Home Forums The Japanese Language The honorable san, it is where now?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Astralfox 10 years, 7 months ago.

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    Many books teach that you should place “san” at the end of a name.
    But when in movies (and anime) they don’t use it for names.
    Well, not the ones I watch anyways.

    Is there a rule that fictional characters aren’t honorable?


    It might be that they’re using variations – chan, sama, kun, etc.. These all function similarly to san. Unless everyone is just weird in the films your watching? I don’t really know


    chan, sama, kun, etc.. These all function similarly to san.

    Since when?..

    さん is polite and isn’t needed in casual situations.



    Since when?…

    Think he means similar in usage rather than similar in meaning.

    But yeah, you don’t use さん between friends – if you do, they’re going to wonder what they’ve done to offend you so much that you’re distancing yourself from them. For a different reason, you also don’t use it when talking about your own family members to other people.


    Sure, there’s variations….humf, anyhows I’ll be watching…er…..listening out for them now.
    Makes plenty sense to no use it between friends.



    The way it has been explained to me is that it is used to refer to someone outside your circle, so to speak, or those you are not close to. It always comes back to elevating others around you, that’s what the whole politeness thing is about. And more importantly, you don’t refer to yourself as さん to someone outside your circle because it would sound like you’re trying to elevate yourself above them and would thus be considered rude.



    I vaguely remember something about not using suffixes when referring to someone inside one’s circle to someone on the outside of it (the ‘circle’ boundaries being defined by situation and context). Can anyone confirm and expand on this a bit?

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