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漢和名手
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Posted 12/26/14
はい、それは大体いい本だと思います。Typefaceは見た目が古そうですけど、内容がいっぱいあります。Particlesは複雑な奴らだな!

ミツワという商店もいったことあります、私は。CaliforniaにはニジヤやRanch99等たくさんあります。でも、あなたのいうとおりです、Renoには小さいアシアマーケットなんかしかありません。最も近い完成な日本食品マーケットは車で三時間ぐらいかかります。
先生
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Posted 12/31/14
I'd like to note, I just realized I've been using "Minna-san" all this time without realizing it was wrong/rude? I never knew this and just found this out now, while researching it:


Mina is different from Minna.
In kanji, both Mina and Minna are written as 皆, and they both mean “everyone” or “everybody”. However, there is a big reason why the two words are pronounced differently. “Mina” is always followed by “-san” (“Mina-san”) while “Minna” is used alone; “Mina-san” is more formal while “Minna” is more casual. The two should never be interchanged (“Minna-san” or just “Mina”) because it is not just wrong, it is also rude.


I am so sorry for my stupid mistake, for now on I'll use "mina-san" which is apparently the correct, polite way of referring to "Everyone."

If anyone can provide further detail on minna vs mina please do, as I love learning from all of you!

失礼しました。 
漢和名手
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Posted 1/2/15
I wonder if anyone else will weigh in on this question. Again, I'm no expert-- I can only Google search like anyone else, and consult what written sources I happen to have around the house. I forget the link, but I did find what seems to be the original source of your quote, Ichibanx3 (again, at work, slow day today, but still can't type Japanese here). For what it's worth, it's the only one I could find that says what it says (some other sites quote it verbatim, so still only one independent source)-- i.e. mina and minna are very different from each other, and that minna is rude-- and so while I certainly can't say it's wrong, I wonder if it's entirely accurate.

For what it's worth, my "research" yields that for the most part, mina and minna are equivalent in common usage, and neither are particularly rude or respectful. One difference that seems consistently confirmed is that when the honorific is attached, it's only mina-san, not minna-san. The respectful form would be mina-sama.
先生
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Posted 1/3/15
Sushi-san I'm still confused about minna and mina-san. So someone would use minna to mean "Everyone" in an informal context? While "Mina-san" is used in a polite context?
漢和名手
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Posted 1/3/15
I think so. Still speaking as a non-expert, but that's my take of the situation. Minna is neutral (普通). Mina-san is neutral to polite (丁寧). Mina-sama is particularly respectful (敬語).
先生
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Posted 1/4/15
Yay thanks for the explanation Sushi-san! Now I fully understand Minna and Mina-san! So far I have never heard Mina-sama be used. I have one question though, i there a derogatory word used to refer to "everyone" ? Like I once read that the ending め can be used to make a noun derogatory, like the example I read was へんたいめ, which translated as "damn pervert". So can one say みんなめ to disrespectfully refer to a group of people?
漢和名手
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Posted 1/5/15
This one is beyond me, I'm afraid. Any fluent or native Japanese speakers out there care to comment authoritatively?

I did find a Wikipedia listing under the topic Pejorative Suffix describing "me" in Japanese as such a thing. Under the Talk tab of that article, you can read some mud-slinging back and forth about it too, but it's all well beyond my meager expertise. I'm not familiar with this suffix myself. Sorry.

(Incidentally, I think slang, trash talking, and other informal speech are some of the hardest things to learn about another language. It's proper use can be regional and very situational. Sometimes listening to a foreigner trying to use American English slang can be pretty funny. More seriously, though, use slang wrong, and one may be fortunate if all they do is snicker or roll their eyes at you-- as opposed to punch you out, arrest you, throw you out of the building etc...)
先生
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Posted 1/6/15
It's alright you don't know Sushi-san, I was just wondering and I absolutely love learning other language's versions of slang/trash talking, but you're right it really is one of the most difficult aspects of being a foreign language speaker (I'm just waiting for the day when someone in my Japanese class accidentally slips up an says "kuso" instead of "kusa" )

Also, something I was wondering: Can aitsu be used in a negative/pejorative way to refer to someone ?
漢和名手
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Posted 1/6/15
Again, I await a more authoritative opinion, but I think あいつ can be insulting in at least some contexts. It seems very informal-- "that guy." In Japanese, I sense that there aren't that many words that are inherently insulting, crude or vulgar, as it were (e.g. like the F-bomb in English-- basically vulgar in any context it might occur, with no way to really dress it up). A pejorative sense is conveyed, though, when one fails to use sufficiently polite or respectful terms that the particular situation would call for (e.g. depending on with whom one is talking, or about whom one is talking), or in some cases, using overly respectful language in what ends up being an insincere or sarcastic manner.
先生
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Posted 1/7/15
Yeah, like I was watching an anime and a guy called his close friend, who was a girl, あいつ. But as you said, in this instance I believe that this wasn't pejorative at all. That reminds me, in another anime, this guy did something dumb and said to himself おばかさん. Is "o-baka-san" a high-and-mighty way to refer to oneself? Or was he using it to be cute, since I guess he can be called a cute character (The character is Wakasa from the anime "Orenchi no Furo Jijō").
漢和名手
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Posted 1/7/15
I imagine so. Preceding the noun with o- and adding an honorific would seem to make the term very respectful, and yet it's also self-deprecating.
先生
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Posted 1/8/15
That makes sense. Thank you for always having the answers to my questions, Sushi-san! ありがとうございます!

漢和名手
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Posted 1/9/15
どういたしまして。でも僕の返事は初心者の返事だけだが、実際に正解な返事だか分からない!
先生
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Posted 1/28/15
I have two questions!

So yesterday, I was looking at the Japanese newspaper and saw this ad:
I know ニコニコ means "smile" and I once read that Japanese supermarkets/stores use certain calendar days that sound like words as promotional sale days. So my question is: Since 肉 sounds like ニコ, is this ad for a sale on meat or something?

My second question:
I know this says "Japanese food" (washoku) 和食:


But what is the difference when writing it this way (和食) as opposed to 日本の食べ物 ?
百芸
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Posted 1/28/15
From my understanding, 和食 represents traditional Japanese food. 日本の食べ物 is food that is made in Japan. This can include processed foods. So, miso soup would fall under 和食 and Pokky would be 日本の食べ物.

Technically, 和食 is really about how food is prepared and cooked. So, while instant miso is a "cheat" it is still a very traditional food. I think this is a bit of a grey area and different people will argue over whether instant miso is truly 和食 or 日本の食べ物.

And yes, this is where my inner cooking geek comes out.
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