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Archive for the 'Japanese Dictionary' Category

Japanese Travel Phrases for an Enjoyable Trip to Japan

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Are you traveling to Japan and want to learn practical Japanese travel phrases? This article is designed to help you learn the most useful Japanese words for travel.

It’s always good to learn basic words when you travel to a foreign country. Not only does it make getting around easier, but it also allows you to enjoy communicating with the locals.

In general, Japanese people are not so good at speaking English, free wifi services aren’t very prevalent (especially outside of the central cities), and Japan is still more of a cash-based society than you may think. However, Japanese people are very kind; they’ll listen to you patiently and do their best to help. So just use these basic Japanese travel phrases to talk to Japanese people when you want to ask something.

When you speak even a little bit of Japanese, locals will appreciate your effort and will be more friendly. Here’s JapanesePod101’s list of practical Japanese travel phrases for your travels to Japan!

Table of Contents

  1. Greeting/Communication
  2. Asking for Directions
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurants
  5. When You Need Help
  6. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. Greeting/Communication

Airplane Phrases

To begin our list of essential Japanese travel phrases, we’ll go over greetings and basic travel phrases in Japanese for solid communication. These simple Japanese travel phrases can make a world of difference in your conversations and overall experience in Japan.

1- こんにちは

  • Romanization: Kon’nichiwa
  • English Translation: Hello

In terms of must-know Japanese travel phrases, you probably already know that this is the most common Japanese greeting word. You can say this to anybody for any occasion during the daytime.

2- はい/いいえ

  • Romanization: Hai / Iie
  • English Translation: Yes / No

Hai is “Yes” and it’s pronounced like the English word “Hi.” In Japan, saying yes also means that you understand. Iie is “No” and it’s pronounced ‘EE-eh.’

3- ありがとうございます

  • Romanization: Arigatō gozaimasu
  • English Translation: Thank you

Arigatō gozaimasu is the polite way to say “Thank you” in Japanese, and you can use this for any occasion. In case of a casual situation, you can just say Arigatō, or even more casually, Dōmo (どうも) which means “Thanks.”

4- いいえ、いりません

  • Romanization: Iie, irimasen
  • English Translation: No, thank you.

It literally means “No, I don’t need it,” in Japanese. At a restaurant, say this phrase when a waiter offers to fill your glass of water and you don’t want more.

5- すみません

  • Romanization: Sumimasen
  • English Translation: I’m sorry / Excuse me

This word is usually used to say “sorry'’ or “excuse me”. Say this when you bump into someone in a crowd or when you ask someone for directions. Japanese people also use this to mean “thank you,” in some cases, such as when someone picks up something you dropped.

6- お願いします

  • Romanization: Onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: Please

When you request something, it’s polite to say Onegai shimasu. When someone offers you something and says please, she/he would say Dōzo (どうぞ) in Japanese.

7- 私はXXです

  • Romanization: Watashi wa XX desu.
  • English Translation: I am XX.

Watashi is “I,” wa is “am/is/are,” and desu is a present-tense word that links subjects and predicates; it’s placed at the end of a sentence. You can put your name, or your nationality, such as: Watashi wa Amerika-jin desu (私はアメリカ人です) which means “I am American.”  

Many Different Flags

8- 私は日本語がわかりません

  • Romanization: Watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasen.
  • English Translation: I don’t understand Japanese.

Nihongo is stands for the Japanese language, and Wakarimasen means “I don’t understand.” If you don’t know something, you can just say Wakarimasen meaning “I don’t know.”

9- 英語を話せますか

  • Romanization: Eigo o hanasemasu ka
  • English Translation: Can you speak English?

This is one of the most useful Japanese phrases for travelers. Eigo means “English,” Hanasemasu is a polite way to say “I speak,” and ka is a word that you add to the end of a complete sentence to make a question.

10- 英語でお願いします

  • Romanization: Eigo de onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: English, please.

This is another important Japanese travel phrase. De is the particle, and in this case it means “by” or “by means of.” The phrase literally translates as “English by please.” You can also say M saizu de onegai shimasu (Mサイズでお願いします) which means “Medium size, please.”


2. Asking for Directions

Preparing to Travel

One of the most important Japanese travel phrases you should know are directions. Here are some useful vocabulary words and two Japanese language travel phrases you need to know!

