Sổ tay tiếng Nhật

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Chữ Nhật được viết trên đèn lồng trong chùa, Asakusa, Tokyo

Tiếng Nhật (日本語 nihongo) tiếng Nhật Bản là một ngôn ngữ được hơn 130 triệu người sử dụng ở Nhật Bản và những cộng đồng dân di cư Nhật Bản khắp thế giới.

Phát âm[sửa]

Nguyên âm[sửa]

Tiếng Nhật chỉ có 5 nguyên âm cơ bản nhưng có sự phân biệt giữa nguyên âm ngắn và dài.

Các nguyên âm ngắn gồm:

a, あ, ア 
'a'
i, い, イ 
'i'
u, う, ウ 
'ư'
e, え, エ 
'ê'
o, お, オ 
'ô'

Các nguyên âm dài gồm:

ā, ああ, アー 
'a' kéo dài hay có trường âm.
ii, いい, イー 
'i' kéo dài
u, うう, ウー 
kéo dài
ei, えい, エー 
'ê' kéo dài
ō, おう, オー 
'ô' kéo dài

Phụ âm[sửa]

Ngoại trừ duy nhất là "n" (ん・ン - ưm), các phụ âm trong tiếng Nhật luôn theo sau một nguyên âm để tạo thành một âm. Chúng có cách phát âm giống như trong tiếng Việt nhưng trừ một số phụ âm như chú thích bên dưới.

k trong かきくけこ・カキクケコ 
như âm 'k'
g trong がぎぐげご・ガギグゲゴ 
như âm 'g'
s trong さすせそ・サスセソ 
như 's'
z trong ざずぜぞ・ザズゼゾ 
như 'z'
t trong たてと・タテト 
như 't'
d trong だでど・ダデド 
như 'd'
n trong なにぬねの・ナニヌネノ 
như 'n'
h trong はひへほ・ハヒヘホ 
như 'h'
p trong ぱぴぷぺぽ・パピプペポ 
như 'p'
b trong ばびぶべぼ・バビブベボ 
như 'b'
m trong まみむめも・マミムメモ 
như 'm'
y trong やゆよ・ヤユヨ 
như 'y'
r trong らりるれろ・ラリルレロ 
đọc như có nằm giữa phụ âm 'l' và 'r' trong tiếng Việt
w trong わ・ワ 
như 'w' "qua"
sh trong し・シ 
như 'sh'
j trong じ・ジ 
như 'j'
ch trong ち・チ 
như 'ch' trong '"chi"
ts trong つ・ツ 
như "tờ-chư"
f trong ふ・フ 
như 'ph'
n, ん, ン 
ngắn 'n', trong một vài trường hợp nó được phát âm như 'm' ví dụ như 'shinpun' đọc là shim-pun"
っ・ッ (tsu nhỏ) 
được viết nhỏ bên dưới khi có hai phụ âm cuối và đầu giống nhau. Ví dụ, にっぽん nippon đọc là "nip-(dừng)-pon". Nhưng ngoại lệ nếu hai phụ âm là nn, mm thì không viết theo kiểu trên.

Cụm từ[sửa]

Các bảng hiệu thông dụng


営業中 
Mở cửa
準備中 
Đóng cửa
入口 
Lối vào
出口 
Lối ra
大・中・小 
Lớn/Trung/Nhỏ
押 
Đẩy
引 
Kéo
お手洗い, トイレ, 化粧室 
Toilet
男 
Nam
女 
Nữ
禁止 
Cấm
円 
Yen (ja: en)

Cơ bản[sửa]

Chào (buổi chiều). 
こんにちは。 Konnichiwa. (kon-nee-chee-wah)
Bạn khỏe không? 
お元気ですか? O-genki desu ka? (Oh-GEN-kee dess-ka?)
Khỏe, cảm ơn. 
はい、元気です。 Hai, genki desu. (Ha-ee, gen-kee dess)
Thế còn bạn? 
あなたは? Anata wa? (Ah-nah-tah wa)n? (Oh-nah-mah-eh wah?)
Tên tôi là ... . 
… です。 ... desu. (... dess.)
Vui mừng được gặp bạn (trịnh trọng) 
始めまして。どうぞ宜しくお願いします。 Hajimemashite. Dōzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu. (Hah-jee-meh-mash-teh dohh-zoh yoh-roh-sh-ku oh-neh-gah-ee shee-mah-ss)
Làm ơn. (thỉnh cầu) 
お願いします。 Onegai shimasu. (oh-neh-gah-ee shee-mahs)
Xin mời (mời chào) 
どうぞ。 Dōzo. (Dohh-zoh)
Đây là ... . (khi giới thiệu một người nào đó) 
こちらは … Kochira wa ... (ko-chi-rah wah...)
Cảm ơn. (trang trọng) 
どうもありがとうございます。 Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu. ('đố-mồ à-ri-ga tô gồ-zai-ma-sừ)
Cảm ơn (ít trịnh trọng hơn) 
ありがとうございます。 Arigatō gozaimasu. (à-ri-ga-tô gồ-zai-ma-sừ)
Cảm ơn. (bình thường) 
ありがとう。 Arigatō. (à-ri-ga-tô)
Cảm ơn (thân mật) 
どうも。 Dōmo. (đố-mồ)
Hoan nghênh. 
どういたしまして。 Dō itashimashite. (đô i-ta-shi-ma-shi-tề)
vâng 
はい hai (hây)
không phải/đúng 
いいえ iie (i-ế)
Xin lỗi (mở lời). 
すみません。 Sumimasen. (su-mi-ma-sen)
Tôi xin lỗi. 
ごめんなさい。 Gomen nasai. (gô-men na-sai)
Tôi xin lỗi (ít trang trọng) 
ごめん Gomen. (gô-men)
Tạm biệt. 
さようなら。 Sayōnara. (sa-YOHH-nah-rah)
Tạm biệt. (ít trang trọng) 
じゃね。 Ja ne. (Ja-nê)
Tôi không thể nói tiếng Nhật (tốt). 
日本語が(よく)話せません。 Nihongo ga (yoku) hanasemasen. ( nị-hon-gô gá (yô-kự) ha-sa-shi-ma-sen)
Bạn nói được tiếng Nhật không? 
日本語が話せますか? Nihongo ga hanasemasu ka? (nị-hon-gô gá ha-na-shi-ma-su-ká?)
Vâng, biết một chút. 
はい、少し。 Hai, sukoshi. (hây sư-kô-shi)
Bạn có biết nói tiếng Anh không? 
英語が話せますか? Eigo ga hanasemasu ka? (EHH-goh gah hah-nah-seh-mahs-KAH?)
Có ai ở đây biết nói tiếng Anh không? 
誰か英語が話せますか? Dareka eigo ga hanasemasu ka? (dah-reh-kah EHH-goh gah hah-nah-seh-moss-KAH?)
Làm ơn nói chậm lại. 
ゆっくり話してください。 Yukkuri hanashite kudasai. (YOO-kuree hanash-teh koo-dah-sah-ee)
Làm ơn nói lại. 
もう一度言ってください。 Mō ichido itte kudasai. (mo EE-chee-doh ee-te koo-dah-sah-ee)
Giúp với! 
助けて! Tasukete! (tahs-keh-teh!)
Cẩn thận! 
危ない! Abunai! (ah-boo-NIGH!)
Chào buổi sáng. 
お早うございます。 Ohayō gozaimasu. (oh-hah-YOH go-zah-ee-mahs)
Chào buổi sáng. (ít trang trọng) 
おはよう。 Ohayō.
Chào buổi tối. 
こんばんは。 Kombanwa. (kohn-bahn-wah)
Chúc ngủ ngon 
お休みなさい。 Oyasuminasai. (oh-yah-soo-mee-nah-sigh)
Chúc ngủ ngon (ít trang trọng) 
お休み。 Oyasumi.
Tôi không hiểu. 
分かりません。 Wakarimasen. (wah-kah-ree-mah-sen)
Tôi không phải người Nhật. 
日本人ではありません。 Nihonjin dewa arimasen. (nee-hon-jin deh-wah a-ree-ma-sehn)
Nhà vệ sinh ở đâu? 
お手洗い・トイレはどこですか? Otearai/toire wa doko desu ka? (Oh-teh-ah-rah-ee/toh-ee-reh wah DOH-koh dess kah?)
Cái gì? 
何? Nani? (nah-nee)
Ở đâu? 
どこ? Doko? (doh-koh)
Ai? 
誰? Dare? (dah-reh)
Khi nào? 
いつ? Itsu? (it-soo)
Cái nào? 
どれ? Dore? (doh-reh)
Tại sao? 
どうして Dōshite (doh-sh'teh)
Như thế nào? 
どうやって? Dōyatte (dohh-yah-teh)
Bao nhiêu? 
いくら? Ikura? (ee-koo-rah)
What type of? 
どんな? Donna? (dohn-nah)

