The many ways to say _i_ in japanese _ nihonshock

One of the many unique and intriguing features of Japanese is the vast selection of words you have available to choose from when you want to say “I.” Each of these words has a different connotation reflecting the speaker’s view of his/herself and their relationship to the listener.

For this article, I’m going to introduce to you my personal collection of “I” words that I’ve encountered here in Japan (even if I’ve only seen them once or twice in obscure contexts). Chair types names Hopefully, this list will help to prepare you for your own Japanese adventures.

Of the many ways to say “I” in Japanese, these are the ones that are actually used by real, living people who are being serious. Bar chair autocad block Watashi

Watashi (?) is the standard, gender-free way to say “I” and is the first one learners are introduced to. Charlie chaplin the kid music If you don’t know which I-word to use, this is your best bet.

The only trap I know of is that in Japanese saying “ watashi mo” (meaning: “me too”) can come off as very effeminate if you use it in an informal situation.


The chairman hong kong review Men should take care to say “ boku mo” or use some other I-word instead. Pole dancing classes melbourne fl Watakushi

Yes, the kanji is the same as for watashi (?) ( watashi is actually just a shortened form of watakushi).

This word is a highly formal “I.” You might hear politicians, CEOs, or other public-relations figures use it when making official announcements, but generally you should avoid this word as it can come across as arrogant or condescending.

If you watch anime or read manga, you’ll notice that this is the I-word of choice for rich characters. Chairman of the us federal reserve board Boku

Boku (?) is what you could think of as the “soft-masculine” I-word. Stair climbing exercise at home It literally means “manservant” so when you use it there is a sense that you are humbling yourself before the speaker.

It has a more informal feeling than watashi, however, so you may want to be careful when using it with strangers, authority figures and colleagues.

Boku is used primarily by men, but very young and/or boyish girls sometimes use it too. Stair climbing exercise routine I’ve also heard women use boku in song lyrics.

Light says boku (friendly/humble). Mbta charlie card monthly pass L says watashi (polite/formal). Charlie chaplin modern times full movie free download Ore

If boku is the “soft-masculine” I-word then ore (?) is the “hard-masculine.” This is the word tough guys use, and as such you would almost never hear it used with a polite verb form.

It’s not polite by any stretch of the imagination, but to say it’s a “rude” word would be a mistake as well. Chair yoga classes Ore can actually convey a sense of intimacy (we’re close friends, so I don’t need to worry about being polite with you). The chairman restaurant san francisco This is probably the most common I-word among groups of men (except in business or other formal settings).

Eikichi Onizuka, a character perfectly suited to saying ore. A chair for my mother comprehension questions Atashi

This is an informal effeminate form of watashi. Chiari 1 malformation It has a kind of “cute” nuance to it. Charlie chan in london Because kanji are generally seen as masculine, this word has no kanji form. Chair of the board responsibilities It is written in either hiragana or katakana. Famous chair designers names (Well, the word does come from watashi so you might see it listed with ? in a dictionary) Uchi

Uchi (?) is one word for “I” that I didn’t learn until well after I came to Japan, but once I did I was surprised at how commonly used it was. Dining room chairs design ideas It literally means “inside.”

Saying uchi for “I” is informal and has no gender connotation. Upholstered chair styles names This is a good word for women to use if they want to be informal, but avoid the cuteness of atashi. Cherished meaning in urdu Kochira/Kocchi

This is another popular and versatile way to say “I.” It literally means “this way.”

While kochira and kocchi are the same word ( kocchi is an abbreviated version), they differ pretty dramatically in how formal they are. Wheelchair jokes offensive Kochira is highly polite and is often used in business situations, especially one the phone. Eames lounge chair autocad block Because of it’s root meaning of “this way” it is ambiguous in number, it can be used to mean “we” without any changes to the word.

Kocchi is much more informal and frequently used among friends. Charlie carver instagram It’s also handy for its neutrality, meaning that when you use it you’re not making a statement about your social position relative to the listener (you are–however–still making a statement about social distance).

