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Teach Us, Teacher

How to improve your Japanese (Lesson 48)

You have been learning basic Japanese for one year.

As you have noticed, we choose either the polite or the casual way of speaking, depending on our relation with the listener. Anna always speaks in the polite way, when she talks with her superiors, that is, her teachers, Dorm Mother, and Sakura, her senior. But when talking with Rodrigo, a classmate, at first she spoke in the polite way using DESU or MASU at the end of sentences. But as she made friends with him, she changed to the casual way.

Language is a means of communication. Even if you know correct grammar, your relations with others may deteriorate, if you fail to speak in a way adequate to a situation. On the other hand, even if you make some grammatical mistakes, your wish to seek good relations with others can be communicated, if you try to use the polite or the casual way appropriate to a situation.

So, speak Japanese as often as you can, and get used to the language and various situations. This is the key to learning a language. I wish you good luck!
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