“敬語 Keigo” is a Japanese honorific language, an essential type of language used in any professional context in Japan. If you are thinking of working in Japan, or to speak Japanese at a business level, it is imperative that you have a good knowledge of keigo. You will need to use keigo when speaking with your boss, your clients, or people who have a higher status than you.
There are three forms of keigo:
- 尊敬語 Sonkei-go
Sonkei-go (respectful language) is used when you speak to older people or your superiors.
- 謙譲語 Kenjou-go
Kenjou-go (humble language) is used when you become humble to the listener
- 丁寧語 Teinei-go
Teinei-go (simply polite language) is used when you mention to someone politely. Basically, “desu“, “masu“, “gozaimasu” are used at the end of the phrases.