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Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

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Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Nubius » Fri 07.08.2005 10:00 pm

Would I say "Ore wa" if I wanted to indicate "I", being that I'm a male?

I thought I saw a lesson on this site that was explaining if you were wanting to say to go somewhere you'd start off with 'watashi wa (place)'
but then I was seeing something that atashi was only for females saying "I" or "me" so now I'm confused between watashi wa, atashi, and ore
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby natemb » Fri 07.08.2005 11:10 pm

"Watashi" is the formal way of saying "I" or "me", and can be used by both men and women. Even more formal is "watakushi".

In informal situations, men can use either "ore" or "boku". I'm not sure on the details, but I think that "boku" sounds more mild and understated, whereas "ore" would be more manly or crude (or childish? many of my elementary students use "ore"). If a man uses "watashi" in informal speech, it sounds effeminate, I think, so it would mainly used by men imitating women or by gay men.

Women can use "watashi" or "atashi" in informal speach, but I'm not sure about what nuances they have.

Of course, the rules are more flexible for foreigners, because Japanese will understand if you make a mistake.

Hope this helps, and anyone else feel free to correct me, or add different ways to say "I", because I'm pretty sure there are more.
Last edited by natemb on Fri 07.08.2005 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Nubius » Sat 07.09.2005 1:35 am

Thanks that helped a lot. Appreciate your time for answering that :)
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Spaztick » Sat 07.09.2005 10:49 am

Some girls abstain from using atashi because it sounds really feminine, so if you want to sound like a semi-ditz you'd prolly use atashi.
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Mukade » Sat 07.09.2005 10:35 pm

natemb wrote:
In informal situations, men can use either "ore" or "boku". I'm not sure on the details, but I think that "boku" sounds more mild and understated, whereas "ore" would be more manly or crude (or childish? many of my elementary students use "ore"). If a man uses "watashi" in informal speech, it sounds effeminate, I think, so it would mainly used by men imitating women or by gay men.


Yes, that's right. It's tricky, because you don't want to use "ore" and offend anyone, but then you don't want to use "boku" and sound wimpy. If you resort to "watashi," you could end up sounding a little too formal for the situation. Here in the Kansai area, we also use "washi" (used casually by older men) and "uchi" (which has a very strong Osaka flavor to it - it would be like hearing a New Yorker say "Yo, Frankie" with that annoying drawl of theirs). It's necessary to gauge what you will use based on the people you are talking to, what kind of social status they have compared to you, and what sort of relationship you enjoy with them.

It can all be very sticky and is guaranteed to make your eyes spin every now and then as you try to decide which one to use. :o
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 07.09.2005 11:49 pm

Spaztick wrote:
Some girls abstain from using atashi because it sounds really feminine, so if you want to sound like a semi-ditz you'd prolly use atashi.


Actaully, あたし is polite. Saying it makes you seem well-bred, not ditzy.

Talking about yourself in third person past the age of 13? now THAT'S ditzy.
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Spaztick » Sun 07.10.2005 6:30 pm

Spaztick didn't know that.
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 07.10.2005 6:47 pm

*grin* It's one of those things you don't get until you hang around 13 year olds for a long time.

I have a girl who's 16 and STILL refers to herself as Miku. At first I thought that she thought I didn't know her name... Then I realized she just wasn't the brightest brick in the stack. Nice girl, though. :D
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Nubius » Tue 07.12.2005 5:40 pm

Right now I'm about looking like the Avatar that Harisenbon is displaying.....

I'm so confused lol....then again that's what I get for asking such a question without knowing much of the language or sentence structure in the first place.

This is why I always disliked spanish in high school.....dang masculine and feminine differences in words, muchless now having to take into considering some words may be masculine, but also may be considered rude or offending to someone, and having to take note of being formal or informal depending on the situation.

Oh well...tis the bliss of being a foreigner so that I can get away with screwing things up because atleast I'm making an attempt at their language at the expense of making a fool of myself :D

Thanks for all your posts
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 07.12.2005 6:52 pm

There's not really a masculine and feminine speech pattern like there is in Spanish and French. It's all about politeness in Japan.

To recap the common ways of saying I

わたし -- Standard. ANyone can say

あたし -- Polite. Used by women

ぼく -- semi masculine. Butch girls will say this sometimes
おれ-- rude and very masculine. Usually only men will say this.
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RE: Masculine/Femanine for I or Me

Postby Nubius » Tue 07.12.2005 7:02 pm

Had to bust out my notepad and go into hiragana input mode for that :D

I got the ぼく and あたし only because I recognized the "a" and "ku" other than that, I haven't thoroughly begun....began(?) (yeesh my english needs work as well lol, how sad) to learn hiragana.

I got what you said though :D

I didnt realize that おれ was considered on the verge of being rude....so basically if I were to address myself over there or to someone fluent in japanese in general, I'd want to stay away from using that....seems like わたし is the way to go then.

I appreciate your help.

ありがとう ございます

Hope that's atleast close to being right :P :)
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