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Oh certainly nobody in the bigger cities expects tourists to be polite and use honorifics, if they can speak any Japanese at all. But in every day life, outside of the tourism and all that, the honorifics are still important. It's funny, because I look VERY American, a lot of people I first interact with are pretty surprised that I use the honorifics and speak decent Japanese. It's especially funny when you meet someone and they try to talk to you in english at first.
originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: ScientificRailgun
Yeah that makes sense about the social gatherings. But I figured the large cities didn't care too much amount honorifics b/c they were so used to tourists, international firms, globalization, etc. Then again, maybe that's just showing manners to us since they know we don't know any better? I'm probably over-thinking it.