I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately, and I follow a lot of Japanese musicians (mainly V系, if that makes a difference). I want to practice Japanese by replying to their tweets occasionally but I have no idea what level of politeness would be appropriate. Not that I’m anywhere near fluent enough to perfectly switch between various degrees of formality, but I’d like to have an idea of what to aim for.
Should I just try and match the level of formality in their tweets? Or is it more appropriate to use more polite language than they do?
It’s usually safe to match what they use, but if they’re really famous they might expect more respect. It’s also usually best to start your communications with a new person by using teineigo (desu/masu polite speech) by default and then if you keep talking and you notice they start using casual you can generally start using it yourself unless there’s some kind of power dynamic like teacher/student etc. (Which usually isn’t the case on twitter)
That’s usually my approach at least, some others with more conversation experience might have some more specific advise for you.
I asked about this on hellotalk recently and the response was basically that no matter if on social media or irl you should only use casual speech with friends, family, and those you are close with. Everyone else, like strangers, in public places, seniors, etc. you should use polite speech. The replies were also mostly young women so it could be different for guys, idk.
@phyro @RysingDragon Thank you both! Guess it’s time to practice my teineigo haha
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