Friday, January 14, 2011

せんぱい こうはい

I don't hear these two terms as much at my new job at a university as I did when I worked mainly at a Jr High School, but you do still sometimes hear it.

Very useful vocab if you plan to spend time in Japan.

(info from The Japan Forum.)

せんぱい 先ぱい (senpai) Someone in a higher academic level or more advanced / superior position than you in a given discipline or pursuit. Someone who entered the school, university, or place of employment before you did. This term is widely used in clubs and other areas of Japanese junior high and high school life. The term senpai is used to mean seniors in general, but it is also used to refer to individuals with the person's name -- usually their surname but sometimes their first name -- plus "senpai," as in "Tamura-senpai" or "Yuki-senpai." The corresponding word for students / people in lower grades / positions is こうはい 後はい koohai , though this is not used in conjunction with surnames or other names to refer to those people.

Jason again... :)
The concept of having to show respect and deference to those "above" you is an important concept in Japanese daily life and should be closely observed and respected by those foreigners wishing to spend any length of time in Japan.

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