July 1, 2017



This question came up without any warning - I happen to know that "watashi" is "I" from anime. Could have used an introduction, though!


Do you want dinner, bath... or... わ…た…し?


This is from what i think its from, isnt it?


いいえ, the わたし thing (or 私) is used for soft people, usually women and children. There is ぼく(僕)also, but it's used for robust people, usually men and the adolescents. I am an adolescent, but I like 私.


This is not entirely correct. Watashi is formal, and is used by both women and men. Atashi, boku, and ore are all informal ways to say I. Atashi is generally used by women. Boku is most used by men. Ore is also used by men, buf has more of a "tougher" and "masculine" sound.


Actually, "Ore" is a rude/pompous way of referring to oneself, though it can be used in a joking way. More or less, it's like saying "my amazing self" instead of "me." Also, "boku" is masculine, but sounds kind of kiddish, which is why men tend to eventually shift from using it to saying "watashi" (polite neutral) or ore. Also, girls can use "boku" too. If she's more masculine/rough-and-tumble, she may be more likely to use "boku." Singers use it often in music, too, because it tends to fit more easily into lyrics, having 2 syllables. "Atashi" goes along with the over-the-top pink frills and lace aesthetic; it's super girly and also a bit kiddish. There are others, too; these are just the most common/well-known ones.


This is really interesting since some Filipinos use the word "Atashi" as our local gay lingo to introduce themselves (as the equivalent of the word "I'm" in English"


わし is another way of saying I, however not many people use it and it is usually used by old men.

じぶん is also a word to refer to oneself. It is normally used by people in the military who do not have a high position so if someone uses it outside that context it gives the impression that it is a very serious and formal person.

In addition, you have わたくし, which is the most formal way to say I and it is far more commonly used than the other two. It is used by both men and women of all ages but as I said before it is very formal so little should it be used in a casual conversation.


me too, 僕, sounds too rough


Mitsuha in taki body : watashi ? Watakushi ? Boku ? Ore ? That how i understand the "I" in japanese


you helped me so much just by writing the word down thankyou


Is "watashi" not normally written as 私 rather than わたし ?


Japanese always uses kanji where possible. You will never see "watashi" written this way. Many of the words that DuoLingo teaches have kanji, but Duo spells them in hiragana because they think some kanji wouldn't be very useful. I wish that Duo would teach more kanji, especially for words as basic as "I".


It's teaching you the spoken word while teaching the hiragana. It'll move on to the kanji later.


Well thats probably because this is a complete beginners section of the course and litetally each section titled hiragana. Because of the complicity of this language its more efficient to learn hiragana katakana first and then advance up to kanji, if you are already familair with both of the beginner alphebets then i believe it does give you an option to test out of them.


Hmm I wouldn't say that you never see "watashi" in kana. It's just more common with beginner learners, which includes young children. So, for example, you'll probably see it where you'll find kids, like at elementary schools and parks.


You can't just rely everything on "Duolingo". If you really seriously want to learn Japanese, I reckon you to have a some kinda translation books Hiragana to Kanji. Not only you got to learn how to translate both of them, you also improve your Japanese writing skill.

If you don't like this idea, don't do it, I'm not forcing you. This is just my way of learning this language.


I don't know the kanji, but we're sticking to hiragana here, so it is written phonetically, and the usual writing will indeed contain kanji


As a beginner i think that they are trying to make us learn the spelling and the easy way at first, not the words, thank you for your time :)


"Watashi" is usually written using kanji... but that isnt all. The phonetic spelling is actually "ha-ta-shi" spelled like "はたし" Even though it is pronounced "wa" the hiragana for "ha" is used. There are many words that are pronouned wa but spelled ha because there was no わ katakana before. Watashi (はたし, I) Watashitachi ( はたしたち, we) and even konnichiwa (こんいちは, hello) are all written with ha instead of wa. Teenagers today sometimes spell these words with wa instead of ha, but it is kind of like using slang and incorrect.



