West Meets East: An American in Japan | All Blogs


Japanese Essentials Part 2

By Josiah Lebowitz

I've got one last language post for you.  After this, I'll be focusing entirely on things like the Japanese culture, food, cool places to visit, strange stuff, and the like.  Unless I get requests for more language based posts, of course.  Anyway, here’s a few useful words to know when in Japan, followed by their English friendly pronunciation (in parenthesis) for anyone who missed the pronunciation guide I posted a little while back.

General:
Yes = hai (high)
No = iie (eee-eh
Excuse me / I’m sorry = sumimasen (sue-me-mah-sen)
I’ve very sorry = gomen nasai (go-men-nah-sigh)
I’m ok = daijoubu (die-joe-boo)
Thank you = arigatou gozaimasu (ah-re-gah-toe go-za-ee-mah-su)
Bathroom = toire (toy-reh)
What = Nani / nan (nah-knee / nah-nn)
? = ka (kah; add to the end of a sentence)

Directional:
Where = doko (doe-koh)
Here = koko (koh-koh)
There = soko / asoko (soh-koh / ah-soh-koh)
Right = migi (me-gee)
Left = hidari (he-dar-ee)

Transportation:
Train = densha (den-shah)
Bus = basu (bah-sue)
Taxi = takushi (tah-kew-she)
Plane = hikooki (he-coh-key)
Station = eki (eh-key)

Shopping:
Super Market = suupaa (sue-pah)
Restaurant = resutoran (reh-sue-toe-rahn)
Price = ikura (ee-kew-rah)
Yen = yen / en (yeh-nn / eh-nn)

Counting:
1 = ichi (ee-chee)
2 = ni (knee)
3 = san (sahn)
4 = yon (yohn)
5 = go (go)
6 = roku (row-kew)
7 = nana (nah-nah)
8 = hachi (ha-chee)
9 = kyuu (Q)
10 = jyuu (jew)
100 = hyaku (hyah-kew)
1,000 = sen (senn)
10,000 = ichi man (ee-chee-mahn)

For denominations of 10,000, 1,000, 100, and 10, add the appropriate number as a prefix. For example, 30 is san-jyuu and 400 is yon-hyaku.

While you won’t be carrying on any real conversations, these words should help you get by if you visit Japan for a week or two.

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