doumo vs doumo arigato

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GakiNoHime

New Member
Philippines - Filipino
Hi,

I've read in one site that doumo is the proper one to use. However, when I try to search for "thank you", doumo arigato always comes up.

I would like to learn Japanese the informal way for I want to practice with friends. I hope informal doesn't mean rude >_<

Thank you so much. ^_^
 
  • allegheny

    New Member
    USA, English
    GakiNoHime-
    "Domo" is used when speaking to people of equal or lower social status such as children, good friends, employees, etc.. It is the most informal form. Japan is changing, but to use this form to a superior, parent, elder, or public official would likely be viewed as rude.
    " Domo arigato" may be used in most any normal circumstance with almost anyone. It is still considered somewhat informal, but not offensive to any listener.
    "Domo arigato gosaimasu" is the formal way to say "Thank you". This form is used when speaking to a person of much higher social status, when you wish to impress upon someone your great appreciation for something, or when you simply wish to be very polite.
    Be careful when using informal Japanese words and phrases. One reason for the different forms is to recognize the status of the listener. Using informal Japanese with the wrong person in the wrong setting could border on insult and sour a relationship.
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Interesting observation. I agree that honorific/polite dictions hinge more on the cultural distinctions of whom to show respect for than on what polite forms per se are. A lot of study materials focus on the latter but the more difficult one is the former.

    Having said that, however, I do not find dōmo arigatō "used in most any normal circumstance with almost anyone." This is still rather informal and may be found in use when talking to one's peers. We tend to say "arigatō gozaimasu (yes, gozaimasu is the key here)" to teachers, elderlies, seniors
    and so on even when the addressee is not particularly "a person of much higher social status."

    GakiNoHime, if you are talking to your peers, you can reciprocate the same degree of politeness that they show to you. Of course the safest way is to show politeness no matter what but then again that could make you look rigid or aloof.
     

    xiao.mao

    New Member
    Australia, English
    Our Japanese teacher told us something I was surprised to hear about 'doumo' and 'arigatou'. Apparently, 'doumo' is just shortened and implies 'doumo arigatou', and is therefore polite. But 'arigatou' by itself is quite informal and should only be used with people of the same or lower status as you (ie, it's fine to say to friends).
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    But 'arigatou' by itself is quite informal and should only be used with people of the same or lower status as you (...)
    I agree. It then follows dōmo arigatō is informal too. The function of dōmo (literally "no matte how") is to intensify one's gratitude, not to humiliate the way one is grateful. The literal translation of dōmo arigatō is "Thank you very much."

    In a polite discourse, "[dōmo] arigatō gozaimasu" is to be used. This is in English something like, "I humbly thank you [greatly]." When dōmo alone is used in a formal setting or to a person with a higher social status than one, it is to be understood as a shorthand for "dōmo arigatō gozaimasu." Confusing? Tenuous? Yeah, probably. That is presumably one of the reasons that politeness of dōmo is disputed by some despite its versatility.
     
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