Vấn đề[sửa]

What part of "no" don't you understand?

The Japanese are famously reluctant to say the word "no", and in fact the language's closest equivalent, いいえ iie, is largely limited to denying compliments you have received. ("Your Japanese is excellent! "Iie, it is very bad!"). But there are numerous other ways of expressing "no", so here are a few to watch out for.

いいです。 結構です。
Ii desu. Kekkō desu.
"It's good/excellent." Used when you don't want more beer, don't want your bentō lunch microwaved, and generally are happy to keep things as they are. Accompany with teeth-sucking and handwaving to be sure to get your point across - both of these expressions may be interpreted as positive responses if you don't include enough nonverbal indications to the contrary.
ちょっと難しいです・・・
Chotto muzukashii desu...
Literally "it's a little difficult", but in practice "it's completely impossible." Often just abbreviated to sucking in air through teeth, saying "chotto" and looking pained. Take the hint.
申し訳ないですが・・・
Mōshiwakenai desu ga...
"This is inexcusable but..." But no. Used by sales clerks and such to tell you that you cannot do or have something.
ダメです。
Dame desu.
"It's no good." Used by equals and superiors to tell you that you cannot do or have something. The Kansai equivalent is akan.
違います。
Chigaimasu.
"It is different." What they really mean is "you're wrong". The casual form chigau and the Kansai contraction chau are also much used.
Để tôi yên. 
ほっといてくれ。 Hottoitekure.
Đừng chạm vào tôi! 
さわらないで! Sawaranaide!
Tôi sẽ gọi cảnh sát. 
警察をよぶよ!。 Keisatsu o yobu yo!
Cảnh sát! 
警察! Keisatsu!
Dừng lại! Ăn trộm! 
動くな! 泥棒! Ugokuna! Dorobō!
Tôi cần bạn giúp. 
手伝ってください。 Tetsudatte kudasai.
It's an emergency. 
緊急です。 Kinkyū desu.
Tôi bị lạc. 
道を迷っています。 Michi o mayotte imasu.
Tôi bị mất túi. 
鞄をなくしました。 Kaban o nakushimashita.
Tôi đánh rơi ví. 
財布をおとしました。 Saifu o otoshimashita.
Tôi bị ốm. 
病気です。 Byōki desu.
Tôi không được khoẻ. 
具合がわるいです。 Guai ga warui desu.
Tôi bị thương. 
けがをしました。 Kega o shimashita.
Làm ơn gọi bác sĩ. 
医者を呼んでください。 Isha o yonde kudasai.
Tôi có thể dùng điện thoại của bạn được không? 
電話を使わせていただけますか? Denwa o tsukawasete itadakemasu ka?

Medical emergencies[sửa]

Tôi cần bác sĩ. 
医者に見てもらいたいです。 Isha ni mite moraitai desu.
Có bác sĩ nào nói được tiếng Anh không? 
英語の出来る医者はいますか? Eigo no dekiru isha wa imasu ka?
Làm ơn đưa tôi tới chỗ bác sĩ. 
医者に連れていって下さい。 Isha ni tsurete itte kudasai.
Vợ/chồng/con tôi ốm. 
妻・旦那・子供が病気です。 Tsuma/danna/kodomo ga byōki desu.
Làm ơn gọi xe cứu thương. 
救急車を呼んで下さい。 Kyūkyūsha o yonde kudasai.
Tôi cần sơ cứu. 
応急手当を下さい。 Ōkyū teate o kudasai.
Tôi cần tới phòng cấp cứu. 
救急室にいかなければなりません。 Kyūkyūshitsu ni ikanakereba narimasen.
ngắn hơn: 救急室に行かないと。 Kyūkyūshitsu ni ikanai to.
How long will it take to get better? 
治るのはどの位かかりますか? Naoru no wa dono kurai kakarimasu ka?
Nhà thuốc ở đâu? 
薬局はどこですか? Yakkyoku wa doko desu ka?

