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Talk About Family in Japanese: Father-in-Law and More!

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Learning a foreign language isn’t only about the language itself, but also about its culture, customs, and society. Family is the minimum unit of a social group, and it’s important to understand its characteristics as this is closely related to culture and customs.

When you learn how to explain your family in Japanese, it helps to expand your vocabulary and improve your communication skills in Japanese.

Compared to English, there are many more words to describe family members in Japanese. These words are according to age and the style (formal and informal). For example, what is a Japanese father-in-law called?

Let’s learn how to describe family in Japanese at JapanesePod101.com. Here’s our list of the most useful Japanese words and family member terms, as well as important information about family in Japan.

Table of Contents

  1. Family in Japan - Cultural Perspective
  2. Basic Family Terms
  3. Terms of Relatives
  4. Family Terms as a Married Person
  5. Endearment Terms
  6. How to Describe Family and Ask Question about Family in Japanese
  7. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. Family in Japan - Cultural Perspective

Family Quotes

Before we move onto the actual family vocabulary, it’s important that we go over family roles in Japanese culture, family values in Japanese society, and the importance of family in Japanese culture. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from Japanese families, and give more context to the Japanese family vocabulary and phrases you’re going to learn!

1- Traditional and Modern Family in Japan

The traditional Japanese family is characterized by the 家 (Ie) or family system, which is literally translated as “household.” It refers to a home and family’s lineage, which bestows importance of kinship and loyalty to their family.

Each member of a family is expected to serve their family’s interests (rather than the individual’s) as a priority. The Japanese family is traditionally patriarchal and a household usually consists of grandparents, their son, his wife, and their children. The eldest son is expected to inherit the household assets, and he’s responsible for taking care of his parents when they get old.

In the modern Japanese family, however, the influence of the traditional ie system isn’t as strong as it used to be. A 核家族 (kaku kazoku) or “nuclear family” is very common nowadays, and consists of two parents and their children, typically centering on a married couple.

While a married couple is expected to live together with a husband’s parents in the traditional Japanese family, grandparents don’t live with a kaku kazoku in a modern Japanese family (although they are visited often).

2- Becoming a Family in Japan (Marriage)

In Japan, the 戸籍 (Koseki) or “family registration system” is mandatory to all households. It requires that the family records all changes in family composition and identity, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, and disrupted adoptions.

It’s required to register one person as the head of a household, and the rest of the members in a household must have the same surname as that of the head. Once a couple gets married, spouses are obligated to have the same surname, and registration of different surnames is not allowed.

Due to the traditional system and the importance of kinship as custom, marriage isn’t only a matter of the bride and groom, but also of their extended family. It’s expected that extended families from both sides are going to have a “family relationship” once a couple gets married in Japan. As such, relationships with one’s in-laws become important.

3- Expressions of Family in Japan

There are various words to name family members in Japanese.

Japanese vocabulary words to describe family count age difference, and there are particular names related to age. This is because age is regarded as one of the most important attributions in the Japanese society, which is greatly influenced by the concept of Confucianism that states seniority is highly respected.

As relationships with in-laws are also culturally important, there are particular names for them as well.

In addition, there are variations of how to express family members, ranging from very casual to formal. Which ones to use depend on the occasion.

Let’s dive into the details in the following sections, and get you started with common family words in Japanese.


2. Basic Family Terms

Family Words

Now, it’s time to learn some basic Japanese words for family members. These are the words you’ll most often hear and use!

1- Basic Family Vocabularies

The formal terms are usually used for official occasions and in written form, while the informal terms are commonly used in casual situations (orally) as well as when calling a family member.

 

English Formal Informal
I / me 私(わたし -
watashi
father 父(ちち お父さん
chichi o-tō-san
mother 母(はは) お母さん
haha o-kā-san
older sister 姉(あね) お姉さん / お姉ちゃん
ane o-nee-san / o-nee-chan
younger sister 妹(いもうと) -
imōto
older brother 兄(あに) お兄さん / お兄ちゃん
ani o-nii-san / o-nii-chan
younger brother 弟(おとうと) -
otōto
grandfather 祖父(そふ) おじいさん / おじいちゃん
sofu o-jii-san / o-jii-chan
grandmother 祖母(そぼ) おばあさん / おばあちゃん
sobo o-bā-san / o-bā-chan
great grandfather 曽祖父 (そうそふ) ひいおじいさん/ ひいおじいちゃん
sōsofu hii-o-jii-san / hii-o-jii-chan
great grandmother

曽祖母(そうそぼ) ひいおばあさん/ ひいおばあちゃん
sobo hii-o-bā-san / hii-o-bā-chan
grandchild(ren) 孫 (まご)
mago
great grandchild(ren) ひ孫(ひまご)
himago

 

Family Leaving Home

Average modern Japanese families usually have 1 or 2 children.

