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Top 1000 Japanese Words You Need to Know

Moving to Japan and realizing you need to learn Japanese words to survive? I’ve got you covered with the top Japanese words you need to know.

If you’re looking for more information, check another article from our extensive series on Learning Japanese. 

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    A brief overview of Japanese words

    For those of you who are starting from zero with Japanese, let’s go over some basics. Japanese words fall into a couple major categories: native Japanese words, including onomatopoeia, Sino-Japanese words, and loan words.

    The written form of Japanese words

    Japanese can be written left to right horizontally like English, but it’s traditionally written vertically and read from right to left. Japanese words are written using a combination of 3 writing systems: kanji (Chinese characters), hiragana, and katana. Kanji characters carry meanings and can be read multiple ways. Hiragana and katana are phonetic and both represent the same sound-set but have different usages depending on context. Hiragana works as both a way to conjugate verbs and write particle markers. Some words are written entirely using hiragana. Katakana is most widely used to write loan words. Katakana may also be used in place of hiragana for emphasis.

    Pronunciation of Japanese words

    Japanese has five main vowels (あ, い, う, え, お) pronounced as ah, ee, oo, eh, and oh. Each syllable has either a singular vowel, or a combination consonant and vowel. There is only one consonant sound in the language ever pronounced on its own (ん), usually pronounced like the English “n." Another big differences between Japanese and English is the ら・り・る・れ・ろ sounds. This consonant sound sits somewhere between the English “r” and “l.” The sound is made by lightly tapping the tip of your tongue just behind your teeth.
    Japanese words also have pitch accents. This means the pitch of a word will follow a pattern of highs and lows. The different patterns can change the meaning of words. Pitch accent is an important part of Japanese pronunciation that is often overlooked. For a more in-depth explanation of pitch accents and how they operate, check this thorough guide.

    Categories of Japanese words

    Japanese words all work together to build the language up, but the different types of words may have different origins as well as usages. Some are probably going to be very familiar as they follow the same pattern as English. Others, however, are unique to Japanese.

    Japanese verbs

    A great thing about Japanese is that there are only two irregular verbs. That makes conjugating very easy, because you can apply rules. For more information on the two main groups of Japanese verbs and how to use them, check our Guide to Japanese Verbs and Guide to Japanese Conjugation.

    Japanese adjectives

    Japanese adjectives also fall broadly into two categories: i-adjectives and na-adjectives.They each follow their own rules, so check out our Guide to Japanese Adjectives for a full explanation.

    Native Japanese words

    Wago (和語), are completely native Japanese words. That means they developed independently--that is--not from Chinese. All u-verbs, ru-verbs, and i-adjectives are native Japanese words. Native Japanese words are sometimes described as having “softer” sounds than their Sino-Japanese counterparts.

    japanese learner reading japanese vocabulary book

    Onomatopoeia (giongo) and gitaigo

    Onomatopoeia, or giongo (擬音語), are a type of native Japanese word. Onomatopoeia are words that mimic the sound of whatever they describe. Giongo are extremely common. 

    Gitaigo are a little different. They are words that describe a state or condition that may not even make a sound. Gitaigo is one of the features of Japanese that makes it so unique. These words are probably best understood through manga. In a Japanese manga, there are words written on the sides of panels that act as sound effects. Have you ever noticed that sometimes those words aren’t sound effects in English? A common example would be when a character is staring intently at something. You might see this on the panel: じー (jii) or じっ(jih). This comes from the Japanese word じっと見る (jitto miru) meaning “to stare.” Another example is the word ふわふわ (fuwafuwa) meaning “fluffy.” 

    Sino-Japanese words

    Sino-Japanese words, or kango (漢語), are words that developed from Chinese. Most -suru verbs are kango. These words tend to have a more formal feel to them and are often used in writing. This is especially true when there is an interchangeable native Japanese word.

    Loan words

    Another big category of Japanese words is loan words. Loan words, or gairaigo (外来語), are words that originated from a foreign language that have been adopted into Japanese. Many of these words come from English, but some also come from French, Spanish, and a variety of other languages. For instance, the Japanese word for bread is パン (pan), coming from the Spanish word. Another example is the Japanese word アンケート(ankeeto), based off the french word enquête, meaning survey. 

    Here a handful of commonly used loan words in Japanese:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    テレビ

    Terebi

    TV

    カメラ

    Kamera

    Camera

    ホテル

    Hoteru

    Hotel

    ビル

    Biru

    Building

    タクシー

    Takushii

    Taxi

    バイク

    Baiku

    Motorbike

    アルバイト (バイト)

    Arubaito (shortened to baito)

    Part-time job

    アイドル

    Aidoru

    Idol (pop singer)

    マイク

    Maiku

    Microphone

    エアコン

    Eakon

    Air conditioning

    カレンダー

    Karendaa

    Calendar

    エレベーター

    Erebeetaa

    Elevator

    イラスト

    Irasuto

    Illustration

    テレビをつけてください。
    Terebi wo tsukete kudasai.
    Please turn on the TV.

    新しいバイトを始めました。
    Atarashii baito wo hajimemashita.
    I started a new part-time job.

    How should I study Japanese words?

    Now that you’re familiar with how Japanese words work, how should you go about studying them? That depends on your learning style and needs. If you have the time and resources, then maybe a teacher may help you learn, such as one from Japan Switch. You could also try individual tutoring through a service like italki. If you’re self-studying, though, I personally recommend using some sort of digital flashcard system to work on remembering vocabulary. Spaced repetition ones like Anki are extremely popular for this. Another common trick to memorizing vocabulary is to learn it in the context of a sentence. Check out our Top 15 Japanese Vocabulary Tips for more information.

    How many words do I need to know to be fluent?

    This may not be what you want to hear, but unfortunately there’s no magic number of words to know that make you fluent. Being fluent means a lot of different things depending on who you ask. To have a good basic grasp of the language and be able to maneuver a majority of day-to-day situations, though, it’s probably best to have at least a few thousand words under your belt.

    How many words a day should I study?

    The key to remembering the words you study is to not overload your brain. Trying to jam 20-30+ new words up there a day just isn't realistic. Instead I’d recommend trying to tackle somewhere between 10-20, but closer to 10 is probably most people’s sweet spot. Experiment to find works best for you. It could be fewer or more. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you forget some though. Repetition is key, so as long as you’re consistent, you’ve won the hardest battle.

    What Japanese words are most important?

    Some people like to study based on how much they need the information. So if you want to study Japanese words based on their importance to you, think about what your goals are. What are you looking to do in Japan? Are you moving there and want to learn how to navigate common daily activities? Are you just learning Japanese for the fun of it or to engage in Japanese media? Maybe you’re studying for the JLPT. In any case, the most relevant Japanese words for those situations are all going to be different. 

    This article is organized into sections based around an activity or topic. Feel free to jump around to what is most relevant to your needs.

    What do I need to know to make a good first impression?

    When you’re just starting out using Japanese, you may be worried about coming across wrong. Being polite is integral to speaking in Japanese. In order to make a good impression, it’s important to think about who you are talking to as well as the context. Depending on if the other person is your boss, a shop employee, a coworker, or a student, your speaking style will adjust accordingly.

    Politeness and Keigo

    Politeness is a keystone in Japanese. There are distinct levels of speaking formality you are expected to adopt depending on who you are speaking to. These polite forms of speaking are sometimes collectively referred to as keigo, meaning respectful language. This can be in the form of word endings, new words, or additives. For example, many nouns will take an “o” or “go” prefix to make them more polite.

    Even many native Japanese speakers don’t fully understand all the nuances of keigo and when to say what. However, getting a basic grasp of it shouldn’t be too hard.

    Teneigo

    Teneigo is the polite language. This is probably what you are already familiar with: desu/masu forms. You might have learned to say sou desu (that’s right) and wakarimashita (I understand). These polite forms of words and phrases are suitable for most interactions.

    Tameguchi

    Tameguchi is informal speech. Instead of the full desu/masu form, you use the dictionary form of words and short form conjugations of verbs.

    Sonkeigo and Kenjougo

    Sonkeigo and kenjougo are respectful and humble languages respectively. Sonkeigo are words and phrases you use to raise the status of the person you are speaking or referring to. Kenjougo, on the other hand, humbles you and lowers your status. These two are generally used in conjunction to be especially respectful to the person you talk to. The hard part about these is that you often use an entirely new word.

    Here are some examples of the different forms:

    English

    Tameguchi / dictionary form

    Teneigo

    Kenjougo

    Sonkeigo

    To be (animate)

    いる
    iru

    います
    imasu

    おります
    orimasu

    いらっしゃいます
    irasshaimasu

    To go

    行く
    iku

    行きます
    ikimasu

    参ります
    mairimasu

    いらっしゃいます
    irasshaimasu

    To come

    来る
    kuru

    来ます
    kimasu

    参ります
    mairimasu

    いらっしゃいます
    irasshaimasu

    To do

    する / やる
    suru / yaru

    します
    shimasu

    いたします
    itashimasu

    なさいます
    nasaimasu

    To eat

    食べる
    taberu

    食べます
    tabemasu

    いただきます
    itadakimasu

    召し上がります
    meshi agarimasu

    To say

    言う
    iu

    言います
    iimasu

    申します
    moushimasu

    おっしゃいます
    osshaimasu

    To watch

    見る
    miru

    見ます
    mimasu

    拝見します
    haiken shimasu

    ご覧になります
    goran ni narimasu

    先生は今日の授業にいらっしゃいませんので、私が教えさせていただいています。
    Sensei wa kyou no jugyou ni irasshaimasen node, watashi ga oshiesasete itadaite imasu.
    The teacher won’t be coming to class today, so I am taking the liberty of teaching.

