I noticed that there seems to be a different connotation between these two words for ‘self’ and was wondering if anyone had more information about it.
自 looks like self-as-separate:
自営 as your own business (separate from the rest of the market);
自動 as automated (separate from other systems);
自由 as free (from other constraints)…
私 looks like self-as-private:
私見 your opinion that you may or may not share;
私用 something for your personal use;
私的 something proprietary or solely yours;
And then for extra fun, we have the triple hit of 私自身, picking up three separate connotations of ‘self’ and rolling them into something I’ve seen as ‘as for me…’ but it hits privacy, separateness, and then the body-as-self connotation of 身.
What do you think? Am I overinterpreting this?