2- More Vocabulary

  • 家族 かぞく (Kazoku) : family
  • 両親 りょうしん (Ryōshin) : parents (father & mother)
  • 親 おや (Oya) : parent(s)
  • 子供 こども (Kodomo) : child(ren)
  • 兄弟 きょうだい (Kyōdai) : brothers
  • 姉妹しまい (Shimai) : sisters

3- Examples

Here are some examples of Japanese phrases for family, so you have a better idea how to use the vocabulary above.

  • 私の家族は、お母さん、お父さん、私、弟の4人家族です。
    Watashi no kazoku wa, o-kā-san, o-tō-san, watashi, otōto no yo-nin kazoku desu.
    My family has four members: mother, father, me, and my younger brother.
  • 私は姉と妹がいる3姉妹です。
    Watashi wa ane to imōto ga iru san-shimai desu.
    I have an older sister and a younger sister, and we are three sisters.
  • 私は兄と姉がいます。
    Watashi wa ani to ane ga imasu.
    I have an older brother and an older sister.
  • 私は祖父と祖母が大好きです。
    Watashi wa sofu to sobo ga daisuki desu.
    I like my grandfather and grandmother very much.

To listen to the pronunciation of basic family terms, please visit Must-Know Terms for Family Members on our website.

Also, if you would like to know more about Japanese numbers, please visit our Japanese Numbers article.

Mother and Daughter Smiling

The bond between a mother and a daughter is often very strong.


3. Terms of Relatives

1- Vocabulary for Relatives

  • 親戚 しんせき (Shinseki) : relatives
  • 叔父 おじ (Oji) : uncle
  • 叔母 おば (Oba) : aunt
  • 甥 おい (Oi) : nephew
  • 姪 めい (Mei) : niece
  • いとこ (Itoko) : cousin

2- Examples

  • 私の親戚は全員東京に住んでいます。
    Watashi no shinseki wa zen’in Tōkyō ni sunde imasu.
    All my relatives live in Tokyo.
  • 私は5人いとこがいます。
    Watashi wa go-nin itoko ga imasu.
    I have five cousins.
  • 私の叔父と叔母は教師です。
    Watashi no oji to oba wa kyōshi desu.
    My uncle and my aunt are teachers.
  • 私の姪は5歳で、甥は2歳です。
    Watashi no mei wa go-sai de, oi wa ni-sai desu.
    My niece is five years old and my nephew is two years old.


4. Family Terms as a Married Person

1- Vocabulary to Know as a Married Person

  • 結婚 けっこん (Kekkon) : marriage
  • 既婚 きこん (Kikon) : married
  • 未婚 みこん (Mikon) : unmarried
  • 離婚 りこん (Rikon) : divorce
  • 夫 おっと (Otto) : husband
  • 妻 つま (Tsuma) : wife
  • 息子 むすこ (Musuko) : son
  • 娘 むすめ (Musume) : daughter
  • 義理の ぎりの (Giri no) : in-law

In order to express “XXX in-law,” add 義理の (Giri no) in front of XXX (the family member).

For example:

  • 義理の両親 (Giri no ryōshin) : parents-in-law
  • 義理の父 (Giri no chichi) : father-in-law
  • 義理の母 (Giri no haha) : mother-in-law
  • 義理の兄 (Giri no ani) : older brother-in-law
  • 義理の弟 (Giri no otōto) : younger brother-in-law
  • 義理の姉 (Giri no ane) : older sister-in-law
  • 義理の妹 (Giri no imōto) : younger sister-in-law

2- Examples

  • 私は夫と娘が1人います。
    Watashi wa otto to musume ga hitori imasu.
    I have a husband and one daughter.
  • 私の義理の父と母は大阪に住んでいます。
    Watashi no giri no chichi to haha wa Ōsaka ni sunde imasu.
    My father and mother in-law live in Osaka.
  • 私は既婚者で子供が2人います。
    Watashi wa kikonsha de kodomo ga futari imasu.
    I am married and I have two children.
  • 私の義理の両親は、私の息子におもちゃを買いました。
    Watashi no giri no ryōshin wa, watashi no musuko ni omocha o kaimashita.
    My parents-in-law bought a toy for my son.


