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Tayo

Language to avoid in Japanese?

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I've studied Japanese on my own for that past two years, and I've also taken a look at a Japanese version of the Book of Mormon that I have. I'd like to know if anyone knows what kind of language I should avoid in Japanese. It is quite different than English in that they don't exactly have curse words, but some words or phrases that can range from being very polite to very rude, and well, that's basically what curse words are in English, very rude words. If it's not too much, can someone who is a native or maybe even gone to Japan on his/her mission tell me what kind of language I should avoid? You don't have to say exact words, but maybe what kinds. Thank you! :)

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I don't know Japanese at all..but curious..why would you want to avoid any words in the Book of Mormon? Perhaps I don't completely understand your question.

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Sorry if I was unclear. I meant, in real life, not the Book of Mormon of course. I want to avoid bad language in Japanese. I don't know what the standards for the church are in the Japanese language.

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The best way to avoid bad language is to ask a native. Some words that are not all that bad in English are terrible in Japanese, like Baka (fool). That is like a big swear word in Japanese but just a negative one in English. And don't use the lower forms to someone you are not familiar with or it is like talking down to them. Or even some of the really low forms like Ore instead of using Anata or Kimi. You hear it a lot but it is really low so don't even think about using it. A lot of the guys use it on each other but I wouldn't.

Some of the other swear words I won't mention here. But if you make friends over there they will be happy to tell you the words to be careful of. Sometimes they won't but in general they will.

Oh and don't say "Boo!" to someone. They will just crack up laughing. That is the sound they use to mimic a fart. :eek: Hmmm, can I say that word here? I guess I just did.

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Wow, I'm really confused about "baka", I hear it all the time in normal use, even when not being used as an insult. It can mean "fool". Like in April Fool's Day, Shigatsu no Baka. I guess I would like to speak to a native then. I think I need a lot of clarifying, but thanks for your explanation though. I talk politely in Japanese anyway.

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Wow, I'm really confused about "baka", I hear it all the time in normal use, even when not being used as an insult. It can mean "fool". Like in April Fool's Day, Shigatsu no Baka. I guess I would like to speak to a native then. I think I need a lot of clarifying, but thanks for your explanation though. I talk politely in Japanese anyway.

I was told when I was there it was best not to call any one a baka because it was worse than saying fool. You wouldn't call someone a fool over here in normal every day english, but Baka was supposed to be even worse when I was there. Maybe it is not so bad now. It has been a long time since I was last there so things change.

Ganbette ne!

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okay to avoid saying any really rude words in japanese try just to use polite form in your speaking, i don't know why you'd really want to use baka around anyone your trying to get to join the church lol.

EUdict | words or actions designed to avoid embarassment or ridicule | English-Japanese dictionary

those are some words you might wanna avoid.

The Nihongo Bin | Insulting Japanese

that's also a place you can look at for insults or other words you don't wanna use

just as said before, don't use anata it's kindof saying "hey you, i don't care who you are, but yeah you" lol

By the way if you talk like the book of mormon is written you'll be looked at weird because it's hard to understand.

and even if you mess up and accidentally insult someone, remember you are a gaijin you can get away with alot more than actual japanese people. and you can always say your sorry.

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I would think that if you didn't learn the words you should not say it would be hard to say them.

Growing up I went to school with lots of kids from Mexico, their parents working in California, some of the kids thought it was funny to teach them the curse words since they didn't know what they meant.

If you don't learn them you don't have to worry about avoiding them.

Ben Raines

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Wow, I'm really confused about "baka", I hear it all the time in normal use, even when not being used as an insult. It can mean "fool". Like in April Fool's Day, Shigatsu no Baka. I guess I would like to speak to a native then. I think I need a lot of clarifying, but thanks for your explanation though. I talk politely in Japanese anyway.

I'm confused. If you speak Japanese and hear things, I'm can only assume that you are speaking to either natives or someone who knows Japanese pretty well. Can't you ask one of them your questions regarding grammar and polite language?

