Japanese Lesson – Introducing Oneself

Hello Everyone,

So here is a new stream of posts I start today about speaking Japanese. This first lesson will be focused on the way people introduce themselves in Japan. Just before we go, be aware that I like to know why things are what they are, and therefore I will add quite a few cultural aspects in my translations. So if you just want to learn speaking Japanese without really caring for the reason for the use of this or that word, then skip the blue text parts ^^. Let’s go!

The following sentence is a short version of the way Japanese people introduce themselves:

ンダーラング・アリス です。
よろしく おねがいします。

はじめまして。 hajimemashite.
ワンダーラングWonderlangアリスAliceです。 Wonderlang Alice desu*.
よろしく おねがいします。 yoroshiku onegaishimasu*.

(*) One note regarding the pronunciation: the す [su] at the end of desu or onegaishimasu shall be pronounced like the “ce” at the end of since with the [u] being barely audible.

This roughly translates into: “Pleased to meet you. I am Alice Wonderlang. Please, take good care of me.”

It may seem quite a long sentence but with a little bit of practice it will come naturally.


  • Japanese people, when presenting themselves, put their last name first. Therefore if you were Dwayne Johnson for instance, you would introduce yourself as Johnson Dwayne.

Let’s try it: はじめましてhajimemashite。{last name} {first name} ですdesuよろしくyoroshiku おねがいしますonegaishimasu

Quite simple, isn’t it ^^

Now, for those interested, let’s break down the sentence and explain its different parts:

  • はじめまして comes from the verb はじめる which means “to begin”, “to start”, and is an expression used when you meet people for the first time. It basically means “Pleased to meet you.”.
  • です is a really specific word in Japanese which definition is quite hard to get. I will make an article dedicated to it later on but for the start, just think of it as an instance of the verb “to be” or “to exist”.
  • Then we have よろしく which means “well”, “suitably”. And finallyおねがいします which is an expression meaning “please” and is composed of お・ねがい which means “wish”, “request” (the お being added to express ), and します which comes from the verb する meaning “to do”. So よろしく おねがいします means “Please, treat me well.”, “Please, take good care of me.”.

I also mentionned earlier that this was a shorter version of the manner Japanese people introduce themselves because genrally they give a lot more information. Most of the time, even before giving their names, they will provide their social status such as class number, job title… Then, according to the situation they may also give some information regarding their tastes, or why they are here.

Therefore a more typic introduction would look like this:

はじめまして。 hajimemashite.
2 ねん B ぐみ の スミスすみすケビンけびん です。 ni nen B gumi no Smith Kevin desu*.
テニスてにす が だいすき です。 tenisu ga daisuki desu*.
よろしく おねがいします。 yoroshiku onegaishimasu*.

Meaning: “Hello. I’am Kevin Smith from the class 2-B. I love tennis. Pleased to meet you.”

Well. That’s all for today. I hope you liked this first lesson and please do note hesitate to share your feedback and requests.

To the next time.


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