite, but still strict, is the nasai
suffix, which attaches to the i-form of the verb. This originates in the polite verb nasaru
thus is an order perhaps given by a parent to a child. This is often colloquially shortened to na
, hence tabena
. This form has no grammatical negative.
Requests can also be formed by adding to the "te" form of a verb. The plainest form adds kure
, an irregular form of the verb kureru
, to the te form. For example tabete kure
or kutte kure
: "eat it", less forceful than "tabero". Negatives are made by using the negative "te" form: tabenaide kure
or kuwanaide kure
"don't eat it".
Going up one scale in politeness, the more polite verb kudasai
is added. For example tabete kudasai
. With this polite form, the rough kū
verb is unlikely to be used. Similarly, tabenaide kudasai
: "please don't eat it".
A similar entry on the scale of politeness is made by using the imperative form of a polite verb. For example, meshiagaru
, the polite verb for "to eat", when turned into meshiagare
, the imperative, becomes the response to the set phrase itadakimasu
Further, more polite forms are also possible. These involve the "i-form" of the verb rather than the "te form", and an honorific prefix (see honorific prefixes: verbs, below). For example, tsukau
, "use", becomes o tsukai kudasai
: "please use this". Politeness can be carried even further by conjugating kudasaru into its masu form and using the imperative, which becomes "o tsukai kudasaimase." The most polite form of this would probably be along the lines of "o tsukai ni natte itadakimasen deshou ka." "You will probably not bestow the favor of honorably using this?" Language like this, however, is rarely used.
Other ways to increase politeness involve indirection of the request: kore o tsukau you ni o negai shimasu
: "I humbly request that you think about using this".
The bikago (beautifying) prefixes o-
(both written 御, or in hiragana
is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and the Latin alphabet . Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems, in which each character represents one mora...
) are honorific prefixes which are applied to nouns and in some contexts to verbs. In general, go-
precedes Sino-Japanese words (that is, words borrowed from Chinese or made from Sino-Japanese elements), while o-
precedes native Japanese words. There are exceptions, however, such as the Sino-Japanese word for telephone (denwa
), which takes the honorific prefix o-
These prefixes are used for two purposes: to speak respectfully about a social superior's family, belongings, or actions (as part of 尊敬語, sonkeigo); or to speak in a generally refined or polite way (敬語 keigo
generally, specifically 美化語, bikago
Although these honorific prefixes are often translated into English as "honorable" ("o-denwa," for example, would be given as "the honorable telephone") this translation is unwieldy and cannot convey the true feeling of their use in Japanese. These prefixes are essentially untranslatable, but their use indicates a polite respect for the item named or the person to or about whom one is speaking. A shorter translation is "dear"—for example, o-ko-san
, お子さん, translates idiomatically as "your dear child"—and a similar sentiment is expressed in such English expressions as "Would you like a spot of
tea?" or "Would you like a little
tea?" (as opposed to the plain "Would you like some
As with honorific word forms and titles, honorific prefixes are used when referring to or speaking with a social superior, or speaking about a superior's actions or possessions, but not usually when referring to oneself or one's own actions or possessions, or those of one's in-group.
For example, when referring to one's own order at a restaurant, one would use chūmon
, but when referring to a customer's order, the restaurant staff would use go-chūmon
. Similarly, kazoku
means "my family," while go-kazoku
means "your family" (or, broadly speaking, someone else's family).
There are some words which frequently or always take these prefixes, regardless of who is speaking and to whom; these are often ordinary items which may have particular cultural significance, such as tea (o-cha
) and rice (go-han
). The word meshi
, the Japanese equivalent of Sino-Japanese go-han
, is considered rough and masculine (男性語). The honorific o-
is also sometimes attached to of native verbs (hence native o-
) to refer to a specific item associated with the verb, as in oshibori
An or hot towel in English is a wet hand towel offered to customers in places such as restaurants or bars in Japan and in Japanese restaurants worldwide. Oshibori are used to clean one's hands before eating, and have long been a common sight in Japan. Cold oshibori are used in summer, and hot...
