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23

This question frequently comes up among foreigners in Japan, especially men, as it seems there's a feeling that sticking with 私{わたし} is somehow too "textbook". It's as if using 私{わたし} is an indication of still learning, or perhaps not yet having been integrated into Japanese language and culture enough. Men often wonder if they should use 僕{ぼく}, or 俺{おれ} ...


14

Are you a man? Are you a manly man? Use ore (俺). Are you a girly man? Use boku (僕). Are you being formal, unwilling to commit to 俺 or 僕, or just starting to learn Japanese? Use watashi (私). Are you a girl? Are you a girly girl? Use atashi (あたし). (This rule isn't as fixed as the male rule). Are you a tomboy? Use boku (僕). Otherwise use watashi. Are you ...


13

Like pretty much all pronoun (hell, all politeness-level related) issues in Japanese, there just isn't an absolute answer: it's all down to context and to the nature of your relationship with the listener. The short answer is: a lot less rude than you may have been led to believe I do remember being given very stern warnings (in manuals or language ...


13

It depends a lot on the situation. I try to keep it simple and only use three most practical forms of the pronoun: 僕 (boku) :: I use it whenever I am not at work 俺 (ore) :: Almost never use 俺 unless most people around me are already using 俺, too informal. 私 (watashi) :: What I always use at work. Never ever use boku at work, or in an email, since somebody ...


11

For the younger generations, the rude connotations seem to be disappearing fast. I spent considerable time with Japanese in their '20s over the past two years and the vast majority of males consistently used 俺 to refer to themselves in casual situations. Many of them were far removed from the type of personality that wants to present themselves as rude in ...


10

私- canonical, formal form. わたくし more formal and stiff than わたし 僕- most for young men, but older men sometimes use it (it still has the young man feeling to it) as well as some middle schoolish girls (still has young man feeling... Just imagine the middle school girls you know) 俺- use if you're a guy, and only among friends or when you feel like not being ...


9

うち is mostly used by girls to refer to themselves, but this usage is only common in Kansai-ben and perhaps other regional dialects as well, and it is generally not considered to be part of standard Japanese. See http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q148192694 So to answer your question, yes if a guy says うち, he is probably most likely ...


8

Yes, young children and young women often refer to themselves by their first name. There is the notion that it is cute and women will use it when talking to close family members, etc. If an adult male would use it, it would sound very effeminate. Also, when an adult women uses it, some people consider that she is trying to look cute on purpose and be turned ...


7

To add a little bit more to what YOU said in his answer: in some Classical Japanese texts これ was indeed used as a first (and also second) person pronoun. It's not the most common first person pronoun in Classical Japanese (that would probably be われ), but it's a possible use, so maybe that's where your dictionary got that from. The quote from 枕草子 (The Pillow ...


7

あたし is quite common for females, but 僕 is not that much. In my feeling, 僕 has some romantic sense, so using 僕 when you talk to girls should be no problem at all. (Note that I use romatic sense here is for non-family members, and non-closed friends) Japanese use 俺 a lot recently, and here is a report about usage about 僕 and 俺 第1期 - 1895~1935, 第2期 - ...


7

Update: I didn't comment on the fact that speaking about oneself can also be a matter of using "he" or "she" for oneself, as well as using one's own name. I have never heard anyone in Japanese use 彼【かれ】(he) or 彼女【かのじょ】(she) to refer to themselves. As far as I can tell, it has more or less the same implications that it would in English, and you can follow ...


7

Quoting Wikipedia: 「おれ」は「おのれ」の転訛で、鎌倉時代以前は二人称として使われたが次第に一人称に移行し、江戸時代には貴賎男女を問わず幅広く使われた。明治以降になると共通語では女性の使用者はほぼいなくなったが、東北地方を中心に方言では根強く残っている。愛知県西三河地方でも農業地区では女性の一人称として平成の今日に至っても使用されている事例がある。 また、アクセントは平板型(「れ」の方が高く、それとほぼ同じ音高で後の語が開始する)が一般的であるが、一部地域[どこ?]では「お」にアクセントを付けて使用することもある。 西日本では年をとると「わし」に移行することが多い。特に広島などでは「俺」は気取った一人称とされ、通常の場ではあまり使われない。 ...


6

While the pronoun 私 has its own referent, meaning I, 自分 (in the Tokyo dialect) does not have its own referent, and it means self. That is the difference. In this case, it will be somewhat redundant if you use 私 in place of 自分 because there will be two different instances of the pronoun 私 referring to the same thing: 私 の名前が呼ばれたとき、 私 は自分の耳を疑った。 If you ...


6

This is not really an answer, but I would like to draw the attention to the distinction between speech in fictional work and speech in the real world. In fictional work, there is a set of words (most notably personal pronouns and function words) which are considered to be typical to a certain group of people, regardless of whether the people in the same ...


