Be Careful When Use ANATA (The Most Dangerous Word In Japanese)

I am sure you or even beginners know what does the word "ANATA" means, huh? Yeah, it means "You" or second-personal pronouns in Japanese language, but how can a word which means "you" is dangerous? You will see the answer if you read this post till the end^^.

For Japanese people, mention a person when talking face to face using anata or other second personal pronouns is considered quite rude, when you use anata to Japanese people, they will feel uncomfortable, maybe it's seem like you are interrogating them for their criminal. Therefore they almost always use her/his name to address someone else with suffix -san or just skip the subject, you can use the below sentences to avoid using Anata^^. Example:
あなたは日本人ですか (consider to not use this)
anata wa nihonjin desuka
日本人ですか (native speakers use/ skipped the subject)
nihonjin desuka (are you a Japanese)
田中さんは日本人ですか (native speakers use/ called her/his surname with -san)
tanaka-san wa nihonjin desuka
あなたがラメンが好きですか (consider to not use this)
anata ga ramen ga suki desuka
ラメンが好きですか (skipped second personal pronouns)
ramen ga suki desuka (do you like ramen)
ナルトさんはラメンが好きですか (native speakers use/ called her/his name)
naruto-san wa ramen ga suki desuka
ima, anata wa nani o shite imasu ka
今、何をしていますか (native speakers use)
ima, nani o shite imasu ka

That was the 2 tricks to avoid using ANATA^^, so, when should we use ANATA? Ok, that's good question.
  • Some of wives in Japanese use Anata to call their husband, in this case, the English translation is "Honey/Darling". So you can use anata to call your husband, but the husband didn't use it to call his wife.
  • And you can use anata when you talk to someone inferior or younger, parents to children, older people to younger people, teacher to students etc.
  • And sometimes anata is used in form or advertising or something like that (when not talking face to face and anata in this case refers to anyone)
Alright, that was the situations where anata is used^^, I will repeat the bottom line in this post FYI, please avoid use anata, just skip the second personal pronouns or just call their name with suffix -san or their title like sensei, buchou etc. Just follow how native speakers talk^^. Ok, I will see you in the next post, till then learners, keep learning Japanese, ganbare!.

1 Response to "Be Careful When Use ANATA (The Most Dangerous Word In Japanese)"

  1. Yayks... i have been using ANATA to adress someone for more than 3 months now since I came to Japan... I suddenly feel ashamedusing anata to my older coworkers around 40+ years old, even in supermarkets, asking direction to strangers, and worst to my sachou, bochou, sochou and other superiors... huhuhuhu... why did they now correct me to not use anata... maybe they were thinking like " aa that is ok, let him be, he is a gaijin, understandable..." lols, it would have been better if the first impression was way better... hehehe... Thank a lot... very education! Have a great day ahead!


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