San, Chan, Kun, Sama.

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San, Chan, Kun, Sama.

Indlæg by Alex on Søn nov 15, 2015 1:44 am

San
San derived from sama, is the most commonplace honorific, and is a title of respect typically used between equals of any age. Although the closest analog in English are the honorifics "Mr.", "Miss", "Ms.", or "Mrs.", -san is almost universally added to a person's name, “-san” can be used in both formal and informal contexts, and for any gender. Because it is the most common honorific, it is also the most often used to convert common nouns into proper ones, as seen below.
San may be used in combination with workplace nouns, so a bookseller might be addressed or referred to as honya-san ("bookstore" + san), and a butcher as nikuya-san ("butcher's shop" + san).
San is sometimes used with company names. For example, the offices or shop of a company called Kojima Denki might be referred to as "Kojima Denki-san" by another nearby company. This may be seen on small maps often used in phone books and business cards in Japan, where the names of surrounding companies are written using san.
San can also be attached to the names of animals or even inanimate objects. For example, a pet rabbit might be called usagi-san, and fish used for cooking can be referred to as sakana-san. Both uses would be considered childish (akin to "Mr. Rabbit" in English) and would be avoided in formal speech. Even married people often refer to san.

Sama
Sama is a rarely-used more respectful version of san for people much higher in rank than oneself, toward one's guests or customers (such as a sports venue announcer addressing members of the audience), and sometimes toward people one greatly admires. Deities, both native Shinto kami and the Christian God, are referred to as kami-sama, meaning "God-sama". When used to refer to oneself, sama expresses extreme arrogance (or self-effacing irony), as with ore-sama ("my esteemed self").
Sama customarily follows the addressee's name on postal packages and letters and in business email.
Sama also appears in such set phrases as o-machidō sama ("thank you for waiting") or o-tsukare sama ("thank you for a good job").

Kun
Kun is used by people of senior status in addressing or referring to those of junior status, or by anyone when addressing or referring to male children or male teenagers, or among male friends. It can also be used by females when addressing a male that they are emotionally attached to or have known for a long period of time. Although kun is generally used for boy, it is not a hard rule. For example, kun can be used to name a close personal friend or family member of any gender. Also, in business settings, young female employees also are addressed as kun by older males of senior status. It can also be used by male teachers addressing their female students.
In Japan, chairmen use kun when addressing diet members and ministers.

Chan
Chan is a diminutive suffix; it expresses that the speaker finds a person endearing. In general, chan is used for babies, young children, grandparents and teenagers. It may also be used towards cute animals, lovers, close friends, any youthful woman, or between friends. Using chan with a superior's name is considered to be condescending and rude.
Although, traditionally, honorifics are not applied to oneself, some people adopt the childish affectation of referring to themselves in the third person using chan (childish because it suggests that one has not learned to distinguish between names used for self and names used by others). For example, a young woman named Kanako might call herself Kanako-chan rather than using a first person pronoun. However, it only applies to people who have known each other for a long time or who are of the same gender. Otherwise, using this for someone, especially adults, only known for a short period of time, can be seen as offensive. Chan can also be used to refer to a peer that is female.
Example: Naomi calls her friend Kari-chan.
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