Your Step by Step Self-Introduction Guide

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YOUR STEP

YOUR STEP

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BY

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STEP JIKOSHOUKAI GUIDE

STEP JIKOSHOUKAI GUIDE

LEARNLEARN THE BASICS, PRACTICE, AND CREATE A

THE BASICS, PRACTICE, AND CREATE AN ADVANCED JAPANESE SELF-INTRODUCTIONN ADVANCED JAPANESE SELF-INTRODUCTION

OCTOBER 11, 2016

OCTOBER 11, 2016•• 2838 WORDS WRITTEN BY 2838 WORDS WRITTEN BYMAMI SUZUKIMAMI SUZUKI • ART BY• ART BYAYA FRANCISCOAYA FRANCISCO

 When you start

 When you startlearning Japaneselearning Japaneseor areor are visiting Japan for the  visiting Japan for the first timefirst time,, there are few words to  there are few words to learnlearn right away: right away: 1. 1. konnichiwakonnichiwa 2. 2. arigatouarigatou 3. 3. sumimasensumimasen

Once you've mastered those three, you need

Once you've mastered those three, you need to learn your jikoshoukai.to learn your jikoshoukai.

自己紹介(じこしょうかい) 自己紹介(じこしょうかい) SELF-INTRODUCTION SELF-INTRODUCTION  Jikoshoukai   Jikoshoukai  自 己 紹 介自 己 紹 介 じこしょうかい じこしょうかい  is the

 is the Japanese word for "self-introduction." In theory, this is similar toJapanese word for "self-introduction." In theory, this is similar to how you would introduce yourself in your own culture. Say hello, say your name, and tell a little about how you would introduce yourself in your own culture. Say hello, say your name, and tell a little about  yourself. But in pr

 yourself. But in practice, there actice, there are cultural differare cultural differences and set procences and set procedures you should sedures you should stick to. You onlytick to. You only get one first impression, so it's important to learn how to do it right.

get one first impression, so it's important to learn how to do it right.  We'll start by

 We'll start by teaching you the bateaching you the basic Japanese ssic Japanese self-introduction, thelf-introduction, then cultural suben cultural subtleties, and fintleties, and finally aally a ton of extra grammar and vocabulary you

ton of extra grammar and vocabulary you can use to can use to talk about yourself with your new talk about yourself with your new JapaneseJapanese friends.

friends.

 How to JikoshoukaiHow to Jikoshoukai

o

o Jikoshoukai Vocabulary Jikoshoukai Vocabulary  o

o  Writing Your Jiko Writing Your Jikoshoukaishoukai

 Jikoshoukai EtiquetteJikoshoukai Etiquette

o

o 1. First Name and Family Name1. First Name and Family Name o

o 2. Occupation2. Occupation o

o 3. Don't Talk About Yourself Too Much3. Don't Talk About Yourself Too Much o

o 4. Bowing vs. 4. Bowing vs. HandshakeHandshake o

o 5. Holding Your Hands Behind Your 5. Holding Your Hands Behind Your Back Back  o

o 6. Don't Bow While 6. Don't Bow While TalkingTalking

 Business CardsBusiness Cards 

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o "Nice to Meet You" o Name

o "Please Be Kind to Me"

 Custom Jikoshoukai Modification

o  Where You Are From o  Your School

o  Your Work  o  Where You Live

o Hobbies and Proficiencies o Plans for the Future

 Only the Beginning

HOW TO JIKOSHOUKAI

Going to Japan, but don't know Japanese? Don't worry. You can jikoshoukai. The Japanese self-intro has a standard order and set phrases, so even beginners can meet and greet in Japanese.

JIKOSHOUKAI VOCABULARY

初めまして(はじめまして) HOW DO YOU DO?

 はじめまして。

 How do you do?

The set phrase hajimemashite 初 め ま し て

はじ

either comes from the verb hajimeru 始 め る

はじ

, which means "to start," or it's a shortened form of 初 め て

はじ

お 目めにかかりまして. Though etymologists aren't

sure of the word's true origin, hajimemashite implies beginning or doing something for the first time. Most people think of it as saying "How do you do?" or "Nice to meet you."