(お絞り、絞る) "hot towel", and onigiri
, also known as or rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori . Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume , salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative...
/omusubi (お握り、握る and お結び、結ぶ) "rice ball".
Honorific prefixes can be used for other items, possibly for a comic or sarcastic effect (for example, o-kokakōra
, "honorable Coca-Cola"). Overuse of honorific prefixes may be taken as pretentious or simpering, and, as with other polite speech, they are more used by women than men.
In tea ceremony, common ingredients and equipment always take the honorific o-
, including water (o-mizu
), hot water (o-yu
), and tea bowls (o-chawan
). However, these terms are often heard in daily life as well.
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...
Gairaigo is Japanese for "loan word" or "borrowed word", and indicates a transliteration into Japanese. In particular, the word usually refers to a Japanese word of foreign origin that was not borrowed from Chinese, primarily from English. Japanese also has a large number of loan words from...
, except those that come from Chinese; see above) seldom take honorifics, but when they do o-
seems to be preferable to go-
. Examples are o-bīru
: beer), which can sometimes be heard at restaurants, o-kādo
: card, as in credit card or point card), which is often heard at supermarkets and department stores, and o-sōsu
For verbs, a respectful request—or rather a polite command—addressed to a group may be formed by using 御〜, followed by the masu
-stem (連用形), followed by . For Chinese verbs (kango + suru
), the prefix is generally pronounced go-,
while for native Japanese verbs the prefix is pronounced o-.
This is generally written in kana. The most commonly heard use is (Chinese verb), which is used pervasively in recorded announcement in Japan (escalators, trains and subways, turning trucks), but other verbs are also used frequently, such as (Japanese verb).
The respectful prefix can also be used in honorific verbs, when speaking about a superior, in which case it is formed by o-,
followed by the masu
-stem, followed by (suitably conjugated), as in .
was also commonly used as an honorific prefix to female given names in pre-war Japan, in which case only the first two syllables of a woman's name would be used in conjunction. For example, would be referred to as , would become , would become , and so on. This was a less polite honorific than "san". For example, a female servant named Kikuko
would be referred to as O-kiku
rather than Kikuko-san
. This usage has disappeared in current Japanese, and has been replaced by using the diminutive suffix -chan
instead (compare to male -kun
), as in Aki-chan
There is also a rarer prefix mi-
, which is mostly used in words related to gods and the emperor, such as mi-koshi
(御輿, "portable shrine" in Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...
) and mi-na
(御名, "the Holy Name" in Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...
). However, in this context it is often replaced by 神 ("god", also pronounced mi-
), and then a further 御 may be added, as in 御神輿 (o-mi-koshi
). Sometimes the reading is ambiguous—for example, 御霊屋 "mausoleum" may be pronounced either mi-tama-ya
Rarely, 御 is used instead as an honorific suffix,
notably in 甥御 oigo
"your nephew" and 姪御 meigo
The character 御 has other readings, notably gyo
as seen in , but these are not productive (they are not used to form new words, but only in existing words).
In one case, a triple honorific prefix may used, namely in the word o-mi-o-tsuke,
a polite term for miso soup
is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called "dashi" into which is mixed softened miso paste. Many ingredients are added depending on regional and seasonal recipes, and personal preference.-Miso paste:...
, which is ordinarily referred to as . This may be spelt in kanji in multiple ways, including , but also as (味 = mi,
flavor), and the 御御御〜 spelling may be considered ateji
In modern Japanese, primarily refers to kanji used phonetically to represent native or borrowed words, without regard to the meaning of the underlying characters. This is analogous to man'yōgana in pre-modern Japanese...
, punning on 御 and 味 both having the reading mi
While English has different registers
In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be more likely to adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce words ending in -ing with a velar nasal...
