@ Let's Use I-Messages More!        もっと、 ”私-メッセージ”を使ってみませんか?

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Aug 13, 2010 11:01
While I was reading messages received from native English speakers, I came to think that Japanese people should use more I-messages.

I-messages mean using the subject "I" for sentences.

Not using "I-messages" would lead to making us sound more vague, and to make matters worse it could lead to misunderstandings.

My Lang-8 friend rg wrote about the phrase "Your Japanese is good" or "nihongo ga o-jozu desune" in Japanese. This is a so called "You-message." I was thinking about why people say this to Japanese learners who are actually not good at Japanese yet.

So, I changed the phrase "nihongo ga o-jozu desune" to the one with an I-message. "I'm impressed at what you say in Japanese." I guess that this is what Japanese people really want to say.

If we continue saying this kind of thing with you-messages, it will be hard for us to have a profound understanding of each other for good.

I learned about some compliments, from a Japanese perspective, but people from other countries don't think so, from comments and also my experience.

For example,"Your skin is white", which is a compliment from a Japanese perspective(from a Japanese standpoint), should be worded, "I envy you, I wanted to be born with white skin like you." Is that clearer?

I don't know why we often use you-messages rather(more) than I-messages. Is it just because of Japanese sentence structures, or is it attributed to Japanese characteristics, like shyness or ambiguity?

I really hope that as many educators as possible recognize that the importance using I-messages to express oneself and have people understand you clearly.

Mothers always say to their children, "Good boy" or "Good girl" or "ii-ko dane" in Japanese, when they do a good thing. I actually don't use the term, because it's a message to show affection with conditions, like I love you just when you do a good thing.

How would the child feel if the mom said to him, "I'm glad that you helped me." He will feel really happy because he understands well that his mom is glad about what he did!