1- Vocabulary

  • 駅 (Eki) : Station
  • 地下鉄 (Chikatetsu) : Subway/Metro
  • トイレ (Toire) : Toilet
  • 銀行 (Ginkō) : Bank
  • 切符売り場 (Kippu uriba) : Ticket machine/Office
  • 観光案内所 (Kankō annaijo) : Tourist information office
  • 入口 (Iriguchi) : Entrance
  • 出口 (Deguchi) : Exit
  • 右 (Migi) : Right
  • 左 (Hidari) : Left
  • まっすぐ (Massugu) : Straight
  • 曲がる (Magaru) : Turn
  • 交差点 (Kōsaten) : Intersection
  • 角 (Kado) : Corner

2- XXはどこですか

  • Romanization: XX wa doko desu ka
  • English Translation: Where is XX?

Doko means “where” and you replace XX with the name of where you want to go.

For example

  • Toire wa doko desu ka (Where is the toilet?)
  • Deguchi wa doko desu ka (Where is an exit?)

3- XX e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (XXへはどう行けばいいですか) : How can I go to XX?

  • Romanization: XX e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka
  • English Translation: How can I go to XX?

is “how,” e is “to,” and ikeba ii can be translated as “good to go.” When you want to know how you can get somewhere, replace XX with where you want to go.

For example:

  • Eki e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (How can I go to the station?)
  • Ginkō e wa dō ikeba ii desu ka (How can I go to the bank?)

4- Other Examples

1. この道をまっすぐ行きます (Kono michi o massugu ikimasu.):Go straight on this street.

Kono michi is “this street” and ikimasu is the polite way to say “Go.” O is a Japanese postpositional particle which indicates an object (in this case, kono michi).

2. 次の角を右へ曲がります (Tsugi no kado o migi e magarimasu.):Turn right at the next corner.

Tsugi no kado means “next corner” and magarimasu is the polite way to say “Turn.” E is another postpositional particle that indicates direction; this can be translated as the English word “to.”

3. 交差点を渡って左へ行きます (Kōsaten o watatte hidari e ikimasu.):Cross an intersection and go to the left (direction).

Watatte is a conjugated form of wataru which means “cross.”


3. Shopping

Basic Questions

You’ll definitely love shopping when traveling in Japan, and some of the best Japanese phrases for travel are those related to this fun past-time. Knowing some useful Japanese words will make your shopping even more enjoyable.

1- XXはありますか

  • Romanization: XX wa arimasu ka
  • English Translation: Do you have XX?

When you’re at a store and looking for something, you can use this phrase by replacing XX with what you want.

2- いくらですか

  • Romanization: Ikura desu ka
  • English Translation: How much is it?

This is probably one of the most useful Japanese words for traveling and shopping. You can say Ikura desu ka in many situations, such as when you’re shopping, buying tickets, paying for a taxi, etc.

3- 免税できますか

  • Romanization: Menzei dekimasu ka
  • English Translation: Can you do a tax exemption?

Did you know that, as a traveler, you can get a sales tax exemption when you purchase things greater than 5,000 yen? Menzei is “tax exempted” and dekimasu means “can do.” Don’t forget to say this when you buy something big!

4- これは何ですか

  • Romanization: Kore wa nan desu ka
  • English Translation: What is this?

Kore is “this” and nan is another form of nani which means “what.” There are many unique foods, gadgets, and things which are unique to Japan, so when you wonder what it is, point to it and say this phrase.

5- これを買います

  • Romanization: Kore o kaimasu
  • English Translation: I’ll buy this.

Kaimasu is the conjugation of the verb kau, which means “buy.”

6- カードは使えますか

  • Romanization: Kādo wa tsukaemasu ka
  • English Translation: Can I use a credit card?

Kādo is “card” and you pronounce it just like the English word “card.” Tsukaemasu is a conjugation of the potential form of the verb tsukau which means “use.” This phrase is useful when you want to use your card at small shops and restaurants.

Man and Woman Shopping


4. Restaurants

Japan has an array of delicious foods, of which sushi and ramen are just the tip of the iceberg. Amazingly, Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, for several consecutive years. Enjoy yummy food at restaurants with useful Japanese words for restaurants and easy Japanese travel phrases related to food.

1- Vocabulary

  • 英語のメニュー (Eigo no menyū) : English menu
  • ベジタリアンのメニュー (Bejitarian no menyū) : Vegetarian menu
  • 豚肉を含まないメニュー (Butaniku o fukumanai menyū) : Menu without pork
  • 水 (Mizu) : Water
  • 白/赤ワイン (Shiro / Aka wain) : White / Red wine

2- XXはありますか

  • Romanization: XX wa arimasu ka
  • English Translation: Do you have XX?

