いかにも敬虔なるクリスチャンが送る、礼節重き言葉です。

English Translation

So characteristic of what a pious Christian would say, this courteous phrase.

I don’t think 礼節 + 重き (adjective) (or 重い) is a correct collocation. We often say 礼節を重んじる (verb), though.

The reason is the meaning of 礼節. 礼節 = 礼儀 (etiquette, politeness) + 節度 (moderation, temperance). English speakers don’t say “heavy” moderation so as we, Japanese speakers, don’t say like that.

礼節{{重き}}言葉 should be replaced with {{丁重な}}言葉 (ていちょうな) or 礼節を{{重んじた}}言葉.

1 Like

What a helpful comment! So, any idea why someone would use 重い in this instance…like super polite, so much so that they it gets a little heavy.

@sjfree

As explained, 重 or 重 as an adjective sounds unnatural in this case. The author is poor in Japanese…

I additionally explain why 重んじる as a transitive verb works.

The Kanji 重 basically means “to have a weight”. So, 1) 重い means “heavy” whereas 2) 重んじる literally means “to give a weight on something” (i.e. it means “to take something into account seriously” or "to respect for something (rules, customs, norms etc.).)

  • “X is 重い” means “X is heavy”. So, the subject X itself has a certain weight.

  • “Y 重んじる X” means “Y regards X as an important matter”. X in this case does not have a certain weight, but Y as a doer GIVES a weight on X.

X = 礼節 (politeness and temperance) itself is not heavy, but Y = people give a weight on X (礼節).


Now, you may wonder why 礼節重き言葉 is bad but 丁重な言葉 sounds natural although both phrases with 重 function as an adjective. 丁重な言葉 doesn’t mean that “the word” itself is heavy, but the way of the SPEAKER is thoughtful. Make much more sense to you??

Please note that the original Japanese sentence was sourced from Tanaka Corpus (田中コーパス) and migrated to Tatoeba Corpus. Tanaka Corpus is notoriously famous for so many errors and unnatural expressions. Furthermore, the Japanese sentence was reviewed and adopted by a Tatoeba contributor. But he is not a native Japanese speaker… So, both the original author and the current owner (adopter) got confused with the difference between 重い and 重んじる.