This indicates that this particular idea is false. Seems Native Japanese use わたし to write 私 in hiragana.


konnichiwa (こんいちは, hello) are all written with ha

this is written with は because it is a lexical phrase, shorthand for the sentence: 今日はご機嫌いかがですか? (konnichi wa go kikeni kagi desu ka) (this reading of 今日is borrowed from chinese and meaning in english is closer to 'this day' or 'now a days' instead of 'today')

most literally that sentence says: "as for this day, spirits/health in what way [is your] state of being?" less awkwardly versioned as something like, "how are you this day?"

that's a lot to say every time you meet someone in the daytime, so over a long time it eventually got shortened into the modern japanese greeting "今日は” (usually styled: こんにちは ) "as for this day..."

こんばんは has a similar origin, substituting "this evening" for "this day"


I thought the phrase was "こんにちは,おげんきですか?", meaning "Hello, how are you?"


Huh? So everything that supposedly have "わ" on it it's going to turn into "は"? If that's the case, what's the point of "わ" .

All I know is that "は/wa" only used for grammatical purposes and it'll never take the "わ" jobs for being the letter "わ*

If you think that I'm wrong, prove it.


Well, the point of the symbol is actually used in words. In the middle of some words, "Wa" is in fact used, but that would not be turned into "Ha". The reason it becomes "Ha", rather than "Wa" is because of the "Ha Particle". It's used as a topic indicator; "君は英語が話せますか?", meaning "Can you speak English?". The reason that "Ha" is there, rather than "Wa", is because the particle "Ha" is indicating the topic (speaking English), so, in a sense, the sentence could be rearranged to be: "With regards to speaking English, can you do so?"


Yeah. It's called the "Ha" particle. You also want to use it when referrig to an activity perfomed by oneself, or by anyone; "私英語が話せます。", meaning "I can speak English."


Am I the only one who thought it was an exclamation point? Now that I realize it was an "I" it's clear but...


Each time, man. Each time. ... And then the sound effect from Metal Gear sounds.


they got us good, laughed heartily at the situation for a good 5ish minutes. I actually even thought it was an onomatopoeia or interjection being introduced and tried こら facepalm


Same. I was sitting here like... when did I learn the word for an exclamation? When I hovered over it I saw the kanji for watashi with the hirgana in parenthesis and I was like.. oh, ok. But that little dot at the bottom... evil


Not gonna mention that on the browser version it s an exclamation mark instead of an I lmao


They totally got me with that, didn't notice the "dot" was grey and not black >.<

Now I can feel stupid with a legitimate reason... that was 5 minutes ago, I'm still laughing.


this is my second run-through of sections 1-5 and i was so confused- "since when did that exist?"


I learned that when introducing yourself in Japanese you would say something like "Watashi wa (your name) desu" if Watashi is "I" what is "wa"?


a two-letter grammatical gateway to hell


"Wa" is the particle when used with "desu" = is.

It was explained best in a YouTube video called 'Start Speaking Japanese in 20 Minutes -Lesson 1"


Actually, Duolingo teaches some examples on how to introduce yourself (with/without your name) in the next few lessons.


If you want to sound like a simpleton, that will work. Otherwise, just your name and です, if you want to sound a little casual:「スンガイでづ」. Or to be more respectful, say your name and ともうします: 「スンガイともします」


No it would actually be watashi no namae wa (___)desu Amd wa is the subject marker


No, は is the topic marker. The topic could be the subject or object of the sentence. It could also be a location in time or place.


And "no" being the possessive particle right?


Yes. For example: "私の赤いの車についてどう思いますか?" "Watashi no akai no kuruma ni tsuite dou omoimasuka?" "Watashi no" means "My", and "Akai no kuruma" means "The red car". (When talking about the color of something, you use the possessive particle "No" to indicate that it possesses qualities pertaining to that color) The phrase means "What do you think of my red car?"

