Can we make our own Japanese names

Jikoshōkai - self-introduction in Japanese

A basic need when learning a new language is to be able to express yourself quickly. In addition to basic terms such as "Hello", "Please", "Thank you" and "Sorry", this also includes introducing yourself in Japanese. In Japanese this is called jikoshōkai (自己 紹 介). Basically, self-introduction works in Japan in a similar way to Germany: You say hello, say your name and tell a little about yourself. But as in any other language, there are a few basic points that you should pay attention to in order not to get your nose straight fall - because the first impression counts in Japan too. Therefore, in the following, we will show you how you can correctly introduce yourself in Japanese.

First of all, let's start with the basic building blocks of any self-introduction in Japanese. These consist of an introductory greeting, the introduction itself and a closing phrase.


Japanese - Hajimemashite。 (初 め ま し て) German - I am pleased to meet you.

The salutation hajimemashite is used when getting to know each other and the associated self-introduction. The implication of the expression is that you are doing something for the first time, which in the context of introducing something roughly corresponds to the German expression “I'm happy to meet you”.

To introduce oneself

Japanese - Watashi wa [Surname] to mōshimasu。 (私 は [Name] と 申 し ま す, わ た し は [Name] と も う し ま す) German - My name is [Name].

Mentioning your own name is part of every self-introduction in Japanese. The Japanese sentence may seem more complicated than the German translation, but it is very easy to break down. Watashi is the subject - indicated by the particle Ha - and means "I". Moshimasu is the polite, conjugated version of the verb mōsu (申 す), which means “hot” and with the particle to is initiated. There are other ways to use your name in Japanese, but you won't go wrong with this form in any situation. However, it is important to note that in Japanese the surname is mentioned before the first name.

Closing formula

Japanese - Yoroshiku onegaishimasu。 (よ ろ し く お 願 い し ま す) German - for example: Please be kind to me.

The closing formula yoroshiku onegaishimasu cannot be translated directly into German. In the case of self-introduction in Japanese, this is based on the expectation of the speaker that his counterpart, now that he knows him, will treat him benevolently in the future. This expression can also come across in Japan in other places, e.g. when a request is made.

If we put all the parts together, we come to the following basic form of every self-introduction in Japanese:
初 め ま し て。 私 は [Name] と 申 し ま す。 よ ろ し く お 願 い し ま す。 Hajimemashite. Watashi ha [Surname] to mōshimasu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

It is worth practicing this form as often as possible, as you will always find yourself in situations in which you have to introduce yourself. It always makes a good impression when the answer comes straight out of the gun.

The finishing touches

Now you will certainly want to introduce more than your name - this is where the numerous variants begin, which make every self-introduction in Japanese something individual. There are too many possibilities to list them all here, but we would like to give you a few useful expressions and sentences:

Japanese - Doitsu no shusshin desu。 (ド イ ツ の 出身 で す) German - I come from Germany.

Japanese - Sodachi wa [City] desu。 (育 ち は [city] で す) German - I grew up in [city].

Japanese - [A]daigaku [B]gakubu [C]ka no gakusei desu。 ([A] 大学 [B] 学部 [C] 科 の 学生 で す) German - I am a student in the department [C] of the faculty [B] at the university [A].

Japanese - Watashi wa [Company A] no kaishain desu。 (私 は [A] 会 社 の 会 社員 で す) German - I am an employee of [Company A].

Japanese - Shumi wa [A] to [B] desu。 (趣味 は [A] と [B] で す) German - My hobbies are [A] and [B].

These examples allow you to tell a little more about yourself. As in every language, there are many ways in Japanese to express the same statement with different sentence constructions and vocabulary. So keep your ears perked up in Japan to get to know other variants and expand your knowledge of the language.


Finally, there are a few small points that you should take to heart when introducing yourself in Japanese. First of all, emphasizing your strengths too much is more of a bad character trait - a little restraint is appreciated instead. Furthermore, the hands should rest on the side of the body or in front of the body during the performance. Holding behind your back should be avoided. And finally, a short bow is appropriate at the beginning and at the end of the self-introduction.

With this you have got to know the most important elements of a self-introduction in Japanese. Now we wish you a lot of fun developing your personal variant!