Dị ứng[sửa]

Tôi bị dị ứng với ... . 
私は … アレルギーです。 Watashi wa ... arerugii desu.(ja.Arerugii,de.Allergie)
antibiotics 
抗生物質 kōsei busshitsu
aspirin 
アスピリン asupirin
codeine 
コデイン kodein
đồ từ sữa 
乳製品 nyūseihin
màu thực phẩm 
人工着色料 jinkō chakushokuryō
fungus 
菌類 kinrui
bột ngọt 
味の素 ajinomoto
nấm 
キノコ kinoko
lạc (đậu phộng) 
ピーナッツ pīnattsu
penicillin 
ペニシリン penishirin
pollen 
花粉 kafun
hải sản 
魚介類 gyokairui
vừng (mè) 
ゴマ goma
shellfish 
貝類 kairui
tree nuts, fruits or berries 
木の実 kinomi
wheat 
小麦 komugi

Explaining symptoms[sửa]

Body parts


head 
atama
face
kao
eyes
me
ears
mimi
nose
hana
throat
nodo
chin
ago
neck 
kubi
shoulders
kata
chest
mune
waist
koshi
arms
ude
wrists
手首 tekubi
fingers
yubi
hands
te
elbow
hiji
buttocks
(お)尻 (o)shiri
thigh
momo
knee
hiza
legs, foot
ashi
... hurts. 
… が痛い。... ga itai.
Feeling unwell. 
気分が悪い Kibun ga warui.
Having a fever. 
熱があります。 Netsu ga arimasu.
Coughing a lot. 
咳がでます。 Seki ga demasu.
Feeling listless. 
体がだるい。 Karada ga darui.
Feeling nauseated. 
吐き気がします。 Hakike ga shimasu.
Feeling dizzy. 
めまいがします。 Memai ga shimasu.
Having the chills. 
寒気がします。 Samuke ga shimasu.
Swallowed something. 
何かを呑んでしまいました。 Nanika o nonde shimaimashita.
Bleeding. 
出血です。 Shukketsu desu.
Broken bone. 
骨折です。 Kossetsu desu.
He/she is unconscious. 
意識不明です。 Ishiki fumei desu.
Burned. 
火傷です。 Yakedo desu.
Trouble breathing. 
呼吸困難です。 Kokyū konnan desu.
Heart attack. 
心臓発作です。 Shinzō hossa desu.
Vision worsened. 
視力が落ちました。 Shiryoku ga ochimashita.
Cannot hear well. 
耳が良く聴こえません。 Mimi ga yoku kikoemasen.
Nose bleeds a lot. 
鼻血が良くでます。 Hanaji ga yoku demasu.

Extreme weather[sửa]

Japan has more than its fair share of natural disasters.

Blizzard 
吹雪 (fubuki)
Earthquake 
地震 (jishin)
Flood 
洪水 (kōzui)
Landslide 
地滑り (jisuberi)
Tsunami 
津波 (tsunami)
Typhoon 
台風 (taifū)
Volcano eruption 
噴火 (funka)

Số[sửa]

While Arabic (Western) numerals are employed for most uses in Japan, you will occasionally still spot Japanese numerals at eg. markets and the menus of fancy restaurants. The characters used are nearly identical to Chinese numerals, and like Chinese, Japanese uses groups of 4 digits, not 3. "One million" is thus 百万 (hyaku-man), literally "hundred ten-thousands".

There are both Japanese and Chinese readings for most numbers, but presented below are the more commonly used Chinese readings. Note that, due to superstition (shi also means "death"), 4 and 7 typically use the Japanese readings yon and nana instead.

Down for the count

When counting objects, Japanese uses special counter words. For example, "two bottles of beer" is ビール2本 biiru nihon, where ni is "two" and -hon means "bottles". Unlike in English, where counter words are often optional or non-existent, in Japanese they're mandatory whenever you count something (e.g. 車2台 kuruma ni-dai, two cars; 台 dai counts machines). Alas, the list of possible counters is vast, but some useful ones include:

small roundish objects (apples, sweets) 
-ko
people 
-nin , 名 -mei (polite), 名様 -meisama (humble polite; use for others, but not yourself)
animals 
-hiki, -biki, -piki
flat objects (papers, tickets) 
-mai
long objects (bottles, pens)
-hon, -bon, -pon
cups, glasses
-hai, -bai, -pai
nights of a stay 
-haku, -paku
years (age) 
-sai

Note how many counters change form depending on the previous number: one, two, three glasses are ippai, nihai, sanbai respectively. There are also a few exceptions: one person and two people are hitori and futari. 20 years old is usually pronounced hatachi. You'll still be understood if you get these wrong though.

For numbers from one to nine, an old counting system is often used which applies to virtually any object you may want to count, without the need to attach a specific counter:

一つ hitotsu
二つ futatsu
三つ mittsu
四つ yottsu
五つ itsutsu
六つ muttsu
七つ nanatsu
八つ yattsu
九つ kokonotsu

It is always a good idea to use a specific counter whenever possible, but using the generic numbers above is often equally acceptable. This system is rarely used anymore for numbers greater than nine.

〇 (zero hoặc maru) / 零 (rei) trong tài chính
一 (ichi)
二 (ni)
三 (san)
四 (yon hoặc shi)
五 (go)
六 (roku)
七 (nana hoặc shichi)
八 (hachi)
九 (kyū)
10 
十 ()
11 
十一 (jū-ichi)
12 
十二 (jū-ni)
13 
十三 (jū-san)
14 
十四 (jū-yon)
15 
十五 (jū-go)
16 
十六 (jū-roku)
17 
十七 (jū-nana)
18 
十八 (jū-hachi)
19 
十九 (jū-kyū/jū-ku)
20 
二十 (ni-jū)
21 
二十一 (ni-jū-ichi)
22 
二十二 (ni-jū-ni)
23 
二十三 (ni-jū-san)
30 
三十 (san-jū)
40 
四十(yon-jū)
50 
五十 (go-jū)
60 
六十 (roku-jū)
70 
七十(nana-jū)
80 
八十 (hachi-jū)
90 
九十 (kyū-jū)
100 
百 (hyaku)
200 
二百 (nihyaku)
300 
三百 (sambyaku)
600 
六百 (roppyaku)
800 
八百 (happyaku)
1000 
千 (sen)
2000 
二千 (ni-sen)
3000 
三千 (san-zen)
10,000 
一万 (ichi-man)
1,000,000 
百万 (hyaku-man)
100,000,000 
一億 (ichi-oku)
1,000,000,000,000 
一兆 (itchō)
0.5 
〇・五 (rei ten go)
0.56 
〇・五六 (rei ten go-roku)
số _____ (tàu hoả, xe buýt, v.v
_____番 (____ ban)
một nửa 
半分 (hambun)
ít hơn (ít) 
少ない (sukunai)
nhiều hơn (nhiều) 
多い (ōi)

Time[sửa]

now 
今 (ima)
later 
後で (atode)
before 
前に (mae ni)
before ___ 
___ の前に ( ___ no mae ni)
morning 
朝 (asa)
afternoon 
午後 (gogo)
evening 
夕方 (yūgata)
night 
夜 (yoru)

Clock time[sửa]