When you want to ask if the restaurant has something you want, say this phrase (replacing XX with what you want).

For example:

  • Eigo no menyū wa arimasu ka (Do you have an English menu?)
  • Aka wain wa arimasu ka (Do you have red wine?)

3- XXをください

  • Romanization: XX o kudasai
  • English Translation: Can I have XX?

This is another very useful phrase. Simply replace XX with what you want. You can also use this versatile phrase in various occasions, such as when shopping, choosing something, etc.

For example:

  • Kore o kudasai (Can I have this?)
  • Mizu o kudasai (Can I have water?)

4- お会計お願いします

  • Romanization: O-kaikei onegai shimasu
  • English Translation: Check, please.

O-kaikei means “check.” In Japan, people often cross their index fingers in front of their face as a gesture to indicate “check, please” at casual restaurants. However, when you’re at a nice restaurant, simply tell a waiter: O-kaikei onegai shimasu.


5. When You Need Help

Survival Phrases

Sometimes you get faced with unexpected emergencies while you’re traveling. Japan is famous for being one of the safest countries in the world, but you might fall very ill or be caught in a great earthquake.

1- Vocabularies

  • 警察 (Keisatsu) : Police
  • 病院 (Byōin) : Hospital
  • 救急車 (Kyūkyūsha) : Ambulance
  • ドラッグストア/薬局 (Doraggu sutoa / Yakkyoku) : Drug Store/Pharmacy
  • タクシー (Takushī) : Taxi

2- XXを呼んでください

  • Romanization: XX o yonde kudasai
  • English Translation: Can you call XX?

When you’re severely ill or in case of emergency, let people know by using this phrase. Japanese people will kindly help you.

For example:

  • Yūkyūsha o yonde kudasai (Can you call an ambulance?)
  • Keisatsu o yonde kudasai (Can you call the police?)

3- どこでインターネットを使えますか

  • Romanization: Doko de intānetto o tsukaemasu ka
  • English Translation: Where can I use the internet?

Although large cities in Japan provide free public wifi at major stations, metros, and cafes, you may need to find internet access in smaller cities. Remember that there will be kind Japanese people who will share their personal hotspots, or look things up for you with their own phones, as well.

4- 電話を貸してください

  • Romanization: Denwa o kashite kudasai
  • English Translation: Can I use your phone?

Denwa is “phone” and kashite is a conjugation word of kasu, which means “lend.” This phrase is literally translated as “Please lend (me) a phone.”

5- 助けてください

  • Romanization: Tasukete kudasai
  • English Translation: Please help me.

I believe this phrase is the last thing you would ever use in Japan, but in case something does happen, this is useful survival Japanese for tourists.

Japanese Landmark


6. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

I hope this article of Japanese travel phrases is helpful and that you’ll enjoy your trip to Japan!

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language, you’ll find more useful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills.

We also have YouTube channel: JapanesePod101. It’s fun to learn Japanese through watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation, so we recommend you check it out!

Don’t forget to study with our free Japanese vocabulary lists, read more insightful blog posts like this one, and download our mobile apps to learn anywhere, anytime! Whatever your reason for learning Japanese, know that we’re here to help and you can do it! Keep in mind that the best way to learn Japanese phrases for travel is repetition and practice.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about using these useful travel phrases in Japanese after reading this article. More confident, or still a little confused about something? Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

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The Top 10 Japanese Slang Words You’ll Hear In Japan

Start learning Japanese now!

Hey Listeners!

Are you ready to learn the top 10 Japanese slang words?

Slang words can be a fun way to hear how locals use the Japanese language and can also be a way to make your conversational skills sound more natural in casual settings! Oh, and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account with us to get more interesting word lists from JapanesePod101!

And without further ado, let’s get into the top 10!

Learn More At JapanesePod101.com!

1. ぶっちゃけ
bucchake - to be honest

2. おひさ。
Ohisa. - It’s been a while since I see you.

3. ちげーよ。
Chigē yo. - It’s not correct.

Learn More At JapanesePod101.com!

4. ダッシュで
dasshu de - in a hurry

5. ソッコー
sokkō - immediately

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6. めちゃめちゃ
mechamecha - quite

7. へこむ
hekomu - feel discouraged

Learn More At JapanesePod101.com!