[deactivated user]

    try to watch more anime or look around Japanese people, maybe you can rarely hear them saying 私 for self pronouncing, it's usually for females and some elder males (for we, they use 我々), some of the others use one these common pronounces instead: 私 (わたくし ver.) あたし (modified ver. of 私) used by younger women, I use this when I speak Japanese 俺 (おれ) Frequently used by men. Establishes a sense of masculinity. 俺 (おら ver.) 僕 (ぼく) can be use by males or females in most of the songs you hear, mostly used by males of all ages, but very often used by boys own name (for example うまる) used by small children and younger women, considered cute and childish for details, check this website https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_pronouns


    Ore (wa) and Boku are the write choices if you are men. Watashi is more generic all the situation type of word. If you want to give yourself something unique in your style of speaking you can use the above words or even wagahai which is archaic word mostly known by the poem Wagahai wa Neko de Aru by Natsume Souseki, and you can speak about yourself in third person. This is all informal, stick to formal in work related situations.


    If you like getting fights, use おれ. Otherwise, don't be so rude to people.


    It's not rude. It was rude 20 years ago; today most japanese young men of a certain age (old enough to not want to use 僕 young enough to not want to use 私) use 俺。How they characterize it in writing/sns varies a little bit, I've seen おれ、オレ、and 俺。Yes, you shouldn't use it to your boss or other formal setting, but it's pretty commonly used informally today.


    私 is the kanji for わたし。


    Yes. You will pretty much always see it in the Kanji form, but Duolingo teaches it using Hiragana for simplicity. Best to memorize this Kanji though, considering how common it is.


    I was so confused, because there was a little dot under the ›I‹ so i thought it was a ›!‹


    I made this mistake too, I really don't understand why has a dot under the "I"


    New vocabulary words on Duo are underlined when they are given for the first time to encourage you to use the hover-hints


    Oh my. I just saw a line with the dot under it and was thinking "uh, exclamation mark?". Didn't think to hover over it, now I'm facepalming lol.


    私/わたし/Watashi is for if you are a girl or in a formal situation using this in a casual setting as a man would make you sound fem. Also "I" can also be 僕/ぼく/Boku which to my understanding is used by young males or if you want to sound youthful. A more manily way of saying "I" would be おれ/Ore but this is a fair warning this isn't a very polite way of saying "I" unless you are with close friends and or you're just a macho man.


    I often hear the word "watashi wa" how it differ from this word the "watashi"


    私 (わたし) is just the word for "I" or "me". 私は is how you'll see it when the speaker is the topic (a grammatical point we'll get to in a bit) of a sentence.

    watashi wa watashi desu.
    I am me.

    watashi wa gakusei desu.
    I am a student.

    If it's obvious from context, then you can omit the subject.

    gakusei desu.
    I am a student.

    niku wa tabemasen.
    I don't eat meat.



    Does anyone else else find that the "i" is upside down and looks like an exclamation mark?


    There was no sentence written to translate


    The sentence is the pronoun "I"


    I've heard some pronounce it like wa-ta-"k"-shi. Can anyone clarify?


    わたくし is another reading of 私
    It is the most formal first person pronoun. You probably wouldn't use this much in daily life; only in very formal situations to someone socially higher than you that you would need to show a lot of respect to.


    People have been leaving the same comments about this looking like an exclamation point for over a year, and no solution has been found to make it more clear? Is anyone reading these?


    No, the sentence discussion pages are for learners to ask and get help on the grammar and usage of the question being discussed. These pages are not monitored by contributors or staff. To report an error with a sentence you can either hit the report button on the question or send a bug report form directly to staff.
    Since there isn't actually a bug here though and is more just Duo's default style of presenting new words causing some confusion for one single word, if this has been reported it will probably be very low on the priority list. What proposed solution would you suggest to better introduce the first-person pronoun "I"?

    Errors in the course and the proper use of sentence discussions


    OMG, I'm still confused with hiragana and kanji... Are they similar?