Clock times are formed as Chinese numeral plus 時 ji, for example, goji 5時 for five o'clock. The exception is four o'clock which is pronounced yoji (四時) instead of shiji. You will be understood if you simply substitute gozen 午前 for "AM" and gogo 午後 for PM, although other time qualifiers like 朝 asa for morning and 夜 yoru for night may be more natural. The 24-hour clock is also commonly used in official contexts such as train schedules. TV schedules occasionally use a modified 24-hour clock, with late night showtimes counted from the previous day, e.g. Monday at 26:00 indicates Tuesday at 2:00 AM.

six o'clock in the morning 
朝6時 (asa rokuji)
nine o'clock AM 
午前9時 (gozen kuji)
noon 
正午 (shōgo)
one o'clock PM 
午後1時 (gogo ichiji.)
two o'clock PM 
午後2時 (gogo niji)
midnight 
夜12時 (yoru jūniji), 零時 (rēji)

Duration[sửa]

Confusingly, the Japanese words for "N days" (long) and "Nth day" are the same, so eg. 二日 futsuka means both "two days" and "the second day of the month". (See #Days of the Month for the full list.) You can tag on -間 kan at the end, eg. futsukakan 2日間, to clarify that you mean "two days long". The exception is 一日, which is read ichinichi to mean "one day/all day", but tsuitachi to mean "first day".

_____ minute(s) 
_____ 分 (fun or pun)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ 時間 (jikan)
_____ day(s) 
_____ 日間 (nichikan or (k)kakan, see note above)
_____ week(s) 
_____ 週間 (shūkan)
_____ month(s) 
_____ ヶ月 (kagetsu)
_____ year(s) 
_____ 年 (nen)

Days[sửa]

today 
今日(kyō)
yesterday 
昨日(kinō)
tomorrow 
明日(ashita)
tomorrow (formal) 
明日(asu)
this week 
今週(konshū)
last week 
先週(senshū)
next week 
来週(raishū)
Days of the week[sửa]

The days of the week are named after the sun, the moon and the five elements of Chinese philosophy.

Sunday 
日曜日 (nichiyōbi)
Monday 
月曜日 (getsuyōbi)
Tuesday 
火曜日 (kayōbi)
Wednesday 
水曜日 (suiyōbi)
Thursday 
木曜日 (mokuyōbi)
Friday 
金曜日 (kin'yōbi)
Saturday 
土曜日 (doyōbi)

Days of the month[sửa]

The 1st through the 10th of the month have special names:

First day of the month 
1日 (tsuitachi)
Second day of the month 
2日 (futsuka)
Third day of the month 
3日 (mikka)
Fourth day of the month 
4日 (yokka)
Fifth day of the month 
5日 (itsuka)
Sixth day of the month 
6日 (muika)
Seventh day of the month 
7日 (nanoka)
Eighth day of the month 
8日 (yōka)
Ninth day of the month 
9日 (kokonoka)
Tenth day of the month 
10日 (tōka)

The other days of the month are more orderly, just add the suffix -nichi to the ordinal number. Note that 14, 20, and 24 deviate from this pattern.

Eleventh day of the month 
11日 (jūichinichi)
Fourteenth day of the month 
14日 (jūyokka)
Twentieth day of the month 
20日 (hatsuka)
Twenty-fourth day of the month 
24日 (nijūyokka)

Months[sửa]

Months are very orderly in Japanese, just add the suffix -gatsu to the Sino-Japanese ordinal number.

January 
1月 (ichigatsu)
February 
2月 (nigatsu)
March 
3月 (sangatsu)
April 
4月 (shigatsu)
May 
5月 (gogatsu)
June 
6月 (rokugatsu)
July 
7月 (shichigatsu)
August 
8月 (hachigatsu)
September 
9月 (kugatsu)
October 
10月 (jūgatsu)
November 
11月 (jūichigatsu)
December 
12月 (jūnigatsu)

Seasons[sửa]

Spring 
春 (haru)
Summer 
夏 (natsu)
Rainy season 
梅雨 (tsuyu, baiu)
Autumn 
秋 (aki)
Winter 
冬 (fuyu)

Writing time and date[sửa]

Dates are written in year/month/day (day of week) format, with markers:

2007年3月21日(火)

Note that Imperial era years, based on the name and duration of the current Emperor's reign, are also frequently used. 2010 in the Gregorian calendar corresponds to Heisei 22 (平成22年), which may be abbreviated as "H22". Dates like "22/03/24" (March 24, Heisei 22) are also occasionally seen.

Colors[sửa]

Many of the English words for colors are widely used and understood by almost all Japanese. These are indicated after the slash.

Note that some Japanese colors are normally suffixed with -iro (色) to distinguish between the color and the object. For example, 茶 cha means "tea", but 茶色 chairo means "tea-color" → "brown".

black 
黒 / ブラック (kuro / burakku)
white 
白 / ホワイト (shiro / howaito)
gray 
灰(色) / グレー (hai(iro) / gurē)
red 
赤 / レッド (aka / reddo)
blue 
青 / ブルー (ao / burū)
yellow 
黄(色) / イエロー (ki(iro) / ierō)
green 
緑 / グリーン (midori / guriin)
orange 
橙 / オレンジ (daidai / orenji)
purple 
紫 / パープル (murasaki / pāpuru)
brown 
茶(色) / ブラウン (cha(iro) / buraun)

Transportation[sửa]

Bus and train[sửa]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
_____ までいくらですか? (_____ made ikura desu ka?)
One ticket to _____, please. 
_____ まで一枚お願いします。(_____ made ichimai onegaishimasu.)
Where does this train/bus go? 
この電車・バスはどこ行きですか? (Kono densha/basu wa doko yuki desu ka?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
_____ 行きの電車・バスはどこですか? (_____ yuki no densha/basu wa doko desu ka?)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
この電車・バスは _____ に止まりますか? (Kono densha/basu wa _____ ni tomarimasu ka?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
_____ 行きの電車・バスは何時に出発しますか? (_____ yuki no densha/basu wa nanji ni shuppatsu shimasu ka?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
この電車・バスは何時に _____ に着きますか? (Kono densha/basu wa nanji ni _____ ni tsukimasu ka?)