    ご覧になってありがとうございます。
    Goran ni natte arigatou gozaimasu.
    Thank you for your attention (lit. thank you for watching).

    You will probably only need the humble and formal respectful language forms during a business meeting or while talking to or about someone of high status. That may be a professor or other academic, or a politician. Unless you're in one of those fields, it’s not likely you’ll be in that situation, so you can relax. Even if you are, you will definitely be given leeway for not knowing the correct word or making an error. Just do your best, and it’ll be fine.

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    japanese body language determine politeness of japanese words

    Body language

    Body language is an important factor of the impression you give. For example, bowing when you greet someone. There are various levels of bowing, from a slight dip of the head to bowing a full 90 degrees at the waist. The deeper the bow, the more respectful it is. In many business encounters, you may bow as well as shake hands. Outside of business, though, shaking hands is an uncommon greeting.

    Gestures

    There are some hand gestures in Japan that are different from the ones we use in the U.S.. For example, instead of pointing to your chest to refer to yourself, Japanese people point at their nose. When calling someone over to you, wave with your fingers pointing at the ground instead of up at the air. This one is especially important, because waving pointing up, as we do in the U.S., is how you would call an animal to you in Japan. When you do it to a person, it is seen as very rude. You can see a more complete list of gestures with video examples here.

    Japanese greetings

    Now you understand the basics of the Japanese language and how it works. But how do you start talking to Japanese people? Of course, we start with greetings. Let’s go over some of the most common ones:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Notes / Explanation

    はじめまして

    Hajimemasite

    How do you do?

    Used at a first meeting

    おはようございます

    Ohayou gozaimasu

    Good morning

     

    こんにちは

    Kon’nichiwa

    Good day/afternoon

     

    こんばんは

    Konbanwa

    Good evening

     

    お元気でうすか。

     

    はい、元気です。

    Ogenki desu ka?

     

    Hai, genki desu.

    How are you doing?

     

    I’m well.

    I included both the question and answer here, as they are almost always paired.

    おやすみなさい

    Oyasumi nasai

    Good night

     

    久しぶりです

    Hisashiburi desu

    Long time no see

     

    いってきます

    Ittekimasu

    See you later (lit. I’ll go and come back)

    This is used when you leave home for work or school in the morning or a similar scenario

    いってらしゃい

    Itterashai

    See you later (lit. please go and come back)

    The response to the call of ittekimasu

    ただいま

    Tadaima

    I’m home

    You call out as you enter your home

    おかえりなさい

    Okaeri nasai

    Welcome back

    Response to the call of tadaima

    How do I introduce myself in Japanese?

    Introductions in Japanese are often very methodical, so they’re pretty easy to get the hang of. Start off by saying はじめまして (hajimemashite), meaning “how do you do.” Next, tell everyone your name. The most polite way it to say “___と申します” (___to moushimasu), meaning “my name is _____”. Make sure to end it all with よろしくおねがいします (yoroshiku onegaishimasu). That is one of the most important phrases you will ever learn in Japanese. It means “please take care of me” or “I look forward to working with you.” You’ll use it whenever you meet someone new, as well as when someone is going to do you a favor.

    Altogether your introduction may look something like this:

    はじめまして。スミス・アダムです。よろしくおねがいします。
    Hajimemashite. Sumisu Adamu desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
    Nice to meet you. My name is Adam Smith. I look forward to working with you.

    Japanese words to talk about hobbies

    Now that you’ve gotten over the hurdle of starting, it’s time to get into the real conversation. How do you talk about yourself? It’s always a good bet to start by talking about interests or hobbies you have, as that can be an easy way to find common ground. Let’s look at some common words for hobbies in Japanese:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    趣味

    Shumi

    hobby

    テレビゲーム

    Terebi geemu

    Video games

    読書

    Dokusho

    Reading

    映画鑑賞

    Eiga kanshou

    Appreciation of movies

    外国語を習う

    Gaikokugo wo narau

    Learning foreign languages

    写真を撮る

    Shashin wo toru

    Photography

    音楽鑑賞

    Ongaku kanshou

    Appreciation of music

    スポーツ観戦

    Supootsu Kansen

    Watching sports games

    パズル

    Pazuru

    Puzzles

    裁縫

    Saihou

    Sewing / needlework

    料理

    Ryouri

    Cooking

    散歩

    Sanpo

    Walking

    ジョギング

    Jogingu

    Jogging

    サイクリング

    Saikuringu

    Cycling 

    ダンス

    Dansu

    Dancing

    ヨガ

    Yoga

    Yoga

    キャンプ

    Kyampu

    Camping

    釣り

    Tsuri

    Fishing

    サーフィン

    Saafin

    Surfing

    スキー

    Sukii

    Skiing

    ガーデニング

    Gaadeningu

    Gardening

    メイク

    Meiku

    Makeup

    趣味は何ですか?
    Shumi wa nan desu ka?
    What are your hobbies?

    前はジョギングが好きでしたが、最近サイクリングを始めました。
    Mae wa jogingu ga suki deshita ga, saikin saikuringu wo hajimemashita.
    I used to like jogging, but I recently started cycling.

    Japanese words about family

    If you’re talking about yourself, you may also want to talk about your family. One thing to remember here is that the names you call your family members and the way you refer to them to people outside your family are going to be different. For example, if you have an older sister, you may call her お姉さん (oneesan), but when you talk to your friends about her, you’d refer to her as 姉 (ane). This extends to the rest of your immediate family.

    Soto and uchi

    This language pattern harkens back to the idea of soto and uchi. Within Japanese culture, soto and uchi dictate how you talk and act. Someone within the uchi, or in-group, may be privy to information or ideas that you would be more reserved about with someone who is soto, or a part of the out-group. That’s why you’d use the casual oneesan within the in-group, and the more formal ane when talking to someone from the out-group.

    When talking to soto (out-group):

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    祖父

    Sofu

    Grandfather

    祖母

    Sobo

    Grandmother

    おじ

    Oji

    Uncle

    おば

    Oba

    Aunt

    いとこ

    Itoko

    Cousin

    両親

    Ryoushin

    Parents

    Chichi

    Father

    Haha

    Mother

    兄弟

    Kyoudai

    Siblings

    Ani

    Older brother

    Ane

    Older sister

    双子

    Futago

    Twin

    Otouto

    Younger brother

    Imouto

    Younger sister

    子供

    Kodomo

    Children

    息子

    Musuko

    Son

    Musume

    Daughter

    Mago

    Grandchild

    妹は大学で美術を勉強しています。
    Imouto wa daigaku de bijutsu wo benkyou shite imasu. 
    My younger sister is studying fine arts in college.

    When talking to uchi (in-group) or addressing family:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    おじいさん

    Ojiisan

    Grandfather

    おばあさん

    Obaasan

    Grandmother

    おじさん

    Ojiasn

    Uncle (also a general address for a middle aged man)

    おばさん

    Obasan

    Aunt (also a general address for a middle aged woman)

    お父さん

    Otoosan

    Father

    パパ

    Papa

    Dad (childish connotation)

    お母さん

    Okaasan

    Moother

    ママ

    Mama

    Mom (childish connotation)

    お兄さん

    Oniisan

    Older brother (also a general address for young men)

    お姉さん

    Oneesan

    Older sister (also a general address for young women)

    *These are generally reserved for family members that are older than you. When talking to a family member of the same age or younger, you’d just call them by their name.
    Also note that the -san endings can be replaced with -chan.

    The example sentence uses tameguchi since you would mostly use these words in informal conversations.

    お姉さん、このワンピース、借りていい?
    Oneesan, kono wanpiisu, karite ii?
    Older sister, can I borrow this dress?

    Japanese words about pets and animals

    An extension of your family may be the pets you raise. Here are some of the most common animal words as well as some of the onomatopoeia words for animal noises:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    ペット

    Petto

    Pet

    飼う

    Kau

    To raise (a pet)

    Inu

    Dog

    ワンワン

    Wan wan

    Woof, bark

    Neko

    Cat

    ニャーニャー

    Nyaa nyaa

    Meow

    Ushi

    Cow

    モーモー

    Mou mou

    Moo moo

    Buta

    Pig

    ブーブー

    Buu buu

    Oink oink

    Niwatori

    Chicken

    おんどり

    Ondori

    Rooster

    こけこっこー

    Kokekokkoo

    Cock-a-doodle-doo

    ネズミ

    Nezumi

    Rat / mouse

    チュー

    Chuu

    Squeak

    Uma

    Horse

    ヒヒーン

    Hihiin

    Neigh

    キリン

    Kirin

    Giraffe

    シマウマ

    Shimauma

    Zebra

    Zou

    Elephant

    パオーン

    Paoon

    (elephant noise)

    Kuma

    Bear

    ライオン

    Raion

    Lion

    ガオー

    Gaoo

    Roar

    Tora

    Tiger

    Saru

    Monkey

    ゴリラ

    Gorira

    Gorilla

    ホッキョクグマ

    Hokkyokuguma

    Polar bear

    猫アレルギーがあるので飼えませんが、犬は一匹飼っています!
    Neko arerugii ga aru node kaemasen ga, inu wa ippiki katte imasu!
    I have a cat allergy so I can’t raise them, but I do have a dog!

    japanese words about animals

    Japanese words about your home country

    You’re going to get asked where you’re from with some regularity. Let’s look at the Japanese names for a variety of countries, as well as some descriptors:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    アジア

