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Say I want to talk about my own ability in some area of expertise or at some activity. What would be the appropriate word choice? Assuming a casual to polite context.

Would 「できる」 sound pretentious?

What about trying to express that one is "okay at" something (not good, but not bad either)?

What about other degrees of ability (terrible, bad, "can do a bit", passable)?

To give a concrete example of what kind of sentence I'm thinking of:

I'm quite good at reading, but I'm not good at writing.

読むことがかなりよくできますが、書くのは苦手です。(?)

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  • できる is fine. There are lots of possibilities, but for your example, maybe something like 読めるけど、書けない (casual form). – Kimball Dec 31 '20 at 4:31
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Would 「できる」 sound pretentious?

「できる」does not sound pretentious.
Alternatively I would also use 得意 as well. 「私は読むのは得意ですが、書くのは苦手です」

What about trying to express that one is "okay at" something (not good, but not bad either)?

In a casual context you can say 読むのはまあまあできる。or まあまあ読める。or you can explain it like 読むのは普通にできるけど、そんなに得意じゃない。

What about other degrees of ability (terrible, bad, "can do a bit", passable)?

Here are a few I came up right now -

  • terrible: 「すごく苦手」,「全く得意じゃない」,「全然できない」
  • bad : 「苦手」, 「得意じゃない」, 「できない」
  • can do a bit : 「ちょっとはできる」、「ちょっとならできる」・・
  • passable : 「普通レベルにできる」(colloquial),「最低限の〇〇はできる」 etc.

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