What's the difference between using でありません and じゃありません?
[[SakuraDaisuki]] 71
What's the difference between using でありません and じゃありません?
July 2014
  • dooo 21 9383 2269
    でありません is more formal ; じゃありません could be considered the phonetic spelling of でありません as spoken in a casual way
    July 2014
  • [[SakuraDaisuki]] 71
    Thank you!
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    「では」の変化したものが「じゃ」です。
    July 2014
  • Ozemite 60 2050 3530
    I noticed the はin ではありません(dewa arimasen) was missing, too.

    @Yutaka - would you say the じゃありません is used more in spoken speech, and ではありません is used more in written Japanese, though they can be interchangeable? That's what I've been doing all these years, lol.

    @dooo - the "phonetic spelling" idea could confuse, since ではありません is always pronounced as dewa arimasen, and じゃありません as ja arimasen, whether these are written or spoken. Cheers.
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    As Dooo wrote, 'じゃ' is a casual expression.
    わたしは若者ではありません。
    わたしは若者じゃありません。
    The first sentence is a polite expression.
    The second sentence cannot be used in all occasions.

    As Julz611 wrote, 'では' and 'じゃ' are pronounced differently.
    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    わたしは若者なんかじゃないよ。
    This is more casual and shows a strong emotion.
    July 2014
  • [[SakuraDaisuki]] 71
    Oh man. Starting to realize how much Japanese I don't actually know haha. Thank all of you guys for the great answers.
    July 2014
  • dooo 21 9383 2269
    Yutaka thanks for pointing out the spelling error.

    Thanks to Julz for pointing out the possible confusion of the phonetic spelling explanation. Of course all Hiragana and Katakana are supposed to be phonetic. They are Japan's personal phonetic alphabets. I was highlighting the idea that the meaning of the 2 phrases is so similar that じゃありません was a more of an alternate pronunciation than anything else, just like "don't" may be considered an alternate pronunciation for "do not".

    However, it may be confusing to say that written kana is always pronounced as written. As far as I have seen in practice, people always pronounce some of the formal written kana scripts in a more informal style, just as many would read the words "do not" as "don't" from time to time. Having studied many news transcripts read by professional newsreaders, I am 99% sure this is true.

    I would also like to point out the possible confusion of the terms "polite" and "formal" as applied to language usage. "Polite" describes a match between the formality level (the register) of the language and the context, whether they are both high, both medium, or both low.

    Say I cannot hear someone clearly. If I use a formal expression such as "I beg your pardon..." in a formal context like a dinner at my boss' house, it is polite. If I use "I beg your pardon..." in a casual situation such as at the pub with my hockey buddies, it would not be considered "polite", and may be thought of as quite impolite. In that case using the more informal "what did you say?" may be more polite.

    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    「かな」での表記と実際の発音とが食い違う場合はありますが、それは特定の場合に限られています。
    例えば、「いう」を「ゆう」、「ほんとう」を「ほんとー」、「たいてい」を「たいてー」、「せいかく」を「せーかく」と発音するなどの食い違いがあります。

    July 2014
  • Moderator
    Yutaka 15406 1621
    「ていねいな」という意味で、私は、「polite」という言葉を使いました。ていねい(丁寧)な言葉は、通常、どのような状況でも使いことができますーーもちろん、慇懃無礼(いんぎんぶれい)と受け止められることがなければですが。「では」は、「では」のままでどのような状況でも使えるはずであり、無理に「じゃ」と発音する必要はありません。(嘘じゃないよ! ←これはわざと「じゃ」を使ってみました。このような言い方は、使うことのできる場面が限られています。)


    「丁寧な」と「polite」とは、意味が少しずれているようですね。「その場にふさわしい」というニュアンスが後者にあると英和辞典に書いてありました。この点が、D氏が指摘されているところなのでしょうか。しかし、このことと「では」の発音とは別の事柄です。
    July 2014