Japanese & 'You'


The other day I met someone who studied Japanese

Towards the end of the meeting I was asked

".......Could you check my Japanese sentences?"


While she was picking up a notebook from her bag, I was thinking

........probably her Japanese sentences contained a lot of subjects, such as "I", "you", "they"

And it did

― わたしはトムです(I am Tom)

― あなたはせんせいですか(Are you a teacher?)

― あなたはきのうなにをしましたか(What did you do yesterday?)

The Japanese usually doesn't write/say like this

Subject is omitted very often like this

― トムです(Tom)

― せんせいですか(A teacher?)

― きのうなにをしましたか(What do yesterday?)

While correcting these sentences, I suddenly noticed, among other subjects, the Japanese hardly uses "you/あなた" in particular

It's hard to imagine a conversation where one uses "you" yet still all sounds natural

Probably I've never seen my parents & close friends using "you" in a conversation or a text

Instead of "you", Japanese people use one's family name, or one's job title/position, such as "manager", "professor"

Difficult to use "you"

Perhaps this feature of Japanese language somewhat affects an extremely low level of communication skill among people in this country

Even when they are in front of other human being , they can't use a word that represents a person in front of them, "you"

Looks like this is a natural result that many people in this country developed an avoidant mentality & turned to be morbid communication phobia

Or other way around. They were avoidant from the beginning, so that they didn't find any necessity to use "you"