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Essay on Gender Differences in the Japanese Language

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In Japan, men and women speck differently. The Japanese language has gender difference that is still prevalent in modern Japan even though it has grown less and less clear in polite conversation. Women in modern Japan do speak m ore politely compare to men. The Japanese language feature elements that make women’s speech sound polite and feminine. Meanwhile, men’s speech sound less polite and masculine. The language difference between genders reinforces Japanese social norms and this examined in particular to the Japanese marriage relationships. Surveys of the current trends show the deterioration of Japanese marriage relationships.

The Japanese language features unique characteristics that women’s speck differ from men’s. Differences in first and second personal pronouns is one the characteristics that make women’s speech sound polite and feminine compare to men’s speech. Women are required to use more formal from as anata is formal for men but plain or formal for women (Ide, 1990). In men’s speech, there are other set of first and second person pronouns (boku, kimi, among others). This means that women have less first and second person pronouns and thus, use more formal patterns than male speech. Further, there are no deprecatory words in women’s speech in the first or second person pronoun compared to men’s speech (Ide, 1990). Men’s speech has deprecatory words of ore, omae, kisama, and others. There are no deprecatory words in women’s speech. This means men’s speech is less polite sounding making it more masculine.

Another characteristic is the differences in sentence final particles. Some women’s speech feature final particles such as wa, kasira, and no as a softener to create an atmosphere of sharing or poli...


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...n the case of women, the merit of being financially stable has continued to increase. This means that women view marriage with increasing importance in regards to family, children, and financial stability.

The language difference between genders reinforces Japanese social norms. Japanese language reflects a lower social status for women as reinforce by the Japanese traditional view on marriage. In modern Japan, the dominate feature of a marriage relationship is still a woman’s role as the nurturer since the man’s role as the provider. The subtle gestures and expressions implies very little communication and conversation. Therefore, the Japanese marriage is deteriorating as current surveys find important merit of marriage is increasingly for family and children sake among Japanese singles on the backdrop of the increase in the numbers of sexless marriages.



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