Directions[sửa]

How do I get to _____? 
_____ はどちらですか? (_____ wa dochira desu ka?)
...the train station? 
駅...? (eki...)
...the bus station? 
バス停...? (basu tei...)
...the airport? 
空港...? (kūkō...)
...downtown? 
街の中心...? (machi no chūshin...)
...the youth hostel? 
ユースホステル...? (yūsu hosuteru...)
...the _____ hotel? 
_____ ホテル...? (hoteru...)
...the _____ embassy/consulate? 
_____大使館/領事館...? (_____ taishikan/ryōjikan...)
Where are there a lot of _____ 
_____が多い所はどこですか? (_____ga ooi tokoro wa doko desu ka?)
...lodgings? 
宿...? (yado...)
...restaurants? 
レストラン...? (resutoran...)
...bars? 
バー...? (baa...)
...sites to see? 
見物...? (mimono...)
Where is _____? 
_____はどこですか? (_____ wa doko desu ka?)
Is it far from here? 
ここから遠いですか? (Koko kara tooi desu ka?)
Please show me on the map. 
地図で指して下さい。 (Chizu de sashite kudasai.)
street 
道 (michi)
Turn left. 
左へ曲がってください。 (Hidari e magatte kudasai.)
Turn right. 
右へ曲がってください。(Migi e magatte kudasai.)
left 
左 (hidari)
right 
右 (migi)
straight ahead 
まっすぐ (massugu)
towards the _____ 
_____ へ向かって (e mukatte)
past the _____ 
_____ の先 (no saki)
before the _____ 
_____ の前 (no mae)
Watch for the _____. 
_____が目印です。 (ga mejirushi desu.)
intersection 
交差点 (kōsaten)
traffic light 
信号 (shingou)
north 
北 (kita)
south 
南 (minami)
east 
東 (higashi)
west 
西 (nishi)
uphill 
上り (nobori), also used for trains heading towards Tokyo
downhill 
下り (kudari), also used for trains coming from Tokyo

Taxi[sửa]

Taxi! 
タクシー! (Takushii! (Taxi!))
Take me to _____, please. 
_____までお願いします。 (_____ made onegaishimasu.)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
_____ までいくらですか? (_____ made ikura desu ka)
Take me there, please. 
そこまでお願いします。 (soko made onegaishimasu.)

Lodging[sửa]

Do you have any rooms available? 
空いてる部屋ありますか? (Aiteru heya arimasu ka?)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
一人・二人用の部屋はいくらですか? (Hitori/futari-yō no heya wa ikura desu ka?)
Is the room Japanese/Western style? 
和室/洋室ですか? (Washitsu/yōshitsu desu ka?)
Does the room come with... 
部屋は ... 付きですか? (Heya wa ___ tsuki desu ka?)
...bedsheets? 
床の枚...? (yuka no mai...)
...a bathroom? 
風呂場...? (furoba...)
...a telephone? 
電話...? (denwa...)
...a TV? 
テレビ? (terebi...)
May I see the room first? 
部屋を見てもいいですか? (Heya o mite mo ii desu ka?)
Do you have anything quieter? 
もっと[静かな]部屋ありますか? (Motto [shizuka na] heya arimasu ka?)
...bigger? 
広い...? (hiroi...)
...cleaner? 
きれいな...? (kirei na...)
...cheaper? 
安い...? (yasui...)
OK, I'll take it. 
はい、これで良いです。(Hai, kore de ii desu.)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
_____ 晩泊まります。(____ ban tomarimasu.)
Do you know another place to stay? 
他の宿はご存知ですか? (Hoka no yado wa gozonji desu ka?)
Do you have [a safe?] 
[金庫]ありますか? ([Kinko] arimasu ka?)
...lockers? 
戸棚...? (todana...?)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
朝食・夕食は付きますか? (Chōshoku/yūshoku wa tsukimasu ka?)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
朝食・夕食は何時ですか? (Chōshoku/yūshoku wa nanji desu ka?)
Please clean my room. 
部屋を掃除してください。 (Heya o sōji shite kudasai.)
Please wake me at _____. 
_____ に起こしてください。 (____ ni okoshite kudasai.)
I want to check out. 
チェックアウトです。(Chekku auto (check out) desu.)

Money[sửa]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
アメリカ/オーストラリア/カナダドルは使えますか? (Amerika/ōsutoraria/kanada doru wa tsukaemasu ka?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
イギリスポンドは使えますか? (Igirisu pondo wa tsukaemasu ka?)
Do you accept credit cards? 
クレジットカードは使えますか? (Kurejitto kaado (credit card) wa tsukaemasu ka?)
Can you change money for me? 
お金両替できますか? (Okane ryōgae dekimasu ka?)
Where can I get money changed? 
お金はどこで両替できますか? (Okane wa doko de ryōgae dekimasu ka?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
トラベラーズチェックを両替できますか? (Torabarāsu chekku (traveler's check) wo ryōgae dekimasu ka?)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
トラベラーズチェックはどこで両替できますか? (Torabarāzu chekku (traveler's check) wa doko de ryōgae dekimasu ka?)
What is the exchange rate? 
為替レートはいくらですか?(Kawase rēto wa ikura desu ka?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
ATM はどこにありますか? (ATM wa doko ni arimasuka?)

Eating[sửa]

What are they yelling at me?

Most Japanese restaurants show their appreciation for customers by loudly greeting them in unison. Expect to hear the following:

Irasshai! or Irasshaimase! 
"Come on in!", said when a customer walks in. You're not expected to respond in any way, just take a seat.
Arigatō gozaimashita! 
"Thank you very much!", said when a customer leaves.

If your meal was good, thank the chef or staff with Gochisōsama deshita when leaving, and you'll get an extra-hearty thank you in return!

I'm hungry. 
お腹がすきました。 (Onaka ga sukimashita.)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
一人・二人です。 (Hitori/futari desu.)
Please bring a menu. 
メニューを下さい。 (Menu wo kudasai.)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
調理場を見てもいいですか? (Chōriba wo mite mo ii desu ka?)
Is there a house specialty? 
お勧めはありますか? (O-susume wa arimasu ka?)
Is there a local specialty? 
この辺の名物はありますか? (Kono hen no mēbutsu wa arimasu ka?)
Please choose for me. 
お任せします。 (O-makase shimasu.)
I'm a vegetarian. 
ベジタリアンです。 (Bejitarian desu.)
I don't eat pork. 
豚肉はだめです。 (Butaniku wa dame desu.)
I don't eat beef. 
牛肉はだめです。(Gyūniku wa dame desu.)
I don't eat raw fish. 
生の魚はだめです。(Nama no sakana wa dame desu.)
Please do not use too much oil. 
油を控えて下さい。(Abura wo hikaete kudasai.)
fixed-price meal 
定食 (teishoku)
à la carte 
一品料理 (ippinryōri)
breakfast 
朝食 (chōshoku) / 朝ご飯 (asagohan)
lunch 
昼食 (chūshoku) / 昼ご飯 (hirugohan)
light meal/snack 
軽食 (keishoku)
supper 
夕食 (yūshoku) / 晩ご飯 (bangohan)
Please bring _____. 
_____ を下さい。(_____ wo kudasai.)
I want a dish containing _____. 
_____が入ってるものを下さい。 (____ ga haitteru mono wo kudasai.)
chicken 
鶏肉 (toriniku)
beef 
牛肉 (gyūniku)
pork 
豚肉 (butaniku)
mutton 
羊肉 (yōniku)
fish 
魚 (sakana)
ham 
ハム (hamu)
sausage 
ソーセージ (sōsēji)
cheese 
チーズ (chīzu)
eggs 
卵 (tamago)
salad 
サラダ (sarada)
(fresh) vegetables 
(生)野菜 ( (nama) yasai)
(fresh) fruit 
(生)果物 ( (nama) kudamono)
bread 
パン (pan)
toast 
トースト (tōsuto)
noodles 
麺類 (menrui)
pasta 
パスタ (pasuta)
rice 
ご飯 (gohan)
soup 
スープ : (sūpu)
beans 
豆 (mame)
May I have a glass/cup of _____? 
_____ を一杯下さい。 (____ wo ippai kudasai.)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
_____ を一本下さい。 (_____ wo ippon kudasai.)
coffee 
コーヒー (kōhī)
green tea 
お茶 (ocha)
black tea 
紅茶 (kōcha)
juice 
果汁 (kajū)
water 
水 (mizu)
beer 
ビール (bīru)
red/white wine 
赤/白ワイン (aka/shiro wain)
Do you have _____? 
_____ はありますか? (_____ wa arimasu ka?)
chopsticks 
お箸 (o-hashi)
fork 
フォーク (fōku)
spoon 
スプーン (supūn)
salt 
塩 (shio)
black pepper 
胡椒 (koshō)
soy sauce 
醤油 (shōyu)
ashtray 
灰皿 (haizara)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server
済みません (sumimasen)
(when starting a meal) 
いただきます。(itadakimasu)
It was delicious. (when finishing a meal) 
ご馳走さまでした。 (Gochisōsama deshita.)
Please clear the plates. 
お皿を下げてください。 (Osara o sagete kudasai.)
The check, please. 
お勘定お願いします。 (O-kanjo onegaishimasu.)