申す(もうす)

TO BE CALLED

 私

わたし

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 My name is [name].

The breakdown of this sentence is easier than it looks. It has three parts:

1. 私

わたし

 - The first word means "I" or "me." It's followed by the particle which indicates

the topic of the sentence. In this case, 私 is the topic. 2. [name] - Your name.

3. と 申 し ま すもう - One meaning of the verb 申す is "to be called." It's paired with the

particleと and conjugated to申します。 This is a polite phrase, so it's safe to use in almost any situation.

 When you put them all together, you get something along the lines of "I am called [name]" or "My name is [name]." 宜しくお願いします(よろしくおねがいします) PLEASE BE KIND TO ME  よろしくお 願 い ねが します。

 Please be kind to me.

The final piece of the puzzle is よろしくお 願 い

ねが

します. It doesn't translate well to English, which is

 why we wrote a whole article about it. In a self-intro situation, it means something like "Please be kind to me." It's often translated as "Nice to meet you." This isn't technically correct, though it carries a similar feeling.

WRITING YOUR JIKOSHOUKAI

Now that you've got the basic building blocks down, it's time to put it together. At its simplest, the  jikoshoukai sequence is:

 はじめまして。 私

わたし

 (name)と 申もうします。よろしくお 願ねがいします。

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See? Not so hard. When you're getting ready to meet Japanese people for the first time, write this out and practice until it flows. If you're a beginner at Japanese, you don't need any more than this.

JIKOSHOUKAI ETIQUETTE

It's great to know the words to say when introducing yourself in Japanese, but how you say those  words will make or break your jikoshoukai.

There are cultural differences to be aware of. They're subtle, so if you miss them it probably won't be counted against you. But paying attention to details like these can give you an extra social edge when  you first meet a new Japanese friend.

1. FIRST NAME AND FAMILY NAME

In English, people usually introduce themselves by their first names or full names. When you give your full name, the first name comes first and the family name afterward.

In Japanese, people usually introduce themselves by their family names or full names. When they introduce their full name, the family name comes first and the first name comes second.

2. OCCUPATION

REVEALING ONE OR TWO OF YOUR STRENGTHS IS FINE, BUT LISTING ALL YOUR AMAZING ABILITIES WILL ANNOY OTHERS AND MAKE YOU SEEM OVER-CONFIDENT.

In English, when you asked what you do for work, you give a brief summary of your job, or the name of  your profession.

In Japan, it's common to answer only, “ 会 社 員

かいしゃいん

です。" (I'm an office worker./I work for a

company./I'm a salaryman.)

However, if you introduce yourself to someone in a business setting, mention your company in your self-intro. For example:

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 Tofuguのコウイチと 申 し ま す

もう

 I'm Koichi from Tofugu.

This concept goes along with our next point…

3. DON'T TALK ABOUT YOURSELF TOO MUCH

Japanese people sometimes say lightly self-deprecating things as a form of humility , but it's usually followed by something positive (or the positivity is implied). For example:

 至らない点が多いかもしれませんが、頑張りますので、よろしくお 願 い

ねが

します

 I might have many flaws, but I'll do my best so please be kind to me.

 You don't have to say anything like this (in fact, we advise you don't), but the point is this: Japanese people usually keep their strengths on the down-low.

So try not to show off too much. Revealing one or two of your strengths is fine, but listing all your amazing abilities will annoy others and make you seem over-confident.

4. BOWING VS. HANDSHAKE

In the West, if you're meeting someone one-on-one, you shake hands.

In Japan, don't move in for the handshake, especially if your status is the same or lower than the person you're meeting. In Japan, handshakes are for equals, so if you try to shake hands with the Emperor, it would be considered rude. Bow instead, and do so at the beginning and end of your  jikoshoukai.

5. HOLDING YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK

In Japan, holding your hands behind your back signals importance, so it may make you look full of

 yourself. Put your hands in front of you (the left hand on top of the right), or put your hands beside you.

6. DON'T BOW WHILE TALKING

This is a no-no from our Japanese bowing guide. Do your bowing after giving your self-introduction. Make sure to finish saying "yoroshiku onegaishimasu" and then bow.

