Bobtheduck (post: 1410638) wrote:I'm asking my Japanese (well, native Japanese speaker) friends this question on facebook, will see if I get a response (3 Kansai-ben, 1 Hokkaido-ben, but it's not like I could say "I want a Toukyou-ben speaking friend").
Cool]I have been corrected A LOT by Japanese friends on being overly formal, so I think that "okuni" one is one of those situations.[/QUOTE]
I'm aware of the fact that if you are actually friends with someone, then you usually use plain form instead of normal-polite form, because to continue to use polite form with someone who is trying to be your friend makes it seem as if you are trying to keep them at a distance, and that can be offensive. So yes, it's true that in some situations it can be a mistake to use language that is too formal. Probably the reason that your friends are correcting you on being overly formal is because they are your friends, and they don't want you to be excessively stiff and formal with them.
Conversely, "Okuni wa dochira desu ka?" is a getting-to-know-you question, something that you would probably ask the very first time you meet someone--and when talking to someone you don't know well, or meeting someone for the first time, you want to be polite. Also, I would think that by the time you become close enough to someone to use plain form instead of polite form, you wouldn't need to ask such a basic question as what country they are from.