    Ajia

    Asia

    日本

    Nihon

    Japan

    中国

    Chuugoku

    China

    韓国

    Kankoku

    (South) Korea

    インド

    Indo

    India

    シンガポール

    Shingapooru

    Singapore

    インドネシア

    Indoneshia

    Indonesia

    マレーシア

    Mareeshia

    Malaysia

    欧州

    Oushuu

    Europe (formal)

    ヨーロッパ

    Yooroppa

    Europe (informal)

    英国

    Eikoku

    United Kingdom (formal)

    イギリス

    Igirisu

    United Kingdom (informal)

    ドイツ

    Doitsu

    Germany

    ロシア

    Roshia

    Russia

    イタリア

    Itaria

    Italy

    フランス

    Furansu

    France

    ポルトガル

    Porutogaru

    Portugal

    オランダ

    Oranda

    Netherlands

    北米

    Hokubei

    North America

    米国

    Beikoku

    United States (formal)

    アメリカ

    Amerika

    United States (informal)

    カナダ

    Kanada

    Canada

    中南米

    Chuunanbei

    Central and South America

    メキシコ

    Mekishiko

    Mexico

    アルゼンチン

    Aruzenchin

    Argentina

    ブラジル

    Burajiru

    Brazil

    コロンビア

    Koronbia

    Columbia

    ペルー

    Peruu

    Peru

    アフリカ

    Afurika

    Africa

    セネガル

    Senegaru

    Senegal

    モーリタニア

    Mooritania

    Mauritania

    スーダン

    Suudan

    Sudan

    南スーダン

    Minami suudan

    South Sudan

    ナイジェリア

    Naijeria

    Nigeria

    ガーナ

    Gaana

    Ghana

    ケニア

    Kenia

    Kenya

    南アフリカ

    Minami Afurika

    South Africa

    Kita

    North

    Higashi

    East

    Minami

    South

    西

    Nishi

    West

    遠い

    Tooi

    Far

    近い

    Chikai

    Close / Near

    大きい

    Ookii

    Large

    小さい

    Chiisai

    Small

    When describing someone as a citizen of or from a certain country, you can just add the suffix 人 (jin) to the name of the country. For example: 日本人(Nihonjin), アメリカ人(Amerikajin), フラス人(Furansujin), ケニア人(Keniajin), シンガポール人 (Shingapoorujin).

    スーダンは遠いですか?
    Suudan wa tooi desu ka?
    Is Sudan far?

    シンガポールはマレーシアの南にあります。
    Shingapooru wa mareeshia no minami ni arimasu.
    Singapore is south of Malaysia.

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    Japanese words for when you want to talk casually

    In a more casual setting, you can easily adjust to speak informally. Like we discussed earlier, tameguchi just uses the dictionary and short forms of verbs. Instead of です, desu, you would use だ, da, or drop it altogether.

    Making friends in Japanese

    One of the facets of casual speech in Japanese is that it allows you to close the gap between you and the other person. Some people use teineigo no matter how well they know each other, but using tameguchi immediately brings you into the realm of someone close. Make sure you only use it if the other person is comfortable with it as that closeness can make you seem overbearing or rude.

    For some tips on how to better get to know Japanese people and make friends, check our Top 15 Tips to Make Japanese Friends.

    Terms of endearment

    You can get even closer with the way you call people by using terms of endearment when addressing them. 

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    あなた

    Anata

    Dear (lit. you; used to address one’s husband)

    -ちゃん

    -chan

    Adding -chan to someone’s name is cutesy and more commonly used for women and children

    -くん

    -kun

    Adding -kun to someone’s name is most commonly used for men around your age you are friendly with. It is also sometimes used by authority figures such as teachers and bosses to all subordinates.

    Japanese slang

    In a casual setting people may throw around slang words, so we’ve got you covered.

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    おしゃれ

    Oshare

    Stylish / cool

    イケメン

    Ikemen

    Attractive / cool guy

    やばい

    Yabai

    Sick (good and bad)

    ウザい

    Uzai

    Annoying

    ダサい

    Dasai

    Uncool / Unfashionable

    だるい

    Darui

    Sluggish / slow

    たぴる

    Tapiru

    To drink bubble tea (boba)

    ググる

    Guguru

    To google something

    KY / ケーワイ

    Keewai

    Unable to read the room (comes from kuuki wo yomenai, lit. “can’t read the air”

    ウケる

    Ukeru

    Funny / hilarious

    めっちゃ

    Meccha

    Very

    ちょう

    Chou

    Really / so (emphatic)

    マジ

    Maji

    Seriously

    あのおねえさん、おしゃれですね!
    Ano oneesan, oshare desu ne!
    That lady over there is so stylish, isn’t she!

    That’s just a few of the many slang Japanese words, so check out our Guide to Japanese Slang for a more in-depth look.

    What to say when you don’t know what to say

    When you aren’t sure what to say next, your brain puts in filler words to buy you time to think. In English that’d usually be an “um,” “uh,” or “like,” but not in Japanese. Using the right filler word in Japanese will make you sound much more native. The most common examples are あの (ano), and ええと (eeto). If you replace your um’s and uh’s with those, you’ll sound like you know what you’re doing, even when you don’t.

    Numbers in Japanese

    Numbers are where things can get a little tricky. There are of course the basic numbers:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Ichi

    1

    Ni

    2

    San

    3

    Shi / yon

    4

    Go

    5

    Roku

    6

    Shichi / nana

    7

    Hachi

    8

    Kyuu

    9

    Juu

    10

    Hyaku

    100

    Sen

    1,000

    Man

    10,000

    Oku

    100,000

    番号

    Bangou

    Number

    Kazu

    Number

    数える

    Kazoeru

    To count

    Hyaku

    100

    二百

    Nihyaku

    200

    三百

    Sanbyaku*

    300

    六百

    Roppyaku*

    600

    八百

    Happyaku*

    800

    日本語で千まで数えられます。
    NIhongo de sen made kazoeraremasu.
    I can count to 1000 in Japanese.

    These are pretty easy, especially because higher numbers are simple combinations of lower ones. For example, the number 60 is read as rokujuu, a combination of the words six and ten. That changes once you get into the hundreds and above, where certain combinations change the voicing of some sounds, as noted in the chat. Also note that the kanji here are equivalent to the roman numerals and are interchangeable. 

    Counting systems

    When you want to describe how many there are of something you need to use a suffix with the number to describe what type of item or idea you are talking about. Sometimes you can simply add the suffix to the normal number such as 十人(juunin) meaning “ten people,” but often the number word itself will also change. One of the most common forms of this ends with -tsu, and can be used as a general object counter. 

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    一つ

    Hitotsu

    1 item

    二つ

    Futatsu

    2 items

    三つ

    Mittsu

    3 itmes

    四つ

    Yottsu

    4

    五つ

    Itsutsu

    5

    六つ

    Muttsu

    6

    七つ

    Nanatsu

    7

    八つ

    Yattsu

    8

    九つ

    Kokonotsu

    9

    Too

    10 items

    一個

    Ikko

    One small item

    二個

    Niko

    Two small items

    三個

    Sanko

    Three small items

    一人

    HItori

    1 person

    二人

    Futari

    2 people

    三人

    Sannin

    3 people

    Here again we can see the sound changes when numbers combine. There are hundreds of different counters, so if you want to know more you can check this guide for a pretty comprehensive list.
    *Some counters combine with the numbers to create new sounds.

    今朝はミカン三個を食べました。
    Kesa wa mikan sanko wo tabemashita.
    I ate three tangerines this morning.

    japanese learners learning japanese words about time

    Japanese words about time

    Being able to describe time words is pretty important, so let’s go over some basics:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    時間

    Jikan

    Time

    時計

    Tokei

    Clock

    Ji

    Hour

    何時

    Nanji

    What time

    Fun

    Minute

    Byou

    Second

    Han

    Half past

    午前

    Gozen

    A.M.

    午後

    Gogo

    P.M.

    日の出

    Hi no de

    Sunrise

    Asa

    Morning

    正午

    Shougo

    Noon

    Hiru

    Midday

    夕方

    Yuugata

    Evening

    日の入り

    HI no iri

    Sunset

    Yoru

    Night

    一日

    Ichinichi

    1 day

    二日間

    Futsukakan

    2 days

    三日間

    Mikkakan

    3 days

    一泊

    Ippaku

    One night

    二泊

    Nihaku

    Two nights

    三泊

    Sanpaku

    Three nights

    The ji, fun, and byou, words for hour, minute, and second respectively can also be used as counters. 

    田中さんはいつ出張から帰ってきますか。
    Tanaka-san wa itsu shucchou kara kaettekimasu ka?
    When will Mr. Tanaka return from his business trip?

    一泊二日ですから、2日後のはずです。
    Ippaku futsuka desu kara, futsukago no hazu desu.
    It’s two days and one night, so he should be back in two days.

    Japanese words for the days of the month

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    1日

    Tuitachi

    1st day of the month

    2日

    Futsuka

    2nd of the month

    3日

    Mikka

    3rd

    4日

    Yokka

    4th

    5日

    Itsuka

    5th

    6日

    Muika

    6th

    7日

    Nanoka

    7th

    8日

    Youka

    8th

    9日

    Kokonoka

    9th

    10日

    Touka

    10th

    14日

    Jyuuyokka

    14th

    18日

    Jyuuyouka

    18th

    20日

    Hatsuka

    20th

    After the 20th, they simply use the number + the counter nichi, i.e. 21日 (nijuuichi nichi).

    彼の誕生日は4月10日です。
    Kare no tanjoubi wa shigatsu touka desu.
    His birthday is April 10th.

