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100+ Useful Japanese Classroom Phrases & Vocabulary

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If you are taking a Japanese group lesson online, or planning to study as a foreign student in Japan or to teach your language as a teacher in Japan, it’s good to know Japanese classroom phrases well for effective learning and better communication in the class.

In this guide, we introduce the most useful Japanese classroom phrases and vocabulary from various aspects, including school vocabulary, classroom greetings and calls, explaining absence and tardiness, teacher’s phrases, student phrases, and school subjects. You will learn not only common Japanese classroom phrases and vocabulary but also the unique features of Japanese schools, such as the school system, school routines, and school supplies. Let’s get ready for your class with JapanesePod101.com!

Students Are Raising Their Hands, the Teacher Is Stand in Front of the Blackboard

答えがわかったら手を挙げて Kotae ga wakattara te o agete
(“Raise your hand if you know the answer”)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Japanese Table of Contents
  1. School Vocabulary
  2. Classroom Greetings and Calls
  3. Explaining Absence and Tardiness/Leaving Early
  4. Teacher’s Phrases
  5. Student’s Phrases
  6. Talking About Subjects
  7. Conclusion

1. School Vocabulary

Before talking about Japanese classroom phrases, here are the lists of school vocabulary for the Japanese school system, school facilities, school personnel, school routines and school supplies.

1. Japanese School System

April is one of the most important months of the year in Japan as the school year or the fiscal year begins.  Classes are held from Monday to Friday in compulsory education and at public schools, and some private schools are also open on Saturdays. The Japanese school year usually consists of three terms (学期 gakki), and there are short spring and winter breaks or a long summer break between each school term.

Below is the basic Japanese school system;

Elementary school:  6 years (age 7 to 12)    [Compulsory Education]
Junior high school : 3 years (age 13 to 15) [Compulsory Education]
Senior high school : 3 years (age 16 to 18)

[Higher Education]
University: 4 years (6 years for Medicine, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary, and Dentistry School)
Junior college: 2 years (or 3, depending on the school)
Vocational school: 2 years (or 3, depending on the school)

Japanese Words for School Vocabulary 

EnglishKanjiHiraganaReading
school学校がっこうgakkō
elementary school小学校しょうがっこうshōgakkō
junior high school中学校ちゅうがっこうchūgakkō
senior high school高校 /高等学校こうこう / こうとうがっこうkōkō  (short version) / kōtō gakkō
university大学だいがくdaigaku
junior college短期大学たんき だいがくtanki daigaku
vocational / technical school 専門学校せんもん がっこうsenmon gakkō

The Black Board, Desks and Chairs in a Classroom

教室 kyōshitsu (“classroom”)

2. School Facilities

EnglishKanjiHiraganaReading
classroom 教室きょうしつkyōshitsu
faculty room職員室しょくいんしつshokuinshitsu
science laboratory理科室りかしつrikashitsu
arts / craft room  美術室 / 図工室びじゅつしつ / ずこうしつbijutsushitsu / zukōshitsu
library図書室 / 図書館としょしつ  / としょかんtoshoshitsu / toshokan
gymnasium体育館たいいくかんtaiikukan
infirmary保健室ほけんしつhokenshitsu
schoolyard校庭こうていkōtei
athletic ground運動場 / 校庭うんどうじょう / こうていundōjō / kōtei
school cafeteria学生食堂/ 学食がくせい しょくどう/ がくしょくgakusei shokudō/ gakushoku (short version)

Book Shelves, Desks and Chairs in a Library without People

図書室 toshoshitsu (“library”)

3. School Personnel

EnglishKanjiHiraganaReading
student生徒せいとseito
teacher先生 *せんせいsensei
professor教授きょうじゅkyōju
faculty教員きょういんkyōin
vice principal教頭 / 副校長きょうとう / ふくこうちょうkyōtō / fukukōchō
school principal校長こうちょうkōchō
librarian司書ししょshisho
school caretaker用務員ようむいんyōmuin

*Generally, 先生 (sensei) is who teaches something, and 先生 (sensei) is commonly used for school teachers. On the other hand, a synonym word 教師 (kyōshi) is used as an occupation, for example, 私は教師です Watashi wa kyōshi desu. “I’m a teacher.” 

