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Korean politeness levels

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Friday, September 28, 2001, 2:32
On Thursday, September 27, 2001, at 04:38 PM, laokou wrote:

> From: "Yoon Ha Lee" > >>> Yikes! *Six* levels? Makes -masu in Japanese seem pretty pathetic. > > (chotto) omachi kudasaimase > (chotto) matte kudasaimase > (chotto) omachi kudasai > (chotto) matte kudasai > (chotto) matte (ne) > mate! > > I think Japanese can keep up if it needs to :) >
<solemn nod> Yeah, I think they're about tied, though truth to tell if I *had* to guess I suspect Japanese ultimately makes more formality distinctions. But then, my knowledge of Korean is highly biased toward the informal modes, and I barely know Japanese at all.
>> "ore" in Korean; my exposure has been woefully limited. > > What does "ore" mean in Korean? In Japanese, it's a butch 1st person > pronoun > (I would never have been able to use it with a straight face; I'm more a > "boku")
Yikes! I botched that sentence...let me rephrase: I know of no Korean equivalent to the Japanese "ore." The only first person (singular) pronouns I know of are "na" (informal) and "jeo" (humble, polite, whatever) . But then, my only reference is _Integrated Korean_ beginning 1, and my exposure to certain segments of Korean society has been highly restricted. Frex, all my cousins are girls, so I'm less familiar with the informal male-specific modes of speech; franex (for another example), my knowledge of the kinship terms dealing with the father's side of the family is very spotty since my father was the only (legitimate) child, his mother *and* stepmother died way before I was born, etc. If I'd *gone* to a Korean school and had more same-age Korean playmates maybe I'd be better off. <shrug> OC, it's just easier to omit pronouns entirely. ^_^