    Japanese words about the home

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Ie

    House

    マンション

    Manshon

    Condo

    アパート

    Apaato

    Apartment

    団地

    Danchi

    Apartment Complex

    大家

    Ooya

    Landlord

    敷金

    Shikikin

    Security Deposit

    家賃

    Yachin

    Rent

    Niwa

    Garden

    ドア

    Doa

    Door

    玄関

    Genkan

    Entrance

    傘立て

    Kasatate

    Umbrella Stand

    部屋

    Heya

    Room

    廊下

    Rouka

    Hallway

    Yuka

    Floor

    Kabe

    Wall

    天井

    Tenjou

    Ceiling

    Mado

    Window

    家具

    Kagu

    Furniture

    階段

    Kaidan

    Stairs

    居間

    Ima

    Living Room

    テレビ

    Terebi

    Television

    テーブル

    Teeburu

    Table

    椅子

    Isu

    Chair

    ソファー

    Sofaa

    Sofa

    絨毯

    Juutan

    Carpet

    台所

    Daitokoro

    Kitchen

    戸棚

    Todana

    Cupboard

    流し

    Nagashi

    Sink

    冷蔵庫

    Reizouko

    Refrigerator

    冷凍庫

    Reitouko

    Freezer

    ストーブ

    Sutoobu

    Stove

    オーブン

    Oobun

    Oven

    電子レンジ

    Denshirenji

    Microwave

    食器洗い機

    Shokkiaraiki

    Dish Washer

    Sara

    Dishes / Plate

    お箸

    Ohashi

    Chopsticks

    フォク

    Foku

    Fork

    ナイフ

    Naifu

    Knife

    スプーン

    Supuun

    Spoon

    コップ

    Koppu

    Cup

    カップ

    Kappu

    Cup

    水筒

    Suitou

    Water Bottle / Thermos

    寝室

    Neshitsu

    Bedroom

    本棚

    Hondana

    Bookshelf

    Tsukue

    Desk

    洋室

    Youshitsu

    Western-Style Room

    ベッド

    Beddo

    Bed

    シート

    Shiito

    Sheets

    毛布

    Moufu

    Blanket

    Makura

    Pillow

    たんす

    Tansu

    Dresser

    和室

    Washitsu

    Japanese-Style Room

    押入れ

    Oshiire

    Closet

    布団

    Futon

    Futon

    Tatami

    Tatami Mat

    障子

    Shouji

    Paper Doors

    風呂場

    Furoba

    Bathroom

    洗面所

    Senmenjo

    Washroom

    お手洗い

    Otearai

    Restroom

    トイレ

    Toire

    Toilet

    お風呂

    Ofuro

    Bath

    お風呂に入る

    Ofuro ni hairu

    To take a bath

    Kagami

    Mirror

    歯ブラシ

    Haburashi

    Toothbrush

    歯磨き粉

    Hamigakiko

    Toothpaste

    歯を磨く

    Ha wo migaku

    To brush one's teeth

    フロス

    Furosu

    Floss

    かみそり

    Kamisori

    Razor

    ティッシュ

    Tisshu

    Tissue

    ベランダ

    Beranda

    Veranda / Balcony

    車庫

    Shako

    Garage

    入る前ちゃんと靴を抜いて玄関においてください。
    Hairu mae chanto kutsu wo nuite, genkan ni oite kudasai.
    Before you enter, please make sure to take your shoes off and leave them in the entrance.

    Japanese words about cleaning

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    掃除する

    Souji suru

    To clean

    片付ける

    Katadzukeru

    To tidy

    ほうき

    Houki

    Broom

    ほうきで掃く

    Houki de haku

    To sweep

    ちりとり

    Chiritori

    Dustpan

    ほこりを取る

    Hokori wo toru

    To dust

    バケツ

    Baketsu

    Bucket

    ぞうきん

    Zoukin

    Cleaning cloth

    掃除機

    Soujiki

    Vacuum cleaner

    掃除機をかける 

    Soujiki wo kakeru

    To vacuum

    ゴム手袋

    Gomu tebukuro

    Rubber gloves

    洗濯する

    Sentakusuru

    To do laundry

    洗濯機

    Sentakki

    Laundry machine

    乾かす

    Kawakasu

    To dry (clothes)

    乾燥機

    Kansouki

    Dryer

    物干し竿

    Monohashizao

    Clothes Line

    物干し

    Monohashi

    Drying Rack

    掃除するとゴム手袋を必ずします。
    Souji suru to gomu tebukuro wo kanarazu shimasu.
    I always wear rubber gloves when I clean.

    foreigners living in mansion in japan

    Your Japanese leaving people in the dark?

    Let our newsletter for beginner to low intermediate learners guide your way.



    Japanese words you need at school

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    学校

    Gakkou

    School

    幼稚園

    Youchien

    Kindergarten

    小学校

    Shougakkou

    Elementary School

    中学校

    Chuugakkou

    Middle School

    高校

    Koukou

    High School

    大学

    Daigaku

    College

    大学院

    Daigakuin

    Graduate School

    学生

    Gakusei

    Student

    先生

    Sensei

    Teacher

    先輩

    Senpai

    Upperclassman

    同級生

    Doukyuusei

    Classmate

    後輩

    Kouhai

    Underclassman

    授業

    Jugyou

    Lesson

    科目

    Kamoku

    Subject

    数学

    Suugaku

    Math

    科学

    Kagaku

    Science

    生物学

    Seibutsugaku

    Biology

    化学

    Kagaku

    Chemistry

    物理学

    Butsurigaku

    Physics

    歴史

    Rekishi

    History

    外国語

    Gaikokugo

    Foreign Language

    美術

    Hijutsu

    Art

    音楽

    Ongaku

    Music

    体育

    Taiiku

    Physical Education

    勉強

    Benkyou

    Study

    Juku

    Cram School

    試験

    Shiken

    Exam

    期末試験

    Kimatsushiken

    Final Exam

    入学試験

    Nyuugakushiken

    Entrance Exam

    宿題

    Shukudai

    Homework

    レポート

    Repooto

    Report

    提出

    Teishutsu

    Submission

    ノート

    Nooto

    Note

    ペン

    Pen

    Pen

    鉛筆

    Enpitsu

    Pencil

    消しゴム

    Keshigomu

    Eraser

    文房具

    Bunbougu

    Stationery

    計算機

    Keisanki

    Calculator

    黒板

    Kokuban

    Blackboard

    チョーク

    Chooku

    Chalk

    図書館

    Toshokan

    Library

    体育館

    Taiikukan

    Gymnasium

    部活

    Bukatsu

    Club Activities

    運動部

    Undoubu

    Exercise / Sports Club

    ダンス部

    Dansubu

    Dance Club

    チア部

    Chiabu

    Cheer Club

    英会話部

    Eikaiwabu

    English Conversation Club

    美術部

    Bijutsubu

    Art Club

    音楽部

    Ongakubu

    Music Club

    料理部

    Ryouribu

    Cooking Club

    茶道部

    Sadoubu

    Tea Ceremony Club

    演劇部

    Engekibu

    Theater Club

    大学入学試験の準備が大変でダンス部の練習にも行けなくなってしまいました。
    Daigaku nyuugaku shiken no junbi ga taihen de dansubu no renshuu ni mo ikenaku natte shimaimashita. 
    Preparing for college entrance exams is so difficult I can’t even go to my dance club practice.

    How do I talk to teachers in Japanese?

    Since teachers are highly respected in Japanese society, it is best to at least use teineigo when speaking with one, but it depends on your relationship.

    Talking to teachers as a student

    As a student, you should do your best to speak formally with your teachers. This is more true as you get older, especially in college. Young children may be prone to using tameguchi regardless of who they’re talking to.

    Talking to teachers as a teacher

    Fellow teachers will probably expect you to use teineigo and sonkeigo for the more senior teachers.

    How do I talk to students in Japanese?

    If you’re not in a school setting but see a student in a uniform, you may speak to them informally since they’re younger, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use teineigo.

    Talking to students as a student

    For students of the same year as you or below, it’s common to skip straight to tameguchi. For older students, however, make sure to use teineigo to respect them.

    Talking to students as a teacher

    As a teacher, you can speak informally to your students because they are younger and you are an authority figure. 

    If you’re interested in becoming an English teacher in Japan, check our Guide to Teaching Jobs in Japan for more information.

    Japanese Course Levels

    We offer both private and group lessons for the following course levels.

    Please note that group lessons have a maximum of 7 students.

    japanese book for beginners that started to learn japanese

    Beginner 1 : Introduction To Japanese 1

    Level: JLPT N5 - 2062 yen

    Ideal Learner:

    This Introduction to Japanese 1 course is for learners who understand the basics of Hiragana and Katakana and want to learn the basics of conversational Japanese. The book contains many opportunities for role-play that will solidify what you learn and build confidence in your ability to speak Japanese.

    Course Details:

    By the end of this course you would have learned roughly 150 Kanji symbols, 300 new vocabulary words, and 70 key sentences.

    japanese book for level two beginners for conversation

    Beginner 2 : Introduction To Japanese 2

    Level: JLPT N4 - 2160 yen

    Ideal Learner

    This Introduction to Japanese 2 course is for learners who want to start expanding their conversational Japanese skills and to express themselves with more complex phrases by building on and expanding on what was learned in Introduction to Japanese 1.

    Course Details:

    By the end of this course you would have learned roughly 150 Kanji symbols, 300 new vocabulary words, and 70 key sentences

    japanese book for low intermediate learners

    Low Intermediate - Japanese for Communication + Weekly J

    Level: Pre-Intermediate N4 - N3 - 3240 yen

    Ideal Learner: 

    Someone who has completed the Introduction to Japanese 2 course or has a firm understanding of Japanese grammar and can handle basic conversations.

