Durf sent along an interesting post about お陰様で on Japan Echo by a Japanese columnist. He notes that お陰様で has been used frequently in the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The examples show how it’s really just an idiomatic greeting that can be used to acknowledge someone’s concern for your person. Most excellent. Start using it…now.
I was curious to see that the writer’s wife, a Kansai native, was unfamiliar with the term. My friend who just had a baby is from Sendai, but I can’t remember where my Japanese teacher is from. For the most part they tried to teach us 標準語 (ひょうじゅんご), so I’m tempted to say that お陰様で works in the capital as well.
Thanks for the post. You can see the original Japanese text of Ishida’s essay (and its Chinese translation) on the site as well:
Nice posts! I was afraid you’d been abducted by mysterious beings from another reality. Ishida’s essay is interesting too, especially the part about his wife never saying “okagesama de” because she thinks it sounds sarcastic. As a shutoken/”standard” speaker, I found all three of his usage examples quite unremarkable, but on the other hand sometimes when I say “okagesama de” my wife (also shutoken-born and -bred) informs me that I sound sarcastic and should say “okage de” in that situation instead. In other contexts, though, she has no problem with the phrase, and she uses it herself at times.
Maybe it’s a continuum, with Tohoku speakers using “okagesama de” very broadly, Kanto speakers somewhat more sparingly, and Kansai speakers never.
Yeah, I kind of fell off the planet during the winter holiday. I was still relatively productive (school reading, school writing), so hopefully I’ll be able to blog more this semester.
I can see how it could easily be used sarcastically. I think so much keigo can be used that way. We’ve talked about 遠慮 before, but even いらっしゃいませ works well – I used to say that as students walked in the classroom and it always got a laugh.
And I’m still not sure about Kansai. The friend who emailed me the example sentence I just posted says he learned お陰様で from his Kansai host mom. I think this would require the research of more than just one columnist.
I just checked in my 日本語文型辞典 and the entry for おかげで is pretty small. There are a bunch of examples, most of the conjunction type usage, and the one idiom example just gets the small comment 慣用的なあいさつ.