Tag Archives: polite

Lack of polite Japanese in certain parts of the novel “Downtown Rocket” (下町ロケット)

The other day I wrote a review of the Japanese novel 下町ロケット (“Downtown Rocket”), where I alluded to something about the usage of polite Japanese in that book. In this post I’d like to talk about that matter in some detail. When reading this novel, I was surprised by several scenes where one person from a company spoke to… Read More »

Japanese polite language and appropriate phrases for asking a person’s name

Japanese has a very complex system of politeness which is often claimed to be one of the reasons it’s so difficult to master, and I completely agree on this point. Depending on the relationship between you and the person/people you are speaking with, you will use variations on certain words, or even entirely different expressions. You have to… Read More »

What’s with the Japanese “〜まして” form? (~mashite)

In Japanese, using polite speech properly is an important part of becoming fluent, and many textbooks or classes introduce the です/ます forms (ex: たべます)from day one.  This is especially important because many of the people you speak Japanese with might be people you have met for the first time, for example if you stop people on the… Read More »

The Japanese question particle, か (ka)

Many of the Japanese particles are not easily understood by foreigners studying the language, but fortunately there are a few that are quite simple to grasp and use. か、sometimes called the question particle, is one of these (along with も). As you might expect, this particle is sometimes used when asking a question. It is… Read More »