On the phone[sửa]

Telephone 
電話 denwa
Mobile phone 
携帯(電話) kētai(denwa)
Telephone number 
電話番号 denwa bangō
Phone book 
電話帳 denwa chō
Answering machine 
留守番電話 rusuban denwa
Hello (only on the phone) 
もしもし moshi moshi
May I speak to ... . 
… をお願いします。... wo onegaishimasu.
Is ... there? 
… はいらっしゃいますか? ... wa irasshaimasu ka?
Who is calling? 
どなたですか? Donata desu ka?
One moment, please. 
ちょっとお待ちください。 Chotto omachi kudasai.
... is not here right now. 
… は今いません。 ... wa ima imasen.
I will call you again later. 
後でまた電話します。 Ato de mata denwa shimasu.
I got the wrong number. 
間違えました。 Machigaemashita.
The line is busy. 
話し中です。 Hanashichū desu.
What is your phone number? 
電話番号は何番ですか? Denwa bangō wa nanban desu ka?

Bars[sửa]

Sake talk

Sake, known in Japanese as 日本酒 nihonshu, has a vocabulary all its own. Here is a brief introduction.

atsukan 
熱燗 Heated sake. Recommended only in winter with cheap sake.
hiyashi, reishu 
冷やし, 冷酒 Chilled sake. The way to drink better sake.
isshōbin 
一升瓶 The standard sake bottle, containing 10 , ie. 1.8 liters.
ichigō 
一合 The standard measure for servings of sake, around 180 milliliters.
tokkuri 
徳利 A small ceramic jug used to pour sake, contains around one
masu 
升 A square wooden box traditionally used to drink chilled sake, also contains one . Drink from the corner.
choko 
ちょこ A tiny gulp-sized ceramic cup for sake.
Do you serve alcohol? 
お酒ありますか? (O-sake arimasu ka?)
Is there table service? 
テーブルサービスありますか? (Tēburu sābisu arimasu ka?)
A beer/two beers, please. 
ビール一杯・二杯下さい。(Biiru ippai/nihai kudasai.)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
赤・白ワイン一杯下さい。(Aka/shiro wain ippai kudasai.)
A mug (of beer), please. 
(ビールの)ジョッキ下さい。((Bīru no) jokki kudasai.)
A bottle, please. 
ビン下さい。 (Bin kudasai.)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ と _____ 下さい。(_____ to _____ kudasai.)
sake 
日本酒 (nihonshu)
Japanese liquor 
焼酎 (shōchū)
whiskey 
ウイスキー (uisukii)
vodka 
ウォッカ (wokka)
rum 
ラム (ramu)
water 
水 (mizu)
club soda 
ソーダ (sōda)
tonic water 
トニックウォーター (tonikku wōtā)
orange juice 
オレンジジュース (orenji jūsu)
cola (soda
コーラ (kōra)
with ice 
オンザロック (onzarokku (on the rocks))
Do you have any bar snacks? 
おつまみありますか? (O-tsumami arimasu ka?)
One more, please. 
もう一つください。 (Mō hitotsu kudasai.)
Another round, please. 
みんなに同じものを一杯ずつください。 (Minna ni onaji mono o ippai zutsu kudasai.)
When is closing time? 
閉店は何時ですか? (Heiten wa nanji desuka?)

Shopping[sửa]

O, honorable prefix!

Nearly any Japanese word can be prefixed with the respectful tags o- (お) or go- (ご or 御), often translated with the unwieldy four-syllable word "honorable". A few you might expect — o-tōsan (お父さん) is "honorable father", and a few you might not — o-shiri (お尻) is "honorable buttocks". Most of the time, they're used to emphasize that the speaker is referring to the listener, so if someone enquires if after your honorable health (お元気 o-genki) it's proper to strip off the honorific and reply that you are merely genki. However, for some words like gohan (ご飯) "rice" and ocha (お茶) "tea", the prefix is inseparable and should always be used. In this phrasebook, the prefix is separated with a hyphen if it's optional (o-kane), and joined to the word if it's mandatory (oisha).

