Watch the following video to learn how to introduce yourself in simple Japanese.
- はじめまして literally means “It is the first time meeting you”, but can be translated as “How do you do?” It is only used when meeting someone for the first time.
- The simple Japanese sentence pattern can be presented as:
は is a particle called “topic marker”, which follows the topic to indicate that the noun is the TOPIC of the sentence.
わたし は がくせい です。
わたし は ちゅうごくじん です。
へれんさん は かんこく人 です。
です is equivalent to the English ‘am, are, is.’
The negative of です is じゃないです.
(TOPIC) は (NOUN) じゃない です。
せんせい は がくせい じゃない です。
けいとさん は 日本人 じゃない です。
いいさんさん は 女の人 じゃない です。
The topic can also be often omitted when it is obvious who or what you are talking about. So the sentence appears as (NOUN)です。
- Refer to the JAPANESE SENTENCE STRUCTURES to better understand the difference between Japanese and English sentence structures.
Introducing yourself (Exchanging Business Cards)
When introducing others or themselves, the Japanese usually use family names or full names. However, children and young people usually make informal introductions among themselves using first names (which in Japanese comes second). It is usual to exchange name cards (めいし) when adults are introducing each other. This avoids the trouble of explaining which kanji are used to write the names, and also give other important social information.
To find out more about the importance of exchanging めいし, check out Michael Gakuran’s blog here.
Watch the following videos for instruction on “HOW TO” exchange めいし.
The Japanese people have specific expectations and instructions on how to give and take business cards when introducing themselves.