    This course is for learners who would like to broaden their vocabulary for daily life situations and will review previously-learned expressions to help you have more natural daily conversations. 

    Course Details:

    By the end of this course you would have learned roughly 150 Kanji symbols, 500 new vocabulary words, and 70 key sentences.

    Japanese words you need at the office

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    会社

    Kaisha

    Company

    株式会社

    Kabushikigaisha

    Public Company

    有限会社

    Yuukengaisha

    Private Company

    企業

    Kigyou

    Enterprise

    大手企業

    Ootekigyou

    Big Corporation

    中小企業

    Chuushoukigyou

    Medium To Small Enterprise

    営業部

    Eigyoubu

    Sales Department

    開発部

    Kaihatsubu

    Development Department

    研究開発

    Kenkyuukaihatsu

    Research And Development

    人事部

    Jinjibu

    Human Resuorces

    総務部

    Soumubu

    General Affairs

    会社員

    Kaishyain

    Company Employee

    従業員

    Juugyouin

    Employee

    社長

    Shachou

    Company President

    副社長

    Fukushachou

    Executive Vice President

    部長

    Buchou

    Department Head

    課長

    Kachou

    Section Manager

    上司

    Joushi

    Boss

    同僚

    Douryou

    Coworker

    部下

    Buka

    Subordintae

    派遣社員

    Hakenshyain

    Temporary Worker

    取引先

    Hikitorisaki

    Client

    お疲れさまです

    Otsukaresama desu

    Thank you for your hard work

    事務所

    Jimusho

    Office Building

    オフィス

    Ofisu

    Office

    受付

    Uketsuke

    Reception Desk

    会議室

    Kaigishitsu

    Meeting Room

    会議

    Kaigi

    Meeting

    書類

    Shorui

    Document

    企画書

    Kigakusho

    Proposal

    名刺

    Meishi

    Business Card

    面接

    Mensetsu

    Interview

    履歴書

    Rirekisho

    Resume

    給料

    Kyuuryou

    Salary

    ボーナス

    Boonasu

    Bonus

    残業

    Zangyou

    Overtime

    残業代

    Zangyoudai

    Overtime Pay

    出勤

    Shukkin

    Attendance At Work

    欠勤

    Kekkin

    Absence From Work

    出張

    Shucchou

    Business Trip

    サラリーマン

    Sarariiman

    Office worker (man)

    OL

    Ooeru

    Office worker (woman)

    会議では名刺交換しないといけません。
    Kaigi de wa meishi koukan shinai to ikemasen.
    You have to exchange business cards at a meeting.

    How do I talk to my boss in Japanese?

    The office is the place you are most often expected to use sonkeigo and kenjougo. When speaking to your boss make sure to use humble and respectful language.

    foreign resident playing sports outside

    Japanese words for the gym

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    ジム

    Jimu

    Gym

    運動

    Undou

    Exercise

    スポーツ

    Supootsu

    Sports

    試合

    Shiai

    Game / Match

    チーム

    Chiimu

    Team

    選手

    Senshu

    Player

    バスケットボール

    Basukettobooru

    Basketball

    バレーボール

    Bareebooru

    Volleyball

    フットボール

    Futtobooru

    American Football

    アメフト

    Amerfuto

    American Football (abbreviation)

    サッカー

    Sakkaa

    Soccer

    野球

    Yakyuu

    Baseball

    テニス

    Tenisu

    Tennis

    水泳

    Suiei

    Swimming

    サーフィン

    Saafin

    Surfing

    体操

    Taisou

    Gymnastics

    ゴルフ

    Gorufu

    Golf

    ラグビー

    Ragubii

    Rugby

    バドミントン

    Badominton

    Badminton

    ホッケー

    Hokkee

    Hockey

    ボクシング

    Bokushingu

    Boxing

    サイクリング

    Saikuringu

    Cycling

    ジョギング

    Jyogingu

    Jogging

    ヨガ

    Yoga

    Yoga

    ピラティス

    Piratesu

    Pilates

    トレッドミル

    Toreddomiru

    Treadmill

    ダンベル

    Danberu

    Dumbbell

    筋トレ

    Kintore

    Weight Training

    筋肉

    Kinniku

    Muscle

    Kata

    Shoulders

    Kubi

    Neck

    Ude

    Arms

    手首

    Tekubi

    Wrists

    Te

    Hands

    Mune

    Chest

    腹筋

    Fukkin

    Abs

    Koshi

    Lower Back / Waist

    お尻

    Oshiri

    Buttocks

    太もも

    Futomomo

    Thighs

    HIza

    Knees

    ふくらはぎ

    Fukurahagi

    Calves

    足首

    Ashikubi

    Ankles

    Ashi

    Feet

    ストレッチ

    Sutorecchi

    Stretching

    スポーツが好きですが、筋トレはあまりしません。
    Supootsu ga suki desu ga, kintore wa amari shimasen.
    I like sports, but I don’t do a lot of weight training.

    Take Online Lessons at Japan Switch

    Japanese words you need at the bank

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    銀行

    Ginkou

    Bank

    銀行員

    Ginkouin

    Bank Worker

    会計

    Kaikei

    Finances

    預金

    Yokin

    Deposit ; Bank Account

    口座

    Kougi

    Account

    普通預金

    Futsuuyokin

    Normal Bank Account

    貯金

    Chokin

    Savings / Deposit

    貯蓄預金

    Chochikuyokin

    Savings Account

    お振り込み

    Ofurikomi

    Deposit Transfer

    振替

    Furikae

    Transfer between accounts

    お引き出し

    Ohitadashi

    Withdrawal

    残高

    Zandaka

    Account Balance

    残高照会

    Zandakashoukai

    Account Balance Inquiry

    金利

    Kinri

    Interest Rate

    金庫

    Kinko

    Safe

    両替

    Ryougae

    Money Exchange

    手数料

    Tesuuryou

    Charge / Handling fee

    現金

    Genkin

    Cash

    貸金

    Kashikin

    Loan

    ローン

    Rōn

    Loan

    借金

    Shakkin

    Debt

    返済

    Hensai

    Repayment of Loan

    En

    Yen

    ドル

    Doru

    Dollar

    ユーロ

    Yuuro

    Euro

    日本に行く前に両替して円を手に入れました。
    Nihon ni iku mae ni ryougae shite en wo te ni iremashita.
    Before going to Japan, I exchanged money and got some yen.

    Japanese words you need when shopping

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Mise

    Shop

    デパート

    Depaato

    Department Store

    美容院

    Biyouin

    Salon

    スーパー

    Suupaa

    Supermarket

    本屋

    Honya

    Bookstore

    花屋

    Hanaya

    Flower shop

    パン屋

    Panya

    Bakery

    薬局

    Yakkyoku

    Pharmacy

    コンビニ

    Konbini

    Convenience Store

    喫茶店

    Kissaten

    Cafe

    映画館

    Eigakan

    Movie Theater

    買い物

    Kaimono

    Shopping

    営業時間

    Eigyoujikan

    Hours of Operation

    閉店

    Heiten

    Closing a shop

    レジ

    Reji

    Register

    セルフレジ

    Serufureji

    Self-serve Register

    店員

    Tenin

    Shop Employee

    いくら

    Ikura

    How much

    値段

    Nedan

    Price

    レシート

    Reshiito

    Receipt

    お支払い

    Oshiharai

    Payment

    支払う

    Shiharau

    To pay

    払う

    Harau

    To pay

    母が美容院に行っている間に、本屋に立ち寄りました。
    Haha ga biyouin ni itteiru aida ni, honya ni tachiyorimashita.
    While my mom was at the salon, I stopped by the bookstore.

    japanese traditional clothes

    Japanese words about clothes

    Knowing the terms for clothes will be useful for wherever you go shopping, or want to describe someone’s clothes.

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Fuku

    Clothes

    和服

    Wafuku

    Traditional Japanese clothing

    着物

    Kimono

    Kimono

    浴衣

    Yukata

    Yukata (lighter kimono worn in summer)

    Obi

    Obi (kimono sash)

    Kanzashi

    Ornate hairpin

    羽織

    Haori

    Haori (formal coat)

    Hakama

    Hakama (men's formal skirt)

    足袋

    Tabi

    Tabi (split-toe socks)

    草履

    Zouri

    Thonged sandals

    下駄

    Geta

    Wooden clogs

    洋服

    Youfuku

    Western clothes

    ブラウス

    Burausu

    Blouse

    Yシャツ

    Waishatsu

    Dress shirt / Button up

    ズボン

    Zubon

    Trousers

    スーツ

    Suutsu

    Suit

    スカート

    Sukaato

    Skirt

    ロングスカート

    Rongusukaato

    Long skirt

    ミニスカート

    Minisukaato

    Miniskirt

    ジーンズ

    Jiinzu

    Jeans

    スキニーパンツ

    Sukiniipantsu

    Skinny jeans

    レギンス

    Reginsu

    Leggings

    ショーツ

    Shootsu

    Shorts

    Tシャツ

    Tshyatsu

    Tshirt

    パーカー

    Paakaa

    Sweatshirt hoodie

    トレーナー

    Toreenaa

    Crewneck sweatshirt

    ジャケット

    Jaketto

    Jacket

    コート

    Kooto

    Coat

    ロングコート

    Rongukooto

    Long coat

    カーディガン

    Kaadegan

    Cardigan

    ニット・セーター

    Nitto seeta

    Knit sweater

    ワンピース

    Wanpiisu

    Dress

    ドレス

    Doresu

    Dress

    アクセサリー

    Akusesorii

    Accessories

    帽子

    Boushi

    Hat

    ニットキャップ

    Nittokyappu

    Beanie

    クリップ

    Kurippu

    Hair clip

    リボン

    Ribon

    Hair Ribbon

    ネックレス

    Nekkuresu

    Necklace

    ピアス

    Piasu

    Earrings

    ブレスレット

    Buresuretto

    Bracelet

    指輪

    Yubiwa

    Ring

    手袋

    Tebukuro

    Gloves

    マフラー

    Mafuraa

    Scarf

    タイツ

    Taitsu

    Tights / pantyhose

    靴下

    Kutsushita

    Socks

    Kutsu

    Shoes

    スニーカー

    Suniikaa

    Sneakers

    スリッポン

    Surippon

    Slip on (shoes)