4. School Routines

EnglishKanji/KatakanaHiraganaReading
going to school登校とうこうtōkō
morning assembly朝礼ちょうれいchōrei
class授業じゅぎょうjugyō
examination試験しけんshiken
food service *給食きゅうしょくkyūshoku
break / recess休み時間やすみじかんyasumi jikan
cleaning **清掃せいそうseisō
club activityクラブ活動くらぶかつどうkurabu katsudō
leaving school下校げこうgekō

*Food Service  給食 kyūshoku is usually provided at elementary school and middle high school for very low monthly fees in Japan. They usually eat kyūshoku in the classroom. In high school, students either bring their own lunch boxes お弁当 o-bentō or use the school cafeteria.

**There is time allocated for cleaning, especially from elementary to high school, and students clean their school by themselves in Japan. Not only in their home classroom but also in corridors, bathrooms, gym, and other places in the school. In this way, Japanese schools teach students to clean, keep tidy, be responsible, use things with care, etc.

5. School Supplies

EnglishKanji / KatakanaHiraganaReading
pencil鉛筆えんぴつenpitsu
mechanical pencilシャーペン *しゃーぺんshāpen
penペンぺんpen
eraser消しゴムけしごむkeshigomu
pen case筆箱ふでばこfudebako
pencil sharpener鉛筆削りえんぴつけずりenpitsu kezuri
notebookノートのーとnōto
textbook教科書きょうかしょkyōkasho
bookほんhon
scissorsハサミはさみhasami
glueノリのりnori
ruler定規じょうぎjōgi
calculator計算機けいさんきkeisanki
school indoor shoes上履き **うわばきuwabaki
school backpack (elementary school)ランドセル ***らんどせるrandoseru

 * シャーペン shāpen (“mechanical pencil”) is 和製英語 Wasei-eigo (“Japanese-made English”)  word that is the shorter version of シャープペンシル “sharp pencil.”

** Wearing 上履き uwabaki (“school indoor shoes”) at school is something particular about Japan. This comes from the Japanese culture and etiquette that people are expected to remove their shoes when entering homes and other particular rooms or buildings.

*** ランドセル randoseru (“school backpack for elementary school kids”) is a unique Japanese school backpack usually made of leather with a firm structure. Traditionally, parents or grandparents give children as a gift upon entering elementary school. They use the same randoseru for 6 years until they graduate from elementary school. 

To enhance your Japanese vocabulary and learn more about Japanese basic nouns, please check out Guide to the Top 100+ Japanese Nouns.

Japanese Family, Father in Suits and Elementary School Kids Are Leaving Their Home

ランドセルは日本の小学校のかばんです。
Randoseru wa Nihon no shōgakkō no kaban desu.
(“Randoseru is a bag for elementary school in Japan” )

6. Example Sentences

タメ口 Tameguchi (“peer language”) or casual speech form can be used when talking among students. However, 敬語 keigo (“honorific speech”) or polite language should be used for teachers.

Here are some basic phrases in Japanese classrooms using school vocabulary:

[Japanese]     鉛筆を1本借りてもいい? Enpitsu o ippon karite mo ii?  (casual)                  
[English]        “May I borrow a (one) pencil? ”

*Japanese language learning: To learn more about Japanese numbers, see Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers!

[Japanese]    生物の教科書を失くしちゃった。    (casual)
                       Seibutsu no kyōkasho o nakushichatta. 
[English]        “I lost my biology textbook.”

[Japanese]    宿題を忘れました。 (polite)
                       Shukudai o wasuremashita.
[English]        “I forgot my homework.”

[Japanese]    消しゴム持ってる?     Keshigomu motte ru?    (casual)     
[English]        “Do you have an eraser?”

[Japanese]    これ使っていいよ。   Kore tsukatte ii yo.     (casual)   
[English]        “Here, you can use this.”

[Japanese]    ありがとう、後で返すね。  Arigatō, ato de kaesu ne.     (casual)   
[English]        “Thanks, I will return it to you later.”

[Japanese]    明日の朝は体育館で全校朝礼があります。     (polite)
                       Ashita no asa wa taiikukan de zenkō chōrei ga arimasu.
[English]        “We will have a whole school assembly at the gymnasium tomorrow morning. ”

[Japanese]    明日の化学の試験は何時だっけ?       (casual)
                       Ashita no kagaku no shiken wa nan-ji dakke?
[English]        “What time is the chemistry test tomorrow?”

*Please visit How to Tell Time in Japanese article and Japanese Calendar Dates: Reading Dates in Japanese & More on JapanesePod101 to learn how to tell time and date in Japanese.

