The difference of the meanings between 同居 and 同棲

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Aug 16, 2018 00:12
One of my Lang-8 friends asked me an interesting question about the meaning of the Japanese word 同居. He is a native Chinese speaker and according to him, there's a same word 同居 in Chinese too. It means that a man and a woman live together before marriage/without marriage, and also sleep with. I think that I knew what he was concerning, but I just explained to him the meaning of 同居 in Japanese.
We use it in contexts like ”I live with my grandfather. (祖父と同居しています)", "Three generations live together in this house. (三世代が同居しています)".
If you refer to the case of that lovers live together (and sleep with, of course), there is another term for that in Japanese: 同棲. However, this term is only used in casual speech. It's not favourable to say to your bosses or colleagues, or your strict aunties, because you may sound a bit improper.
Japanese is convenient, if you don't want to say things clearly.
It may mean that you're living with your friends at a boarding house, or only with your boyfriend/girlfriend. From this sentence you can't know the number of the friend(s), the gender of the friend(s), or if you are in a relationship or not. However, I believe that in any other languages you have similar tricks to hide the facts. It may be easy for native speakers.
The friend who stays at me now also learns Japanese. He found the term 同棲 out of my girls manga today and said, "As you said, this term is specifically used for the case!"
The protagonist decided to live with her boyfriend (同棲). If he reads forward, he will know that the mother of the protagonist is against her plan.
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