learn japaneseAre you getting ready for upcoming travel to Japan and just realized that you don’t know a word of Japanese?! Don’t worry, whether you’re trying to order food at one of the best restaurants in Tokyo or need some directions, we’ve got you covered. While learning a foreign language may seem daunting, here is an easy list of the key Japanese phrases to get you through your trip!

My first time in Japan I spoke very little Japanese and relied on Google Translate for help. But during my second trip, I learned the basic phrases below and it made the world of difference. Probably most fun was how excited the Japanese people were that my friend and I were making an attempt. It opened doors to new friendships, and made our interactions with the locals much more meaningful. I encourage you to review the basic phrases below so you can do the same!


1

Hello

Kon’nichiwa (こんにちは)

KON-nee-chee-wah


2

Thank You

Arigatō (ありがとう)

ah-ri-GAH-toe

You can add gozaimasu at the end for more formality. The Japanese can be a very formal culture, and it is quite common for the gozaimasu to be added to the end:

ah-ri-GAH-toe    go-zai-MAS


3

Excuse Me

Sumimasen (すみません)

su-me-mah-SEN


4

Yes

Hai (はい)

Hai

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5

No

Īe (いいえ)

ee-EH

 

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Want my exact itineraries from both of my trips to Japan? Download them for FREE below!


6

Good Morning

Ohayō (おはよう)

o-hi-O

You can add gozaimasu at the end for more formality:

o-hi-O   go-zai-MAS


7

Where is the Station?

Eki wa dokodesu ka (どこに駅があります)

EH-key wa DO-ko DEHS-ka

doko desu ka = Where

eki = Station

Literally, you are saying “Station where” and “ka” serves as a spoken question mark


8

Good Night

Oyasumi (おやすみ)

oh-YAH-soo-me


 

9

How Old Are You?

Nan-saidesu ka (何歳ですか)

NAN-sai DES-ka


10

How Much is This?

Ikuradesu ka (いくらですか)

ee-KOO-rah DES-ka

Ikura (いくら) = How much

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Listen to Audio Pronunciation!


 

11

English (the language)

Eigo (英語)

AY-go (gah)

Add gah when using it in a sentence


12

 Japanese (the language)

Nihongo (日本語)

nee-HON-go


13

Do You Understand?

Wakarimasu ka (わかりますか)

wah-kari-MAHS kah

kah is like a spoken question mark

Do You Understand English?AYY-go gah wah-kari-MAHS kah

I Understand – wah-kari-MAHS

I Don’t Understand – wah-kari-mah-SEN


14

A Little

Sukoshi (少し)

sKOH-she

I Understand a little Japanesenee-HON-go ga sKOH-she wah-kari-MAHS


15

American

Amerika (アメリカ)

am-meri-KAH jeen


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