Can I use these while in Japan?

You can speak like Anya from Spy Family and no one would really care as long as you’re understood and don’t appear to be trying to start fights.

People absolutely do care…


What type of situation was this?

I was the client. It was kind of like a “reveal” after a fairly major home renovation. I was trying to express how amazed we were with the new condition of the home. Perhaps something along the lines of “holy shit, this is amazing!”

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I guess it depends who OP is talking to. If its just the average store clerk or someone they are asking directions from its whatever. He specifically spoke in “general use” which as a foreigner you get a lot of leeway. Obviously people’s experiences vary person to person, but I think you wouldn’t generally need to sweat something like that. If we’re talking general conversation it might matter more.

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I guess the definition of “care” is going to be an important distinction here.

-Traditional Japanese supervisor at work? They’d surely think less of you for it.
-Close friend, work or otherwise? Nah, they probably don’t care at all.
-Your example of a store clerk? I doubt they “care”, per say, but if this is there only impression of you they’ll probably not have the best image of your mastery or Japanese, but they also likely wouldn’t correct you on it.

The older man being bothered doesn’t surprise me as I mentioned before, when that generation was younger やばい was strictly negative in a very strong sense.

Otherwise, it was probably just the introduction of slang into a business relationship. I’ve been translating communications with a foreign manufacturer for a Japanese friend who is expanding his craft beer brewery, and his email drafts are always at peak formality. I regularly have to tone them down to match the sales rep that he’s speaking with who has taken the more “American” approach of friendly neighborhood salesman.

TL;DR- Japanese is highly contextual, this was maybe the “wrong” context for やばい, but at the end of the day I’m sure your intentions were understood and no hard feelings were had.


I at some point heard a shop clerk (female, well in her 30-40s) use やばい and I felt right at home :stuck_out_tongue: . It’s not a swear word, but as you said, it’s unlikely someone would use it in a very formal setting.

As far as I know, these don’t mean the exact same thing. 一緒に emphasizes that A and B are done together, as a pair. 共に that A and B coincide.


Damn it. I thought you were asking “wtf is 一体?” Lol

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It’s not a matter of conservatism, it’s a matter of using an inappropriate slang/teenage-level language. The 60-year might not have even understood what you were trying to convey.
It’d be like if I said “that’s sick” or “that’s crazy” to an older contractor in the U.S. when looking at their work. It doesn’t even make sense.


It could make sense, it’s just the opposite of the intended meaning.

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In my opinion, it seems like they were, as in “what is the English equivalent of 一体”, but there was an excellent response to that, hence all the likes. :wink:

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I´ve heard やばい so much when watching Vtubers, pretty much everything can be やばい or やべー. I remember it being memed a lot by the english speaking community some time ago. I even sometimes used it unconsciously with myself even though I didn´t even know what it meant.
After I started learning japanese and read somewhere about it, I was not at all surprised that it was slang.

I’d encourage people in this thread to watch Borat (or Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd playing two wild and crazy guys, for those a little older).

It’s usually wise to err on the side of overly polite/ correct Japanese unless you are absolutely certain. Not because you’ll offend, but because you might unintentionally cause explosive laughter.

(I’d say “ask me how I know” but I’ve carefully erased all such memories).


I meant it doesn’t make sense to say that in the given context. The use of slang depends on the audience.

I see. I agree, then.

I think the context you’ve used やばい in would be seen as you being disrespectful to the contractor and others there. From my knowledge of it, it’s the sort of word that would usually be used in very casual settings or with people you are very familiar with. From my knowledge of 一緒 I’d say it would only be used in a similar setting. Either people you are highly familiar with on the same level or lower socially than yourself or in a very casual setting. Not something you’d say to your boss/ supervisor or someone doing professional work for you.

It would be like me cussing in front of my boss while at work or cussing at my supervisor in front of other co-workers. It might be ok to use at a family bbq or with a group of close friends, but never at work or in a workplace setting.