Voices in Japan
Voices in Japan
Mar 4, 2020
Can Westerners Fit into the Japanese Senior-junior System?
Play • 43 min

Yuki joins us again to talk about the senpai-kohai system. This senior-junior culture, underlies practically all relationships in Japanese society such as schools, offices, clubs, organizations and almost any other setting where groups are involved. Who is the senpai and who is the kohai is determined by the time you enter an organization. It is more than just a rank where older members receive special treatment. Senpais are mentors and are responsible for their kohais, and should take this responsibility very seriously. If a kohai screws up, the senpai will also feel embarrassed and responsible.

One of the main things that observers will notice is the way that the senpai and kohai communicate. The senpai usually uses casual Japanese whereas the kohai will always use polite Japanese (keigo, teinego, or sonkeigo).

For foreigners, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the nuances of this relationship, so having Yuki on will hopefully shed some light on this fascinating topic. Enjoy the show!


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Absolute Beginner #25 - Do You Remember the Japanese Grammar You've Learned in this Series? - Audio
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101! Don\'t forget to stop by JapanesePod101.com for more great Japanese Language Learning Resources! -------Lesson Dialog------- ----Formal ---- テイラー:らいねん、メキシコにいきます。 かおり:どうして? テイラー:ぼくのいもうとのけっこんしきがあります。 まさと:おめでとうございます。 :いいですね。いついきますか。 テイラー:6がつです。 かおり:へー。ちえみさんもいきますか? テイラー:はい!サラもいきます。マトリーもいきます。 かおり:マトリーも?すごい。 テイラー:そのあと、にほんにいきます。 まさと:ほんとう?やった! Click here to listen to the entire conversation. ----Formal Vowelled---- テイラー:らいねん、メキシコにいきます。 かおり:どうして? テイラー:ぼくのいもうとのけっこんしきがあります。 まさと:おめでとうございます。 :いいですね。いついきますか。 テイラー:ろくがつです。 かおり:へー。ちえみさんもいきますか? テイラー:はい!サラもいきます。マトリーもいきます。 かおり:マトリーも?すごい。 テイラー:そのあと、にほんにいきます。 まさと:ほんとう?やった! ----Formal Romanization---- Teirā: Rainen, mekishiko ni ikimasu. Kaori: Dōshite? Teirā: Boku no imōto no kekkonshiki ga arimasu. Masato: Omedetō gozaimasu. :Ii desu ne. Itsu ikimasu ka. Teirā: Rokugatsu desu. Kaori: Hē. Chiemi-san mo ikimasu ka? Teirā: Hai! Sara mo ikimasu. Matorī mo ikimasu. Kaori: Matorī mo? Sugoi. Teirā: Sono ato, nihon ni ikimasu. Masato: Hontō? Yatta! ----Formal English---- Taylor: I\'m going to Mexico next year. Kaori: Why? Taylor: My little sister is getting married. Masato: Congratulations. :That\'s nice. When are you going? Taylor: In June. Kaori: Neat! Is Chiemi going too? Taylor: Yes! Sarah will also go. Muttley will go too. Kaori: Muttley too? Wow. Taylor: After that, we\'ll go to Japan. Masato: Really? Yay! --------------------------- Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101! Don\'t forget to stop by JapanesePod101.com for more great Japanese Language Learning Resources!
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