Do you have this in my size? 
私のサイズでありますか? (Watashi no saizu de arimasu ka?)
How much is this? 
いくらですか? (Ikura desu ka?)
That's too expensive. 
高過ぎます。 (Takasugimasu.)
Would you take _____? 
_____円はどうですか? (_____ yen wa dō desu ka?)
expensive 
高い (takai)
cheap 
安い (yasui)
I can't afford it. 
そんなにお金を持っていません。 (Sonna ni okane wo motteimasen.)
I don't want it. 
要りません。 (Irimasen.)
You're cheating me. 
騙してるんだ。 (Damashiterun da.) Use with caution!
I'm not interested. 
興味ありません。 (Kyōmi arimasen.)
OK, I'll take it. 
はい、それにします。 (Hai, sore ni shimasu.)
Can I have a bag? 
袋を貰えますか? (Fukuro moraemasu ka?)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
海外へ発送出来ますか? (Kaigai e hassō dekimasu ka?)
I need... 
___が欲しいです。 (____ ga hoshii desu.)
...spectacles. 
眼鏡 (megane)
...toothpaste. 
歯磨き (hamigaki)
...a toothbrush. 
歯ブラシ (ha-burashi)
...tampons. 
タンポン (tampon)
...soap. 
石鹸 (sekken)
...shampoo. 
シャンプー (shampū)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
鎮痛剤 (chintsūzai)
...cold medicine. 
風邪薬 (kazegusuri)
...stomach medicine. 
胃腸薬 (ichōyaku)
...a razor. 
剃刀 (kamisori)
...an umbrella. 
傘 (kasa)
...sunblock lotion. 
日焼け止め (hiyakedome)
...a postcard. 
葉書 (hagaki)
...postage stamps. 
切手 (kitte)
...batteries. 
電池 (denchi)
...writing paper. 
紙 (kami)
...a pen. 
ペン (pen)
...a pencil. 
鉛筆 (empitsu)
...English-language books. 
英語の本 (eigo no hon)
...English-language magazines. 
英語の雑誌 (eigo no zasshi)
...an English-language newspaper. 
英字新聞 (ēji shinbun)
...a Japanese-English dictionary. 
和英辞典 (waē jiten)
...an English-Japanese dictionary. 
英和辞典 (ēwa jiten)

Family[sửa]

Are you married? 
結婚していますか? (Kekkon shiteimasu ka?)
I am married. 
結婚しています。 (Kekkon shiteimasu.)
I am single. 
独身です。 (Dokushin desu)
Do you have brothers and sisters? 
兄弟はいますか? (Kyōdai wa imasu ka?)
Do you have children? 
子供はいますか? (Kodomo wa imasu ka?)

Talking about your own family[sửa]

Family ties

In Japanese, it's always important to use less respectful terms for your own family and more respectful terms for another's family. Note also that the words for older/younger brother/sister are different.

Father 
父 (chichi)
Mother 
母 (haha)
Older Brother 
兄 (ani)
Older Sister 
姉 (ane)
Younger Brother 
弟 (otōto)
Younger Sister 
妹 (imōto)
Grandfather 
祖父 (sofu)
Grandmother 
祖母 (sobo)
Uncle 
叔父/伯父 (oji)
Aunt 
叔母/伯母 (oba)
Husband 
夫 (otto) / 主人 (shujin)
Wife 
妻 (tsuma) / 家内 (kanai)
Son 
息子 (musuko)
Daughter 
娘 (musume)
Grandchild 
孫 (mago)

Talking about another's family[sửa]

Father 
お父さん (otōsan)
Mother 
お母さん (okāsan)
Older Brother 
お兄さん (onīsan)
Older Sister 
お姉さん (onēsan)
Younger Brother 
弟さん (otōtosan)
Younger Sister 
妹さん (imōtosan)
Grandfather 
おじいさん (ojīsan)
Grandmother 
おばあさん (obāsan)
Uncle 
おじさん (ojisan)
Aunt 
おばさん (obasan)
Husband 
ご主人 (goshujin)
Wife 
奥さん (okusan)
Son 
息子さん (musukosan)
Daughter 
お嬢さん (ojōsan)
Grandchild 
お孫さん (omagosan)

Driving[sửa]

I want to rent a car. 
レンタカーお願いします。 (Rentakā (rent-a-car) onegaishimasu.)
Can I get insurance? 
保険入れますか? (Hoken hairemasu ka?)
Do you have a driver's license? 
免許証を持っていますか? (Menkyoshō wo motteimasu ka?)
stop (on a street sign
止まれ/とまれ (tomare)
one way 
一方通行 (ippō tsūkō)
caution 
徐行 (jokō)
no parking 
駐車禁止 (chūsha kinshi)
speed limit 
制限速度 (seigen sokudo)
gas (petrol) station 
ガソリンスタンド (gasorin sutando)
petrol 
ガソリン (gasorin)
diesel 
軽油/ディーゼル (keiyu / diizeru)

Authority[sửa]

In Japan, you can legally be incarcerated for twenty-three (23) days before you are charged, but you do have the right to see a lawyer after the first 48 hours of detention. Note that if you sign a confession, you will be convicted.

I haven't done anything (wrong). 
何も(悪いこと)していません。(Nani mo (warui koto) shiteimasen.)
It was a misunderstanding. 
誤解でした。 (Gokai deshita.)
Where are you taking me? 
どこへ連れて行くのですか? (Doko e tsurete yukuno desu ka?)
Am I under arrest? 
私は逮捕されてるのですか? (Watashi wa taiho sareteruno desu ka?)
I am a citizen of ____. 
____ の国民です。 (____ no kokumin desu.)
I want to meet with the ____ embassy. 
____ 大使館と会わせて下さい。 (____ taishikan to awasete kudasai.)
I want to meet with a lawyer. 
弁護士と会わせて下さい。(Bengoshi to awasete kudasai.)
Can it be settled with a fine? 
罰金で済みますか? (Bakkin de sumimasu ka?)
Note: You can say this to a traffic cop, but bribery is highly unlikely to work in Japan.

Typical Japanese expressions[sửa]

Four syllable words

If words can be shortened, Japanese will inevitably shorten them. Two by two syllables is often the sweet spot, and sometimes it's hard to guess where those came from.

デジカメ deji kame 
→ デジタルカメラ dejitaru kamera, a digital camera.
パソコン pasokon 
→ パーソナルコンピューター pāsonaru konpyūtā, a personal computer. ノート nōto stands for notebooks.
プリクラ purikura 
→ プリントクラブ purinto kurabu or "print club". A sort of extremely flashy photo booth and a favourite pastime for many.
パチスロ pachi suro 
→ パチンコ&スロット pachinko & surotto, locations everywhere offering the number one Japanese gambling game pachinko and traditional slot machines.
リモコン rimokon 
→ リモートコントロール rimōto kontorōru, remote control
KY kei wai 
→ 空気読めない kūki yomenai, "can't read the air", meaning an unperceptive person who can't read between the lines/can't keep up with a conversation.
そうですね。 Sō desu ne. 
"That's how it is, isn't it?"
General agreement. Especially old people can be heard going sō desu ne back and forth quite a few times.
(大変)お待たせしました。 (Taihen) omataseshimashita. 
"I have made you wait (terribly) long."
Used as an excuse after any amount of downtime, even just seconds. Often also used as a starter to get things going again.
お疲れさまでした。 Otsukaresama deshita. 
"It's been honorably tiresome."
To colleagues in the sense of "you gave it all, good work", but more generally at the end of almost any activity.
頑張って! Ganbatte! 
"Give it your best!"
Meant to be encouraging and motivating.
いただきます。 Itadakimasu. 
"I will receive."
To yourself before starting to eat or when accepting something offered to you.
失礼します。 Shitsurei shimasu. 
"I will trouble you." or "I will be impolite."
When entering your superiors room or an unfamiliar house, when trying to get someone's attention or generally when interrupting someone.
失礼しました。 Shitsurei shimashita. 
"I have troubled you." or "Excuse my impoliteness."
When leaving your superiors room or an unfamiliar house or generally as "Sorry to have bothered you, carry on."
大丈夫。 Daijōbu. 
"It is alright."
For general reassurance. Used with desu ka? to inquire if something or somebody is alright.
凄い! Sugoi! 
"Great!", "Incredible!"
Very popular amongst girls and greatly overused.
可愛い! Kawaii! 
"How cute!"
See sugoi.
ええぇ〜 Eee~ 
"Reallyyyyyyy~?"
Almost a standard reaction to any kind of news. Can be lengthened indefinitely and is hence useful to stall for time when thinking about a real answer.
ウソ! Uso! 
"Lie!"
Doesn't necessarily accuse one of lying, usually used in the sense of "Seriously?!"

