Japanese Lessons 01

Japanese Vocabulary

Vocabulary – 単語

Now that you’ve at least started learning the Japanese alphabets, let’s learn some basic vocabulary words and simple Japanese phrases. I will list the Kanji, Hiragana, Romaji (the word sounded out using English letters), and the English meaning for each Japanese word or phrase. Most Japanese words have Kanji for them but I will only include the Kanji if that word is typically written that way. Keep in mind that the Japanese language has different levels of politeness that change based on who you are talking to. I will refer to these as “ultra-formal”, “formal” (or “polite form”), “normal” (or “plain form”), “informal”, and “rude” (we won’t be covering too much of the rude form, however).

漢字 – Kanji ひらがな – Hiragana Romaji (English Letters) English Meaning
わたし watashi I (formal for males, normal for females)
ぼく boku I (normal for males)
かれ kare he
彼女 かのじょ kanojo she
あなた あなた anata you (singular/normal)
これ これ kore this (noun)
ここ ここ koko here
この この kono this (descriptive – ex. this pen)
それ それ sore that (noun)
そこ そこ soko there
その その sono that (descriptive – ex. that pen)
ひと hito person
いぬ inu dog
ねこ neko cat
いえ ie house
ありがとう ありがとう arigatou Thank you. (normal)
ありがとう ございます ありがとう ございます arigatou gozaimasu Thank you. (formal)
どういたしまして どういたしまして douitashimashite You’re welcome. (normal)
おはよう おはよう ohayou (sounds like “Ohio”) Good morning. (informal)
おはようございます おはようございます ohayou gozaimasu Good morning. (normal and formal)
こんにちは こんにちは konnichiwa Hello. (normal)
こんばんは こんばんは konbanwa Good evening. (normal)
さよなら さよなら sayonara Goodbye. (normal)
頑張ってください がんばってください gambatte kudasai (can also be written “ganbatte kudasai”) Hang in there
気をつけてください きをつけてください ki o tsukete kudasai (can also be written “ki wo tsukete kudasai”) Be careful, Take care

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