The The Social Functions of “khwam kreng jai” and “enryo” in Thai and Japanese Interactions

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วรวรรณ เฟื่องขจรศักดิ์


It is evidently well-known among those who are familiar with Japanese society that there is the concept called “enryo” which is compatible with the “khwam krengjai” value in Thai society. The use of the verbs “kreng jai” and “enryo suru” also seen in a conversation with a person whom a speaker has such value with. The aim of this paper is to compare the social functions of “khwam krengjai” and “enryo” in Thai and Japanese context, focusing on the uses of the verb “krengjai” and “enryo suru”.       By relying on the principles of politeness called “Grand Strategy of Politeness” and the cost-benefit of the speaker / hearer, the functions of “khwam krengjai” are divided into four aspects: 1) to show the speaker’s desire for autonomy 2) to show concern to the hearer 3) to encourage the hearer to invite the speaker again 4) to create a good image for the speaker. Among these four functions, there is only the first function which corresponds to the function of "enryo" in Japanese. This reflects that even in both Thai society and Japanese society, the concept of “khwam krengjai” is the same. However, the uses of the verb “kreng jai” and "enryo suru" in the interactions between the speaker and the hearer is different.


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