8. パねぇ
pa nė - unbelievable

9. ガッツリ
gattsuri - plentifully

10. やばい
yabai - something is bad or dangerous

Wanna learn more? Check out these fun word lists and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account!

1. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
2. What’s Your Favorite Japanese Food?
3. Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce
4. Top 10 Travel Spots in Japan
5. Top 10 Phrases You Always Want to Hear

Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce in Japanese

Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

1. ツイッター。 - Twitter.

https://38.media.tumblr.com/4fe74a428b5907de18e91c65554bfc21/tumblr_inline_o5aiphLlGa1tqv1ik_500.gif

2. 伝えられなかった。 - Could not tell.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/ba712314cd8fe13c031c26e72c2fd6c9/tumblr_inline_o5aj4ykNs91tqv1ik_500.gif

3. 侵略。 - invasion.

https://33.media.tumblr.com/e03967df6e39856cc28ab281cd430bc8/tumblr_inline_o5ajjc6Mbt1tqv1ik_500.gif

4. 便利。 - Convenient.

https://33.media.tumblr.com/63d39ef5899a32ccc41c2f1952b1f69f/tumblr_inline_o5ajrio29L1tqv1ik_500.gif

5. 出力。 - Output power.

https://38.media.tumblr.com/03522fae08a043fd820422e781a277f6/tumblr_inline_o5ak94fTVz1tqv1ik_500.gif

6. 店員。 - Clerk.

https://33.media.tumblr.com/b0e2e540e70e8750c192eafed6179671/tumblr_inline_o5akhrbwYb1tqv1ik_500.gif

7. 旅行。 - Traveling.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/1d06d09e0c9a3235de939fb7dfa33f68/tumblr_inline_o5akrjVSUE1tqv1ik_500.gif

8. 暖かくなかった。 - Was not warm.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/a1f6368c2de6012766c0bf30b89390d5/tumblr_inline_o5akxxKOtK1tqv1ik_500.gif

9. 駐車場。 - Parking lot.

https://33.media.tumblr.com/3bfb0c6ae3fa52906b1536df93f12171/tumblr_inline_o5al3eZZZl1tqv1ik_500.gif

10. おっちょこちょい。 - Clumsy.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/ec656e5e2ea8fee6148a4385bd5a88f7/tumblr_inline_o5alaqv0uz1tqv1ik_500.gif

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    Understanding is alright, but speaking is hard!

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    3. The Practice Tests
    Checking my progress and realizing I am actually learning new grammar points, words, or kanji is one of the most important things overall.
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  • If you don’t like wasting your time on complicated websites or waiting forever for a confirmation email, well JapanesePod101 is amazing, because everything is simple and fast.
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    The vocabulary. Although it’s not what I am currently focusing on, there is a 2,000-word dictionary, with examples, that you can study by subject.
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    New Product Announcement! Explore Your World in Japanese with Visual Dictionary for iPhone and iPad

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    There’s absolutely no limit to the number of vocabulary words you could and should learn in the Japanese language. The fact is, the more words you know, the better you’ll be able to speak and communicate. That’s true of any language; even your native tongue! But when are you going to find the time to learn them all? Isn’t there a shortcut?

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    Top 5 pop culture things/icons you need to know about Japan

    Japan is a country rich in pop culture that has started to gain recognition and popularity throughout the world. As popular culture changes quickly and drastically, we focus this lesson on the most recent pop culture.

    Popular Music

    • Japan boasts the second largest music industry in the world after the United States.
    • Pop music is especially popular in Japan, although you can find all sorts of music in Japan done by Japanese artists-including rock, rap, hip-hop, reggae, and more.

    Popular Movies

    • Recently, the popularity of domestic Japanese movies has been on the rise, with the annual box-office revenue for domestic movies hitting an all-time high in 2008.
    • Of the top Japanese films of 2008, the highest-grossing title was the animation film Gake no
    • Ue no Ponyo (”Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea̶ ;)
    • Hayao Miyazaki directed this movie as well as other popular animated titles such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, which was the first anime film to win an Academy Award.

