So far, I have covered a couple of Japanese honorific suffixes since last month. Here are some of the past suffixes if you would like to review.
Last honorific suffix that I would like to cover is ~sama(さま). In this article today, let me go over the details as to how you can use the suffix correctly.
~sama(さま) – 様 （さま）
~sama(さま) is a respectful way of calling someone. You can use this to male or female. You can use this whenever you would like to show your respect; however, here are the typical examples of how you can use ~sama.
1) When speaking to someone who is in higher social status than yourself.
Example: Yamamoto sama (山本様、やまもとさま)
2) When speaking to customers. For example: Okyaku-sama(お客様、おきゃくさま) Okyaku means customer. Instead of calling your customer by name, you can generally call the person by saying “Okyaku-sama(お客様、おきゃくさま)”
3) When referring to God of any religion. People often refer “God” by “Kami-sama(神様、かみさま).
4) When addressing your post cards or letters to someone. You will indicate ~sama(さま) in front of the post card or envelop. For example, Mr. Tanaka will be written as “Tanaka sama (田中様、たなかさま)” in Japanese.
5) #4 is also true when you are writing your emails to someone you don’t know too well or to someone who is in higher social status, or to your customers.
6) ~sama(さま) is also used to say:
Gochisou sama (ご馳走様、ごちそうさま) - This expression is used after each meal, by thanking whoever cooked your meal for you. In English, this would mean, “Thank you for the delicious meal.”
Omachi do sama(お待ち同様、おまちどうさま) – “Thank you for waiting.”
Gokuro sama(ご苦労様、ごくろうさま) – “Thank you for your hard work.”
Otsukare sama(お疲れ様、おつかれさま) – “Thank you for your hard work.”
The last two means the same thing; however, Otsukare sama(お疲れ様、おつかれさま) is used more casually among friends and family.