    They are not the exact same, hiragana and katakana is the phonetic "alphabet" that could be used to phonetically spell words out, and kanji is the shortened (and chinese origin) symbolic "alphabet". For example, "わたし" is watashi, meaning I. But "私" is also said as watashi and also means I.


    As a rule, Katakana is used for Japanese loan words such as クップ, "cup", while Hirigana is used for Japanse words, like わたし, "watashi".


    I quote a book I own on Japanese: "The rule is: Katakana for non-Chinese loan words, Hiragana and Kanji for the rest". You also use Katakana for names.


    Hiragana is the japanese script while kanji came from china


    Well, technically hiragana also come from China since they're just simplified Chinese characters. The Japanese didn't have a writing system before coming into contact with the Chinese's. [2019/03/24]


    What is the differences between わたし and ぼく?Sometimes I hear people say ぼくは... instead to introduce themselves.


    ぼく is used mostly by boys and young males while わたし is used in formal situations and by woman


    What's the difference between atashi and watashi?


    Accent. It's like going to and gonna.


    Not exactly; both are used in Tokyo-ben dialect; あたし would only be said by women, usually younger women. 私(わたし)can be used by either gender, more likely to be used by older speakers.

    a man or boy using あたし would be viewed as exceptionally, even weirdly, effeminate.


    I cant I write わたしわ? Or わたしは?


    It'd be 私は/わたしは because は is a topic marker type thing so it'd be like "As for me" example わたしは学生です "as for me, I'm a student" and when は is used in this way it makes a わ(Wa) sound instead of a は(ha) sound


    It marked me wrong, but shouldn't おろ be correct?


    no, because it's 俺(おれ), not おろ。

    俺 was accepted, didn't try hiragana alone.


    It said that おろ was wrong but shouldn't that be one of the correct answers?


    No. おれ (ore) is correct (a personal pronoun used by males), but おろ (oru) is not.


    わたし is using simple symbols for 私 same thing but in order to use that you must know the simple symbols that make the sound


    The difference between using わたくし or わたし: to quote Assimil Japanese lesson 12, "We have already seen... わたくし..., which is most common. But...わたし is more familiar, and used most often by women."


    Can someone explain the difference between "watashi" and "watashini"? I don't get it


    私・わたし is the pronoun "I"

    に is a target particle, it can be used to mark a specific point in time/space, a destination of movement or an indirect object. Its uses is similar to "to /in/at/on". The exact meaning of 私に depends on the context it is used in. It could be "on me", "to me", "at me", etc, depending on the verb it is used with.


    I is the word of watashi


    Washn't this supposed to be spelled like はたし?


    That would be "hatashi" rather than 私・わたし watashi

    わ is the hiragana "wa"
    は is the hiragana "ha"
    the exception here is when は is used as a topic/context marking particle in which it is pronounced "wa" for historical reasons.
    私は・わたしは watashi wa "on the topic of me"
    今日は・こんにちは konnichiwa "On the topic of today/this day" (used as a greeting 'hello')


    There's nothing written


    It is the first-person pronoun "I"


    You should use the "Ha" particle, rather than using "Wa" to write this. Better yet, use the Kanji for it. That makes everything easier.


    The "wa" in "watashi" is not a particle, it is just the sound "wa" therefore the non-particle kana for the sound "wa" わ is used. Particles are post-positional so it would not make sense to start a word with a particle.
    私 is pronounced and spelled わたし and correct kana spelling is necessary for the text to convert to the correct kanji. Spelling it incorrectly in kana will not allow it to become 私


    Ah, I see! I thought that it was also used at the beginning of such words. Thank you!


    On the question page, it looks like an exclamation mark (Figuring out that this is because of the hint that underlines the I and thus creates a point under which makes it totally look like an interrogation mark). I was very confused for a moment... Nan desu ka ???


    ! Why there is a exclamation mark instead of I?


    It isn't an exclamation, the word "I" is just underlined because Duo underlines words when they are introduced to you for the first time to encourage you to click on it for a hint.

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