    Popular Television

    • Variety shows, true to their name, feature a variety of different content-cooking segments, comedy segments, skits, and quizzes are just some of what you’ll find on a typical Japanese variety show.
    • Variety shows often feature a large panel of currently popular celebrities and sometimes a studio audience.
    • Quiz shows that feature contestants (who are almost always celebrities) answering questions on numerous subjects, such as science, history, math, the Japanese language, pop culture, and so on, also enjoy great popularity.
    • Japanese dramas are also very popular among Japanese people of all ages.
    • Many current dramas’ running in Japan are adaptations of popular movies, comics, or animated shows.

    Popular Foreigners in Japan

    •  Jero, is an African-American singer who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    • He has gained popularity singing enka, a traditional type of pop music that is especially popular among older people.

    Popular Japanese Men/Women Abroad

    • Actor Ken Watanabe became a recognized name after appearing alongside Tom Cruise in the 2003 war film The Last Samurai.
    • Issey Miyake is the most well-known Japanese designer in the world, and he is considered the first Asian designer to gain worldwide recognition.

    Popular Sports Figures

    • Ichiro Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners in 2000, a move that many watched with great interest, as he was the first Japanese position player to play regularly for a Major League Baseball team.
    • Shizuka Arakawa made headlines when she received a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics, a first in the event for a Japanese skater.

    Japanese Dictionary - Audio Dictionary: EDICT Japanese Dictionary Now with Audio for Every Clip

    Top Secret Project with the Legendary Jim Breen Finished!

    Well, it’s done, and it’s alive!

    Mr. Jim Breen, Innovative Language Learning, and JapanesePod101.com, are happy to announce that EDICT, Jim Breen’s legendary Japanese to English dictionary, now has…

    Audio clips for all entries!

    So what exactly am I going on about?

    First, let me back up a second.

    If you’re studying Japanese, you’ve encountered Jim Breen’s EDICT Japanese to English dictionary, whether directly at WWWJDIC or through another Japanese language learning tool. (Many popular Japanese language learning tools use EDICT.)

    Having used the dictionary at WWWJDIC countless times during my Japanese studies, I’m a huge fan of the site. Last November, I contacted Mr. Breen about the possibility of working with him to provide Japanese audio clips of native Japanese speakers for the entire EDICT dictionary! Mr. Breen not only welcomed the project, but he also joined us in the trenches! (More on that in a bit.)

    The Mission: Provide Audio Clips for EVERY entry in the ENTIRE EDICT dictionary!

    To put the task into perspective, we’ve been teaching Japanese for 3 years and amassed an audio library of only 20,000 words. Mr. Breen’s Dictionary was 120,000+ at the time we undertook the project. Furthermore there were technological issues, coordination issues and the holiday season standing in our way, but last November we started.

    And here’s what it took to get it done:

    • 8 voice actors (taking shifts) going at it 5+ hours a day
    • 3 audio engineers editing 10 hours a day on 2 continents
    • The technology team working in the US, Japan, and Germany
    • Mr. Breen himself joining us in the trenches from Australia, as he rolled up his sleeves to code.
    • The support of the entire JapanesePod101.com team
    • And probably a lot more people working behind the scenes

    This project was a beast! But, 5 months later EVERY entry in EDICT has an audio clip!

    Well, almost…

    The snag: EDICT, the Japanese Dictionary, keeps growing!

    Just when the celebrating began, we got a nice and nasty reality check. You see, EDICT is constantly getting bigger, thanks to all the contributors out there. So when we started the project, the list was 123,000 words, the number of recordings we made!

    EDICT is now 140,000 words! Thanks, contributors. :)  So, unfortunately for our voice actors, it’s back to the studio. You can help by reporting missing words, so that we can record them.

    Enough already with the behind the scenes stuff! How does it work?

    Okay, okay. Yep, you want to test it out. Here is what you do:

    1. Head over to WWWJDIC
    2. Search for any word
    3. Where there is a clip available for an entry, a play button will appear at the start of the entry. Click this button to play the clip.
    4. Click the link to a lesson about the word (if available) on the JapanesePod101 site.

    jim_breen_wwwjdic

    We would like to thank Mr. Breen, who has been supportive or our site since its inception, for giving us this opportunity. We hope that adding audio to EDICT will be a valuable tool for your Japanese studies.

    Thank you to every one who contributed to the project. There were so many of you, and we know that it was very intense, especially with such a short deadline. We truly appreciate it.
    Our main goal here at JapanesePod101.com is to provide Japanese students around the world with great learning tools. We hope that this enhancement will be a well-received addition.

    We’re looking forward to your feedback!

    Note: Premium members, you have access to all of this audio in the premium section of JapanesePod101.com.