Following on from this thread here, someone ought to have told this fella in the news today about how to use お前. (Actually, he knew very well what he was doing, but it’s certainly something for us learners to remember).
the guy assumed calling the dad お前 is okay, since he was his student once. in happier days, this might have been okay, but that dad’s son had just died.
Got to laugh. In the US dodgy dealings with the Russians, infidelity, sexual harassment et al - no problem. Japan you choose the wrong pronoun and you have to fall on your sword!!
The whole sentence seems like the wrong register for the situation. This wasn’t like he bumped into the guy at the local izakaya. He was meeting with him specifically to discuss bullying and the suicide.
It’s not even a polite sentence even if you exclude お前. It should be 尊敬語.
Yeaaaah after reading the original sentence, I don’t see how it could be taken as anything but impolite even if he didn’t use お前.
The article offers a good “translation”, to quote…
The literal English translation of this phrase would be something like: “Are you going to come to the PTA meetings too?”
But a more faithful translation might be something like: “So whaddya think about coming to some PTA meetings?”
Everything about the phrase is wrong. Like, “So, you comin’ to the PTA meetings or what?”
Too colloquial, too casual, too… 親しい when you really shouldn’t be.
I’m not sure I could write it in Japanese, but something more to the effect of “We would appreciate your presence and insight in future PTA meetings” would have been infinitely more appropriate.
old oyaji somewhere in niigata. he was probably a bigshot around there and used to talk down at the unwashed masses, slightly out of touch with the reality of japanese social norms.
wouldn’t be the first of his kind.
That’s a pretty extreme case. I personally don’t even use it unless I’m mocking Tv. In Japan even my inner circle I just use respectful pronouns. Might get redundant but あなた hasn’t offended anyone for the past few years in my use.
When I worked in a kitchen in Japan for a few months in my 20s, some guys used おまえ with me. Most just used my name. One guy used 君. But nobody used あなた.
It completely depends on the situation. But in general, Japanese speakers are much more attuned to social register that English speakers are, and more apt to take umbrage at the wrong usage.
On the other hand, my (American) grandmother used to get pretty bent out of shape about her doctor calling her by her first name.
Yeah direct name usage is most common and I like it the most but I’m not good with names at all. Nothing more rude that f’n someone’s name up in my anxiety.
So in this situation is there any way to say “you” that would have been acceptable. I know the word “you” in any scenario is considered rough to say… Would it be just just leave it to context?
Or use his name.
[last name]さん would be the most appropriate way to refer directly to him.
This is my biggest problem ever lol。I teach ESL in the USA currently and looking for work in Japan. My biggest trouble is remembering my students names. XD
If you wanted to keep it in the same meaning as what he actually said, but in keigo, なさる would probably be the verb to use.
neither one is wrong, but i don’t think he’d talk like someone in the service industry.
お客様、お入りくださいませ。こちらへどうぞ doesn’t fit - doesn’t mean that he can’t use this kind of language. standard-polite is fine.
なさる is 尊敬語
Your example used いただく which is 謙譲語
They are the same level as each other, but one refers to the listener’s action and the other refers to your own. It doesn’t make him sound like he’s in the service industry.
the sentence i picked was a bit more casual, the いただく just makes sure it comes across as polite.
you might notice that i omitted half the sentence.
there’s polite, and there’s too polite, which comes across as ironic or sarcastic. telling the dad of a kid who suicided after being bullied at my school to 参加なさいませんか is almost as bad as おめえ.
なさいませんか is not “telling” him anything, it’s an invitation, and the appropriate one to use if you are using keigo. Using いただく is not a different level of keigo, it just wouldn’t be a way to directly make what he said keigo.
Putting ます on the end makes your sentence polite. Using いただく lowers the speakers position relative to the listener. なさる raises the listener’s position.
asking someone to do something can come across as telling them to do it, which is being used on a daily basis here. depending on context and who’s talking with whom, the most polite expression can come across as “move your ass”, and in this case, he’d better keep it formal/professional and refrain from uttering “invitations”.