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Old 06-17-2011, 10:13 PM   #17
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,221
Re: -"masu" or -"mashita"?

Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post

Word counts of spoken language are not easy to do so you have my sincere thanks for your efforts in response to my question.

As a dyed in the wool bean counter I am always interested in empirical observations of different types of behavior including verbal behavior. The question I asked was a way of seeing if there is the same motive to condense and contract phrases and expressions in Japan, or in dojos in Japan, as there generally is in the United States.

In any case, I always try to adopt the local conventions wherever I am and this is why I am thankful whenever a dojocho has their rules and preferences posted on the bulletin board of their dojo or on their website.

Best regards,

Hello Rudy Ternbach,

In Japan there is a very definite tendency to shorten and abbreviate words and phrases, but this is a general phenomenon, dependent on factors such as age and social group. Both of my dojos are fairly formal places, where tatemae is maintained. This is not by design, but because the students clearly understand tatemae and honne and also understand what a dojo is for. So the Japanese they use is probably similar to the Japanese they would use in any other local dojo, in the absence of any language conventions specific to a particular art.

Since I am practicing and teaching a Japanese martial art in Japan to Japanese, and therefore in Japanese, there is no need for me to post my rules and preferences on a bulletin board or on our website.

The reason why I stated my reluctance to respond to questions like the opening poster's is that they are artificial, compared to what happens here. Here my students are all native speakers and are doing what comes naturally to them.

However, a Japanese instructor of aikido resident abroad might well need to teach students how to use a few selected Japanese phrases, which are undoubtedly correct, but which are a selection, the selection being based partly on the instructor's own experience in Japan and partly on his/her judgment of what is useful or necessary.

Actually, on my teaching trips abroad, I often find myself giving explanations of Japanese usage in the dojo, because the original Japanese instructor has never done this, probably because his knowledge of the vernacular language or of English was not adequate.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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