SAN (さん) is a suffix to express politeness and respect, which corresponds to Mr., Mrs. or Ms. It can’t be used alone, it’s always placed after the first name or family name (and in some other cases too). Only context will let you know whether SAN refers to a man or a woman.

Be careful! SAN is never used to refer to yourself or even someone of your family if your interlocutor is from another family. If you do that you are openly honoring yourself, and that would sound wrong and arrogant from the Japanese point of view.

Compare the two sentences below:

Yamada san desu.
It’s Mr./Mrs. Yamada.

Yamada desu.
I'm Mr./Mrs. Yamada.

Pour poster un commentaire, connectez-vous à votre compte

  Posted on Jun 2, 2016, 5:37:39 PM #1


I believe many geological structures, such as mountains, take the honorific SAN (さん) to express politeness. Is this the same "SAN"? For example、Mount Fuji is 富士山 (ふじさん), but is literally translated "Fuji Mountain."
Copyright ©2006-2024 Japan-Activator
Home  •  Japanese lessons  •  Culture  •  Forum