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I'm Proud of Him


He is proud of me.

I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in Tangorin lists it as:

noun / noun or participle with aux. verb する → conjugation / noun with genitive case particle の

Perhaps 私は彼が自慢だ can be more literally translated as "He is my pride."?

So if I dissect it--

私は I (topic marker) 彼が he (subject/object marker) 自慢だ pride is. (?)

Along this line of reasoning, does 私は自慢だ。mean "I am proud." ? I guess I am getting confused because I see the first sentence listed and then think of a pattern like this: 私は彼がきれいだと思います。-- "I think that he is pretty." (Where the が connects 彼 to きれい)

Would anyone be kind enough to explain this pattern with 自慢 and maybe show a few more examples like it?

For instance, these examples make more sense to me, though perhaps the English expressions do not seem to correlate as easily:

美人の妻が彼の自慢だ。 His beautiful wife is his pride.

彼女は水泳が自慢だ。 She prides herself on her swimming. (I translate it more literally as "swimming is {the source of} her pride)

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To say "I am proud of my sister," my personal preference is


instead of using 自慢. The word 自慢 can have the same connotation as "bragging," and as such I feel it deflects the attention away from what you are trying to commend. 自慢する sounds as if you are only self satisfied (something that can be a target of scorn).

For "his beautiful wife is his pride," I might rephrase as


I guess the sentence is structurally different, but it's another way of saying the same thing.

For the swimming example,


I feel the use of 自信をもつ implies a meaning closer to what "being proud of" conveys in this case.

All the examples in the OP do make sense, and I don't think there is anything particularly wrong, but 自慢だ is probably one of those words for which a better wording can be found, given that "being proud of" is not always synonymous in connotation as 自慢.

I suppose I didn't directly address the OP's question, to list more examples of the usage of 自慢... well I think the reason why some of the OP's examples might sound confusing is that they aren't particularly descriptive by themselves. For example


is a bit awkward in the same the OP's first examples are a bit confusing, but when you are more explicit like


it sounds much better to me.

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thank you for the info. I asked the question because I read in a Japanese friend's online journal an entry talking about his son that used the first quote. I guess your implication is that it is not so natural a usage? I think the writer is late 50s in age, for reference. – yadokari Oct 24 '12 at 22:16
@yadokari No, I didn't mean that it's wrong or overly awkward. I guess I just tried to mention that 自慢 has a connotation that may be slightly different from "being proud of." I know that your first examples are quite often used, but I felt it can be confusing because of the way sentence is structured. For example 私は彼が自慢だ can be rephrased as 私の自慢は、彼だ and suddenly it is not so confusing (though I would argue the latter is structurally cleaner yet it doesn't sound so common). – Taro Sato Oct 24 '12 at 22:28
@ Taro Sato where is the possessive の (or equivalent) in 私は彼が自慢だ . ? (if it needs one). I am still confused about the structure. – yadokari Oct 24 '12 at 23:00
@yadokari Oh, I see. I think I'm starting to see where your confusion really comes from. If I were to use の, then I would use 彼は私の自慢だ, in the same way that you might say キティーちゃんは、私のお気に入りだ. Does that make things clearer? – Taro Sato Oct 24 '12 at 23:17
But that structure I used in my previous comment is essentially what you came up in the 美人妻 example. So you had it right there. – Taro Sato Oct 24 '12 at 23:22

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