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BUSINESS CARDS

Business cards in Japan are called meishi  名 刺

めいし

, and are an important part of Japanese culture. Even outside of the business world, Japanese people sometimes have personal meishi made (meishi means "name card" after all).

 We covered meishi etiquette in our article about Japanese work customs, but here are the rules again in a jikoshoukai context.

ORIENT YOUR CARD TOWARD THE RECIPIENT. GIVE AND RECEIVE MEISHI WITH TWO HANDS.

1. Put meishi in a carrying case: You can buy business card carrying cases online or at any department store in Japan. If you don't have a case, you can carefully put the meishi in your purse or wallet after you've received it. Just don't put it in your pocket.

2. Use two hands: Orient your card toward the recipient when presenting. Hold the top edge  with both hands. When they offer their card, accept it with two hands. Try not to cover any  words with your fingers either. Some Japanese people are taught that a meishi is the "face" of

the person giving it, so you don't want to cover theirs or your own.

3.  When you and your new friend offer each other meishi at the same time: Present  your card with your right hand, while simultaneously receiving theirs with your left.

4. Read meishi you receive: Read the person's name and title on the card before you put it away. Make sure to show interest in what they do. Act at least a little bit impressed with their  job title.

5.  When exchanging meishi in a group, give to the most senior person first:  Start by giving your business card to the shachou, then fukushachou, and so on down the chain of command.

6. Treat meishi with respect: Use common sense and treat meishi like you would a gift. Don't toss or write on them.

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EXPANDING THE BASIC JIKOSHOUKAI

Maybe you've been doing your Japanese self-intro for years, repeating the same three set phrases over and over. Maybe you've read this guide before and have the basics down pat. You're ready to level up! Below are example sentences you can mix into your standard jikoshoukai to give it more flavor, and make your self-intro a memorable one.

"NICE TO MEET YOU"

Earlier we learned how to useはじめまして (nice to meet you, how do you do). Here's a few ways to add to this set phrase.

 こんにちは。はじめまして。

 Hello. Nice to meet you.  みなさん、はじめまして。

 Nice to meet you, everyone.

 みなさん、こんにちは。はじめまして。

 Hello everyone. Nice to meet you.

NAME

For a formal situation, you should say both your first and last names. In a casual situation, it's common to say only your family name for Japanese people.

If you're an English teacher on something like the JET Program, your school might want you to give  your first name when you introduce yourself to the students. Ask your supervisor what's appropriate

for the situation.

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Casual:

 私

わたし

の 名 前なまえはマイケルですが、みんなにはマイクって 呼ばれてよ います。

 My name is Michael, but most people call me Mike.

Polite:  マイケルといいます。  I'm Michael. Polite:  マイケルです。  I'm Michael.  Very Formal:  マイケルと 申 し ま す もう 。  I'm Michael.  Very Formal/Business:  Tofuguのマイケルと 申 し ま す もう 。

 I'm Michael from Tofugu.

"PLEASE BE KIND TO ME"

 When you end your jikoshoukai, you'll use a phrase that means "Please be kind to me" or "Remember me favorably." But once you've got a handle on the standard " yoroshiku onegaishimasu," you can move on to more casual or more formal variations. Below we've organized them by politeness level in

ascending order. Casual:

 よろしく。

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Casual:

 どうぞよろしく。

 Please be kind to me.

Polite:

 よろしくお 願 い

ねが

します。

 Please be kind to me.

Polite/Business:

 どうぞ、よろしくお 願 い

ねが

します。

 Please be kind to me.

Polite/Business:  よろしくお 願 い ねが 致 し ま す いた 。

 Please be kind to me.

 Very Polite/Business:  どうぞ、よろしくお 願 い ねが 致 し ま す いた 。

 Please be kind to me.

Formal/Business:  よろしくお 願 い ねが 申 し 上 げ ま す もう あ 。

 Please be kind to me.