Note: similarly, you can use sochira/socchi to mean “you.” Ware

Used more commonly in it’s “we” form (??/ wareware), ware (?) by itself and meaning just “I” is pretty uncommon, but not unheard of.

It’s also probably the the most difficult I-word in this post because depending on how you use it it can come out not only as “I” but either as “one’s self” (not necessarily the speaker), or even “you” (although usage as “you” is very dated).

My impression of this word is it has a kind of wise, sage-like feeling to it. Chairish jobs It’s almost always used in a short, declarative statement of some kind. Chair king Washi

This is yet a further shortening of the word watashi. Wheelchair basketball games online It is reserved for use by old men or men who for some reason have acquired a very slurred speech style. Charlie chaplin speech for humanity Perhaps they dropped the ta to keep themselves from spitting on people when they talked.

In the Kansai region, this I-word can be further shortened to just wai. Roman chair exercises at home Personal name

While we don’t do this in English, in Japanese it’s possible to use your own personal name when saying “I.” Basically, you can speak in third person perspective. Chair exercises for seniors youtube This manner of speaking is somewhat frowned upon as being childish, however, so be careful should you decide to use it. The chair movie 1988 (it’s probably best if you simply don’t use this method altogether, just know that you might hear somebody else talking like this someday) Special forms

Be careful, because this second group of I-words are no longer used in modern Japanese (though Japanese know them through media and literature), and as such they will definitely alert your listener that you are consciously selecting your I word, usually either as a joke or to imitate some character. Charlie chan at the olympics While they’re fun to know, don’t use these under regular circumstances. Charlie chaplin quotes with images Wagahai

Bowser (or as he is known in Japanese, ???/kuppa) says wagahai.

Wagahai (??) is a classical way to say “I” that was used by older men of high social stature. Charlie chaplin modern times analysis You will find this in the title of Natsume Soseki’s famous work, ??????? ( wagahai wa neko de aru / I am a cat). The chairman and yip menu Oira

Oira (???) is an alternate form of ore which was more widely used back in the Edo period. Chiari 1 malformation radiology It was apparently used even by some women in the late-Edo period.

Today, this word has a youthful and male feeling to it (because of it’s youthful nature, it is rarely written in it’s kanji form: ??), and is the I-word of choice for… housepets! (as spoken through their owners, of course…) Try a quick google image search for this word, it will bring up many pictures of Japanese peoples’ pets. The chronicles of narnia the silver chair movie online Sessha

Sessha (??) is another classical way to a say “I” which literally means “clumsy person.” Samurai used this word, because being humble about their abilities was the samurai thing to do. Chair care patio Atai

The word atai is a girls-only “I” word that is a shortened version of atashi. Chair exercises for elderly pdf It originated with the courtesans, prostitutes and young girls from Tokyo’s pleasure quarters, but it seems that most people are unfamiliar with this history.

I believe there are some dialects and regions in Japan where this word can still be heard but I’m not sure exactly where… One of my Japanese friends that I asked said it sounded like a Kyuushuu dialect. Chair yoga for seniors pdf Yo

Yo (?) is yet another rarely used classical way to say “I.” It was used by men of extremely high stature. Chair yoga exercises elderly I’ve really only come across it being employed by “heartless-overlord”-type characters in some anime and manga. Charlie chaplin modern times full movie download Warawa

Warawa (?) is how a samurai’s wife would say “I.” It’s a classical female form, used by women to humble themselves before others. Chair clipart black and white The kanji itself refers to a man’s non-primary wife or his mistress. Chairman of the board band schedule Conclusion

It’s both an intriguing and challenging aspect of Japanese to have so many options where in English we have only one. Charlie cox imdb By learning to pay close attention to these words, we can pick up on valuable clues about a person’s social status and personality. Charlie card commuter rail And by learning to use the right I-words for each situation and partner, we can communicate with people and manage relationships more effectively.

(Unlike video game and anime characters) most people switch between a few different words as their situation demands. Rocking chair emoji Personally, most of the time I stick to boku and watashi (I’ve been trying to use ore more with my guy friends lately, but old habits die hard). Chairish auction Sometimes I mix things up with a little uchi and kocchi, too.

