JapanForum.com  


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
(#1 (permalink))
Old
koekoeka's Avatar
koekoeka (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 23
Join Date: Jan 2009
The use of 'watashi' in Japanese - 01-19-2009, 07:30 AM

Hello guys!

I have a question for you. Trouble (Thats a JF member) told me that you shouldnt use 'watashi' in Japanese alot but I dont really know why and when. Could somebody explain that to my?

Thanks already!

Koekoeka
Reply With Quote
(#2 (permalink))
Old
Ronin4hire's Avatar
Ronin4hire (Offline)
Busier Than Shinjuku Station
 
Posts: 2,355
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: ウェリントン、ニュジランド
01-19-2009, 07:34 AM

Yeah he's sort of right. Watashi is usually omitted and to do so would make your Japanese more natural. But it's not incorrect to use it.
Reply With Quote
(#3 (permalink))
Old
Keaton421's Avatar
Keaton421 (Offline)
JF Old Timer
 
Posts: 672
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
01-19-2009, 07:54 AM

Saying watashi seems a bit informal. If you're a male, you can use "ore" or "boku" (my girl says boku sounds nicer somehow, if you're trying to decide).

But generally, saying "I" is implied in Japanese, so you don't need to say it.


Oh! I wish I was in the land of Ramen
Otaku there are not downtrodden
Kawaii! Kawaii! Kawaii, Desu Ne!


MAXIMUM VIPER
Defender of the Scholar, Scourge of the Otaku, Savior of Japan
Reply With Quote
(#4 (permalink))
Old
MMM's Avatar
MMM (Offline)
JF Ossan
 
Posts: 12,215
Join Date: Jun 2007
01-19-2009, 08:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by koekoeka View Post
Hello guys!

I have a question for you. Trouble (Thats a JF member) told me that you shouldnt use 'watashi' in Japanese alot but I dont really know why and when. Could somebody explain that to my?

Thanks already!

Koekoeka
Japanese and English are very different languages. English speakers feel natural expressing the subjects of sentences, even when the subject is obvious. That is just how English is. That is why it is hard to imagine that NOT saying "I" or "you" as often is possible in communication.

When you can assimilate this concept into your thinking, it is one of the first of many plateaus in the mind-expanding experiences you will go through when learning Japanese.

To reverse things, a Japanese person just learning English will wonder "Why do I need to say 'I' and 'me' so much, when it is obvious I am talking about myself?"

In Japanese we do not say "I am hungry" we just say "hungry" as it is obvious that you are the person that is hungry, or else you wouldn't have said anything.
Reply With Quote
(#5 (permalink))
Old
Hatredcopter's Avatar
Hatredcopter (Offline)
In the middle of nowhere!
 
Posts: 537
Join Date: May 2007
Location: 山口県
01-19-2009, 09:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keaton421 View Post
Saying watashi seems a bit informal. If you're a male, you can use "ore" or "boku" (my girl says boku sounds nicer somehow, if you're trying to decide).

But generally, saying "I" is implied in Japanese, so you don't need to say it.
I think you got it reversed. 'Watashi' is rather polite, while 'boku', and especially 'ore' are informal. Most Japanese I've talked to seem to feel that saying 'boku' is a bit childish, whereas 'ore' should not be used except among guys of the same age group (usually younger guys).

And as far as the usage of watashi, MMM has it right... it's unneeded in most sentences (more so in spoken language than written), and it sounds unnatural if used to much. While we're on the subject, try not to use 'anata', either - the "proper" uses for anata are rather limited, and you'll rarely hear it in spoken Japanese.


郷に入っては郷に従え

Last edited by Hatredcopter : 01-19-2009 at 09:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
(#6 (permalink))
Old
GregFromScotland's Avatar
GregFromScotland (Offline)
I love you.
 
Posts: 72
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Not saying....oh wait!
Send a message via MSN to GregFromScotland Send a message via Skype™ to GregFromScotland
01-19-2009, 09:20 AM

Watashi: formal
Watakushi: really formal for guys
atashi: high school girls butchering japanese
boku: a boy saying it
ore: a manly casual way to say it
Reply With Quote
(#7 (permalink))
Old
Keaton421's Avatar
Keaton421 (Offline)
JF Old Timer
 
Posts: 672
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
01-19-2009, 09:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatredcopter View Post
I think you got it reversed. 'Watashi' is rather polite, while 'boku', and especially 'ore' are informal. Most Japanese I've talked to seem to feel that saying 'boku' is a bit childish, whereas 'ore' should not be used except among guys of the same age group (usually younger guys).
Ack, I did say watashi was informal, didn't I? Bad typo, I need sleep


Oh! I wish I was in the land of Ramen
Otaku there are not downtrodden
Kawaii! Kawaii! Kawaii, Desu Ne!


MAXIMUM VIPER
Defender of the Scholar, Scourge of the Otaku, Savior of Japan
Reply With Quote
(#8 (permalink))
Old
Wasabista's Avatar
Wasabista (Offline)
JF Old Timer
 
Posts: 216
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Saitama
01-19-2009, 09:23 AM

Good post by MMM! In Japanese you can leave out subjects, objects and indirect objects that are obvious. (and sometimes NOT obvious, which is a problem in translation)

But if you DO use the word for "I" there are huge variations based on politeness, status, sex and region. It's a lot of fun actually.

One word (apparently from Kyushu) for "I/me" (male, casual) is "oidon." This is fun for me because my name is Don.

So a buddy of mine calls out, "Oi, Don!"

I reply, " 'Oi, Don', 'tte...oidon?"

(Well I thought it was funny...sorry.)


『辛かった」といえる前に
「辛かったろう」と言ってくれる
Reply With Quote
(#9 (permalink))
Old
koekoeka's Avatar
koekoeka (Offline)
New to JF
 
Posts: 23
Join Date: Jan 2009
01-19-2009, 02:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasabista View Post
Good post by MMM! In Japanese you can leave out subjects, objects and indirect objects that are obvious. (and sometimes NOT obvious, which is a problem in translation)

But if you DO use the word for "I" there are huge variations based on politeness, status, sex and region. It's a lot of fun actually.

One word (apparently from Kyushu) for "I/me" (male, casual) is "oidon." This is fun for me because my name is Don.

So a buddy of mine calls out, "Oi, Don!"

I reply, " 'Oi, Don', 'tte...oidon?"

(Well I thought it was funny...sorry.)
Lol, that's kinda funny indeed
Btw: You guys are like fast-reply people or something
And I thank you all about caring about this question!
Reply With Quote
(#10 (permalink))
Old
chryuop's Avatar
chryuop (Offline)
JF Old Timer
 
Posts: 705
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma, USA
01-19-2009, 02:29 PM

I have a question about "you".
You know, every grammar book of Japanese says the same things posted in this thread about the use of I and you. I read in the past that あなた can actually be kinda impolite for how redundant it can sound. Thus a big use of it can become, not offensive, but annoying.

I write a lot back and forth with a Japanese guy and I noticed that sometimes (when he needs to use the pronoun you) he uses あなた and sometimes he uses ジジさん or ジジさんの instead of your (that is my real name). I started using it too (you know...we learner are very copycat ) tho I don't know if this use is formal or if there are only certain occasions when you can do it...any explanation?


降り注ぐ雨 マジで冷てぇ
暗闇の中 歩くしかねぇ
everything’s gonna be okay 恐れることねぇ
辛い時こそ胸を張れ
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




Copyright 2003-2006 Virtual Japan.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC6