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Thread: Honorifics

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    Junior Member Momo-san is on a distinguished road Momo-san's Avatar
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    Cool Honorifics

    Okay, so I'm def. not new to the manga world or anything, honorifics (i.e. san, chan, sensei, etc) are just something I haven't fully grasped yet. I'd like to know if anyone here can enlighten me on the subject? I've figured out a few things, like that Sensei means a more advanced student, or more commonly a teacher, but I'd like to more completely understand how honorifics work. can anyone help me?

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    Gil
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    Some of the basics:

    Honorfics are all suffixes, unless an O- is placed in front, which shows respect...or something of that sort. For instance, nii-chan refers to a brother, but o-nii-chan would be a more polite way of saying it.

    -kun : Commonly used to refer to young males.
    -chan : Used to refer to young females, and sometimes boys with which one has a close relationshio.
    -san : The equivelent of "Mr." or "Ms."
    -sensei : Teacher or doctor
    -sempai : Used with a student of higher rank or grade
    -kohai : Used with a student of lower rank or grade
    -bozu : A child or childish person (not sure about this one, but I think I've heard it somewhere...)

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  3. #3
    Senior Member timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90 has a brilliant future timewarp90's Avatar
    Gil
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    Welll....lets see. Some of the more common ones are:

    Chan- referring to a good female friend, like how Kagome calls Sango: Sango- chan.

    Kun- Referring to a guy friend or peer. It can also be a sign of adoration or respect if used by a girl. Example: Kakeru calls Yuki, Yuki-kun because they are good friends (fruits basket). and Sakura calls Sasuke, Sasuke-kun...for obvious reasons.

    Sensei- Typically refers to a teacher but can also refer to someone of another educated position such as an author. Example: Naruto calls Kakashi, Kakashi-sensei. Shigure's publicist (I can't remember her name...) calls Shigure, Sensei because he is an author (fruits basket).

    Senpai- Refers to a student older than you. Example: Hitomi calls Amano, Amano-senpai because he is a grade older (escaflowne)

    Sama- used to show a VERY high level of respect. Example: In Naruto the leader of the village is refered to as Hokage-sama.

    Dono- Pretty much the same thing as Sama, Example: Kenshin calls Kaoru, Kaoru-sama.


    There are soooo many honorifics! Check out wikipedia for some explanations on others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_titles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xero XIII View Post
    -kohai : Used with a student of lower rank or grade
    -bozu : A child or childish person (not sure about this one, but I think I've heard it somewhere...)
    You can use -sempai as an honorific e.g. Mizuno-senpai but people would never use -kohai in the same way. Another note is that senpai isn't only for students. It can be used towards people who've been in a company longer than you have. Either way, you'd never hear the "senpai" say "Hey! Miyabe-kohai!" It's more common to see them call them without an honorific or possibly just call them with -kun, give them a nickname etc.

    -bozu on the other hand is a bit difficult, yes it does relate to a child but it isn't used often as an honorific. People would say "Miyabe no bozu" (The kid, Miyabe) and it's acceptable to say "Miyabe-bozu" sorta as a nickname, I suppose.
    (NB. "bozu" pronounced in a different way can be mean bald so explaining this was a bit weird hehe)

    Quote Originally Posted by timewarp90 View Post
    Dono- Pretty much the same thing as Sama, Example: Kenshin calls Kaoru, Kaoru-sama.
    -dono isn't used often anymore in Japan because it usually refers to the Feudal Era, Meiji Era (basically, when the Samurai were still around). "dono" actually comes from the word "tono" which means Lord (Lordship). People of the same rank called each other with -dono as well as to those that were above them. (Well, that's what I assume the samurai did) Those who were peasants, etc tended to call a Lord with -dono.

    (NB. I haven't exactly researched the way -dono was used amongst people during the Feudal era so please don't take it too seriously)
    Last edited by royal_ken; 12-07-2006 at 06:54 AM.

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