Colorful Stationery Such as Pencils, Scissors, Tapes, Chalks, etc.

消しゴム持ってる?  Keshigomu motte ru?    (“Do you have an eraser?”)

2. Classroom Greetings and Calls 

Some of the most essential Japanese classroom phrases are greetings and calls used at school.
Here is the list of frequently used Japanese words and greetings in classrooms.

[Japanese]     先生 / 教授、おはようございます。 Sensei / kyōju, ohayō gozaimasu.  (polite)
[English]        “Good morning teacher / professor.”

*Japanese language learning: To learn more Japanese greetings, check out How to Say Hello in Japanese: Practical Japanese Greetings.

[Japanese]    おはよう。 Ohayō.   (casual)        
[English]        “Good morning.”

[Japanese]    バイバイ。 Bai bai.   (casual)        
[English]        “Bye bye.”

[Japanese]    また明日。 Mata ashita.  (casual)        
[English]        “See you tomorrow.”

[Japanese]    先生、さようなら。 Sensei, sayōnara.   (polite)        
[English]        “Good bye, teacher.”

[Japanese]    起立!     気をつけ!    礼!       着席!            (imperative)
                       Kiritsu ! Ki o tsuke ! Rei ! Chakuseki !
[English]        “Stand up! Attention (make a good posture)! Bow!  Seated down! ”

*This is the traditional call and ritual of bowing in Japan at the start and end of school class to greet the teacher. Usually, one of the students in a class is allocated to the call roll on a weekly or monthly basis.

When there is a whole school or classroom assembly, usually held in the gymnasium or schoolyard, the following phrases are used.

[Japanese]    集合!     Shūgō!     (imperative)     
[English]        “Assemble / gather!”

[Japanese]    一列に並べ。   Ichi-retsu ni narabe.     (imperative)   
[English]        “Line up in a row.”

[Japanese]    前へならえ。  Mae e narae.     (imperative)   
[English]        “Stand at arm’s length. (Literally: follow (do) as front)”

[Japanese]    解散! Kaisan !      (imperative)      
[English]        “Dismissed!”

3. Explaining Absence and Tardiness/Leaving Early 

1. Taking Attendance

At Japanese Schools, usually from elementary school to high school, students have a “home class” and a particular teacher (担任 tannin) who’s in charge of its home class. Students usually stay in the home classroom and 担任 (tannin) teaches all the basic subjects in elementary school, and teachers of each subject come to the classroom to give classes in junior highschool and senior highschool.

The teacher in charge of a home-class calls the roll in the morning meeting. 

Japanese Vocabulary for Taking Attendance

EnglishKanji HiraganaReading
take attendancecall the roll出欠を取るしゅっけつをとるshukketsu o toru
present出席しゅっせきshusseki
absent欠席けっせきkesseki
tardiness / late遅刻ちこくchikoku
leave early早退そうたいsōtai

2. Teacher

Following are some teacher’s basic phrases in Japanese for taking attendance:

[Japanese]    静かに。出欠を取ります。 Shizuka ni. Shukketsu o torimasu.      
[English]        “Quiet please, I will take attendance now.”

[Japanese]    名前を呼ばれたら返事をすること。   Namae o yobaretara henji o suru koto.     
[English]        “Respond when your name is called.”

[Japanese]    全員いますか。  Zen’in imasu ka.    
[English]        “Is everyone here?”

[Japanese]    誰か欠席の人いますか。 Dare ka kesseki no hito imasu ka.          
[English]        “Anybody absent?”

[Japanese]   [name]さんが今日欠席した理由を知っている人はいますか。
                      [name]-san ga kyō kesseki shita riyū o shitte iru hito wa imasu ka.
[English]     “Does anyone know why [name] is absent today?”

A Student Raises Her Hand in the Class

 はい、います。 Hai, imasu. (“Yes, I’m present”)

3. Student

Following are some student’s basic phrases in Japanese for taking attendance:

[Japanese]    はい、います。 Hai, imasu.      
[English]       “Yes, I’m present.”   (response when your name is called) 

[Japanese]    [name] さんがいません。[name]-san ga imasen.        
[English]      “[name] is not here.”

[Japanese]    すみません、寝坊したので遅刻しました。
                       Sumimasen, nebō shita node chikoku shimashita.
[English]        “I’m sorry, I was late because I overslept.”

