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Re: Japanese (was Re: French)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Saturday, May 25, 2002, 6:55
Philip Newton wrote:
> Similarly with members of the family -- an older sister might be > addressed with "older sister" as the 2nd person pronoun, and she might > reply back with "older sister" as the 1st person pronoun!
Right. :-) Because older members of the family are your superiors. :-) Also, you cannot address a superior by just their name, you have to use title or title and name, like, if someone had an older brother named Akira, they would call him either _oniisan_ (big brother) or _Akira-oniisan_ I read of an anecdote of a Japanese family who lived in America for a while, and the younger of the two sons picked up the habit of calling his elder brother by his name alone, so when they returned to Japan, he continued in that habit, much to the shock and horror of older family members. :-)
> (For example, if an > adult speaks to a child, he generally uses family relationship terms > from the child's perspective -- for example, "older sister" will mean > "*your* older sister not "*my* older sister", in general.)
Not unlike English. When a mother says "dad" to her children, she generally means "your dad" There's also the fun "fictitious" usages. For example, a middle-aged man is often referred to as _ojisan_ ("uncle") especially by a younger speaker, while an elderly man may be addressed as _ojiisan_ ("grandfather"), which is also a fun minimal pair of short and long vowels. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42