 Very Formal/Business:  どうぞ、よろしくお 願 い ねが 申 し 上 げ ま す もう あ 。

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CUSTOM JIKOSHOUKAI MODIFICATION

From here we get into the fun stuff. After expanding on the initial three pieces of the Japanese self-introduction, you can start adding information about yourself, short sentences that explain where  you're from, what you like to do, and so on.

These jikoshoukai modifications will help people get to know you faster when you first introduce

 yourself. This is especially important as you start to make more Japanese friends, go on dates, or have  job interviews.

WHERE YOU ARE FROM

出身(しゅっしん)

PERSON'S ORIGIN

Telling where you're from is always a good addition to a self-intro. Even if you don't use it during the initial jikoshoukai, your new Japanese friend will probably ask you anyway, so memorizing a few of these phrases is extra useful.

Two quick vocabulary usage notes: First, the word shusshin 出 身

しゅっしん

 mean's "person's origin," and refers more to the place you were born or grew up than where you currently live. It's often used for specific places like a city, state, or prefecture, rather than a country. For example, Mami was born in Osaka, and now lives in Canada. But she spent most of her life in Nara, so she says " 奈 良 県

ならけん

のしゅっしん出 身 です。" or "しゅっしん出 身 は 奈 良 県ならけんです。"

Second, the verb mairu 参 る

まいる

 is a more humble form of kuru来る

く or iku 行く い . So when 参 る まい is used to talk about where you came from in "アメリカから 参 り ま し た

まい

," it's much more humble, so use it in appropriate situations.

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 アメリカの 出 身

しゅっしん

です。

 I'm from America.

 アメリカから 来ました

 I'm from America.

 アメリカから 参 り ま し た

まい

 I'm from America.

 オレゴン 州

しゅう

のポートランドから 来ましたき 。 生まれう も 育 ちそだ もポートランドです。

 I'm from Portland, Oregon. Born and raised.

 生まれ

は 大 阪おおさかですが、 育 ちそだ はとうきょう東 京 です。

 I was born in Osaka, but grew up in Tokyo.

 育 ち

そだ

はニューヨークです。

 I grew up in New York.

 田 舎

いなか

で 育 ち ま し たそだ 。

 I grew up in the countryside.

 生まれ

はとうきょう東 京 ですが、 じゅうさい十 歳 の 時ときに 大 阪おおさかに 引っ越しましたひ こ 。そし て、 大 学だいがくに 入 るはい とき時 に、 名古屋なごやに 引っ越してひ こ 来ましたき 。

 I was born in Tokyo, but moved to Osaka when I was ten, and lived there until I entered

university, which is when I came to Nagoya.

 小 さ い ちい 時 とき 、 家 族かぞくが 何 度 もなんど 引っ越したひ こ ので、 わたし私 には 育 っ たそだ ばしょ場 所 というのは ないんです。

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YOUR SCHOOL

大学(だいがく)

UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE

School, from elementary up through university , is a big part of Japanese life. Be prepared to have people ask alma mater and what you studied. Or cut them off at the pass by including the information in your jikoshoukai.  Ⓐ 大 学 だいがく Ⓑ 学 部 がくぶ Ⓒ 科 か のしゅっしん出 身 です。

 I graduated from theⒸ department of the faculty ofⒷ ofⒶ University.

 Ⓐ 大 学 だいがく Ⓑ 学 部 がくぶ Ⓒ 科 か の 学 生がくせいです。

 I'm a student of the Ⓒ department of the faculty of Ⓑ ofⒶ University.

 Ⓐ 大 学 だいがく Ⓑ 学 部 がくぶ Ⓒ 科 か の 二 年 生にねんせいです。

 I'm a second year student of the Ⓒ department of the faculty of Ⓑ ofⒶ University.

 オレゴン 大 学

だいがく

で、 二 年 間にねんかん ひがし東 アジアの 歴 史れきしを 専 攻せんこうしていました。

 I studied East Asian history at Oregon university for two years.

YOUR WORK

会社員(かいしゃいん)

COMPANY EMPLOYEE

Occupation is a common conversation topic when meeting someone new. If you're doing business in Japan (or want to), you'd better learn at least one of these phrases.

