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Useful Japanese Words and Phrases

Pronunciation of vowels in Japanese is similar to Italian or Spanish. All vowels and consonants are pronounced. Vowel sounds are as follows:

  • a = short "o" as in pop, copy, stop, top
  • e = short "e" as in step, bed, tread, wed
  • i = long "ee" as in keep, meet, fleet
  • o = long "o" as in store, more, core
  • u = "oo" as in blue, true, sue, glue

*"No" is considered a very harsh response to the Japanese; avoid it whenever you can. To get around s

English
Japanese
Yes

Hai
No*

Ie
Good Morning

Ohayo gozaimasu
Good Afternoon
 

Konnichi wa

 

Good Evening
 

Konban wa
Goodbye
 

Sayonara
Thank you
 

Arigato gozaimasu
Please
 

Onegai shimasu
Where is the bus station?
 
Basu no eki wa doko desu ka?
Where is the train station?
 
Densha no eki wa doko desu ka?
Where is the bathroom (toilet)?
 

Toire wa doko desu ka?
Nice to meet you.
 

Hajimemashite
I don't understand.
 

Wakarimasen
I don't speak Japanese.
 

Watashi wa nihongo o hanashimasen
My name is ______.
 

Watashi no namae wa _____ desu.

 

aying "no," Japanese use negative forms of verbs or say "chigaimasu," which literally translates as "different." When in doubt, just shake your head as you would in North America to indicate "no."

Counting in Japanese

English
Japanese
English
Japanese
one

ichi
six
 

roku
two

ni
 
seven
 

nana (shichi)
three

san
 
eight
 

hachi
four

shi
 
nine
 

ku
five

go
 
ten
 

ju

 


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