主人 means 'master', so you shouldn't use it to refer yourself. When used by man to refer his relationship with his wife it feels rough, be careful. 主人 is polite when your wife refers you because it is considered as humbleness. Also it implies he is a bit serious person. This can be used by woman to introduce her husband in formal situation.
旦那 is almost similar to 主人 but implies he is somewhat rich, friendly and easy going person. This word is used by woman to introduce her husband with some friendliness to him and others listening to her speaking. Also used by man to refer other married man with friendliness.
夫 is normal. This word is safe to use always. Can be used in formal situation. To refer yourself as husband of someone, this word is almost only one you can use. To refer husband of other woman, this word somewhat lacks feeling of personal friendship to him, but safe.
To refer husband of other woman, 旦那さん is friendly and with some respect. To add more respect use 旦那様 or ご主人. They can be used in formal situation. You shouldn't use bare 主人 or 旦那 to refer other woman's husband because it lacks respect to him and his wife.
Also some people uses word 相方 to refer their husband/wife. This word can be used by woman to refer her husband, or by man to refer his wife. This word's feeling is friendliness and equality between them. But it is not very formal.
In corner case which you want to completely remove feeling of sexism, you can use 配偶者 to refer your wife. This word can be used by woman to refer her husband. But in Japanese society it is very rare. In almost case using 配偶者 feels like someone is taking too much care about sexism.
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
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。
趣味は [one or more of your hobbies]です。
仕事は「your current job」をしています。
[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.
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