First impressions are important.  So, what is the first thing you say when you meet a person?  Do you say, “Nice to meet you”?  I’m not surprised if you do.  Most of my students use this phrase right off the bat.  Many textbooks suggest it.  However, it’s not natural and it might be a little awkward


Japanese introductions have two common phrases: 

はじめまして (Hajimemashite)

よろしくお願いします (Yoroshikuonegaishimasu)


The common structure for introductions in Japanese is:

A: Hajimemashite, Kenji desu.

B: Hajimemashite, Jeff desu.

A: Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.

B: Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.


For English introductions, there is only one phrase: “Nice to meet you”.  So, if we use it in the beginning on the introduction, what will we use at the end?  The phrase “hajimemashite” is basically equal to “nice to meet you”. There is no English phrase for “yoroshikuonegaishimasu”.  So, Japanese introductions and English introductions must have a different structure.  Speaking English requires thinking differently.  


This is a common, but unnatural student introduction:

Student:  Nice to meet you!  I’m Kenji. 

Teacher:  Hi, I’m Jeff.  Nice to meet you.

Student:  Nice to meet you too.  


Have you done this before?  You probably have.  Many textbooks make this mistake too.  So, its not your fault.  

Here is a more natural conversation:

Student:  Hi!  I’m Kenji.

Teacher:  Hi!  I’m Jeff.  Nice to meet you.

Student:  Nice to meet you too.


If you like, you can say: “Nice to meet you” at the same time.

A: Hello.  My name is Masa.

B: Hey.  My name is Kara.

A + B:  Nice to meet you!


There are some alternatives to:  “Nice to meet you”.

Good to meet you.  <– This sounds a little more casual.

It’s a pleasure to meet you.  <– This sounds more formal. 


We all want to make a good first impression.  By using this natural introduction, you will be off to a good start. 


Natural English used in this post:

Right of the bat = immediately

Off to a good start = to start well

Awkward = uncomfortable in a social situation


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