A Guide to Japanese Suffixes

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A Guide to Japanese Suffixes

Postby Dekupower on Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:17 pm

In many Rp's and threads in mayhem there have been many situations where people have used Japanese suffixes (honorifics) in their sentences. Most of these people (myself included) have only heard these from watching anime or reading manga which gives them a basic idea of what the term means but not an actual understanding of the term.

So to help keep everyone from botching the Japanese language here is a basic guild to Japanese suffixes.

-san -The most common suffix. The equivalent of Mr. or Mrs.

-sama -Indicates a great level of respect or admiration and is used towards people who are older or of much higher standing.

-chan -Indicates friendly familiarity. -chan is usually used towards girls, but can sometimes apply to boys or adults.

-kun -The equivalent of -chan, -kun is usually reserved for boys.

-dono -Indicates great respect and formality. The equivalent to "Sir" or "Lord"

-jo -A formal way of addressing girls of high standing. Equivalent to Miss.

-joshi -A formal way of addressing young women of high standing. Equivalent to Ms.

-sensei -The term for a teacher. This can also refer to a mentor figure or a master of a trade.

-senpai -In school, a term for upperclassmen. It also applies to people in an organization who are older or more experienced.

-ou -Used to address a king.

O -Adding O before a title such as baa-san (Grandmother) will make Obaa-san which adds respect to the title.

-kohai -the opposite of senpai.

And though this probably won't apply much in this forum this is still worth noting:

Usually forgotten in these lists, but perhaps the most significant difference between Japanese and English. The lack of honorific means that the speaker has permission to address the person in a very intimate way. Usually, only family, spouses, or very close friends have this kind of permission. Known as yobisute, it can be gratifying when someone who has earned the intimacy starts to call one by one's name without an honorific. But when that intimacy hasn't been earned, it can also be very insulting.


I hope everyone finds this useful if not just ignore it and it'll go away.
Last edited by Dekupower on Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Drow Bunny on Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:25 pm

-kun is also used in business situations by a superior speaking to an inferior (both can be either sex) and referring to them by name.


[quote"Dekupower"]So to help keep everyone from botching the Japanese language...[/quote]

Good luck with that. :wink: Still, thanks for posting. I didn't know two of those.
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Postby Dekupower on Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:27 pm

Can't blame a guy for trying.
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Postby Atashi-Cloud on Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:05 pm

Oh yeah, I have one more Honorific for ya to add too, Deku..^^

-o (usually has a ^ over it)

it's usually used for people addressed as gods or goddesses, or those without a totally visible gender.

At least, that's what I remember that it's used for. I read Tsubasa Chronicle(the manga) and they mention all used honorifics there before you read it.^^ helped me a lot in memorizing which ones are used when.
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Postby Drow Bunny on Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Dekupower wrote:Can't blame a guy for trying.


Don't worry. I was thanking you. :nervous:
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"Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day."

If everything you say gets laughed at, then you become afraid of everyone...
And are no longer able to speak, even knowing all that does is bother everyone.
Everything looks completely dark.
Your heart shuts down.
And your words die.


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Postby CPUX on Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:43 pm

Honestly, I am a dork and do find this useful. Thanks to the buttload of manga I own, I've seen many of the Japanese honorifics (it's not uncommon to see them in English versions), and have gained a passing idea of how they work.
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Postby ThatCanadianDude on Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:46 pm

Drow Bunny wrote:-kun is also used in business situations by a superior speaking to an inferior (both can be either sex) and referring to them by name.



.....That explains why I pissed off the head of the Newgrounds Voice Acting club.....

[/joking]

Still, I can use this. I'm glad it was posted.
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Postby Yun on Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:19 pm

Atashi-Cloud wrote:-o (usually has a ^ over it)

it's usually used for people addressed as gods or goddesses, or those without a totally visible gender.


It actually means "king" and can also be spelled -ou.
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Postby Kyrio on Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:22 pm

I lived in Japan for five years so I knew alot of those, but I didn't know the "jo" ones
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Postby Dekupower on Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:32 pm

well i'm glad some people found the list useful :D
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Postby Atashi-Cloud on Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:36 pm

Yun wrote:
Atashi-Cloud wrote:-o (usually has a ^ over it)

it's usually used for people addressed as gods or goddesses, or those without a totally visible gender.


It actually means "king" and can also be spelled -ou.


ah, thanks...^^ I forgot that part of it...^^;
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Postby vampiress_kat on Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:39 pm

Lessee... Knew most of these, a couple not. Yays for a Jap suffixes and them being explained for people! *gives Deku a Nioi plushie* Image Which is appropriate as Nioi is Japanese! YAY!
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Postby Dekupower on Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:02 am

yay Nioi! *Glomp-cuddles*
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Postby AFNB on Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:59 pm

-kohai: the opposite of sempai/senpai (I've seen it done both ways). These two, as well as "sensei", can also be used to replace the name completely.

And one more worth noting, is the lack of an honorific. Quoting directly from a Del Ray manga:

Usually forgotten in these lists, but perhaps the most significant difference between Japanese and English. The lack of honorific means that the speaker has permission to address the person in a very intimate way. Usually, only family, spouses, or very close friends have this kind of permission. Known as yobisute, it can be gratifying when someone who has earned the intimacy starts to call one by one's name without an honorific. But when that intimacy hasn't been earned, it can also be very insulting.
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Postby Drow Bunny on Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:47 pm

So kohai really is used as a title? I knew the meaning, but I've never seen it actually used (all the appropriate times I've seen, it's always been either -san, -kun, or -chan).

Hmm... for that matter, I guess one could mention -bozu (yes, I read Negima. Why do you ask?), though most of the time, I hear it used as a name replacement.
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------------------------------------------------------------

"Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day."

If everything you say gets laughed at, then you become afraid of everyone...
And are no longer able to speak, even knowing all that does is bother everyone.
Everything looks completely dark.
Your heart shuts down.
And your words die.


...on a happier note, convene the Evil Council!
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Postby Dekupower on Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:02 pm

I've never heard of -bozu what does it mean?
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Postby Drow Bunny on Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:49 pm

Rough English equivalent, according to Del Rey, is something along the lines of "squirt," "kid," or "shrimp" (not in a mean-spirited way), used informally to refer to young boys.

I just noticed some of the older students in the Negima manga refer to Negi as "Negi-bozu" (making sense in a way, considering that he's 10 years old).
Knight of the Order of the Bunny. Near-certified Conversation Killer.
------------------------------------------------------------

"Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day."

If everything you say gets laughed at, then you become afraid of everyone...
And are no longer able to speak, even knowing all that does is bother everyone.
Everything looks completely dark.
Your heart shuts down.
And your words die.


...on a happier note, convene the Evil Council!
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