What Japanese do you like?

When you speak Japanese with your Japanese friends you can’t avoid this question: “What Japanese do you like most?” or as they say it どんな日本語が一番好きですか

I am always at a loss. What do they want me to say? There are different dialects in Japanese language, there are different idioms, different characters, onomatopoeia, polite speech, not very polite speech – it all qualifies as Japanese. So how exactly should I answer this tricky question?

I’ve asked my Japanese friends and here is what I found out. 

How do I answer the question “what Japanese do you like the most”?

  • a word or phrase with the a pleasant meaning
  • some Japanese cute suffixes that don’t change a meaning of a word but add this cute sparkle into your speech. It called AGEPOYO in Japanese and as the name suggests is used to “raise poyo”. Some Japanese websites say that these suffixes as “pon”, “poyo” etc. are mainly used by hight scholars so it is very questionable wether I should raise this one as my favourite Japanese at my gentle age.
  • an idiom
  • and last but not least a word from your language that has entered Japanese. For example, if you are Portuguese your answer is “castella”, if you are Chiniese then may be “panda”, if you are Italian then definitely “pizza” and so on.

Honestly speaking, neither me, nor my friends have no idea what they want to know this this question. My Japanese friends told me that it is polite to ask this question and some answers may serve as conversation starters. But as for me, a language is a language, you either learn it or don’t. And picking favourites in the language is very unusual. 

SO when you are asked “what Japanese do you like the most” remember, it is a conversation starter, don’t dig deep inside your heart. 

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