You need to know how to introduce yourself in Japanese.
Reading is nice. Writing is good. Grammar studies are fine.
But most learners out there want to speak and be understood in Japanese. The easiest way to speak Japanese?
- Learn to talk about yourself.
- It’s to have a set introduction you’ll repeat again and again. Why?
- Because who doesn’t start with introducing themselves? Everyone does.
Learn to introduce yourself in Japanese and you’ve got 1/3rd of a Japanese conversation squared away. The rest are topics of interest and closing greetings.
So, here’s what you’ll need for a self Japanese self introduction.
I’ll give you two ways. The first one is a simple and easy one that most people use. It includes “my name is…” and “nice to meet you.” The second one is more lengthy where you can talk about yourself in more detail.
A. The first, quick way, to introduce yourself.
Everyone uses this. It’s used when meeting new people.
1. Nice to meet you
- Japanese: 初めまして
- English Pronunciation: Hajimemashite
This is how you say “nice to meet you” in Japanese. This word does not literally mean “nice to meet you” but it’s one of the many “set Japanese phrases” that are used without thinking.
2. My name is (name).
There can be several variations.
- I am (name).
- English Pronunciation: Watashi wa (name) desu.
- Japanese: 私は (name) です。
You should also listen and hear real Japanese – Press play below. Try this Free Lesson from JapanesePod101.com (click here to visit) for the complete explanation about introducing yourself!
Or, you can try this.
- My name is (name).
- English Pronunciation: Watashi no namae wa (name) desu –
- Japanese: 私の名前は(name)です。
Finally, you can try the most casual way to introduce yourself in Japanese.
- I’m (name)
- English Pronunciation: (name) desu.
- Japanese: (name)です。(Note: this is very casual)
Finally, you need this next final phrase.
3. Please treat me well
- English Pronunciation: Yoroshiku onegaishimasu
- Japanese: よろしくお願いします。
What in the world is “Please treat me well?” It is a rough translation and has no equivalent in English. This is simply a “Japanese set phrase” that you need to use in such encounters and first time meetings. Why? Because that’s how the Japanese language and culture work. Because politeness. And because why wouldn’t you be treating a new person well?
So, here’s your script you can use.
初めまして。私は (name) です。よろしくお願いします。
Hajimemashite. Watashi wa (name) desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
B. The second way to introduce and talk about yourself.
In other words, this is your elevator pitch that you’ll use over and over when you need to talk about yourself. In Japanese, this is called a jikoshoukai (自己紹介) or self-introduction, that’s a lot more detailed than the method we used above. It’s often used in group settings when everyone has to say a little about themselves. For example, you’ll hear this at work events or group dates.
This second method is very useful to know because now you can talk about yourself.
- Hello, nice to meet you.
- My name is ……
- I am from …….
- I am …… years old.
- I am a (student/occupation).
- I’ve been learning Japanese for…
- I am learning Japanese because…
- Please treat me well.
Here’s how you introduce yourself in Japanese.
1. Hello, nice to meet you.
- Hello – konnichiwa – こんにちは
- Nice to meet you – Hajimemashite – 初めまして
2. My name is ……
- (name) desu. (name) です。
3. I am from …….
- (Place) kara kimashita. (Place) からきました。
- Use it to say where you’re from.
Or, you can mention your ethnicity or nationality instead.
- Amerikajin desu. アメリカ人です。
- I am American.
4. I am …… years old.
- (age) sai desu. (age)歳です。
5. I am a (student/occupation).
- (position) desu. (position)です。
- I am a student: gakusei desu. 学生です。
- Shigoto wa (job) desu. 私の仕事は(job) です。
- My job is programming: Watash no shigoto wa puroguramingu desu. 仕事プログラミングです。
- (Job) o shiteimasu. (Job)をしています。
- Just means “I’m doing (job),” as if you’re answering “What do you do.”
6. I’ve been learning Japanese for…
- (time)kan nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu. (time)間日本語を勉強しています。
- example: 1 year. Ichi nen kan nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu. 一年間日本語を勉強しています。
7. I am learning Japanese because…
- (Reason) da/kara, nihongo o benkyoushiteimasu. (reason) だ/から、日本語をべんきょうしています。
- example: Because you’re interested in Japan.
- Nihon ni kyoumi ga aru kara, nihongo o benyoishiteimasu. 日本に興味があるから、日本語をべんきょうしています。
9. Please treat me well
- Yoroshiku onegaishimasu – よろしくお願いします。
So, here’s your introduction script you might want to use.
こんにちは, 初めまして。私は (name) です。アメリカ人です。(age)歳です。仕事は(job) です。 (time)間日本語を勉強しています。 (reason) だ/から、日本語をべんきょうしています。よろしくお願いします。
Or, if you can’t read yet and just want to say it out loud:
Konnichiwa, Hajimemashite. Watashi wa (name) desu. Amerikajin desu. (age) sai desu. Shigoto wa (job) desu. (Time)kan nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu. (Reason) da/kara, nihongo o benkyoushiteimasu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Did you notice that I took out all of the “watashi wa” from most of the sentences?
Why? You should omit 90% of the “watashi’s” there to sound more natural.
After you said it once, people understand you’re talking about yourself.
Here’s what you do now.
- Create your self introduction.
- Leave me a comment and introduce yourself.
- And start learning even more Japanese. I suggest trying out lessons at JapanesePod101.com.
- Want more? Learn how to say hello in Japanese
- Learn how to ask how are you in Japanese
– The Main Junkie
P.S. I highly recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!