[Japanese]    電車が人身事故で止まったので遅刻しました。
                       Densha ga jinshin jiko de tomatta node chikoku shimashita.
[English]        “I was late because the train stopped due to an injury accident.”

[Japanese]    [name]さんは昨日から体調が悪くて、今日は欠席です。 
                       [name]-san wa kinō kara taichō ga warukute, kyō wa kesseki desu.
[English]        “[name] has been sick since yesterday and is absent today.”

[Japanese]    足を骨折したので、体育の授業は見学します。 
                       Ashi o kossetsu shita node, taiiku no jugyō wa kengaku shimasu.
[English]        “I will just observe the PE class because I broke my leg.”

[Japanese]    すみません、とても気分が悪いので早退します。 
                       Sumimasen, totemo kibun ga warui node sōtai shimasu.
[English]        “Excuse me, I’m leaving early because I feel very sick.”

4. Teacher’s Phrases  

In the Japanese culture, names are called together with 敬称 keishō (“Japanese honorific title”), “さん san” is most commonly used.

When a teacher talks to a student : [student family name] + さん san 
In some cases, [family name of a male student] + 君 くん kun

The following are frequently used Japanese classroom phrases by teachers in a class.

1. Instructions

[Japanese]    みんな、席に着いて。 Minna, seki ni tsuite.      
[English]       “Everyone, be seated.”

[Japanese]    [name] 君、早く座りなさい。 [name]-kun, hayaku suwarinasai.        
[English]        “[name], sit down now.”

[Japanese]    では、始めます。 Dewa, hajimemasu.                      
[English]        “Well, let’s begin.”

[Japanese]    今日はXXXについて勉強します。    Kyō wa XXX ni tsuite benkyō shimasu.
[English]        “We are going to learn XXX today.”

[Japanese]    教科書のXXページを開いてください。  Kyōkasho no XX-pēji o hiraite kudasai. 
[English]        “Please open to page XX of your textbook.”

[Japanese]    これはとても重要です。   Kore wa totemo jūyō desu.      
[English]        “This is very important.”

[Japanese]    これはテストに出るので、しっかり理解してください。 
                       Kore wa tesuto ni deru node, shikkari rikai shite kudasai.
[English]        “Please understand this well because this will be on the test.”

[Japanese]   しっかり聞いてください。 Shikkari kiite kudasai.   
[English]       “Listen carefully.”

[Japanese]    黒板の図を見てください。 Kokuban no zu o mite kudasai.      
[English]        “Look at the diagram on the blackboard.”

[Japanese]    この質問の答えがわかる人は手をあげてください。 
                       Kono shitsumon no kotae ga wakaru hito wa te o agete kudasai.
[English]        “Raise your hand if you know the answer to this question.”

[Japanese]    最初に聞いてから、私の後で繰り返してください。    
                       Saisho ni kiite kara, watashi no ato de kurikaeshite kudasai.
[English]        “Listen first and repeat after me.”

[Japanese]    答えをノートに書いて。  Kotae o nōto ni kaite. 
[English]        “Write the answers in your notebook.”

[Japanese]    みんなで一緒に、2段落目から読みましょう。   
                       Minna de issho ni, ni-danraku-me kara yomimashō.
[English]        “Let’s read from the second paragraph together.”

[Japanese]    [name]さん、XXページを読んでください。
                       [name]-san, XX-pēji o yonde kudasai.
[English]        “[student name], read the page XX please.”

[Japanese]    紙を一枚ずつ取って、後ろの人に渡してください。
                       Kami o ichi-mai zutsu totte, ushiro no hito ni watashite kudasai.
[English]        “Take one sheet of paper and pass (the rest) to the person behind you.”

Teacher Is Writing on the Blackboard, Students Are Sitting in Front of Computers

これはとても重要です。 Kore wa totemo jūyō desu.   ( “This is very important.”)

2. Homework

[Japanese]    今日の宿題はXXXです。    Kyō no shukudai wa XXX desu.
[English]        “Homework for today is XXX.”

[Japanese]    宿題は教科書XXページの1番から5番です。
                       Shukudai wa kyōkasho XX-pēji no ichi-ban kara go-ban desu.
[English]        “The homework is from the number 1 to 5 on page XX of the textbook.”

[Japanese]    今日学んだことを家で復習してください。  
                       Kyō mananda koto o ie de fukushū shite kudasai.
[English]        “Review at home what you’ve learned today.”

