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kimi, omae, teme

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kimi, omae, teme 2010/6/14 08:26
Hi,

I've been watching alot of j-dramas lately. I'm somewhat confused about rude ways to say you in japanese.

(Kimi and omae can be used in less offensive/normal ways.?)

but can your rank me the grade of offensive/rudeness of Kimi, Omae and Teme. How angry do you need to get to say teme. Are there any similar pronounce, I should know, and avoid by all means (considering being female).

by nihongo-beginner (guest)  

j-drama for learning japanese... 2010/6/14 13:50
I battled with "you" in Japanese for a long time. I just stopped using all except for "anata" or using the person's name in place of "you" (third person speech).

The language used in j-dramas is also not representative of how Japanese people speak in real life, scripted to fit the narrative and character relationships only, so I wouldn't use it as a tool for learning to speak Japanese. But if you're listening/watching in Japanese, knowing the difference can be helpful.

Here is my explanation (all "you"s):

"anata" is the safest one used for equals. standard for both Japanese people and speaking as a foreigner since that's one of the first words you learn. "Anata" is also used like "darling", "honey", "baby-doll" among spouses/couples. But you wouldn't use "anata" too much as you get to know the person, so say their name+san, +kun, +chan or something which is very safe.
Also, don't say "anata" to a doctor or teacher, just use "sensei".
"Anta" is the rude version of "anata" and I hear it spoken by females mainly.
Bottom line is: when in doubt, use "anata"

"kimi" can be used for familiars/nonfamiliars but I would avoid using it. Also, "kimi" is used in songs, etc. kind in a romantic way.

"omae" is used for those below you in age, experience, social status, also would avoid using it. Can be condescending and quite rude if used wrong. But usually seniors use it on juniors (school, firm, clubs)
Other pronunc. - "Omee" pretty rude too, male's version of "anta"
- "Omaa" - heard this one while travelling in the countryside

"teme" is a no-no even in real-life Japan. In English, "you bastard, "sunofabitch", "mother-youknowwhat" all apply, but since Japanese doesn't really have an abundance of swear words (even kids say "kuso" (shit)), "teme" is probably the rudest in common usage.

"kisama" is another no-no as samurai/royalty elites used it to address commoners or people they hate. But it's still used today with perhaps a little more negative undertones than "teme", but you gotta be a real ass or talking to a real ass to pull this one out... Samurai films, gangster flicks, manga, etc. use this a lot but that doesn't mean you can too =)
Other pronunc. - "kisan" (used in Fukuoka and other locales), the dirtiest "you"

Other people please let me know what I missed, errors.

by jmarkley rate this post as useful

Just to add 2010/6/14 16:43
"temee" is the most rude among the three, followed by "omae," then "kimi" is not rude in
itself. If you are female, avoid "omae" and "temee" altogether, and also "kimi" as well.

"kimi" can be used by females when, for example, it is from an elder female manager to a junior-ranking person in a company, but even that sounds condescending. "kimi" is used in songs as jmarkley pointed out, but note that most are songs by males (or the lyrics from male viewpoint).

"omae" coming from a female - well, if you are a very bossy wife who's got her husband under her thumb, maybe, you might say that to your hubby :) or only to a close guy friend in a joking way :)

"temee" - I have heard it only from males in serious quarrel/fight type of situations.

by AK rate this post as useful

domo 2010/6/15 01:57
thanks alot for your answeres.

I'm again and again getting surpirised just how diffrent japanese is compared to any western language I know. But that's what makes it so interssting.

Maybe can you help me this this one as well. In October I'm going to travel Japan. A japanese came over to our company for training last year. He invited me to stay at his house for a 2 nights, while I'm travelling. We're holding contct via e-mail using our firstnames, so what should I call him, while staying at this place, just first name? attach -san to it? how about his wife?

Thanks again for your extensive explanation, jmarkley. As well AK, thanks for your answeres.

by nihongo-beginner (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2010/6/15 08:08
To nihongo-beginner,

I assume you have been talking to each other in English so far, and calling each other by your first names? Then first name only should be fine :) Or you can try with "XXX-san" first, and see if he says "Please call me XXX." For his wife, I would say with "-san," and stick with it, I'd say.

by AK rate this post as useful

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