Useful Japanese Phrases

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  • Useful Japanese phrases A collection of useful phrases in Japanese. Click on the English phrases to see them in many other languages.

    Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, f = said by women, >f = said to women

    English (Japanese)

    Welcome (ykoso)

    Hello (konnichiwa) (ossu) - used between close male friends

    (moshi moshi) - on phone

    How are you? I'm fine, thanks. And you?

    (o genki desu ka)

    (hai, genki desu. anata wa?) (o kagesama de genki desu)

    Long time no see (hisashiburi) (o hisashiburi desu ne)

    What's your name? My name is ...

    ? (o-namae wa nan desu ka)

    ... (... da) (inf)

    ... (... desu) (frm)

    Where are you from? I'm from ...

    (Shusshin wa doko desu ka?) (Dochira kara desu ka?) - frm

    ((watashi wa) ... shusshin desu)

    Pleased to meet you

    (hajimemashite) (hajimemashite. dzo yoroshiku) reply (oaidekite ureshii desu)

    Good morning / (ohay gozaimasu) / (ohay)

    Good afternoon / (konnichiwa)

    Good evening / (konbanwa)

    Good night (oyasumi nasai)

    (oyasumi)

  • Goodbye

    (saynara) (ittekimasu) - 'I'll be back' - you are leaving (itterasshai) - 'come back soon' - you are staying (j mata ne) - see you later

    Good luck ! (gokon o inorimasu) - frm (gambatte ne) - inf

    Have a nice day (Yoi ichinichi o)

    Bon voyage (Have a good journey)

    (yoi ryok o) (gokigen y - Goodbye / Good luck) (itte irasshai - Go and come back)

    (ichiroheian o inoru) - I wish you a smooth road (old fashioned)

    Excuse me ! (sumimasen)

    How much is this? (ikura desu ka?)

    Sorry ! (gomen nasai)

    Thank you Response

    (dmo) (arigat) (arigat gozaimasu) (dmo arigat) (dmo arigat gozaimasu)

    (d itashimashite)

    Where's the toilet? (benjo wa doko desu ka?) (toire wa doko desu ka?) (tearai wa doko desu ka?)

    This gentleman/lady will pay for everything

    (konohito ga zembu haraimasu)

    Would you like to dance with me?

    (isshoni odorimasenka?)

    I love you

    (suki desu) (suki da) (suki dayo) (suki yo) f (daisuki desu)

  • (aishiteru yo) (aishiteru wa) >f

    Get well soon (odaiji ni)

    Language difficulties Do you understand? (wakarimasu ka?) - frm

    I understand (wakarimasu) (wakaru) inf

    I don't understand (wakarimasen) - frm (wakaranai) - inf

    I understood (wakarimashta) - frm

    Please speak more slowly (yukkuri hanashite kudasai) (yukkuri itte kudasai)

    Please write it down (kaite kudasai) (kaite itadakemasu ka)

    Please say that again (m ichido, itte kudasai)

    Do you speak Japanese? Yes, a little

    (Nihongo o hanashimasu ka?) (Nihongo wa hanasemasu ka?) (Nihongo wa dekimasu ka?)

    (Hai, hanashimasu) (Hai, hanasemasu) (Hai, dekimasu)

    How do you say ... in Japanese?

    ... (... wa nihongo de nanto masu ka?)

    I don't speak Japanese (Nihongo o hanasemasen)

    Do you speak English? (Eigo wa dekimasu ka?)

    Does anyone speak English?

    (Eigo no hanaseru hito wa imasen ka) (dare ka, eigo ga hanasemasu ka?)

    Sorry, I didn't understand that

    (sumimasen. wakarimasen deshita)

    What did you say?

  • (nan te iimashita ka?)

    Can you translate it for me?

    (yakushite kudasai)

    What does this mean? (kore wa diu imi desu ka)

    How do you pronounce that? (kore wa donna f ni hatsuon shimasu ka)

    In the hotel There's a problem in the room

    (heya no setsubi ga kowarete ite komatteimasu)

    There's no hot water (oyu ga arimasen)

    The tap/faucet is leaking (jaguchi ga moreteimasu)

    The drain is blocked (haisuik ga tsumatteimasu)

    The air conditioner is too noisy

    (eakon ga urusasugimasu)

    Can I have another room? (hoka no heya e utsuremasu ka?)

    When should I vacate the room?

    (itsu, heya o denakute wa narimasen ka?)

    I'd like to check out (chekkuauto shitai no desu ga)

    I'd check out on this date

    (kono hi ni chekkuauto shitai no desu ga)

    Could you call a taxi please?