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Tayo,

there are several that are rude, and several that are okay with close associates that would be considered rude with those you don't know well.

baka means fool. Don't use it with people you don't know. You CAN call a friend a baka, but you have to say it nicely, so that they know you are joking around.

yaro is another rude way of saying 'him' or 'you'. So is 'anta' (a rude way of saying 'anata', or you). To be really rude, go the route of 'teimei'.

'Oi' is a way of saying 'hey'. Not good, unless, again, you are with close associates.

So, if you're looking to start a fight, begin with 'Oi! Teimei yaro, nani yatterun da!' (Hey, you!, What the he!! are you doing?).

But I digress.

As a general rule, familiar language can be construed as rude in the wrong setting. Remember to 'politinize' things with 'kudasai', 'onegai shimasu', etc., and you'll be fine.

If you want more detailed help on what would and wouldn't be appropriate, drop me a line. I'd be happy to help.

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Normally, you want to make sure you are not too blunt or direct. Instead of saying "I don't want this," you would say, "This is a little..." Words like "chotto" and "ga" are staples of polite Japanese, as well as general polite endings, pronouns, and verbs.

Less polite Japanese is used between family members and close friends.

As far as "baka" goes, I once said in class, "Takusan no terebi wo miru to, atama ga baka ni narimasu." Or, when you watch a lot of TV, your head becomes stupid. My sensei told me that using "baka" is only appropriate in joking, which I clearly was. Sarcasm is not very well understood in Japan, but is becoming popular in the younger Japanese.

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Ah, I see. It's like using the word "stupid" as a direct insult, rather than using it in a less direct way. So, I was asking earlier, I'm curious, is 四月のばか appropriate? I was told that's what April Fool is in Japanese. By the way, you can use kana and kanji, actually I'd like it better if you did.

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すみません, I didn't have access to my handy word processor at the moment. If I don't have it, my computer refuses to type in Japanese.

Anyway, I think the use in April Fool's day is okay, but I'm still not exactly sure. For the most part, "baka" seems like something to avoid in polite conversation.

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Oh yes, sure, of course. It's not like I'd be really using it or anything for that sense.

Also, sixpacktr, I know all about the grammar vocab and such because I've been studying it on my own for the past 2 years, but for quite a while I've been worried about what the church's standards are on Japanese since it's very different from English. Though, something has really bothered me. Mainly, the music I like and such. The songs don't have bad messages or anything but it's mainly like usage of pronouns such as 君, etc, and regular verb forms. (Like maybe 聞く rather than 聞きます). I know I wouldn't really speak like that in actual conversations, but I just want to know if it's ok? I feel as if the lyrics aren't exactly bad, but maybe the use pronouns or so that are considered not polite. I just fear that I'll have to stop listening to them because it's like the only type of music I like.

Edited by Tayo

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Well, you wouldn't use 'kimi' with someone you wouldn't know, again unless you want to insult them. For the most part, you will be cut a lot of slack as a gaijin in what you say, at least when it comes to verb endings, etc. In church, people talk regular Japanese, just like everywhere else, but you will find during prayers that it isn't just honorific language that is used but almost a high honorific (lots of '-sama', 'de gozaimasu', 'irrashaimasu', etc.). That all comes with practice, but I didn't worry that much about it.

Anyway, anything other than 'anata' when referring to the person you're talking to (not anta, kimi, omae, etc) or 'watakushi' (not 'ore', although 'boku' can be used, but is more a male child's way of referring to himself) you may want to steer clear of.

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To be honest, I didn't think "baka" was bad, I heard "bakarashii"(foolish) used a lot by native speakers. As a missionary, I never really got a good feel of what was a swear word or expression. There was a phrase that I heard others use, and was cautioned not to repeat when I repeated it, but wasn't sure if it was mearly impolite or an actual swear word/phrase...it involved the Japanese word for "poop" and baka.

Piman(green pepper) is a way to call someone an airhead or dumb/stupid.

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wow..i had never heard that japanese was so close in ways with spanish.....interesting, thanks.

Tayo, i sent a message to someone who might be willing to help. it might depend on how quickly she reads her messages...lol. if i hear, i will tell you. you might even hear from her yourself, or a friend of hers.

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