How to say "My Japanese is not very good". My very first community question: I am curious to know which version sounded the most natural and if these phrasings are correct. Learning from Pimsleur: (私は)日本語があまり上手 じゃ ありません. (I'm) not very skilled in Japanese with "jouzu". I've also seen: (私は)日本語に苦手. (I'm) very weak in Japanese with "nigate". And: (私は)日本語下手です. (I'm) poor/unskilled in Japanese with "heta". I'm sure this isn't the first time something like this has been asked. Thanks in advance.
Sep 12, 2018 1:09 AM
Answers · 2
All of these are perfectly natural and acceptable forms for the same phrase. The only difference is the degrees of formality that each one has. In order of most formal to informal I would list them as: (私は)日本語があまり上手 じゃ ありません. (私は)日本語下手です. (私は)日本語に苦手 For the second one, the particle に is omitted, which is often done in spoken language, but it is more formal to include it. However, it is still more formal than the third version, due to the です at the end. My Japanese professors always told me that the longer a phrase is, the more formal it becomes. This may be an exaggeration in some contexts, but since the most formal version of verbs are often much longer, I can see how this is often true. The opposite is also true; the more you abbreviate a phrase, the more casual it becomes. I hope this helped! If you have any more questions about this, please let me know. :D
September 12, 2018
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