Was the question framed in a way that discouraged people from giving views on 私?
I didn’t mention 私 in the original question, so that’s probably why, my bad. But one comment did bring it up - mainly to say it’s used by everyone in formal/official situations. I should clarify my question was more of a personal one but the comments I got were insightful for this thread.
Clearly not a scientific study, but if you look here you’ll see that 74% of guys who answered said they use 俺
Though my favorite part is later where the “Recommendations”, number is 1: 1.一人称を使わない. Related to number 4 though, I actually find myself using こっち a fair amount these days.
Personally I default to うち in casual situations, just as there are a few odd phrases where I end up using Kansai-ben. Kyoto is the only part of Japan I’ve lived in, and I do feel attached to it, but I think it’s just that those forms stuck in my brain at a crucial learning stage! When I’m being more polite I use 私, and standard Japanese.
I wonder if these views change if the person speaking is a foreigner. I’ve never actually had a conversation in Japanese, so I haven’t had to worry about it, but I just can’t imagine myself using 俺 or 僕.
Beyond the 日本語上手 stage, if you just speak normally most people won’t really think about it. When they do think about it it is because you are doing something わたしは-ing every single sentence.
This is anecdotal but in my friend group (~60% L1 ~40% L2) the non-native speaker with the best Japanese (we all consider him pretty much native-like) uses 俺 and nobody’s commented on that specifically. In fact we all just think he’s really cool, and that probably adds to it.
Yeah, I’m not saying it’s weird or wrong for non-natives to use 俺. I just don’t think it would suit me personally.
Oops, I misread your post. I thought you were asking about natives’ views on foreigners’ use of first-person pronouns. I’m curious what the distribution of usage looks like for NNS too, that’d be cool to see.
This is a super interesting thread, thanks for starting it! As a cis female I’m sort of relieved that I can just use 私 all the time, ha. None of the “more feminine” pronouns suit me, and I think 僕 is too masculine to suit me (unless, as someone said, I’m particularly “feeling it” that day).
Might as well ask here:
- Don’t use any
- Don’t use any
- Don’t use any
I only speak Japanese with my tutor (a Japanese man in his 60s) and whenever we do “casual conversations” we both use 僕. I also think as an introvert it suits me better.
I (as a female) tend to use 私 (わたし) just because it draws the least attention, but have used 私 (あたし) just because I like the kind of cutesy, feminine aspect of it. I’m just not sure how frequently it’s used by women, or if I would sound weird using it. My main fear in speaking Japanese is sounding like I learned too much from anime and using a lot of words they only use in anime, so I’m curious as to how many people in real life use あたし.
Japanese men (if we’re talking not teens) only really use 俺 with very close friends, so it can definitely be a bit awkward as a foreigner if you use it with relatively new acquaintances. 私 is quite official/formal and can be a bit cold to use with friends. I would recommend (and been recommended) to just stick to 僕 in casual and even slightly formal situations. If you want to become a Japanese Otaku, use おいら.
Personally, I prefer to use 俺 in as many situations as I think I can get away with it. It’s the only one for me that doesn’t make me feel like I’m putting on any kind of face or levels of pretense. If I feel like I have to be more formal, I will use 僕 on the occasion. Thankfully I’ve never been in a situation formal enough where I had to use 私. It just feels like I’m putting on a fake face to say it, and 俺 really feels like me. If I were a woman I would probably try to use うち or あたし as opposed to 私, or maybe even 僕. I think it’s sorta weird that the most common way of saying I for women is also a gender neutral formal pronoun… So I definitely feel like I would want to use something that was more me and less like common or whatever. I also know that 自分 can be used, especially in 関西 and 京都, but that one feels sorta weird to me.
If that’s true, then who are these fake Japanese men I am meeting?
@snow-pine I would probably put わたくし there in the same place, because someone using that all the time will in fact raise eyebrows .
Thanks, you’re probably right. When you’re genderfluid it’s really easy to overthink pronouns, even without the language barrier.
I was thinking about making it a separate option, and I should have, but now the poll’s been up too long to be altered
The most notable example I’ve seen of someone using わたくし is the youtuber しゅうゲームズ, and his use of it feels like an inside joke in itself
I guess I just use 私 since I’ve never felt there was a reason for me to use anything else. I automatically associate 俺 with something crude and somewhat forbidden, lol, since during college my boyfriend and his bandmates always used that with each other, but whenever his mom overheard him using it she would get real mad and be all “boy if u don’t stop with the 俺 I’m gonna beat your ass, that is NOT the proper way for you to be referring to yourself”
Can you elaborate? Of course there can be generational/localized variation. Educational background also has an effect.