Pimsleur Japanese clips I-9-16

San and other honorifics

The honorific that we use when addressing a person says what we think is our relationship with this person. In the clip below, from ‘Your lie in April’ – Ep. 18, a boy addresses the teacher of a girl using the teacher’s name, Arima Kousei, without using an honorific, and the girl goes into a rage at the insult.

The default honorific, ‘san’, is a neutral Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms., but there are many other ways to refer to someone:

  • [last name] 様, さま – sama – extremely formal and respectful
  • [last name] 殿, どの – dono – formal and respectful, used specially in business and official letters
  • [last name] 先生, せんせい – sensei – respectful way to address teachers, and physicians; it’s pronounced sensee, not sensei
  • [last name] さん – san – formal and respectful way to address anyone
  • [last/first name] ちゃま – chama – casual, combines ‘sama’ and ‘chan’, i.e., combines respect and affection
  • [last/first name] ちゃん – chan – casual, usually for same or younger age; can be used for males and females, but most commonly used for females
  • [last/first name] 君, くん – kun – casual, equal or younger age, only for males; ‘kimi’ (you) and ‘kun’ have the same kanji
  • [last name] – casual, used with close friends
  • [first name] – very intimate, used by family and childhood friends

There are many other honorifics. For example, in ‘My Hero Academy’, All-might refers to teenage boys as ‘shounen’ (young man) instead of ‘kun’; this is a similar to Capt. Picard, in the Star Trek series, referring to Wesley as ‘Young Wesley Crusher’.

ja, mata, ashita Ep.6

Eng: See ya…
hum… See you tomorrow

lit: Then…
hum… again tomorrow

un… mata ashita.

うん… また あした。

うん… また明日。

kore, ga, no Ep.8

Eng: This is Aiza’s Chopin.
lit: This! It is Aiza’s Chopin.

kore ga aiza kun no shopan desu.
これが あいざ くんの ショパン です。

kore ga aiza no shopan.
これが あいざの ショパン。

  • the ‘ga’ particle emphasizes what comes before it, while ‘wa’ emphasizes what comes after it.

watashi/boku/ore, wo, te form Ep.13

Eng: look at me! (4 times)

watashi wo mite kudasai (4 times)
わたしを みて ください。

ore wo miro!
watashi wo miro!
watashi wo miro!
boku wo miro!

おれを みろ!
わたしを みろ!
わたしを みろ!
ぼくを みろ!

  • ‘boku’ and ‘ore’ are casual forms of ‘watashi’; ‘boku’ has a connotation of being respectful, while ‘ore’ has one being manly, tough, and confident.
  • ‘mite’ is the imperative of ‘miru’ (to look); ‘miro’ is used when you are angry
  • we mark with を the direct objects of verbs, and with が the direct objects of adjectives.
  • the particle を is sometimes pronounced ‘o’, in spite that it is written as ‘wo’.

wa, ni, arimasen Ep.16

Eng: My bag is not at school
lit: The bag? It does not exist at the school

kaban wa gakkou ni arimasen.
カバンは がっこうに ありません。

kaban gakkou ni nai
カバン がっこうに ない。

  • Kawori is apologizing so she speaks formally to Kousei
  • ‘kaban’ is bag or briefcase
  • ‘gakkou’ is school