    ブーツ

    Buutsu

    Boots

    ニーハイブーツ

    Niihaibuutsu

    Knee-high boots

    サンダル

    Sandaru

    Sandals

    ローファー

    Roofaa

    Loafer

    フラット・シューズ

    Furatto shuuzu

    Flats

    パンプス

    Pampusu

    Pumps

    ウエッジ・ソール

    Wedji sooru

    Wedges

    水着

    Mizugi

    Bathing suit

    ビキニ

    Bikini

    Bikini

    下着

    Shitagi

    Underwear

    ブラ

    Bura

    Bra

    キャミソール

    Kyamisooru

    Camisole

    かぶる

    Kaburu

    To wear (a hat)

    かける

    Kakeru

    To wear (glasses)

    着る

    Kiru

    To wear (tops and dresses)

    履く

    Haku

    To wear (pants and shoes)

    サイズ

    Saizu

    Size

    夏祭りには浴衣が必須です!
    Natsumatsuri ni wa yukata ga hissu desu!
    A yukata is a must for a summer festival!

    昨日着ていたパーカーが可愛いです!
    Kinou kiteita paakaa ga kawaii desu!
    The hoodie you wore yesterday is adorable!

    Japanese words you need at the grocery store

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    食料品店

    Shokuryouhinten

    Grocery store

    スーパー

    Suupaa

    Supermarket

    通路

    Tsuuro

    Aisle

    買い物カート

    Kaimono kaato

    Shopping cart

    買い物カゴ

    Kaimono kago

    Shopping basket

    日用品

    Nichiyouhin

    Daily necessities

    消費期限

    Shouhikigen

    Expiration Date

    賞味期限

    Shoumikigen

    Sell-by Date

    冷凍食品

    Reitoushokuhin

    Frozen Food

    乳製品

    Nyuuseihin

    Dairy products

    材料

    Zairyou

    Ingredients

    食材

    Shokuzai

    Ingredients

    香辛料

    Koushinryou

    Spice

    スパイス

    Supaisu

    Spice

    ボトル

    Botoru

    Bottle

    Kan

    Can

    缶詰

    Kandzume

    Canned food

    Bin

    Jar

    Hako

    Box

    Fukuro

    Bag

    ビニール袋

    Biniiru bukuro

    Plastic bag

    調味料

    Choumiryou

    Condiment

    セール

    Seeru

    Sale

    クーポン券

    Kuuponken

    Coupon

    エコバッグがありますから、なるべくビニール袋を使わないようにします。
    Ekobaggu ga arimasu kara, narubeku biniiru bukuro wo tsukawanai you ni shimasu.
    I have reusable bags, so I try to avoid using plastic bags.

    Types of foods 

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    料理

    Ryouri

    Cooking

    和食

    Washoku

    Japanese food

    中華料理

    Chuukaryouri

    Chinese food

    洋食

    Youshoku

    Western food

    食事

    Shokuji

    Meal

    おかず

    Okazu

    Side dishes

    朝ごはん

    Asagohan

    Breakfast

    昼ごはん

    Hirugohan

    Lunch

    晩ごはん

    Bangohan

    Dinner

    夜食

    Yashoku

    Late-night snack

    おやつ

    Oyatsu

    Snacks

    お菓子

    Okashi

    Sweets

    食べ物

    Tabemono

    Food

    飲み物

    Nomimono

    Beverage

    最近は少し太ったので、夜食を食べないようにしています。
    Saikin wa sukoshi futotta no de, yashoku wo tabenai you ni shiteimasu.
    I’ve gained a bit of weight recently, so I’m trying to avoid eating late at night.

    Japanese Dishes

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    うどん

    Udon

    Thick wheat noodles

    ラーメン

    Raamen

    Ramen

    刺身

    Sashimi

    Sashimi (sliced raw fish)

    寿司

    Sushi

    Sushi

    巻きずし

    Makizushi

    Sushi roll

    おにぎり

    Onigiri

    Rice Ball

    お弁当

    Obentou

    Bento (boxed lunch)

    天ぷら

    Tenpura

    Tempura (deep fried foods)

    牛丼

    Gyuudon

    Rice bowl with beef

    親子丼

    Oyakodon

    Rice bowl with chicken and egg

    天丼

    Tendon

    Rice bowl with tempura

    トンカツ

    Tonkatsu

    Fried pork cutlet

    カレーライス

    Kareeraisu

    Japanese curry rice

    すき焼き

    Sukiyaki

    Japanese hot pot

    お好み焼き

    Okonomiyaki

    Savory cabbage pancake

    焼きうどん

    Yakiudon

    Pan fried udon noodles

    焼きそば

    Yakisoba

    Pan fried soba noodles

    そば

    Soba

    Buckwheat noodles

    そうめん

    Soumen

    Thin wheat flour noodles

    焼き鳥

    Yakitori

    Skewered chicken

    唐揚げ

    Karaage

    Fried chicken

    卵かけご飯

    Tamagokakegohan

    Rice topped with raw egg

    卵焼き

    Tamagoyaki

    Rolled omelet

    オムライス

    Omuraisu

    Fried rice topped with an omelet

    Mochi

    Sticky rice cake

    コンビニのおにぎりはほぼ毎日食べてしまいます。
    Konbini no onigiri ha hobo mainichi tabete shimaimasu.
    I end up eating rice balls from the convenience store almost every day.

    japanese traditional dishes served in japan

    Fruits

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    果物

    Kudamono

    Fruit

    りんご

    Ringo

    Apple

    もも

    Momo

    Peach

    すいか

    Suika

    Watermelon

    メロン

    Meron

    Honeydew (green melon)

    Nashi

    Japanese pear

    洋梨

    Younashi

    European pear

    Anzu

    Apricot

    Ume

    Japanese Plum

    すもも

    Sumomo

    Chinese Plum

    ぶどう

    Budou

    Grape

    Kaki

    Japanese persimmon

    レモン

    Remon

    Lemon

    ライム

    Raimu

    Lime

    バナナ

    Banana

    Banana

    いちご

    Ichigo

    Strawberry

    ラズベリー

    Razuberii

    Raspberry

    さくらんぼ

    Sakuranbo

    Cherry

    ブルーベリー

    Buruuberii

    Blueberry

    オレンジ

    Orenji

    Orange

    ミカン

    Mikan

    Mandarin

    キウイ

    Kiui

    Kiwi

    グレープフルーツ

    Gureepufrutsu

    Grapefruit

    ザクロ

    Zakuro

    Pomegranite

    スターフルーツ

    Sutaafuruutsu

    Starfruit

    ドラゴンフルーツ

    Doragonfuruutsu

    Dragonfruit

    ドリアン

    Dorian

    Durian

    ネクタリン

    Nekutarin

    Nectarine

    マンゴー

    Mangoo

    Mango

    ライチ

    Raichi

    Lychee

    いちご大福が好きですが、生のいちごはあまりすきでわありません。
    Ichigo daifuku ga suki desuga, nama no ichigo ha amari suki dewa arimasen.
    I like strawberry daifuku, but I don’t like fresh strawberries very much.

    Vegetables

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    野菜

    Yasai

    Vegetables

    にんじん

    Ninjin

    Carrot

    アーティチョーク

    Aateichooku

    Artichoke

    えのきたけ

    Enokitake

    Enoki Mushrooms

    しいたけ

    Shiitake

    Shitake Mushrooms

    オクラ

    Okura

    Okra

    かぶ

    Kabu

    Turnip

    かぼちゃ

    Kabocha

    Pumpkin

    カリフラワー

    Karifurawaa

    Cauliflower

    レタス

    Retasu

    Lettuce

    キャベツ

    Kyabetsu

    Cabbage

    白菜

    Hakusai

    Napa Cabbage

    きゅうり

    Kyuuri

    Cucumber

    セロリ

    Serori

    Celery

    じゃがいも

    Jyagaimo

    Potato

    さつまいも

    Satumaimo

    Sweet Potato

    たけのこ

    Takenoko

    Bamboo Shoot

    玉ねぎ

    Tananegi

    Round onion

    ネギ

    Negi

    Green onion

    とうもろこし

    Toumorokoshi

    Corn

    トマト

    Tomato

    Tomato

    ほうれん草

    Hourensou

    Spinach

    小松菜

    Komatsuna

    Japanese mustard spinach

    空芯菜

    Kuushinsai

    Chinese water spinach

    チンゲン菜

    Chingensai

    Bok Choy

    れんこん

    Renkon

    Lotus root

    にんにく

    Ninniku

    Garlic

    クレソン

    Kureson

    Watercress

    ルッコラ

    Rukkora

    Arugula

    蓮根はおせち料理の煮しめ以外は食べられません。
    Renkon wa osechi ryouri no shime igai wa taberaremasen.
    I can’t eat lotus root outside of New Year’s dishes.