[Japanese]    前回出された宿題は、先生の机の上に提出してください。
                       Zenkai dasareta shukudai wa, sensei no tsukue no ue ni teishutsu shite kudasai.
[English]        “Please submit the homework given last time on the teacher’s desk.”

[Japanese]    宿題の提出は成績に反映されます。
                       Shukudai no teishutsu wa seiseki ni han’ei saremasu.
[English]        “Your homework submission will be reflected in your grades.”

3. Questions

[Japanese]    質問はありますか。    Shitsumon wa arimasu ka.
[English]        “Any questions?”

[Japanese]    皆さん分かりましたか。  Mina-san wakarimashita ka.
[English]        “Did everyone understand this?”

[Japanese]    誰かこの問題を解答できますか。   Dare ka kono mondai o kaitō dekimasu ka.      
[English]        “Can anyone solve this problem?”

[Japanese]    正しい答えは何ですか。     Tadashii kotae wa nan desu ka.
[English]        “What is the correct answer?”

[Japanese]    ここまでで何か分からないことはありますか。
                       Koko made de nani ka wakaranai koto wa arimasu ka.
[English]        “Is there anything you don’t understand so far?”

The Teacher Is Pointing to the Blond Student Who Raises Her Hand

  正しい答えは何ですか。  Tadashii kotae wa nan desu ka.  ( “What is the correct answer?”)

4. Keeping the Order

[Japanese]    静かにしなさい。Shizuka ni shinasai.
[English]        “Be quiet.”

[Japanese]    おしゃべりはやめなさい。  Oshaberi wa yamenasai.
[English]        “Stop talking!”

[Japanese]    自分の席に戻りなさい。    Jibun no seki ni modorinasai.
[English]        “Go back to your seat!”

[Japanese]    授業に集中しなさい。 Jugyō ni shūchū shinasai.
[English]        “Focus on the class!”

[Japanese]    質問がある時は手をあげてください。   Shitsumon ga aru toki wa te o agete kudasai.
[English]        “Raise your hand if you have a question.”

Japanese language learning : To learn more Japanese angry phrases, please also check out Getting Angry in Japanese: 20+ Useful Japanese Angry Phrases

5. Student’s Phrases 

At schools in Japan, faculty is usually called by his/her title by students.
When students talk to a teacher:  先生 sensei (“Mr./ Mrs.“, Literally: teacher)
When students talk to a professor:  教授 kyōju (Literally: professor)

If you want to be more specific, add a name in front of a title, such as 高橋先生 Takahashi-sensei (Mr./ Mrs.Takahashi, Literally: Takahashi teacher).

Here is the list of most useful Japanese classroom phrases used by students, including when asking questions to a teacher and when talking with other students.

1. Asking Questions

[Japanese]    すみません、何ページですか。    Sumimasen, nan-pēji desu ka.
[English]        “Excuse me, what page are we on?”

[Japanese]    わかりません。Wakarimasen.
[English]        “I don’t understand.”

[Japanese]    過去分詞の使い方がわかりません。Kakobunshi no tsukaikata ga wakarimasen.
[English]        “I don’t understand how to use a past participle.”

[Japanese]    その部分をもう一度言ってください。 Sono bubun o mō ichi-do itte kudasai.
[English]        “Please repeat that part again.”

[Japanese]    もう一度ゆっくり言ってもらえますか。 Mō ichi-do yukkuri itte moraemasu ka.
[English]        “Can you say that again slowly?”

[Japanese]    もっとわかりやすく説明してください。Motto wakariyasuku setsumei shite kudasai.
[English]        “Please explain it in a more understandable way.”

[Japanese]    質問があります。Shitsumon ga arimasu.
[English]        “I have a question.”

[Japanese]    質問してもいいですか。  Shitsumon shite mo ii desu ka.
[English]        “Can I ask you a question?”

[Japanese]    先生は今何て言いましたか。 Sensei wa ima nante iimashita ka.
[English]        “What did the teacher just say?”

[Japanese]    これは何て発音しますか。 Kore wa nante hatsuon shimasu ka.
[English]        “How do you pronounce this?”

[Japanese]    XXXはどういう意味ですか。 XXX wa dō iu imi desu ka.
[English]        “What does XXX mean?”

[Japanese]    どうしてこの場合に未来完了形を使うのですか。
                       Dōshite kono bāi ni mirai kanryōkei o tsukau no desu ka. 
[English]        “Why do you use the future perfect tense in this case?”

