Japanese Pronouns Survey

What Japanese pronouns do you all most identify with? (I personally am a 僕)

  • 俺様
  • あたし
  • Other

0 voters

New poll cause I left out a lot of pronouns:

  • うち (mostly used by women and children)
  • 自分 (gender neutral)
  • ミー
  • 家 (feminine, Kansai-ben)
  • あたい (bad-girl pronoun)
  • わちき (see above)
  • おら (rural 俺)
  • 儂 (Associated with old men and the Kansai region)

0 voters

5 Likes

I thought I had clicked on the POLL thread by accident again >.>

4 Likes

yah maybe that would have been a good place but the POLL threads move pretty fast and I didn’t want this to get buried in 十分.

2 Likes

I still haven’t been able to decide. Generally I use 僕 but it somehow doesn’t feel alright and I find 私 to sound a bit too formal.

SIlly question, but can someone tell me what the options are, and how are they different? I’ve only encountered 私 and 僕 before.

私 is technically gender-neutral, but it’s kinda formal/feminine. 僕 is a “soft-masculine” pronoun, basically saying “I, a chill guy”. Oftentimes it’s used by boys/masculine girls. 俺 is a tough-guy standard male pronoun (thanks @EigaKantoku!) あたし is a more feminine/cute form of 私. 俺様 is mostly here as a joke, it’s an arrogant form of 俺. It’s usually translated in anime and stuff as the character referring to themselves in the third person, like in 天元突破グレンラガン, 俺様/THE GREAT KAMINA!

11 Likes

Go full chuuni and use 吾輩

12 Likes

It would depend on who I was talking with. I would probably use 僕 with people I want to show respect to, maybe 俺 with people I’m familiar with.

I don’t really have many Japanese people to talk with, though so it’s all theoretical for now. I attended a small Japanese language school run by Japanese people a couple of years ago but I couldn’t afford to keep going so I haven’t had anyone to talk with since then.

2 Likes

I use 僕 more, it’s what I feel more comfortable with. I do use 私 sometimes tho as a slip-up because I’m so used to example sentences using it.

3 Likes

Such is the way with all Japanese learners… Since 私 is the most neutral pronoun, it’s the best to use in example sentences. Still, I’d love to see textbooks using 僕 or the like more.
(Also, welcome to Wanikani. May the Great and Merciful Crabigator grant you wisdom, by and by.)

1 Like

I know they say 私 is too formal / too feminine for guys to use in everyday non-work situations, but I don’t feel like 僕 or 俺 would suit me.

4 Likes

Yeah, 僕 is kinda soft whereas 俺 is way too tough-guy for menvm I guess I was wrong, whereas 私 is like the archetypical “I”. The most neutral pronoun Japanese has.

1 Like

僕, cause:

For real, though, 私 sounds too formal for me, so I just roll with 僕 :slight_smile:

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I’m a massive tomboy, so I see myself as a 僕. Haven’t had any chance yet to actually use it when talking with someone, though. Until now I’ve had only talks with strangers, so I’ve been using 私 :upside_down_face:

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I generally use 僕 but I’ve been wondering, are there any situations where 僕 is too informal? Aside from those where わたくし is the way to go :grin:

2 Likes

Yeah, same. 僕 just feels right somehow.

1 Like

Maybe if you’re talking to a schoolteacher? Western teachers at least seem to have leeway in a lot of places to stop students from being informal or “disrespectful”, I can definitely see Japanese teachers making students use “私”. Just off the top of my head.

1 Like

It’s kinda not true actually that 俺 makes you sound like a tough guy. It’s a totally normal male pronoun that virtually all men use casually, I even asked one of my Japanese friends about it. Also, all of the male Japanese friends I have use 俺 and they’re not even remotely close to being tough guys lol.

7 Likes

k. The more you know! I mean, tough guys def do use it and it’s good to use if you’re trying to look tough, but languages have a lot of nuance…

1 Like

Pronouns are rarely used in natural conversations. If I’m using 私, it would be in a formal setting like visiting city hall and I’m differentiating between my husband and I. For example, 夫は~私なら~

When talking with the neighbors and I’m speaking not only for myself but on our family’s behalf, I frequently use 内. Otherwise, 自分 is my go to in other situations and a personal pronoun is necessary.

3 Likes