Basic Japanese Words and Sentences That You Must Know

Written by Barry Allen

December 4, 2022

Basic Japanese Words and Sentences That You Must Know

Introduction

Some fundamental Japanese phrases are more valuable than others.

Why not concentrate on mastering these words first? We chose to write this post for you specifically for that reason.

The essential Japanese phrases covered in this post will help you communicate better if you’re just beginning to learn Japanese or are already fluent.

If you’re soon traveling to a Japanese-speaking place, these will be especially useful to you.

Basic Japanese Words and Sentences That You Must Know

The following are the basic Japanese words and sentences that you must know:

1.My name is … 

… と申します。… to mōshimasu. (Toh MOHH-shee-mahs) (lit. “I am called…”)

Use this phrase to tell someone your name.

2.What’s your name?

お名前は? O-namae wa? (Oh-nah-mah-eh wah?)

Use this phrase to ask someone his/her name.

3.How much does this cost?

いくらですか? (Ikura desu ka?)

Use this phrase to know the cost of something.

4.How are you?

お元気ですか? O-genki desu ka? (Oh-GEN’-kee des-ka?)

Use this phrase to ask someone how he or she is.

5.Fine, thank you.

 はい、元気です。 Hai, genki desu. (Hahy, GEN’-kee des.)

Use this phrase to tell that you are fine.

6.I can’t speak Japanese

日本語が(よく)話せません。 Nihongo ga (yoku) hanasemasen. ( Nee-hohn’-goh gah (yoh-koo) hah-nah-seh-mah-sen’ )

Use this phrase to tell someone that you can’t speak Japanese.

7.Do you speak English?

英語が話せますか? Eigo ga hanasemasu ka? (Ey-goh gah hah-nah-seh-mahs kah?)

Use this phrase to ask if that particular person speaks English.

8.Is there someone here who speaks English?

誰か英語が話せますか? Dareka eigo ga hanasemasu ka? (Dah-reh-kah ey-goh gah hah-nah-seh-mahs kah?)

Use this phrase to ask if someone speak English in that area.

9.I’m lost

道を迷っています。 Michi o mayotte imasu.

Use this phrase to tell someone you are lost.

10.I don’t understand

分かりません。 Wakarimasen. (Wah-kah-ree-mah-sen’ )

Use this phrase to tell someone if you don’t understand something.

11.Where is the toilet?

お手洗い・トイレはどこですか? Otearai/toire wa doko desu ka? (Oh-teh-ah-rahy/toy-reh wah doh-koh des kah?)

Use this phrase to ask for the toilet.

12.I lost my wall

財布をおとしました。 Saifu o otoshimashita.

Use this phrase to inform about losing your wallet.

Basic Japanese words that you should know:

  • What? – 何? Nani? (Nah-nee?)
  • Where? – どこ? Doko? (Doh-koh?)
  • Who? – 誰? Dare? (Dah-reh?)
  • When? – いつ? Itsu? (Eet-soo?)
  • Which? – どれ? Dore? (Doh-reh?)
  • Why? – どうして Dōshite (DOHH-sh’teh?)
  • Please speak slowly – ゆっくり話してください。 Yukkuri hanashite kudasai. (Yook-koo-ree hah-nahsh-teh koo-dah-sahy)
  • Please say it again – もう一度言ってください。 Mō ichido itte kudasai. (Mohh ee-chee-doh eet-teh koo-dah-sahy)
  • Please help! – 助けて! Tasukete! (Tah-skeh-teh!)
  • Look out! – 危ない! Abunai! (Ah-boo-NAHY!)
  • Good morning – お早うございます。 Ohayō gozaimasu. (Oh-hah-yohh goh-zahy-mahs)
  • Good morning. (informal) – おはよう。 Ohayō.
  • Good evening – こんばんは。 Konbanwa. (Kohm-bahng-wah)
  • Good night (to sleep) – お休みなさい。 Oyasuminasai. (Oh-yah-soo-mee-nah-sahy)
  • Why? (informal) – なんで? Nande (NAHN-deh?)
  • How? – どうやって? Dōyatte (DOHH yaht-teh?)
  • How much? – いくら? Ikura? (Ee-koo-rah?)
  • What type of? – どんな? Donna? (DOHN-nah?)

Conclusion

We hope these foundational words and phrases will improve your ability to speak Japanese confidently.

The first few times won’t be simple, so practice is the only and best option.

And always remember to prioritize the most important terms first rather than attempting to memorize all the phrases we shared with you today.

 

 

Author

  • Barry Allen

    Barry Allen is a Technical writer at Layman Solution. He is an expert in writing How To and Fixes articles.

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