[Japanese]    これは合ってますか。 Kore wa atte masu ka.
[English]        “Is this correct ?”

[Japanese]    これが正解ですか。 Kore ga seikai desu ka.
[English]        “Is this the correct answer?”

[Japanese]    やっと理解しました。Yatto rikai shimashita.
[English]        “I finally understood.”

[Japanese]    トイレに行ってもいいですか。 Toire ni itte mo ii desu ka.
[English]        “May I go to the bathroom?”

[Japanese]    気分が悪いので、保健室に行ってもいいですか。
                       Kibun ga warui node, hokenshitsu ni itte mo ii desu ka.
[English]        “May I go to the infirmary because I feel sick?”

Japanese Female Student Is Taking Notes in the Class

 質問があります。Shitsumon ga arimasu. (“I have a question.”)

2. Talking Among Students

The speech tone is very casual for conversations among students. The following are handy Japanese classroom phrases when you want to chat with your friends in a class.

[Japanese]    今どこ? Ima doko?
[English]        “Where are we at?”

[Japanese]    今何ページ? Ima nan-pēji?
[English]        “Which page are we on?”

[Japanese]    宿題やった? Shukudai yatta?  
[English]        “Did you do your homework?”

[Japanese]    宿題やったのに、家に忘れてきちゃった。Shukudai yatta noni, ie ni wasurete kichatta.
[English]        “Though I did my homework, I forgot it at home.”

[Japanese]    後でノート見せてもらってもいい?  Ato de nōto misete moratte mo ii?
[English]        “Can I see your notebook later?”

[Japanese]    今日の授業は全然わからなかった。Kyō no jugyō wa zenzen wakaranakatta.
[English]        “I didn’t understand today’s class at all.”

[Japanese]    この問題が分からないんだけど、教えて。 Kono mondai ga wakaranai n da kedo, oshiete.
[English]        “I don’t understand this problem, can you teach me?”

[Japanese]    宿題は何だっけ? Shukudai wa nan dakke?
[English]        “What is the homework?”

[Japanese]   教科書の何ページが試験範囲? Kyōkasho no nan-pēji ga shiken han’i?
[English]        “Which pages of the textbook will be covered in the exam?”

[Japanese]    英語のテストはいつだっけ?  Eigo no tesuto wa itsu dakke?
[English]        “When is the English exam?”

[Japanese]   試験の勉強は全然できてない。  Shiken no benkyō wa zenzen dekite nai.             
[English]        “I couldn’t study enough for exams at all.”

[Japanese]    テスト/試験 どうだった? Tesuto / shiken dō datta?
[English]        “How was your test / exams?”

[Japanese]   どうしよう、英語のテストが赤点*だった。Dō shiyō, Eigo no tesuto ga akaten* datta. 
[English]        “What should I do, I got a red mark on the English test.”

*赤点 akaten is a slang word for bad grades, it is literally translated as “red mark”, meaning “failing grades”.

[Japanese]   試験の結果は思ったより良かったよ。Shiken no kekka wa omotta yori yokatta yo.           
[English]        “The result of the exam was better than I thought.”

[Japanese]    試験期間が終わったら、カラオケに行こう! Shiken kikan ga owattara, karaoke ni ikō!
[English]        “When the exam period is over, let’s go to Karaoke!”

 Four Japanese High School Students Are Walking Together and Talking

テストどうだった? Tesuto dō datta? (“How was your test?”)

6. Talking About Subjects  

1. Subject Vocabulary [From Elementary To High School]

School subjects are one of the most essential parts when learning classroom phrases and vocabulary. 

The following is the list of subjects (科目 kamoku) that are taught from elementary school to high school in Japan. 

EnglishKanji HiraganaReading
arithmetic(elementary school)算数さんすうsansū
mathematics数学すうがくsūgaku
science (elementary and middle highschool)理科りかrika
physics物理ぶつりbutsuri
chemistry化学かがくkagaku
biology生物せいぶつseibutsu
geography地理ちりchiri
Japanese(national language) 国語こくごkokugo
modern literature現代文げんだいぶんgendaibun
classical literature古文こぶんkobun
English英語えいごEigo
social science社会しゃかいshakai
politics and economics政治経済せいじけいざいseiji keizai
Japanese History日本史にほんしNihonshi
world history世界史せかいしsekaishi
art and craft(elementary school)図工ずこうzukō
art美術びじゅつbijutsu
physical education体育たいいくtaiiku
home economics家庭科かていかkateika
music音楽おんがくongaku

Piled Books of Various Subjects

学科 gakka / 科目 kamoku (“School subjects”)

2. Subject Vocabulary [University]

Below are the common department / course of study (学科 gakka) taught in higher education, such as junior college or university.