 A quick grammar usage note: some of these jikoshoukai example sentences use the continuous state conjugation of suruする which is shiteimasuしています. If you want to get extra polite with any of these sentences, swap out しています with shiteorimasuしております. One easy switch and you're ready to tell CEOs and presidents about your work situation.

 Tofuguで 編 集 長

へんしゅうちょう

をしています。

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 トヨタで 営 業

えいぎょう

を 担 当たんとうしています。

 I'm working in sales at Toyota.

 会 計 課

かいけいか

に 配 属はいぞくになりました、 佐 藤さとうです。

 I'm Satou, assigned to the accounts department.

 私

わたし

は 会 社 員かいしゃいんです。

 I'm an office worker.

 私

わたし

は 英 語えいごの 教 師きょうしです。

 I'm an English teacher.

 私 わたし は 英 語えいごを 教 え て い ま すおし 。  I teach English.  私 わたし はこの 学 校がっこうで 英 語えいごを 教 え ま すおし 。

 I'm going to teach English at this school.

 私

わたし

はひがし東 フグ 小 しょうがっこう学 校 で 働 い てはたら います。

 I'm working at East Fugu Elementary School.

 私

わたし

はひがし東 フグ 小 しょうがっこう学 校 に 勤 め てつと います。

 I'm working for East Fugu Elementary School.

WHERE YOU LIVE

住む(すむ)

TO LIVE, TO INHABIT

"You live around here?" is a common question no matter the culture. Be ready to answer questions about your living situation with these sentences.

 東 京

とうきょう

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 I live in Tokyo.  東 京 とうきょう 駅 えき の 近 くちか に 住んです います。

 I live near Tokyo station.

 東 京

とうきょう 駅 えき

の 近 くちか のマンションに 住んです います。

 I live in an apartment near Tokyo station.

HOBBIES AND PROFICIENCIES

趣味(しゅみ)

HOBBY, PASTIME

Hobbies are super important part of life in Japan. Japanese junior high and high school students take school club activities seriously (sometimes more than academics) and this passion often continues into adult life. If you have a hobby, that is your "thing." Even if you don't think of your interests as

"hobbies," describe them as such anyway. It will help people understand you better. Alternatively, you can say what you like and don't like.

 趣 味 しゅみ は[____]です。  My hobby is [____].  趣 味 しゅみ は[____]することです。  My hobby is to do [____]  [____]が 趣 味 しゅみ です。  My hobby is [____].  [____]することが 趣 味 しゅみ です。  My hobby is to do [____]  私 わたし は[____]が 好きす です。  I like [____]

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 [____]も 好き す です。  I also like [____]  [____]は 好き す ではありません。  I don't like [____]  私 わたし は[____]することが 好きす です。  I like to do [____]  私 わたし は[____]が 得 意とくいです。  I'm good at [____].  私 わたし は[____]することが 得 意とくいです。

 I'm good at doing [____].

 私

わたし

[____]が 苦 手にがてです。

 I'm not good at/I don't like [____](noun)

 私

わたし

[____]することが 苦 手にがてです。

 I'm not good at doing [____].

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

積もり(つもり)

INTENTION, PLAN

 What do you want to be when you grow up? What new skills are you trying to develop? What are you going to eat for lunch tomorrow? Answer these questions and more with the example sentences below. Grammar usage note: the noun tsumori つもり is used to tell what you plan to do. It's most commonly used in situations where you've already made up your mind. It's definite. Don't use it for instances  where you're kind of maybe thinking about something, but you're not sure yet.

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 [____]ようと 考 え て

かんが

います。

 I'm thinking about doing [____].

 [____]したいと 思 っ て

おも

います。

 I'd like to do [____].  [____]つもりです。

 I'm thinking about doing [____].

 私 わたし のもくひょう目 標 は[____]です。  My object is [____].  [____]に 挑 戦 ちょうせん したいと 思 っ ておも います。

 I'd like to challenge [____].

ONLY THE BEGINNING

Now you know what it takes to put together a stellar jikoshoukai in Japanese. Put the pieces together, mind the cultural differences, and practice till its second nature.

 With a solid self-intro on your side, you're poised to start your relationships right. Just don't forget  your business cards.

Figure

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References

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