Japanese Language is … Difficult!

Posted July 30th, 2010 in Ume's Interests 2 Comments »

Yes, I am Japanese and I speak Japanese.  But, Japanese language is very unique, and the people in different area have different accent and sometimes speak different words.  The standard Japanese that you may know is the formal Japanese language and most of the people around Tokyo speak this language.  

I’m from Western side of Japan and I speak Kansai language.  The basic words are the same as the standard Japanese, but people can tell I’m from Western side by listening me talk.  
As a Kansai person, I feel that it’s much easier for Tokyo people (the people who speak the standard Japanese) to speak polite Japanese.  The polite Japanese is very similar to the standard Japanese language.
Why I’m writing this is because I recently received a complain at work that my Japanese is not good.  They said what I said sounded very rude :p
Some people say Kansai language sounds “rude” “casual” and “offensive” :p  (It’s the stereo type, as almost all yakuza speak Kansai language)  but, this recalled my another experience that I had few years ago.
I went back to Japan for about 6 months after graduating the school here, and I worked in a hotel near my house.  As you know, Japan’s society is very strict.  I had to speak politely to everyone including coworkers.  One day, I did something wrong and I wanted to apologize.  I said “Gomen-nasai”.  Then, the boss got even angrier and told me 「”Gomen-nasai”?  You shouldn’t use the word “Gomen-nasai”, you should be saying “Sumimasen-deshita”!」
“Gomen-nasai” and “Sumimasen”  both means “sorry”, and I didn’t understand the difference and why the boss was so angry.  According to him, Gomen-nasai sounds more casual than “Sumimasen”…
I’m not good at polite speech anyway.  Hmm…  Japanese language can be very complicated sometimes..

2 Comments on “Japanese Language is … Difficult!”

  1. 1 Kathy said at 8:50 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    I think Kansai dialect sounds quite scary until you become used to it! Now I like it and think it’s cute! (^v^)

    I always used to find it strange that Japanese people would complain about young people who weren’t able to speak Japanese ‘correctly’ until I realised that there are so many English speakers who can’t use English correctly either!
    So many people can’t spell, can’t use punctuation and don’t understand grammar. It’s sad!

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 9:12 pm on July 31st, 2010:


    Yeah, Kansai dialect is like the language bad people use, isn’t it :p

    Sometimes I feel troublesome 面倒臭い to write/speak Japanese, as I need to chose the words and think how to say it in the polite way. There is no problem when talking to friends, but when at work, I have an issue.

    I don’t speak “young Japanese language”, but as a Kansai person, it’s bit hard to speak polite Japanese fluently.
    And, when speaking politely, I can’t really feel what I’m saying. It’s like, you are just listing the word you know, but you’re not feeling/meaning it.

    …. hmmm bit difficult to express what I mean here :p

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