This list is complete to the best of my knowledge (assuming I haven’t forgotten anything…), but I’m sure there’s probably a few more I-words floating around out there that I haven’t come across yet. Folding chairs 4 less reviews I’ll be sure to update this list if I find any new ones.

@??: “jibun” is basically equivalent to “myself/yourself” in English. Chair exercises for obese It’s usually used with the particle ?.

@yuetching: I’ve heard both men and women of varying ages use ?, though it is probably more frequently used by women. The chair movie 2014 Age or marital status isn’t a factor, I would say.

Anyone can say ???, but just remember that it’s quite informal.

@Baka: I also noticed recently, Son Goku from Dragonball says ??.

? (uchi) is associated with being a tough girl or a tomboy or just the female ? in Southern Japan — so Kansai, Kyoto, Nara area, and on down to Shikoku, &c. Charlie cox stardust Also ?? (washi) can use the kanji ? but it also has its own kanji ?, though it isn’t exactly common use. Charlie charlie challenge videos Just thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned during some of my time in Japan ^_^ Lastly, ? is also ?? (waga) and typically used to mean the possessive, but on rare occasions (period movies, manga, anime) it crops up as I; Bleach is notorious for its crazy and often very old-fashioned/ancient speech patterns, particular to each individual character, so not surprising to see it there. Charlie chaplin the kid summary In bizarre, manga only situations, people do refer to themselves in a sorta 3rd-person with ?? (jibun); it happens, but everyone will most likely assume you’re in error if you try to use it, unless you speak some pretty glorious dialectical Japanese already.

Hahaha! I found a really good example of different ways to say “I” in Pandora Hearts episode 20 when Gil gets drunk and doesn’t know what to call himself. Charlie chaplin the great dictator speech song He tries “boku” and “ore” not knowing if he’s a kid or and adult and then Break goes on with about ten more.

Some has been mentioned already like, chin, wa, yo, washi, ora and jibun. Charlie charlie are you there challenge They are not necessarily common use but all used as “I.”

Others includes (but not limited to) oidon, atai, wah, bokuchan, touhou, honkan, soregashi, gusei, watakushime, shousei, and temae.

Uchi actually is gender specific. Chair styles antique While I’ve heard a very masculine and “tough” girl say “ore” and some effeminate gay men say “atashi” I’ve never ever heard any male person say “uchi” as a personal pronoun.

You must be confusing it with the meaning “our store/company/restaurant/etc.”. A chair for my mother activities kindergarten When men use “uchi” it always is used in the sense “our place”, “how we do it here”, “our policy” etc.

Uchi is used as a personal pronoun in the Kinki region by women. Chair conformation of glucose It’s kind of cute way of talking and is more commonly used by girls and younger women but is not unheard of for older women either.

Atai is nowadays by very “tough”, rebellious women, always rare but fallen even more out of fashion since the 80’s or early 90’s.

I know someone who uses “jibun” just like any “boku” or “watashi”. Chairman mao card game For that and other reasons there’s no one really who doesn’t think him weird. Charlie chaplin movies list It sounds strange used like that, except maybe in military context.

This is an old post, but it is great. I cherish the treasure ?uchi?actually has a place in the Kangxi Dictionary, used by married men to refer to his ? or ?. Chair yoga for seniors printable And because these ? or ?s are always ‘inside’ their house, as the norm asks them to, they got the name ‘?’, which means ‘inside’ as well. Chair aerobics for everyone I think this origin is enough to persuade me not to use it to say “I” as a man.

Enter a Japanese webpage URL to load it with furigana inserted for all the kanji. Pole dancing classes near me (note: just don’t trust it to get proper names correct)

The dictionary site I use most often. Charlie charlie challenge game It has 18 special use dictionaries (marketing, medicine, etc)

An awe-inspiring collection of viciously detailed Japanese lessons. Charlie chaplin movies cell phone Can’t believe it’s free.

Not the flashiest site on the internet, but one of the best repositories for quick Japanese study materials.

A great site to buy your Japanese study materials and textbooks.

Another good online dictionary, which offers a Jap-Jap thesaurus.

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