EnglishKanji / KatakanaHiraganaReading
Psychology 心理学しんりがくshinrigaku
Law法学ほうがくhōgaku
Literature文学ぶんがくbungaku
Business Management経営学けいえいがくkeieigaku
Statistics 統計学とうけいがくtōkeigaku
Accounting会計学 かいけいがくkaikeigaku
Information Technology 情報技術じょうほうぎじゅつjōhō gijutsu
International Relations 国際関係 こくさいかんけいkokusai kankei
Education 教育学きょういくがくkyōikugaku
Medicine 医学いがくigaku
Pharmaceutics薬学やくがくyakugaku
Nursing看護学かんごがくkangogaku
Architecture 建築学けんちくがくkenchikugaku
Agriculture農学のうがくnōgaku
Foreign language外国語がいこくごgaikokugo
French フランス語ふらんすごFuransu-go
Germanドイツ語どいつごDoitsu-go
Spanish スペイン語すぺいんごSupein-go
Russian ロシア語ろしあごRoshia-go
Chinese 中国語ちゅうごくごChūgoku-go
Korean 韓国語   かんこくごKankoku-go

3. Example Sentences

Here are some basic phrases in Japanese using subject vocabulary:

[Japanese]    私の一番好きな科目は [subject] です。 
                       Watashi no ichi-ban suki na kamoku wa [subject] desu.
[English]        “My favorite subject is [subject].”

[Japanese]    私は [subject] が得意です。Watashi wa [subject] ga tokui desu.
[English]        “I’m good at [subject].”

[Japanese]    私は [subject] が苦手です。Watashi wa [subject] ga nigate desu.
[English]        “I’m not good at [subject].”

[Japanese]   [subject] は難しいので嫌いです。  [subject] wa muzukashii node kirai desu.
[English]        “I don’t like [subject] because it’s difficult.”

[Japanese]    何の科目が一番好きですか。 Nan no kamoku ga ichi-ban suki desu ka.
[English]        “What is your favorite subject?”

[Japanese]   何の科目が得意ですか。  Nan no kamoku ga tokui desu ka.            
[English]        “Which subjects are you good at?”

[Japanese]    大学では [subject] を学びたいです。 Daigaku de wa [subject] o manabitai desu.
[English]        “I’d like to learn [subject] at university.”

[Japanese]   専攻学科は何ですか。Senkō gakka wa nan desu ka.        
[English]        “What is your major?”

[Japanese]   私の専攻学科は [subject] です。 Watashi no senkō gakka wa [subject] desu.         
[English]        “My major is [subject].”

[Japanese]    第二外国語としてドイツ語のクラスをとっています。
                       Dai-ni gaikokugo toshite Doitsu-go no kurasu o totte imasu.
[English]        “I’m taking German class as a second foreign language.”

Japanese language learning : If you want to learn more about how to introduce yourself in Japanese, please see How to Say “My Name is,” in Japanese + More!

7. Conclusion

In this article, we introduced 100+ most useful Japanese Classroom Phrases and Vocabulary, including:

  • School vocabulary and the Japanese school system 
  • Useful Classroom Greetings and Calls
  • Explaining Absence and Tardiness/Leaving Early
  • Teacher’s Phrases
  • Student’s Phrases
  • Talking about Subjects

Whether you are taking a Japanese class or you want to teach at a Japanese local school and/or study with native students, our guide of Japanese Classroom Phrases and Vocabulary will make your school life easier and more adaptable.

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find a lot more helpful content on JapanesePod101.com. This is the best place to learn Japanese online, providing a variety of free lessons designed to help you improve your Japanese-language skills. 

If you are interested in more Japanese phrases sorted by situations, the following articles are just right for you: 

  • Japanese Travel Phrases for an Enjoyable Trip to Japan
  • 50+ Restaurants Phrases for Eating Out in Japan
  • Essential Business Japanese: Learn the Most Useful Phrases

And there’s so much more! Be a faster learner and enjoy studying Japanese at JapanesePod101.com!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any specific topics or situations you’d like to learn Japanese phrases for. We’d be glad to help, and we look forward to hearing from you! 

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