, its levels of formality and politeness are not as formalized as in Japanese. However, they can be instructive in gaining a feel for Japanese speech. English imperatives range from very blunt ("Give me the book,") to very indirect and elaborate ("If it's not too much trouble, could you please be so kind as to pass me the book?"—note the use of potential form, as in Japanese).
Similarly, changes in word use can make language more flowery or respectful—rather than "Do you know?", one might say "Are you familiar with?" or "Are you acquainted with?", which convey some of the feel of 知る versus ご存知だ。 In English, words of Germanic origin are generally plainer, from French are generally more flowery (compare "drink" versus "beverage"), and from Latin are more formal and technical (see Anglish
Anglo-Saxon linguistic purism is a kind of English linguistic purism, which favors words of native origin over those of foreign origin. In its mild form, it merely means using existing native words instead of foreign ones...
and related articles); similarly in Japanese, words of Japanese origin are plainer, while words of Chinese origin are more formal. These are not hard-and-fast rules, but give a feel for the gradations.
Humble language is less common in modern English, but is found in some contexts, such as guests saying "I am honored
to be here," (rather than "I am glad
to be here" or "I am happy
to be here") and in various valediction
A valediction , or complimentary close in American English, is an expression used to say farewell, especially a word or phrase used to end a letter or message, or the act of saying parting words- whether brief, or extensive.For the greetings counterpart to valediction, see salutation.Alternatively,...
s such as "Sincerely", which were formerly more formal and humble, with such forms as "I am, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant," and the like.
A form of ersatz
Ersatz means 'substituting for, and typically inferior in quality to', e.g. 'chicory is ersatz coffee'. It is a German word literally meaning substitute or replacement...
keigo is used in some convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, with the young, often part-time employees—often unskilled in standard keigo—being instructed to use these form by instruction manuals. Accordingly, it is known as マニュアル敬語 (manyuaru keigo, "manual keigo") or バイト敬語 (baito keigo, "part-timer keigo"). It features various forms which horrify linguistic purists and confuse those unfamiliar with the conventions. A common example is "udon ni narimasu" (literally "[this] becomes udon", "[this] will be udon") as a polite form of "udon desu" ("[this] is udon"), instead of the standard "udon de gozaimasu" ("[this] is udon (polite)")—the manual keigo form is proscribed on the basis that the udon is not becoming anything, and "ni naru" is not proper keigo.
This can be compared to such English usages as "We will be landing momentarily" (literally "We will be landing for a moment [but then taking off again almost immediately]") for "We will be landing soon"—traditionally incorrect but now common usage with origins in standardized training.
Aizuchi is the Japanese term for frequent interjections during a conversation that indicate the listener is paying attention and understanding the speaker. In linguistic terms, these are a form of phatic expression...
- Japanese grammar
The Japanese language has a regular agglutinative verb morphology, with both productive and fixed elements. In language typology, it has many features divergent from most European languages. Its phrases are exclusively head-final and compound sentences are exclusively left-branching. There are many...
- Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...
- Japanese names
- Japanese pronouns
Pronouns are used less frequently in the Japanese language than in many other languages, mainly because there is no grammatical requirement to include the subject in a sentence. So, pronouns can seldomly be translated from English to Japanese on a one-on-one basis.The common, English pronouns, such...
- Korean honorifics
The Korean language reflects the important observance of a speaker or writer's relationships with both the subject of the sentence and the audience. Korean grammar uses an extensive system of honorifics to reflect the speaker's relationship to the subject of the sentence and speech levels to...
- Honorifics (linguistics)
In linguistics, an honorific is a grammatical or morphosyntactic form that encodes the relative social status of the participants of the conversation...
- Thai honorifics
Honorifics are a class of words or grammatical morphemes that encode a wide variety of social relationships between interlocutors or between interlocutors and referents. Honorific phenomena in Thai include honorific registers, honorific pronominals, and honorific particles.-Historical...