While studying Japanese, I've found there is always a lesson in text books and other resources on all these words for "I" and "you": 私, 僕, 俺, あたし, あなた, 君, お前 and so on. However, I can never seem to find specifics on these. I know that 私 can be used by all and 僕/俺 are used by males...but can 僕/俺 be used by females at all? Are there dialects were girls use 僕/俺 and 君? Would it be unacceptable for a female to use 僕/俺/君/お前?
Could someone who knows Japanese well (and is obviously way smarter than me ￼ )explain the use of these words?
Thanks in advance! ￼
yeah this was confusing me too. Someone told me that 俺 is used by tomboys, and that 僕 is only ever used by adult men, but don't quote me on that ￼
Actually your picture on the use of those words are somewhat wrong. The 僕/俺 can and are used by women but not that much. 僕 is used but a little rare. Japanese women use 私/あたし and あなた/あんた. I have seen once 俺 being used by a woman but that was on a manga. The 君/お前 ones I don't really remember seeing any woman saying that but it is not impossible.
Now about why there are so many differente ways of saying "I" or "you". There are three reasons for that. The first would be formality. Second on how masculine/feminine is a word. Third is if it is more used by elderly people or not. Here is a "table" for guidance on those aspects.
私（わたし）- Formal, neutral 私（わたし）- Informal, feminine 私（わたくし）- Formal, neutral 俺（おれ）- Informal, somewhat masculine 僕（ぼく）- Formal, masculine 僕（ぼく）- Informal, masculine but more neutral あたし - Informal, feminine わし - Informal, masculine, used by elderly people あし - Informal, feminine, used by elderly people 我（われ）- Formal, neutral
貴方（あなた）- Kinda formal, neutral あんた - Informal, mostly used by women(or only by women, not sure there) お前（おまえ）- Informal, mostly used by men 君（きみ）- Formal but mostly used when talking to someone lower than you(like a subordinate or a kouhai) 貴方様（あなたさま）- Formal, neutral
I must say that table is not complete by all means and one word beind feminine or masculine only means it is mostly used by women or men but not exclusively by them.