    Japanese With Friends Podcast Cover

    Know anyone who has passed N1?
    Want to escape the teaching trap?

    OUR HOSTS

    Japan Switch - Tyson

    Tyson Batino

    Tyson is the director and a co-founder of Japan Switch and One Coin English. He has spent 15 years in Japan and achieved N1 in just 3.5 years. Listen in as he shares his tips to becoming successful.

    Colten Japan switch podcast host

    Colten Nahrebesk

    Colten is the owner of Risu Press. He spent 6 years working in various industries in Japan and achieved N2. Tune in to hear more about his experiences and advice for living in Japan.

    Meats and Seafood

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    Niku

    Meat

    豚肉

    Butaniku

    Pork

    ベーコン

    Beekon

    Bacon

    牛肉

    Gyuuniku

    Beef

    鶏肉

    Toriniku

    Chicken (meat)

    Sakana

    Fish

    Sake or shake

    Salmon

    マグロ

    Magruo

    Tuna

    ツナ

    Tsuna

    Tuna (esp. canned)

    タイ

    Tai

    Seabream

    さば

    Saba

    Mackerel

    アジ

    Aji

    Horse Mackerel

    サンマ

    Sanma

    Pacific Saury / Mackerel Pike

    ブリ

    Buri

    Japanese Amberjack / Japanese Yellowtail

    イワシ

    Iwashi

    Sardine

    アサリ

    Asari

    Manila clam

    エビ

    Ebi

    Shrimp

    うなぎ

    Unagi

    Eel

    タコ

    Tako

    Octopus

    イカ

    Ika

    Squid

    カニ

    Kani

    Crab

    ウニ

    Uni

    Sea urchin

    Tamago

    Eggs

    イカの寿司が一番好きです。
    Ika no sushi ga ichiban suki desu.
    Squid sushi is my favorite.

    Dairy

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    牛乳

    Gyuunyuu

    Milk

    バーター

    Baataa

    Butter

    チーズ

    Chiizu

    Cheese

    ヨーグルト

    Yooguruto

    Yogurt

    クリーム

    Kuriimu

    Cream

    サワークリーム

    Sawaakuriimu

    Sour Cream

    コンデンスミルク

    Kondensumiruku

    Condensed Milk

    朝ごはんによくヨーグルトを食べます。
    Asagohan ni yoku yooguruto wo tabemasu.
    I often eat yogurt for breakfast.

    Breads

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    パン

    Pan

    Bread

    アンパン

    Anpan

    Bread filled with red bean paste

    食パン

    Shokupan

    Bread loaf (usually Japanese milk bread)

    トースト

    Toosuto

    Toast

    ベーグル

    Beeguru

    Bagel

    毎朝ベーグルとクリームチーズを食べます。
    Maiasa beeguru to kuriimuchiizu wo tabemasu.
    Every morning I eat a bagel with cream cheese.

    Desserts

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    デザート

    Dezaato

    Dessert

    アイスクリーム

    Aisukuriimu

    Ice cream

    アイス

    Aisu

    Ice cream (abbreviated)

    かき氷

    Kakigoori

    Shaved ice / snow cone

    ケーキ

    Keeki

    Cake

    パイ

    Pai

    Pie

    クッキー

    Kukkii

    Cookies

    チョコレート

    Chokoreeto

    Chocolate

    チョコ

    Choko

    Chocolate (abbreviated)

    プリン

    Purin

    Pudding / custard

    パフェ

    Pafe

    Parfait

    和菓子

    Wagashi

    Traditional Japanese Sweets

    コーヒーゼリー

    Koohii zerii

    Coffee Jelly

    クレープ

    Kureepu

    Crepe

    たい焼き

    Taiyaki

    Fish shaped bun filled with red bean

    海に行ってかき氷を食べたいです。
    Umi ni itte kakikoori wo tabetai desu.
    I want to go to the beach and eat shaved ice.

    Spices, herbs, and condiments

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    ソース

    Soosu

    Sauce

    醤油

    Shouyuu

    Soy Sauce

    Shio

    Salt

    砂糖

    Satou

    Sugar

    胡椒

    Koshou

    Pepper

    オレガノ

    Oregano

    Oregano

    ガーリック

    Gaarikku

    Garlic

    カモミール

    Kamomiiru

    Chamomile

    カルダモン

    Karudamon

    Cardamom

    カレーリーフ

    Kareeriifu

    Curry leaf

    キャラウェイ

    Kyarauei

    Caraway

    クミン

    Kumin

    Cumin

    クローブ

    Kuroobu

    Clove

    けしの実

    Keshinomi

    Poppy seed

    ごま

    Goma

    Sesame seed

    コリアンダー

    Koriandaa

    Coriander

    サフラン

    Safuran

    Saffron

    山椒

    Sanshou

    Japanese pepper

    しそ

    Shiso

    Perilla

    シナモン

    Shinamon

    Cinnamon

    ジンジャー

    Jinjaa

    Ginger

    スペアミント

    Supeaminto

    Spearmint

    セージ

    Seeji

    Sage

    セロリーシード

    Seroriishiido

    Celery seed

    ソレル

    Soreru

    Sorrel

    ターメリック

    Taamerikku

    Turmeric

    タイム

    Taimu

    Thyme

    チャイブ

    Chaibu

    Chive

    チリーペッパー

    Chiriipeppaa

    Chili pepper

    ディル

    Diru

    Dill

    ナツメッグ

    Natsumeggu

    Nutmeg

    バジル

    Bajiru

    Basil

    パセリ

    Paseri

    Parsley

    バニラ

    Banira

    Vanilla

    パプリカ

    Papurika

    Paprika

    フェネグリーク

    Feneguriin

    Fenugreek

    フェンネル

    Fenneru

    Fennel

    ペパーミント

    Pepaaminto

    Peppermind

    ホースラディッシュ

    Hoosuradesshu

    Horseradish

    花椒(ホアジャオ)

    Kashou / Hoajou

    Chinese pepper

    辛子

    Karashi

    Japanese mustard

    マスタード

    Masutaado

    Mustard

    ゆず

    Yuzu

    Yuzu

    レモングラス

    Remongurasu

    Lemon Grass

    ローズマリー

    Roozummarii

    Rosemary

    わさび

    Wasabi

    Wasabi

    マヨネーズ

    Mayoneezu

    Mayonnaise

    ケチャップ

    Kechappu

    Ketchup

    この料理の匂いはコリアンダーとクミンが入っているからです。
    Kono ryouri no nioi wa koriandaa to kumin ga haitteiru kara desu.
    This dish smells like that because it has cumin and coriander in it.

     Alcohol

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    アルコール

    Arukooru

    Alcohol

    Sake

    Sake

    ビール

    Biiru

    Beer

    生ビール

    Namabiiru

    Draft Beer

    ワイン

    Wain

    Wine

    蒸留酒

    Jouryuushuu

    Distilled liquor

    焼酎

    Shouchuu

    Shochu (Japanese distilled beverage)

    ウイスキー

    Uisukii

    Whiskey

    ブランデー

    Burandee

    Brandy

    ジン

    Jin

    Gin

    ウォッカ

    Wokka

    Vodka

    ラム

    Ramu

    Rum

    テキーラ

    Tekiira

    Tequila

    カクテル

    Kakuteru

    Cocktail

    父の一番好きなアルコールはウイスキーです。
    Chichi no ichiban suki na arukooru ha uisukii desu.
    My father’s favorite type of alcohol is whiskey.

    Japanese words for cooking

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    焼く

    Yaku

    To grill; to bake

    水洗い

    Mizuarai

    Rinsing with cold water

    茹でる

    Yuderu

    To boil

    混ぜる

    Mazeru

    To mix

    みじん切り

    Mijingiri

    Finely chopping

    揚げる

    Ageru

    To fry

    泡立てる

    Awadateru

    To whisk

    蒸らす

    Murasu

    To steam

    炒める

    Itameru

    To stir fry / saute

    漬ける

    Tsukeru

    To soak / seep ; To pickle / preserve

    盛る

    Moru

    To serve

    皮を剥く

    Kawa wo muku

    To peel

    Tane

    Seed

    Kara

    Shell / husk / pod

    Kawa

    Rind / peel

    根元

    Nemoto

    Base of a plant / part near the root

    Nabe

    Pot

    フライパン

    Furaipan

    Frypan

    炊飯器

    Suihanki

    Rice cooker

    姉は料理が下手ですけど、ケーキやクッキーを焼くのが上手です!
    Ane wa ryouri ga heta desukedo, keeki ya kukkii wo yaku no ga jouzu desu!
    My older sister isn’t a great cook, but she can bake cakes and cookies well!

    Japanese words you need when eating out

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    飲食店

    Inshokuten

    Restaurant

    レストラン

    Resutoran

    Restaurant

    ファミレス

    Famiresu

    Family-style Restaurant (abbreviation)

    予約

    Yoyaku

    Reservation

    おしぼり

    Oshibori

    Hot towel

    お会計

    Okaikei

    Check

    美味しい

    Oishii

    Delicious

    うまい

    Umai

    Delicious (more informal)

    まずい

    Mazui

    Disgusting

    甘い

    Amai

    Sweet

    苦い

    Nigai

    Bitter

    辛い

    Karai

    Spicy

    塩辛い

    Shiokarai

    Salty

    酸っぱい

    Suppai

    Sour

    味が薄い

    Aji ga usui

    Tasteless / bland

    あの寿司店の巻きずしはすごく美味しいですよ!
    Ano sushiten no makizushi wa sugoku oishii desu yo!
    That sushi restaurant’s sushi rolls are so delicious!