Honourifics[sửa]

Japanese makes extensive use of honorific language (敬語 keigo) when talking to people of higher status. Keigo is famously difficult to master and even Japanese salespeople often need to take special courses to learn to speak correctly, but it is very commonly used in situations like salespeople talking to customers and train announcements, so even passive familiarity with the most common keigo verbs and constructs can be very handy.

Respectful form[sửa]

When talking to someone of higher status than yourself, it is important to use a respectful form (尊敬語 sonkeigo) when talking about the other person. Generally, this follows the pattern お~になる(o ~ ni naru), where ~ represents the stem of the basic polite form: eg. to read, 読む(yomu), basic polite form 読みます(yomimasu) becomes お読みになる(o-yomi-ni-naru). The naru at the end follows the normal conjugation patterns for naru, most commonly becoming narimasu (present) or narimashita (past). The main exceptions are listed below:

  • To see: 見る becomes ご覧になる (goran-ni-naru).
  • To eat/drink: 食べる/飲む becomes 召し上がる (meshi-agaru).
  • To come/go/be at a place: 来る/行く/いる becomes いらっしゃる (irassharu). (basic polite form いらっしゃいます irasshaimasu and not いらっしゃります)
  • To know: 知る becomes ご存知だ (gozonji-da).
  • To give (to yourself): くれる becomes 下さる (kudasaru). (basic polite form 下さいます kudasaimasu and not 下さります)
  • To do: する becomes なさる (nasaru). (basic polite form なさいます nasaimasu and not なさります)
  • To say: 言う becomes おっしゃる (ossharu) (basic polite form おっしゃいます osshaimasu and not おっしゃります)

Humble form[sửa]

When talking about yourself to someone of higher status than you, it is important to put yourself down by using a humble form (謙遜語 kensongo). Generally this follows the pattern お~する (o ~ suru), where ~ reprents the stem of the basic polite form: eg. to borrow, 借りる(kariru), basic polite form 借ります (karimasu) becomes お借りする (o-kari-suru). The suru at the end follows the usual conjugation pattern of suru, most commonly becoming shimasu (present) or shimashita (past); for an extra helping of humility, the verb 致す itasu > 致します itashimasu can be substituted. The main exceptions are listed below:

  • To see: 見る becomes 拝見する (haiken-suru).
  • To come/go: 来る/行く becomes 参る (mairu).
  • To eat/drink/receive: 食べる/飲む/もらう becomes いただく (itadaku)
  • To give: あげる becomes さし上げる (sashi-ageru).
  • To do: する becomes 致す (itasu)
  • To know: 知る becomes 存じる (zonjiru)
  • To say: 言う becomes 申し上げる (mōshi-ageru)
  • My name is: いう becomes 申す (mōsu)

Polite form[sửa]

The third type of keigo is called simply "polite language", or teineigo (丁寧語). Whereas respectful and humble language refer to the subject (you and I), teineigo is used to simply imply respect to the listener. An example:

りんごをご覧になりますか? Ringo wo goran ni narimasuka? 
Can you see the apple? (respectful)
りんごを拝見します。 Ringo wo haiken shimasu. 
I see the apple. (humble)
彼もりんごを見ます。 Kare mo ringo wo mimasu. 
He also sees the apple. (polite)

In fact, the desu copula and the -masu form taught to beginning students of Japanese are both examples of teineigo. A few verbs and adjectives have special teineigo forms:

to be 
aru (ある) → gozaru (ござる、御座る) (basic polite form ございます (gozaimasu) and not ござります)
to die 
shinu (死ぬ) → nakunaru (亡くなる)
good 
ii/yoi (いい/良い) → yoroshii (よろしい)

Country and territory names[sửa]

Country and territory names in Japanese are generally borrowed from their English names and written in katakana. The names of languages are generally formed by adding 語 (go) to the end of the country name. Some of the main exceptions are as follows:

日本 Nihon/Nippon , 日本国 Nihon-koku
Japan
中国 Chūgoku, 中華人民共和国 Chūka jinmin Kyouwa koku 
China (or, confusingly, Western Honshu)
台湾 Taiwan 
Taiwan
香港 Honkon
Hong Kong
韓国 Kankoku 
South Korea
北朝鮮 Kitachōsen 
North Korea
ドイツ Doitsu 
Germany
イギリス Igirisu, 英国 Eikoku (written) 
United Kingdom
インド Indo 
India
タイ Tai 
Thailand
フランス Furansu 
France
イタリア Itaria 
Italy
イスラエル Isuraeru 
Israel
アメリカ Amerika, 米国 Beikoku (written) 
United States of America (not the whole American continent)
南アフリカ Minami-afurika 
South Africa
オランダ Oranda 
The Netherlands
ベルギー Berugī 
Belgium
ハンガリー Hangarī 
Hungary
エチオピアー Echiopia 
Ethiopia
アラブ首長国連邦 Arabu-shuchōkoku-rempō 
United Arab Emirates
豪州 Gōshū , オーストラリア Ōsutoraria 
Australia

Offensive Language[sửa]

Fool or idiot (Kanto) 
バカ (baka)
Fool or idiot (Kansai) 
アホ (aho)
Doing something untimely 
まぬけ (manuke)
A slow person 
のろま (noroma)
Being bad at something 
下手 (heta)
Being very bad at something 
下手糞 (hetakuso)
A stingy person 
ケチ (kechi)
An old man 
ジジイ (jijii)
An old woman 
ババア (babaa)
Not being cool 
ダサイ (dasai)*
Fussy or depressing 
ウザイ (uzai)*
Creepy 
キモイ (kimoi)*
Drop dead! 
くたばれ (kutabare)
Get out of the way! 
どけ (doke)
Noisy! 
うるさい (urusai)
Shit 
糞 (kuso)
Pervert 
スケベ (sukebe)

* These words are mostly used by young people