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I was watching a Japanese TV show, and in the start of the episode, introductions were made between two people; then later in the show, they were playing a video game. In both instances, the phrase "Hajimemashite" was used.

Is it correct to use it in the second instance? Shouldn't they have said, "Hajimemashou" instead?

Research

How do you do?; I am glad to meet you​ - はじめまして on Jisho

From my understanding, this is used when meeting someone for the first time.

to start; to begin; to commence; to initiate; to originate - 始めよう on Jisho

Whereas, this one means to begin, e.g., to start a race, game, etc.

  • I don't understand your question. Are you asking if it's OK to use はじめまして in the second context (starting the game), or are you asking the difference between 始めよう and 始めましょう? – istrasci Jul 17 at 19:29
  • The first option. – Lucas Ramage Jul 17 at 19:31
  • Are you sure you didn't just mis-hear 始めまし during the video game part? – istrasci Jul 17 at 21:30
  • I thought so too, but I replayed it a few times. I'm very new to learning Japanese so I thought it was weird that they would use it that way, that's when I decided to look up all the different uses of the phrase. – Lucas Ramage Jul 17 at 23:25
  • Hi Lucas, if the video is on youtube, can you please share the link ? – vadasambar Jul 18 at 2:00
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As the dictionary says, the two phrases are completely different, and they are never interchangeable.

  • 初めまして is used when you meet someone for the first time. "Nice to meet you; Glad to meet you; How do you do"
  • 始めましょう is just "Let's start (the show, lesson, etc)".

It's difficult to guess what was actually happening in your video. Maybe you misheard something (始まりました "(It) started" may sound similar if said quickly), or maybe they were just jokingly saying "hello" to a character in the game.

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