6

It's not always that interchangeable, as it has the meaning of ("my-", "your-", "one-") "self": 僕が嫌い。 - I don't like it. 自分が嫌い。- I don't like myself. I'd translate 自分はスポーツが嫌い。 more along the lines of As for me, I hate sports. I'd expect this to be preceded by a discussion of other people's abilities or tastes in sport, the 自分 serving as a ...


6

First, I am not sure that /ora/ really belongs in this category. Most dictionaries simply list it as a variant of /ore/. But /oira/ is pretty unanimously agreed to derive from /orera/, 俺 + 等 as you say, so I will stick to discussion of that one. (In any case, presumably whatever applies to /oira/ would also apply to /ora/ if indeed they were the same /-ra/.) ...


5

Not much of an answer, but between myself and my native speaker girlfriend, we both thought the same thing, "It's the exact same in meaning and sense to 私/僕 or any of those, but it's definitely less formal." At the same time, I don't think that means it's particularly informal; I just believe that the rigidity of the business language prescribes 私【わたくし・わたし】 ...


5

The key is the これを大きくなってから見る in the first line. The subject on both sides of the te-form is the same (自分). 1 If it (the baby) was me, I would surely be moved if I saw this after I grew up. 2 That this cat, who I had been living with without thinking anything much of it, 3 had been snuggling up affectionately to me from such a long time ago (/young ...


5

I would say nuance of ラルク song is different with other manga texts. あなたは いつまでも この僕のこと 愛してくれたのかな この僕 in above sentence is more like こんな僕, kind of humble. Will you ever love me even if I were such ... But, other sentences on manga are trying to express himself superior だが このオレは 死なん... No wonder, I won't die (such easily) こんどは このオレが きさまを 滅ぼす, ...


5

My question is, is this use as a general gender-neutral 私 substitute correct (in cases where there is no particular need to assert oneself against others)? There is no intrinsic gender specificity in 自分, as opposed to 爺さん/婆さん. In actual usage, it's mainly used by male speakers (source: Daijirin). Speaking from experience, I have the impression ...


5

The choice of first-person pronoun depends on the level of formality in the current context. During (formal) interviews I have heard わたし about 90% of the time, わたくし occasionally, and ぼく only rarely. However, during informal conversations, it is quite common to hear ぼく or おれ. I prefer おれ personally, but anecdotally, I have had a native Japanese tell me he ...


5

It should be okay, at least I used it mainly more than 私 and 俺. But, sometimes when everyone in the conversation is a guy, I use 俺. But Japanese guys only use 俺 most of the time within conversation, so may be using 僕 or 私 would be kind of obvious if speaker is non-Japanese, and of course that will depends on their pronunciations/intonations too.


5

According to WWWJDIC via Rikaichan: 俺 おれ、 だいこう、 ないこう (pn,adj-no,male) I; me (rough or arrogant-sounding first-person pronoun, formerly also used by women); (P) So it seems that it used to be a gender-neutral noun.


5

In informal settings, you might use あたし達, to your parents-in-law you might use 私達, and in business settings, you might use 我々 or 私共. It can depend on many things, including possibly your gender, but it doesn't generally depend on whether there is somebody of the other gender in the group you refer to. The Japanese plural marker 達 as well as ら and others ...


4

You can use こちら (the humble form of ここ) to refer to yourself (and your in-group). It's not exactly これ but it's close. I would say this is most often heard in the phrase こちらこそ, used after someone thanks you to say something along the lines of, "The pleasure was all mine." See definition #3, given as synonymous with 自分(たち). I tend to use it in situations that ...


4

The social context is absolutely the deciding factor, but your personality affords you some additional flexibility. Just like deciding whether to use 〜さん or not, your choice of pronoun depends on how familiar you are with the people in your audience, and relative social status. That said, I personally still gravitate towards 僕 over 私 even amongst new people ...


4

I think that would be おれ 「俺」, and actually most frequently used first person pronoun for males in Japan currently when speaking. The one you found in dictionary might be from まくらそうし「枕草子」 at Middle Heian-Era (around 1000 Years ago) but I don't think that one is in used recently. or これ or こら has another meaning like "Hey" これ,静かにしろ  Hey, be quiet! Note: ...


4

It depends on who uses it. あたし is very common with women. Gay men also use it (sometimes for a joke, like Tanoshingo). If you watch Japanese TV, you'll hear it everyday! 僕 on the other hand isn't that popular within young guys. They tend to use 俺 in informal speech. However, instead of using the too formal 私, they might use 僕. (Young) people (or kids) ...


4

Decent usage for "giving something to oneself" would be "自分へのご褒美する" And regarding あげる and くれる for those, you can't use くれる, because 自分にプレゼントをくれた, still means someone gave you present.



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