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I want to double check the meaning of the sentence above. I have the word(s) 自分自身 and I need to use it in a sentence that expresses the essence of "please be yourself." For context, the speaker is saying this to someone who hides their true self, or wears a disguise, and is encouraging them to shed said disguise or false self.

I understand from previous posts that 自分自身 is kind of a special expression of "myself" but please let me know, is an incorrect usage of "自分自身" or is it just something that would sound odd to a native Japanese speaker? What would you use? (again the "自分自身" is essential...I have reasons, lol)

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  • 自分自身らしくいてください seems odd to me, but your question seems to imply that you already know that the 自身 bit is unnecessary. – Super-User Sep 14 '20 at 3:47
  • Would you say that the 自身 in this sentence is redundant? – F.D. Sep 14 '20 at 15:12
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自分自身 means 'oneself', 'myself' so we can say:

前向きに自分自身と向き合ってみてくださいね! (Try to face yourself positively)
自分自身を大切にしてくださいね! (Take care of yourself)

I think 自分自身らしくいてください is weird because:

  • meaning of 自分 and 自分自身 is diffrent
    自分: 'myself', 'yourself', 'oneself', 'himself', 'herself'
    自分自身: 'oneself', 'myself'
    and although we translate it "by youself" maybe in japanese it's not.
    My japanese teacher tells me a lot not to translete from polish (my native lang) or english to japanese but to think in japanese. Especially word meaning can be tricky and not meaning what we think it means (that why using japanese language dictionary is a good idea).
    I'm not sure but maybe for japanese it's more like 'be oneself' and that's why is weird and better is 自分 or あなた.

I recommend japanese language dictionary (i use rikaikun extention for better understanding):

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  • Side question: why does the "自分自身" in the sentence 自分自身を大切にしてくださいね mean "yourself"? From the above it sounds like the "自身" can only mean "oneself" or "myself", but that's not the case in the "take care of yourself" sentence. – F.D. Sep 16 '20 at 18:37
  • I was mistaken. It's often problem with translating, because often what you ment in your language is something different in japanese, but in this case it's a problem with two word that didn't match (I explained it once more bellow). I'm sorry for disinformation. – Izabela Furdzik Sep 18 '20 at 9:08
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For japanese 自分自身 means physically 'myself', form of myself not hypothetically myself. For example when someone want make a pie and want recipe from me, and I'm very good in making this pie. This person make this pie and it's not that good. And I could say: 自分自身で作ったら、もっとよかったですね。(If I would make it myself, it would be better). Of cource in this sancence 自分自身らしい saound ridiculously, the same goes to your sentence.

That's why 自分自身らしい is incorect. Because らしい is an image, an idea.
自分らしい it's correct if you want to say らしい. (if you want say 自分自身 so you need to trop らしい , 自分自身でいてください, but in a most situation more natural is 自分らしく生きて(いて)ください). For example 自分らしい in a situation is doing what I usualy would have done. So in example when I will do something diffrent than usual, someone can tell me: あなたらしくない and I can say to myself 私(自分)らしくない.

I hope I explaned it better.

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