    (takus o yonde kudasi?)

    May I see the bill please? (seikysho o misete itadakemasu ka?)

    How much is the total bill?

    (seikysho no gkei wa ikura desu ka?)

  • Can I have an itemised bill? (meisaisho o misete itadakemasu ka?)

    I think there's a mistake on this bill

    (kono seikysho ni machigai ga aruy ni om no desu ka?)

    Eating out Is there a restaurant near here?

    (chikaku ni resutoran wa arimasu ka?)

    I'd like to reserve a table (tburu no yoyaku o toritai no desu ga)

    We have a reservation (sudeni yoyaku o totte imasu)

    Do you have an English menu?

    (eigo no menyu wa arimasu ka?)

    Can I see the wine list? (wain no risuto o misete itadakemasen ka?)

    I am a vegetarian (watashi wa saishokushugisha desu)

    Bon appetit (Have a good meal)

    (douzo meshiagare) = 'enjoy your meal' - said by the cook/chef (itadakimasu) - said before a meal by those eating it (gochissama deshita) - said after a meal by those who have eaten it

    Cheers/Good health! (kanpai) lit. "dry glass"

    Emergencies Leave me alone! ! (hottoite!)

    Help! Fire!

    ! (tasukete!) ! (kaji da!)

    Call the police! ! (keisatsu o yonde kudasai!)

    Special occasions Merry Christmas (mer kurisumasu)

    Happy New Year New Year greeting - 'Western' style

  • (shinnen omedet gozaimasu) New Year greetings (used before New Year) (yoi otoshi o) - inf

    (yoi otoshi o omukae kudasai) - frm New Year greetings (used at New Year, not before) (akemashite omedet gozaimasu)

    (kynenj taihen osewa ni narimashita) (kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu)

    Happy Easter

    (fukkatsu-sai omedet gozaimasu) (sut omedet gozaimasu)

    Happy Birthday (otanjbi omedet gozaimasu)

    Other phrases

    One language is never enough

    (gengo o hitotsu wa kesshite tarinai) (gengo hitotsu dake de wa tarinai)

    My hovercraft is full of eels What!? Why this phrase?

    (Watashi no hobkurafuto wa unagi de ippai desu.)

    Download all the audio files (Zip format, 417K)

    If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

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  • Japanese Translation

    of names and phrases

    Links Other collections of Japanese phrases (some with audio) http://japanese-phrases.sakura.ne.jp/ http://linguanaut.com/english_japanese http://www.cnfj.navy.mil/phrases.html http://japanese.about.com/library/blsoundfile.htm http://genkienglish.net/genkijapan/menu.htm http://www.nafai.org/japanese/grammar/nafjpphrases/ http://www.jref.com/language/japanese_common_phrases.shtml

    Phrases in Japanonic languages Japanese, Okinawan

    Phrases in other languages

    http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/japanese.php

    Japanese proverbs For the meaning and classification of kotowaza (, Japanese proverbs), see: Japanese proverbs.

    Sayings[edit]

    Ryooyaku Kuchi ni Nigashi.

    English equivalent: Advice most needed is the least heeded. Aka The cock

    Maynard (1993). Listen \& Learn: 101 Japanese Idioms. McGraw-Hill. p. 123. ISBN 1.

    Tsuno o tamete ushi o korosu.

    English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of

    the mouse.

    "Action taken to put something right is often more unpleasant or damaging than the original

    problem."

    Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing.

    p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.

    ; Donald Keene; (1982). . . p. 56.

    Keizoku wa chikara nari.

    Translation: Perseverance is strength.

    English equivalent: Persevere and never fear.

  • :. . 2008. p. 37. ISBN

    4798020680.

    Tori naki sato no koumori.

    Translation: Bat in island without birds.

    English equivalent: In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    Meaning: "People of only limited ability can succeed when surrounded by those who are even

    less able than themselves." Reportedly used by Oda Nobunaga to refer to Chsokabe

    Motochika.[1]

    Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs.

    Infobase Publishing. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.

  • English equivalent: First come, first served.

    Meaning: "Those who arrive or apply earliest are most likely to get what they want from a limited

    supply of things, such as tickets, discounted goods or refreshments."

    Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary

    of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.

    EF (April 2008). . O'Reilly Japan. p. 170. ISBN 978-4-

    87311-359-3.

    Translation: Faith can move mountains.

    Meaning: "Nothing is impossible to those who have sufficient faith; applied not only to religious

    faith, but to any strong belief in a cause or objective.".

    Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser; David Pickering (2003). The Facts On File Dictionary of

    Cla