     How do I talk on the phone in Japanese?

    When you pick up the phone, instead of kon’nichiha, you will say moshi moshi as a greeting. Japanese people often bow their heads out of habit even when speaking on the phone.

    Japanese words for technology and websites

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    コンピュータ

    Konpyuuta

    Computer

    パソコン

    Pasokon

    PC

    ノートパソコン

    Nootopasokon

    Laptop

    画面

    Gamen

    Screen

    マウス

    Mausu

    Mouse

    キーボード

    Kiiboodo

    Keyboard

    ヘッドホン

    Heddohon

    Headphones

    イアホン

    Iahon

    Earphones

    ソフト

    Sofuto

    Software

    ビデオゲーム

    Bideogeemu

    Video game

    設定

    Settei

    Settings / Option configurations

    ファイル

    Fairu

    File

    保存

    Hozon

    Saving (to disk)

    削除

    Sakujo

    Deletion

    移動

    Idou

    Movement (of a file)

    インターネット

    Intaanetto

    Internet

    ネット

    Netto

    The net

    サイト

    Saito

    Website

    ダウンロード

    Daunroodo

    Download

    電話

    Denwa

    Telephone

    携帯

    Keitai

    Cell phone

    アプリ

    Apuri

    App

    機能

    Kinou

    Function

    技術

    Gijutsu

    Technology

    再起動

    Saikidou

    Restart

    形式

    Keishiki

    Format (e.g. of a file)

    編集

    Henshuu

    Editing

    印刷

    Insatsu

    Printing

    コンピュータの画面が壊れてしまって、再起動してみましたが、だめでした。
    Konpyuuta no gamen ga kowarete shimatte, saikidou shite mimashita ga, dame deshita.
    The computer screen was broken so I tried to restart it, but it was no use.

    japanese people riding on train for transportation

    Japanese words about transportation and travel

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    乗り物

    Norimono

    Vehicle

    交通の便

    Koutsuu no ben

    Ease of transportation

    Kuruma

    Car

    タクシー

    Taksuhii

    Taxi

    バイク

    Baiku

    Motorcycle

    自転車

    Jitensha

    Bicycle

    バス

    Basu

    Bus

    バス停

    Basutei

    Bus stop

    電車

    Densha

    Train

    地下鉄

    Chikatetsu

    Subway

    きっぷ

    Kippu

    Ticket

    Eki

    Train station

    Fune

    Ship

    Minato

    Port / harbor

    飛行機

    Hikouki

    Airplane

    空港

    Kuukou

    Airport

    航空券

    Koukuuken

    Plane ticket

    行き先

    Ikisaki

    Destination

    到着

    Touchaku

    Arrival

    出発

    Shuppatsu

    Departure

    スーツケース

    Suutsukeesu

    Suitcase

    旅行

    Ryokou

    Travel / trip

    一泊二日

    Ippakufutsuka

    One night two day trip

    二泊三日

    Nihakumikka

    Two night three day trip

    三泊四日

    Sanpakuyouka

    Three night four day trip

    ツアー

    Tsuaa

    Tour

    海外

    Kaigai

    Abroad / overseas

    国内

    Kokunai

    Domestic (travel)

    観光

    Kankou

    Sight-seing

    旅館

    Ryokan

    Japanese style inn

    ホステル

    Hosuteru

    Hostel

    お土産

    Omiyage

    Omiyage (obligatory gifts from a trip/souvenirs)

    お土産を買うのをよく忘れるタイプですから、結局空港で買ってしまいます。
    Omiyage wo kau no wo yoku wasureru taipu desu kara, kekkyoku kuukou de katte shimaimasu.
    I’m the kind of person who often forgets to buy souvenirs so I end up buying them at the airport.

    Driving

    If you’re looking to drive in Japan, look at our Guide to Japan’s Driving Test.

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    運転免許

    Untenmenkyo

    Driver's license

    運転する

    Untensuru

    To drive

    警音器

    Keionki

    Car horn

    運転手

    Untenshu

    Driver

    乗客

    Joukyaku

    Passenger

    車線

    Shasen

    Traffic lane

    信号

    Shingou

    Traffic light

    標識

    Hyoushiki

    Sign

    歩行者

    Hokousha

    Pedestrians

    歩道

    Hodou

    Sidewalk

    横断歩道

    Oudanhodou

    Crosswalk

    交差点

    Kousaten

    Intersection

    駐車

    Chuusha

    Parking

    速度

    Sokudo

    Speed

    交通

    Koutsuu

    Traffic

    道路

    Dorou

    Road

    通行

    Tuukou

    Passage

    Kado

    Corner

    ガソリンスタンド

    Gasorinsutando

    Gas station

    一方

    Ippou

    One way

    止まれ

    Tomare

    "Stop"

    進入禁止

    Shinnyuu kinshi

    Do not enter

    まっすぐ

    Massugu

    Straight

    Hidari

    Left

    Migi

    Right

    回る

    Mawaru

    To turn

    駐車場はレストランの後ろにありますから、交差点で左に回ってください。
    Chuushajou wa resutoran no ushiro ni arimasukara, kousaten de hidari n i mawatte kudasai.
    The parking lot is behind the restaurant, so please turn left at the intersection.

    Japanese words about garbage and recycling

    The garbage and recycling system in Japan is much more complicated than in many other countries. Be sure you’re separating and disposing of everything correctly!

    For in-depth info on how to do that, check out our Guide to Recycling and Garbage Disposal in Japan.

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    ゴミ箱

    Gomibako

    Trash bin

    燃やすゴミ

    Moyasugomi

    Burnable trash

    可燃ごみ

    Kanen gomi

    Combustible waste

    生ゴミ

    Namagomi

    Kitchen waste / food scraps

    資源ごみ

    Shigengomi

    Recyclable waste

    ペットボトル

    Pettobotoru

    Plastic bottle

    ボトル

    Botoru

    Bottle

    フタ

    Futa

    Bottle cap

    食品包装

    Shokuhinhousou

    Food packaging

    プラスチック

    Purasuchikku

    Plastic

    燃やさないゴミ

    Moyasanaigomi

    Trash that is not burnable

    不燃ごみ

    Funengomi

    Non-combustible trash

    瀬戸物

    Setomono

    Ceramics / porcelain

    ガラス

    Garasu

    Glass

    メタル

    Metaru

    Metal

    電球

    Denkyuu

    Light bulb

    粗大ごみ

    Sodaigomi

    Oversized garbage

    粗大ごみ処理券

    Sodaigomi Shoriken

    Removal fee payment sticker for oversized garbage

    ゴミを出す

    Gomi wo dasu

    To take out the garbage

    ゴミを分別する

    Gomi wo bunbetsu suru

    To separate garbage

    ゴミを収集する

    Gomi wo shuushuu suru

    To collect garbage

    収集日

    Shuushuubi

    (Garbage) collection day

    古紙

    Koshi

    Paper for recycling

    容器包装

    Youkihousou

    Containers / packaging

    紙製容器包装

    Kamisei youkihousou

    Paper packaging

    ダンボール

    Danbooru

    Cardboard

    今日は燃やさないゴミ収集日ですから、置いておいてくれませか?
    Kyou wa moyasanai gomi shuushuubi desu kara, oite oite kuremasenka?
    Today is non-burnable garbage day, so would you mind putting it out?

    japanese nature outside tokyo

    Bonus: Japanese words that have no English equivalent

    These words are more for fun than function. Every language has its own unique words that don’t have a perfect one-to-one translation. Here are some of those Japanese words and what they mean in English:

    Japanese

    Romanization

    English

    仕方がない/しょうがない

    Shikata ga nai / Shouganai

    There's nothing that can be done/ It is what it is

    木漏れ日

    Kimorebi

    Sunlight filtering through the leaves on a tree

    紅葉

    Kouyou or momiji

    The leaves changing color in fall

    幻想的

    Gensouteki

    Fairytale-like

    生きがい

    Ikigai

    Reason for living

    木枯らし

    Kogarashi

    Cold wind as a sign of winter

    侘び寂び

    Wabi sabi

    Japanese aesthetic of transience and imperfection

    積ん読

    Tsundoku

    Buying books and not reading them / stockpiling books

    微妙

    Bimyou

    Questionable, subtle

    居留守

    Irusuban

    Pretending to be out to avoid a guest

    引きこもり

    HIkikomori

    A shut-in, someone who has withdrawn from society

    もののあわれ

    Mononoaware

    Appreciation of the fleeting nature of beauty

    恋の予感

    Koi no yokan

    A premonition of love / knowing you will fall in love with someone (not love at first sight)

    風物詩

    Fuubutsushi

    A thing that reminds one of a particular season

    懐かしい

    Natsukashii

    Fondly-remembered / nostalgic

    そのおやつは子供の頃から食べたことありません!懐かしい!
    S
    ono oyatsu wa kodomo no kora kara tabeta koto arimasen! Natsukasii!
    Wow, I haven’t eaten that snack since I was a kid! How nostalgic!

    Archer

    From Beginner to Pro

    Our bi-weekly emails for beginners to low intermediate students will give you the tips and motivation to self-study Japanese your way to Japanese fluency.

    Conclusion

    Now that you’ve gone through this guide, I hope you’re feeling more confident about diving into a Japanese conversation. It’s really a rewarding experience, and once you start practicing it’s hard to stop. Whether you’re honing your listening skills, picking up some relevant vocab, or finding a long-term language partner, I hope you enjoy your journey!

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