Survival Japanese

Japanese Language Basics

Shall we learn Japanese?

Let’s start to learn Japanese. You can make various sentences just using basic vocabulary. We introduced basic sentence structures of Japanese language as your first step. You can also learn basic Japanese grammar through making simple sentences.
Kore wa keitai desu.
This is a mobile phone.
Watashi wa Susan desu.
I’m Susan.
Greg-san wa Kanada-jin desu.
Mr Greg is a Canadian.
Grammar Notes
This structure is called Wa-Desu structure. This simply means [Noun A] is [Noun B].
Kore means “this”.
Keitai means “mobile phone”.
Watashi means “I”.
-san is a honorific title like “Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.” This can be added to either a family name or a first name, of a male or a female. When we talk with another person face to face, we do not use Anata “You”. We omit the subject “You” or we call his/her name with -san.
Kanada means “Canada”. One’s nationality such as a Japanese or an American is made by adding -jin to a country name. Kanada-jin means “a Canadian person”.
Wa is a particle and follows the subject of a sentence. The particle wa has various rolls in a sentence. You should learn it step by step.
Put simply, Desu corresponds to the English, “is/are/am.”
Although some words have plural form, Japanese nouns generally do not have plural form. Kore wa keitai desu can be “This is a mobile phone” or “These are mobile phones”.
Practice 1
Let’s practice the following words.
mobile phone
(a cup of) coffee
(school) student
Practice 2
a Japanese
America, USA
an American
a Canadian
a French
Practice 3
Let’s make sentences and speak it.
Kore wa jisho desu.
This is a dictionary.
Kore wa chizu desu.
This is a map.

Everyday Greetings

Learn Japanese greeting phrases which are used in everyday life.
In Japanese language, there are various greeting phrases according to the situation or season.
But, the daily greetings are simple. Here are common phrases in everyday situation. Let’s learn them and use them today.
ohayoo gozaimasu–Good morning
Hajimemashite--How do you do, Pleased to see you; To the person whom you meet for the first time
konnichiwa–Good afternoon
konbanwa–Good evening
oyasumi nasai–Good night
ja mata–See you, Bye
mata ashita–See you tomorrow
hisashiburi–Long time, no see
o-genki desu ka?–Are you fine?; It is often translated into “how are you”, but it’s not used to the people whom you meet every day like English “how are you?”, but to the people whom you meet after a long time. Ohayoo, konnichiwa and atsui desu ne etc. are used to the people whom you meet every day.
atsui desu ne–It’s hot, isn’t it?.
 These expressions on weather are used as daily greetings, like English “How are you?”.
samui desu ne–It’s cold, isn’t it?
ii tenki desu ne–It is a fine day, isn’t it?
Gomennasai–I’m sorry; Casual expression of apology
Sumimasen–Excuse me, Sorry; In daily conversation, suimasen is often used and it is also used as a light apology. The polite form is Sumimasen.
itte kimasu–Said when you go out. (lit. Go and come back)
itterasshai–Reply to itte kimasu
tadaima–When you return to your home or office.
Okaerinasai–Reply to tadaima
o-saki ni shitsurei shimasu–When you leave office earlier than others.
otsukaresama deshita–1) Reply to o-saki ni shitsurei shimasu
2) When you finished something which you did with others such as a meeting.
o-saki ni doozo–Go ahead
ki o tsukete--lit. “be careful”, To the person who will go to travel like “Have a nice trip” in English
omedetoo gozaimasu—Congratulations
ki ni shinaide–Don’t mention it
doozo o-hairi kudasai--Please come in
doozo o-kake kudasai–Please have a seat
doozo o-suwari kudasai--Please sit down, Please have a seat
Ganbatte!--Good Luck!, do your best, try hard

Foods and Drinks.

Learn Japanese words related to foods and drinks. Here, we have introduced many vocabulary such as lunch, dinner, beef, pepper, etc. The adjectives such as tasty, sweet, spicy, are also presented.  


English Japanese
Hello おはよう – ohayō
Good evening こんばんは – konbanwa
Goodbye またね – mata ne
See you later また後でね – mata ato de ne
Yes うん – un
No ううん – uun
Excuse me! すみません – sumimasen
Thanks ありがとう – arigatō
Thanks a lot どうもありがとう! – dōmo arigatō!
Thank you for your help 助かった、ありがとう – tasukatta, arigatō
Don’t mention it どういたしまして – dōitashimashite
Ok オーケー – ōkē
How much is it? すみません、値段は いくらですか? – sumimasen, nedan wa ikura desu ka ?
Sorry! ごめん! – gomen !
I don’t understand わからない – wakaranai
I get it わかった – wakatta
I don’t know 知らない – shiranai
Forbidden 禁止 – kinshi
Excuse me, where are the toilets? すみません、 トイレはどこですか? – sumimasen, toire wa doko desu ka ?
Happy New Year! 明けまして おめでとう! – akemashite omedetō !
Happy birthday! お誕生日 おめでとう! – otanjōbi omedetō !
Happy holiday! よいお年を! – yoi otoshi wo !
Congratulations! おめでとう! – omedetō !
English Japanese
Do you have family here? 家族もここに住んでいるの? – kazoku mo koko ni sunde iru no ?
My father 僕のお父さん – boku no otōsan
My mother 僕のお母さん – boku no okāsan
My son 僕の息子 – boku no musuko
My daughter 僕の娘 – boku no musume
A brother 弟 – otōto
a sister 妹 – imōto
a friend 女友達 – on’na tomodachi
My boyfriend 私の彼氏 – watashi no kareshi
My girlfriend 僕の彼女 – boku no kanojo
My husband 私の夫 – watashi no otto
My wife 僕の妻 – boku no tsuma

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