Sunday, May 30, 2010


kariremasu, "(one) can borrow".
On Thursday, I had a chance to visit an elementary school and was treated by Grade 6 students very warmly. At the school lunch, I was able to ask a few questions to a group of 6 students. Before that, I saw a sign with "かりれます" on a door of a reading room. According to the current language rule, this is a colloquial expression and the proper writing form should be "かりられます". I then asked the students if they were aware that language rule. To my surprise, not only they did not agree with me, most of them replied to me with a great confidence: "かりられます" is not the expression for that, but it is an honorific expression(!).

I am not sure if this only dues to the fact that a child in early 10th does not know all the language rules, or it is another sign that Japanese honorific expression becomes to play less importance in the real life.