How to ask about stereotypes in each prefecture?

This question isn’t about how to approach people and talk to them about stereotypes, but how to ask it. I asked a native “おまえの県の既成概念は、何ですか?全然正しい?” ( I wanted to say, “As for your prefecture what are some of the stereotypes? Are they true?” ) - which they did not understand at all and correct me with “あなたの住む地域にはどんな伝統がありますか?”

How do I ask the question?

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You haven’t been calling people おまえ have you? At least not since then, I hope.


I think seeing おまえ in a question that ends with ですか gave me whiplash… (Sorry I shouldn’t be mean about it)

But also 全然 is typically (with a few exceptions) used with negative words to mean “not __ at all”. 全然正しい doesn’t really make any sense. I think their correction is perfectly reasonable, with the caveat that you should use the person’s name with -san if you know it rather than あなた.


I think partially the thing is that he wants to know something that will probably elicit a response that could be considered a rude thing to say (effectively, “tell me rude things about the people in your prefecture”), and the native corrected the question to one that does not elicit a rude answer.

Which is totally reasonable… if a beginner asks you a question that you think would have a rude answer, you’re likely to assume they just made a mistake and weren’t actually trying to talk about a rude subject when they don’t yet have a grasp on the language.


OP is a certified チンピラ!


If you don’t understand the backlash against using おまえ, it’s generally considered a rude way to address people. It’s confusing since you hear it all the time in anime and stuff, so it is natural to want to use it (and confusing too since it sounds to me at least like a respectful form of address).

Here is the rule for non-native speakers. Never ever use おまえ。Ever. The end.

As @phyro said, using their name with san is the best. Especially since it reinforces their name in your head. Win!


Unfortunately, I realised my mistake only after asking.

Yeah, jokes aside I think that mistake was fine if you clearly didn’t mean anything ill. But yeah, if you know someone’s name, don’t use any form of “you”. Bad habits are easy to pick up from media, so don’t beat yourself up about it. I’ll never forget when I thought こいつ was an appropriate word because of how liberally it’s used in entertainment, AND because my Japanese teacher (native speaker) foolishly told me it just means “this guy”, so I thought, totally innocuous, right? Called the man on the 10,000 Yen bill こいつ in front of two Japanese people. Never again lol!


I see. But what I was trying to ask is how do I ask about stereotypes associated with each prefecture whether good or not. This thread is taking a different turn than I thought because of my mistake using おまえ.

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Some other notes about the correction you received

  • Your original question implies that the prefecture has certain stereotypes which you are inquiring about. The corrected sentence is asking if there are any and what kind there are, which makes it easier for the other person to explain that there aren’t any without feeling like they’re arguing with you.
  • 正しい isn’t really used for “true” for things like this, it means more like accurate or morally correct. I would suggest 本当ですか for asking if something is “really true.”

I think the correction you were given is a good start, I don’t think I could give a better answer than what a native speaker would say. Is there something else that you’re looking to say?


It’s still a very direct and forward thing to ask about, and therefore even if you ask it perfectly, you are unlikely to get a direct response unless you are on very good terms with the other person or you are in an academic setting.

As an aside, the word ステレオタイプ does exist in Japanese.

However, things like 思い込み are probably more likely to be used in everyday conversations.


No offense intended, but would you even understand the response if they actually answered with examples of stereotypes?


Quite. Imagine asking someone about the stereotypes of their home region in English. What sort of answers would you expect to get?

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None taken. The app I use has a translate function and I always use Jisho to check too. The native also can speak some english. So yes, in a way.

Well, it depends who that someone is and what kind of person they are. I had asked a question about things Japanese hate about their culture the other day, and got a lot of direct responses from natives. So I didn’t expect this issue to be so different.

As an aside, there is a movie about prefecture stereotypes that is SO FUNNY. Fly me to the Saitama. Watch it if you can.


Ah, I almost watched that at the Japanese Film Festival here last year, but I decided I’d seen enough films already.

I saw it on the plane last year. I’m sure people were laughing at me cause I was grinning so much xD

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This film has been recommended to me a couple of times, but no one showed me visuals of it before! It was on my watch list and after seeing this ad, it’s now at the top of my watch list, thank you!

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Vancouver - we’re a bunch of marijuana-partaking, Lululemon-wearing, hiking hippies. It rains a lot.