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Nihongo means Japanese Language. (That was easy…you’ve said your first japanese word!)

こんにちは。 Konnichiwa. (kon-nee-chee-WAH)
How are you?
お元気ですか。 O-genki desu ka? (oh-GEN-kee dess-KAH?)
Fine, thank you.
元気です。 Genki desu. (GEN-kee dess)
What is your name?
お名前は何ですか。 O-namae wa nan desu ka? (oh-NAH-mah-eh wah NAHN dess-KAH?)
My name is ____ .
私の名前は ____ です。 Watashi no namae wa ____ desu. (wah-TAH-shee no nah-mah-eh wa ____ dess)
Nice to meet you.
始めまして。 Hajimemashite. (hah-jee-meh-MOSH-teh)
Please. (request)
お願いします。 Onegai shimasu. (oh-neh-gigh shee-moss)
Please. (offer)
どうぞ。 Dōzo. (DOH-zo)
Thank you.
どうもありがとう。 Dōmo arigatō. (doh-moh ah-ree-GAH-toh)
You’re welcome.
どういたしまして。 Dō itashi mashite. (doh EE-tah-shee mosh-teh)
はい。 Hai. (HIGH)
いいえ。 Iie. (EE-eh)
Excuse me.
すみません。 Sumimasen. (soo-mee-mah-sen)
I’m sorry.
御免なさい。 Gomen-nasai. (goh-men-nah-sigh)
Goodbye. (long-term)
さようなら。 Sayōnara. (sa-YOH-nah-rah)
Goodbye. (informal)
それでは。 Sore dewa. (SOH-reh deh-wah)
I can’t speak Japanese [well].
日本語「よく」話せません。 Nihongo [yoku] hanasemasen. (nee-hohn-goh [yo-koo] hah-nah-seh-mah-sen)
Do you speak English?
英語を話せますか。 Eigo o hanasemasuka? (AY-goh oh hah-nah-seh-moss-KAH?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
だれか英語を話せますか。 Dareka eigo o hanasemasuka? (dah-reh-kah AY-goh oh hah-nah-seh-moss-KAH?)
たすけて! Tasukete! (tah-soo-keh-teh!)
Look out!
あぶない! Abunai! (ah-boo-NIGH!)
Good morning.
おはようございます。 Ohayō gozaimasu. (oh-hah-YOH go-zigh-moss)

There you go!!! Now, wasn’t that easy. These basic greetings can get you through your first 30 seconds of conversation with a japanese person..

Useful phrases

Your confidence with Japanese will grow by using these day-to-day phrases.

Greeting with appropriate words is important for socializing. Here are some useful expressions for special occasions. Try sound files to help with your pronunciation.


# Congratulations.
Omedetou gozaimasu.
Omedetou. (casual)

The form “gozaimasu (ございます)” is more polite. It is added when you are talking with somebody who is not a family members or a close friend. To reply, “Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)” or “Arigatou (ありがとう)” is used.

# Happy Birthday.
O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
Tanjoubi omedetou. (casual)

# Congratulations on your wedding.
Go-kekkon omedetou gozaimasu. (formal)
Kekkon omedetou. (casual)

The honorific “o (お)” or “go (ご)” can be attached to the front of some nouns as a formal way of saying “your”. It is very polite.

To somebody who is sick

# How are you feeling?
Guai wa ikaga desu ka.

# How is your cold?
Kaze wa dou desu ka.

# Thanks to your help, I have gotten better.
Okagesama de yoku narimashita.

Okagesama de (おかげさまで)” can be used whenever you announce good news in answer to someone’s concerned inquiry.

# Please take care of yourself.
Odaiji ni.

To reply “Odaiji ni (お大事に)”, “Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます)” is used.

It is always exciting to start learning a new language, whatever the reasons are. At the same time where to start is often overwhelming. I believe learning a language should be fun. These resources will help you to learn the basics of Japanese and make your learning enjoyable.


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