Keigo, Kenjogo, Teineigo Necessary for Sophisticated Japanese 日本語の敬語、謙譲語、丁寧語

  • 2742
  • 0
  • 0
  • English 
Sep 12, 2012 00:41 keigo kenjogo teineigo studying Japanese learning 敬語 謙譲語 丁寧語 日本語 日本語習得 学習
Lately, I have been covered the theme "7 conceivable obstacles you could face while learning Japanese" one by one. And this is an entry on the fifth day.
I would like to express my big thankfulness to you who continue to give your attention on my entries and correct and advise on my English.

Today I would like to deal with one of the most confusing manners, 敬語 that includes 尊敬語, 謙譲語, 丁寧語 (Keigo consists of some wordings including such as sonkeigo, kenjogo and teineigo).
To begin with, what are "sonkeigo, kenjogo and teineigo?"
I think sonkeigo is suitable for an English word "honorific."
And kenjogo would be suited to "a modest form" in English. It is technically used for ourselves to be humble.
The third wording, teineigo. It may be simply translated into English "formal lines."

In fact, using the Japanese polite expression keigo precisely must be required especially for a situation like a business scene in Japan. I say that, but in reality can we Japanese people use them correctly as we choose to suit all kinds of situations? Beyond that required us, this subject must be indeed a extraordinary issue for Japanese learners from overseas, I assume.

On the flip side, is there the system in English as Japanese polite wordings that are applied by each aspect of daily activities? I know English also has the polite wordings. However, I wonder if on using it, the way to use them is influenced by counterparts who is a superior, subordinate, elder or younger...
I could say that Japanese keigo is exactly used depending on how old your conversation partner or even what kind of status they have.

To name a few for clarifying differences, say, between sonkeigo and kenjogo:

Asked for your general manager to talk with on the phone, you can't say, as using sonkeigo, like the following.
"本田部長でしょうか。いらっしゃいます(The general manager Honda is here.)" If you said like that, it's certain that your counterpart would get the giggles. Because the phrase いらっしゃいます is sonkeigo to show your respect. In this case you have to say like "本田でしょうか。おります。" to show your humble attitude over all the stuffs in your company. Yes, it is kenjogo.
On the other hand, what if you would say like "ごくろうさまです(That was a good job.)" toward your boss when he got back to the company from a business trip. There would be nothing surprised about him who raised an eyebrow with offense. Do you know that's why? It's because the keigo ごくろうさま should be used toward the inferior. So you should have said like "おつかれさまです" which are used as addressing the superior, senior and higher in status.

All in all, Japanese polite wording, keigo which consists of sonkeigo, kenjogo, teineigo and etc, differ according to the personal relationships concerned, such as superior, inferior, friend, stranger and so forth.

Concluding today's journal, let me show you some examples exactly expressed with a sensitive nuance, which are quoted from the internet.

①Lend me some money.
②Please lend me some money.
③Will you lend me some money?
④Can you lend me some money?
⑤Would you lend me some money?
⑥Could you lend me some money?
⑦Could you possibly lend me some money?
⑧I wonder if you could lend me some money.
⑨I was wondering if you could lend me some money.
⑩Would you mind if I asked you to lend me some money?

From these series of examples, I confirmed that English also has the polite wording equivalent to the sonkeigo and teineigo. But I wonder how about the kenjogo... It's too hard for me to confirm that existence in English. Do you have any idea?

Anyway, please try to get better at Japanese!
Thanks for checking out my journal. Glad you enjoy it (^_-)-☆

思うに、尊敬語は英語の honorific word にあたるのではないでしょうか。
そして謙譲語は modest form あたりでは、と思います。それは自分自身をへりくだって表現する手法です。
第三番目、丁寧語は formal lines と訳しました。