"Nice to meet you, I'm Tanaka."


June 10, 2017

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Hmm should -SAN be included?


No, when you are referring to yourself -san is not used. It is just used to politely refer to other people but never to yourself. When you say your name and want to talk politely just add -desu, and if you want to be informal just drop -desu, although it can be considered very rude to avoid the use of -desu.


Quite rude, moreso coming from a foreigner if you are talking to a native Japanese.


What if you are talking down to someone?


When you're introducing yourself?

Well, it's probably better to think of it as: adding -san when referring to yourself is akin to talking yourself up (implicitly, putting yourself above the person), rather than expressly belittling them.




think of honorifics like "san" as say "the _" like hi, i'm Tanaka The Great

very just wrong.

never say any honorifics unless showing your perceived honor level for someone else.


I chose , はじめまして、田中といいます And it was marked as correct?

Based on previous comments i thought 田中といいます meant "please call me tanaka" and was more of a request.

Whereas 田中です was a statement. "I AM tanaka"

Am i misunderstanding?


I think you might be misunderstanding a little (which is completely understandable since many comments try to simplify things as much as possible).

Functionally, 「田中です」and「田中といいます」are both statements that can be translated to "I am Tanaka." Implicit in both of these is the subject, usually assumed to be the speaker.

However, this is where grammatical differences come in. In the case of「田中です」, explicitly including a subject, e.g. かれ(he/him) or かのじょ(she/her), simply changes the translation to "he/she is Tanaka."

For「田中といいます」, it's not so simple. いいます can also be written as 言います, which means "to say". Basically, what is implicit in this case is something along the lines of "Tanaka is what I say about myself", which often becomes translated to "please call me Tanaka (because that is what I call myself)". It's considered more polite than です because it's very deferential, like you're saying "I call myself Tanaka, but you can call me as you like" whereas です is kind of saying "this is what I am (like it or not)." The tricky thing about といいます is that it's exactly the way you would quote what someone else says. Therefore, if you change the subject (in order to introduce someone else), the sentence changes to "he/she says "Tanaka" ", but no longer functions as an introduction, rather an introduction of the strange things he/she likes to say. That's why it is only ever used to introduce yourself.

To explicitly ask someone to call you by a certain name, you need to use a slightly more advanced grammar structure. For example, my name is Joshua, but I prefer people to call me Josh. So when I introduce myself, I would say「ジョシュアといいます。でも(But)ジョシュと呼んでください(yonde kudasai call please)」

Sorry for such a long comment, but it's hard to concisely explain all the nuance using just text.


Extremely helpful thank you! I also go by a shortened version of my name so this will definitely come in handy to know!


田中です means "I am Tanaka" 田中といいです means "my name is Tanaka"


When do you have to put "は"? I mean, when do you must add it ad a "topic marker"?


Whenever you want to add more context. For example, マリアです on its own could mean "I'm Maria" or "It's Maria" or "She's Maria". But adding 私は beforehand makes it absolutely certain you are referring to yourself. It is unnecessary in many cases.


So, just to make sure i understand, without 私は it can also mean 'that person over there is Maria'?


Yes, it's all based on context. If you were answering a question like "Who is that person?", you could answer with "Maria desu" and it would be clear that you are answering the question and meaning "that person is Maria"


A good way to remember WA usage is to imagine it means "As for... <the thing I just said before WA>"


What's the difference between yoroshiku and hajimemashite?


Hajimemashite is the "te" form of the verb "hajimeru" or "hajimemasu". The verb means to start, to begin. As the "te" from may be thought of as the imperative of the verb, hajimemashite may be literally translated as "do begin!", or "let's start (our relations)!" and then "nice to meet you" for the first time you meet someone. As for yoroshiku, it may be translated as the adverb of the adjetive yoroshii or yoi, a form of "ii", that means good, well. So yoroshiku may be understood as "do me well", "treat me fine (as I will treat you)". Usually comes followed by onegaishimasu, meaning "I beg you", or just "please".


Thanks, but is there a reason then for why よろしくお願いします instead of はじめまして is counted as wrong?


So again what does "to" mean in the context of "toiimasu"?


と here is a particle, and it indicates the thing before it as "quoted information". So, in (私は)田中といいます, it means As for me, I am called "Tanaka".


Shouldn't adding ~san to tanaka be interchangeable since it's a common honorific?


Think of it like Mr/Mrs/Ms. If you were introducing someone, you might say, "This is Ms. Johnson." But you wouldn't say, "I'm Ms. Johnson." Here the context is a self introduction, so no ~san.


You do not add san if you are introducing yourself


Exactly, it's an honorific, as in it's supposed to convey honor to the person it refers to. Referring to yourself as -san, or any other honorific for that matter, is seen as incredibly conceited and it's never done (since Japanese culture emphasizes humility).


If the person I was meeting was called Tanaka (not me), would I say '田中さん、はじめまして'?


Yes, you could!

Personally, I would say 「田中さんですね?はじめまして」 if they just introduced themselves, which lets me confirm that I heard their name correctly, I am pronouncing it correctly, and they are ok with me using the さん suffix.


When should we use -です and when -だ?


です is the polite form of だ. You should generally use です with strangers or people you aren't close to.


Can someone break down the sentence for me? I don't know what word belongs to which part of Japanese


はじめまして = a set phrase/greeting used when meeting someone for the first time; no direct English translation, but usually translated as "nice to meet you"

田中 (たなか) = a common Japanese surname (family name); Japanese people are usually only called by their first/given names by family and close friends

です = the copula/verb "to be", usually being translated as "is/am"; it equates the object (in this case, "Tanaka") with the subject (in this case, the implied "I")

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