Chatting and introducing yourself over the internet

So, I’m in a fandom that’s quite international however the English speaking and Japanese speaking sides don’t interact much
Today, a Japanese fan posted in English (using machine translation) wishing to talk about theories and stuff

I want to start chatting to them but while I have a vague idea of how you’re meant to talk to people you meet IRL, I’m not sure what would be seen as too formal/informal as a first greeting online

They’re like 17 (I’m 20) and its on tumblr, they only have basic English so I’m sure they’d be understanding if my Japanese isn’t as natural as a native speaker’s but I don’t want to accidentally come off too weird y’know?

Edit: additional context, most of the fandom (Eng + Jp) is on twitter, the tumblr community is active but a lot more close-knit and almost entirely english with a couple prominent Russians + Brazilians
This is the first Japanese person to try engaging with the community, which is why I want to put effort into talking to them and making them feel welcome since the series is Japanese and they are a big part of the community but it often feels very separate to the rest of us

Does anyone have experience with these sorts of things?


From my experience (I used to be a part of a mixed gaming group that included japanese gamers ) mixing some japanese greating like 始めました or こんにちは, even a どうぞよろしくand writing in english should be fine, and make them feel welcome. Depending on your level of japanese you can alternate between languages, keep it simple, and you would probably be able to gauge if they prefer just english after a while.


From my very limited experience of interacting with a few Japanese pro wrestling fans on twitter, I say just go for it! If you’re worried about politeness, you could start out with です/ます form, and if the other person wants to talk more informally, you can match your tone to theirs. In fandom spaces, I feel like that kind of thing varies depending on the individual (the Japanese person I’ve talked the most to on twitter, we use です/ます, but I’ve had someone else speak to me more informally as well). I’m someone who tends to start out speaking more politely (in English) anyway, so that’s how I am with Japanese as well.

Like you said, they’ll probably be understanding regardless, and touched that you tried at all, so I wouldn’t sweat it too much! Neither of you will get it perfectly right in the other person’s language (and that’s alright!), but you reaching out at all will probably go a long way to making them feel more welcome.