Introductions Part 2: Occupation, Nationality and Greeting Phrase

After you’ve stated your name, you have the option of giving your occupation and nationality, but you don’t have to if you don’t think it’s appropriate. However, to exchange introductions politely, you must say one of two greeting phrases.


To state your occupation, you must first know some vocabulary for common professions. However, this is by no means a complete list:

Middle school student = chuugakusei

High school student = koukousei

College student = daigakusei

Teacher = kyoushi

Professor = kyouju

Office worker = kaishain

Doctor = isha

Retail worker = tenin

Lawyer = bengoshi

Journalist = jaanarisuto

To state your occupation, after you state your name, you simply say:


In other words, college students would say:

Daigakusei desu. = I’m a college student.


Assuming you’re a native English speaker in the West, here are the three primary nationalities you could be:

1. America = amerika -or- beikoku

American (person) = amerikajin

American (thing): amerika no

2. Canada = kanada

Canadian (person) = kanadajin

Canadian (thing): kanada no

3. Great Britain = igirisu -or- eikoku

British (person) = igirisujin

British (thing): igirisu no

There are two ways to state your nationality in your introduction. You can simply state, “I’m NATIONALITY” or you can combine it with your occupation to state, “I’m a/an NATIONALITY OCCUPATION.”



In other words, an American college student could say:

Amerikajin desu. = I’m American.

Amerika no daigakusei desu. = I’m an American college student.

Greeting Phrase

After you have stated your name, occupation, and nationality (the latter two are optional), you should say one of two phrases:

1. Hajimemashite = Nice to meet you. (Literally “we meet for the first time.”)

2. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu = Please take care of me. (Literally “I ask that you be kind to me, please.”)

You use the first phrase with people whom you don’t expect to see much or people who won’t be living, working, or attending classes with you. For example, your host mother introduces her nephew. You can say, “Nice to meet you” to the nephew.

You use the second phrase with anyone with whom you will have a working relationship or who will be literally taking care of you. These include a host family, your work colleagues and boss, and your classmates and teachers. It is proper Japanese to humbly request that the person treats you kindly throughout your working relationship. These people will say the same to you.


Jane Doe, a Canadian office worker, introduces herself to the host family with whom she will be staying during her stay:

Konnichiwa. Jane Doe desu. Kanada no kaishain desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Tom Taylor, a British traveler, introduces himself to a friend of a colleague in Japan:

Ohayou gozaimasu. Watashi no namae wa Tom Taylor desu. Iigirisujin desu.


Don’t recognize the greeting expressions used before the introductions? Review Essential Vocabulary here.

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Tags: japan, japanese culture, japanese language