Dichotomous Japanese

Japanese is a dichotomous language. There are always two sets of verbs to describe one phenomenon. For instance, "say" is used to describe the speaking behavior of you or someone else with an equal status such as your classmates. So, you say, "You said that the gate would be closed at 5:00 o'clock." If the subject of the sentence is someone with a higher social status, the verb "say" will not be used but another word will be used. Since there is no such a word in English, the sentence with such a verb will have to be translated something like, "You gracefully said that the door will be closed at 5:00 o'clock." In Japanese, there is a verb that means "gracefully say." If I may repeat, there are two Japanese verbs for "say." One is "iu," which is used for general occasions and "ossharu," which is used to describe the  action of people with a higher status. A question is what determines a higher status. Status determiners are: age, social status, fame, and sometimes gender. In Japanese grammar, word forms that are used to show respect are called keigo.

0 件のコメント: