He Who Prowls Like Thunder and Strikes Like Lightn (prowlingthunder) wrote in linguaphiles,
He Who Prowls Like Thunder and Strikes Like Lightn

Use of respectful suffixes/terms

Alright, so in my attempts to learn foreign languages by association, I keep hitting a bit of a snag. I figure the more I use the languages, the better I get, but, I'm having a bit of trouble with words where the implication is not a tangible construct.

Example, the Japanese suffixes -san, -sama, and -dono.

Not knowing any native speakers myself, I asked a couple of people that I know learned the language, and came up hedging. They don't know the way to use -sama either, let alone -dono. So I figured since Linguaphiles is the place to go, I'd see if you guys could help me.

I know there is virtually no time other then meeting royalty or gods-on-earth to use -dono, but I'm wondering if -sama could be used-- as it marks great respect-- when talking to someone who's skill at any one thing is so much greater then one's own that it really isn't a question. For example, a green recruit talking to head of the army, or a medical student when talking to the head of surgery.

I'd also like to know if these pop up in any other language, and if so, what are they?

Can you help me, Linguaphiles? Or am I way off base here?

Note: Not really sure what tags to use. Sorry!

Tags: japanese, language, learning languages, usage

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