Jul 11, 2018

Why I (Mostly) Don't Use Keigo

Japanese is a difficult language, of course you don't need me to tell you this. During my three years of studying the language I have learned keigo, or formal/polite Japanese, and as a student, I hated it. I always found it to be a struggle.

Fast forward to now... My Japanese has come a long way, including my keigo. Regardless, I hate using it, in fact I almost never use it. Except in a work environment, of course. Other than at work, I actively try not to use it. 

When I first started learning keigo, I did my best to use it in the appropriate situations. But not just keigo, teinei form as well. I found that this builds a wall between you and the other person. It actively puts you into two separate categories. This is very bad when you are trying to make friends, and I feel like it sabotages my efforts to make friends, so I won't use it with people near my age, even if they are my senior. So far, I found that this works much better, speaking in informal Japanese allows people to be much more relaxed, at least in my opinion. Sometimes, when I meet new people now, I ask them not to speak to me formally, and normally they laugh. It turns out to be a good conversation starter!

 Why I (Mostly) Don't Use Keigo photo

One of my good friends I made after my no formal Japanese rule!

Why I (Mostly) Don't Use Keigo photo

One of my other friends that laughed at me when I first told them no keigo!

There are some situations in which I am still torn on wether I should speak formally or not. For example, I haven't decided how to speak to my boyfriends parents, which causes me to mix them together...Haha, fail... On one hand, I want to show them respect, but on the other hand, I want them to be closer and build a good relationship with them. (Luckily, I do have a good relationship with them currently.)

For all of you that speak Japanese, how do you feel about formal Japanese? 



Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!