In a recent post I announced I would be starting a new program on my blog called “Japanese Writing Lab” that aims to motivate people to practice writing in Japanese, provides feedback on their writing, and allows them to see posts of other Japanese learners. This article represents the first writing assignment of that program.
For this assignment, I’d like to focus on a very common, but important topic: self-introduction, known as 自己紹介 (jiko shoukai) in Japanese.
Self-introductions can range widely from formal to casual, and from very short (name only) to much longer. This time, I’d like everyone to focus on writing a basic self-introduction whose main purpose is to actually introduce yourself to me and others in the group. So while it is a writing exercise, it actually serves an important purpose as well. Try to keep it brief (a few sentences is fine) and stick more to written language as opposed to spoken language. For example, you would avoid using things like “あの。。。” which you might say if you actually spoke a self-introduction.
For those who are comfortable writing a self-introduction in Japanese, you can go ahead and get started. If you have written one recently, I suggest you try to write one again from scratch without referring to it unless you really get stuck.
Once you finish this writing assignment please post it via one of the two following methods:
- For those who have a blog (WordPress or anywhere else is fine): post it on your blog, and post a comment on this article including a link to your post. I also suggest adding a link on your post back to this article, so people who find your post can follow it to read other people’s submissions.
- For those who don’t have a blog: simply post it as a comment to this article with the text you’ve written. [Note: creating a blog is pretty easy and free on many sites, so if you have a few minutes I’d just consider just trying to create a blog]
I’ll be reading through the submitted assignments and will try to make constructive comments. I highly recommend for everyone submitting to read other people’s submissions.
For those who are not too familiar with how to write self-introductions in Japanese, here is a general template to help you get started (taken from this Japanese website). If you want to do your own research on how to write a self-introduction, that is fine as well. Feel free to omit any of the below categories, for example if you don’t want to discuss where you live.
Keep in mind that for a self-introduction in Japanese, it is usually best to use at minimum basic polite language, like ~です and ~ます, since you aren’t likely to be on very familiar terms with those you are speaking to.
General template for basic self-introduction
- Name (名前）
僕（私) の名前は [your name here] です。
- Place where you live (住所)
住所は[place where you live]というところです。
- Hobbies (趣味)
趣味は [one or more of your hobbies]です。
- Job (仕事)
仕事は「your current job」をしています。
- Positive ending
[try to think of something positive to close with]
For each assignment I will give my submission as well, to help give you ideas. Feel free to send me questions or comments about my submission.
For this assignment I’ll keep things pretty simple and mostly follow the template I gave above, but in future assignments I’ll start using more advanced language and get more creative.
Hi – I put together a WordPress site today so I could participate in this, and also to encourage me to write in Japanese.
Here’s my basic self introduction article: https://bokunojapanese.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/japanese-writing-lab-1-basic-self-introduction/
I tried once yesterday and once just now to post here and I am not seeing anything getting through. Are these comments moderated? Is there some other issue? I’m sick of retyping my introduction 🙁
The comments are moderated (that is the default setting of WordPress) but I check very often and approve pretty much all comments except for Spam. For some reason I didn’t see any of your comments from yesterday, only two from today.
I’ll read your other comment and respond now.
OK, this blog doesn’t seem to accept Japanese characters as comments (I just tried a third time).
I’m sorry that you are experiencing trouble. I’ll try to do my best help you out so we can get this solved (:
I have used Japanese before in comments. Let’s test now:
こんにちは [<- can you read this?] What happens when you try to write Japanese characters? Can you please make a post like this with some Japanese and some English so I can see what it looks like? Also, what browser/OS are you using? Can you try a variation of either? I am using Safari/Mac OS.
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I’m reading that.
The last three comments I have made that have included either all Japanese characters or a mix of Japanese and English have just…vanished. Like, I click “post” and the page refreshes but I don’t see my comment or even a “Your comment is pending” notification.
I’m on Chrome on Mac OS, everything’s reasonably up to date.
Here’s a comment with English and hiragana only:
Thanks for helping me debug and sorry to be leaving so many comments on the blog ;_;
Here’s a comment with English, hiragana and kanji:
Everything looks great now, I can see all the characters fine (: I’m guessing that was just some temporary issue with WordPress.
You can go ahead and try to put your self-introduction now. Just make a backup copy in case it gets deleted again.
You’re not going to believe this, but it STILL isn’t posting.
I was avoiding making a new blog because I thought it would be “more work” but now I’m thinking that would be simpler after all.
Thats so weird, I wonder why. Maybe if you make a longer comment it doesn’t like it?
I agree it will probably be easier at this point to create your own blog, and that will have other benefits for you in the future.
But if you still want to try and troubleshoot the original issue I can help…
The good news is that WordPress makes it really easy to set up a new blog these days. I guess in retrospect I should have done that to begin with. Thanks for your help trying to debug this issue!
Great, glad you were able to make a blog so easily! Will check out your blog later today when I get more time.
I have been reading several of your articles with great interest. The first that lead me to you was your comments on ‘Hibana’ by Naoki Matayoshi. A friend of mine in Japan is reading this book and I was curious about its content. Your translation is amazing. To introduce myself I set up a site, above link, however it doesn’t really seem to be a blog as such, so I may need to change that later. Anyway it’s accepted the script ok so you should be able to read it.
I hope to join in here to improve my Japanese. Thanks for your time, Sylvia
Thanks very much for the comment and feedback!
Also, I’m glad you are interested in joining my program. I checked out your site, but like you said it seems like it isn’t exactly a blog, so I am not sure if I will be able to comment. Without that, it will be hard for me to correct your writings (I found a few errors I wanted to point out).
If it’s not too much trouble, would you mind trying to create a blog on WordPress.com? It should be pretty easy and it’s free.
Thank you for your reply.
I think I’ve sorted it OK. See link below, I’ve never done a blog before so this is new to me!
I just copied what I wrote before, no changes.
Many thanks, Sylvia
PS: I do have a website which I have sent a link to.
Hello! My name is Jheanelle, I just found your website today and I think I’ve already looked through have of it. Its amazing. I’m interested in doing the assignments but I don’t have a blog so I’ll post it in the comments section.
Hello Jheanelle. I’m sorry for the late reply but your message was showing up in Spam on my blog for some reason.
Thanks for the submission. Right now I am sort of taking a break from the writing labs since I didn’t get too much response from my readers, but I will consider restarting them again at some point. There is a few others however I posted (up to #3 or #4, I think).
I hope your Japanese studies are going well.
One minor comment, in your sentence “今日本に住んで仕事にしています” I think maybe you could have said:
These might sound a little better.
One more thing, I recommend watching Japanese dramas instead of Korean if you want to improve faster (:
I just posted my self-introduction here:
Thank you in advance!
Thanks! I just posted a few comments.