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In an informal setting, imagine doing a 自己{じこ}紹介{しょうかい} and you want to deflect the conversation away from yourself. What about saying:

私は社会人だけです。毎日、頑張っています。

Does that leave you with the feeling of:

I am nothing special. I am just a simple member of society, and trying to make my way through life as best I can.

The listener would still have no idea what you do (but that is the point). If you did do something cool and interesting (something to have pride in), that can come-out later. Trying to establish intellectual / financial dominance at "hello" just is not cool. Just say "I'm a regular Joe." / "私は社会人です", then in a later intimate discussion you can learn more about each other.

Does that make sense? Basically, in an informal 自己紹介 could one just say:

私は社会人です。

Or, is that just way too vague?

ps: I really do not do anything interesting! I am just trying to get a feel for Japanese and how to do 自己紹介。

  • What do you mean by 紹介人?? – ishikun Oct 17 '16 at 22:23
  • @ishikun I just made a typing mistake. I should have written "社会人". – Just Someone Oct 17 '16 at 23:24
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    私は社会人だけです。 -> You don't use だけ that way.. For "I'm only/just a 社会人", you'd literally say 私はただの社会人です。 (but 私は(ごく)普通の社会人です would be more common/natural) – Chocolate Oct 18 '16 at 1:02
  • I wonder if you really have to use the word 社会人. It might be not as neutral a word as you might think. – broccoli forest Oct 18 '16 at 10:34
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If you want to hide your profession, you could say that and then go on to explain things that you like to do, your age etc. instead. It is not self-deprecating but it is vague and most people will wonder what you do.

If you're learning Japanese, a good sentence for your 自己紹介 would be how many years you have been studying Japanese and then go into why you started etc. Note that the 自己紹介 is a way to get other people to know you, probably a phenomenon spawned from a generally shy culture (my guess).

社会人です。3年間日本語を勉強しています。勉強し始めたきっかけは「漢字」でした。よろしくお願いします。

  • I'm not really thinking of trying to "hide" anything. Rather, having someone tell me how great they are is awkward. My teasing it out of you at 居酒屋 is an awesome feeling for both people. good for relationship building (imho) – Just Someone Oct 18 '16 at 1:43
  • @imaichiko Haha, I get what you mean. A 自己紹介 doesn't have to be all about accomplishments though (e.g. how great someone is). It can just be about what you do and what you like :). – ishikun Oct 18 '16 at 16:44
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Unsurprisingly, introducing yourself only as 社会人です is way too vague; it's almost no different from saying "I am a human being".

If you want to hide the details of your job, safer and common ways are:

  • 会社員です。 (lit. "company member", if you work at a private company)
  • サラリーマンです。 (lit. "salaryman", full-time salaried worker in general, including a government worker)
  • 自営業です。 (self-employed worker in general, includes a farmer, a musician, a journalist, a freelance programmer)

If you say one of these, people will probably understand you don't want to disclose your job, and refrain from asking you "where do you work?"


By the way, 私は社会人だけです does not make sense because だけ doesn't work as you expect. This sentence is not about whether you do something other than 社会人, is it? Instead, you can say:

  • 私は単なる会社員です。 (単なる ≒ simple; mere)
  • 私はどこにでもいる会社員です。 (どこにでもいる ≒ (lit.) ~ that exists everywhere; just another ~)
  • 私は平凡な会社員です。 (平凡な ≒ ordinary; mundane)

Of course these sound more or less self-deprecating, so please use with care.

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