Respect Language

English is a very egalitarian language; whether you are talking to a close friend or a stranger, you use the same pronouns and verbs. The only difference is whether you call the person “Joe” or the more respectful “Mr. Smith.”

Languages such as French, German, Spanish, and Russian have two words for “you” depending upon whether you are talking to a superior or an equal/subordinate.

Japanese has a complex system of determining your relationship to other people, and that relationship affects the pronouns and verb forms that you use when talking to them. There are several levels of respect that you can show in your use of Japanese. The one that we will use in this tutorial is the polite form. As detailed at this web site, the polite form is acceptable for use “by inferiors when addressing superiors and among strangers or casual acquaintances,” and should serve you well.