5. Endearment Terms

Parents Phrases

In addition to the formal and informal terms for family, there are also more casual vocabulary words that you can call family members. It may vary from household to household, or on what kind of relationships there are between family members, but here are some examples. Just note that these are typically used in Japanese family relationships that are close.

1- Father

  • パパ (Papa) : papa

Like in English, “papa” is a common name to call a father in Japan, especially when children are very small. However, most Japanese people don’t use papa as they grow up.

  • 父ちゃん (Tō-chan) : dad

This term includes a nuance of cute and comical affection.

  • おやじ (Oyaji) : dad

This term is usually used by sons who are post-adolescent age. When they become adults, they often feel embarrassed to call their father papa or o-tō-san. This term also indicates a nuance of close affection.

2- Mother

  • ママ (Mama) : mama

Just like papa, mama is used especially when children are still small.

  • 母ちゃん (Kā-chan) : mom

This is the version of tō-chan used for mothers.

  • お袋 (Ofukuro) : mom

This is the mother version of oyaji.

3- Grandfather

  • じじ (Jiji) : grandpa

Grandchildren and their parents usually call a grandfather by this term when the grandchildren are still small. It indicates a nuance of cute affection.

  • じーじ (Jīji) : grandpa

This is very similar to jiji, but the first ji is pronounced longer.

4- Grandmother

  • ばば (Baba) : grandma

This is the grandmother version of jiji.

  • ばーば (Bāba) : grandma

This is the grandmother version of jīji.

Elderly Couple

Grandparents often have endearing nicknames when they have grandchildren.


6. How to Describe Family and Ask Question about Family in Japanese

Most of the time, there’s no problem with talking about family and relatives. When it comes to marital status and children, however, it can be a delicate matter. It can sometimes be inappropriate to ask someone about his/her marital status or if they have children, unless he/she is open and willing to talk. This is especially true for a woman in her 30s.

Here are some example questions and answers related to family.

Q:
何人家族ですか。
Nan-nin kazoku desu ka.
How many family members do you have?

A:
お父さん、お母さん、お姉ちゃん、私の4人家族です。
O-tō-san, o-kā-san, o-nee-chan, watashi no yo-nin kazoku desu.
I have four family members: father, mother, older sister, and me.

—–

Q:
兄弟はいますか。
Kyōdai wa imasu ka.
Do you have brothers and sisters?

*When asking a question, kyōdai can also refer to sisters.

A:
私は姉と弟がいます。
Watashi wa ane to otōto ga imasu.
I have an older sister and a younger brother.

—–

Q:
結婚していますか。
Kekkon shite imasu ka.
Are you married?

A:
はい、妻と子供が2人います。
Hai, tsuma to kodomo ga futari imasu.
Yes, I have a wife and two children.

—–

Q:
孫はいますか。
Mago wa imasu ka.
Do you have grandchildren?

A:
はい、私は孫が6人います。
Hai, watashi wa mago ga roku-nin imasu.
Yes, I have six grandchildren.

—–

Q:
ご両親はお元気ですか。
Go-ryōshin wa o-genki desu ka.
How are your parents?

*It’s polite to put go in front of ryōshin when you talk about someone’s parents.

A:
はい、私の父と母は元気です。
Hai, watashi no chichi to haha wa genki desu.
Yes, my father and mother are doing well.

—–

For more about self-introductions, please visit Introducing Yourself in Japanese on our website.


7. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

I hope this article about family in Japanese culture is useful and that it helps to improve your Japanese communication skills.

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. For example, Must-Know Terms for Family Members is helpful if you want to practice family terms in Japanese with audio.

We also have YouTube channel: JapanesePod101. It’s always fun to learn Japanese by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any family terms you still want to know! And to practice, write a short paragraph about your family in basic Japanese. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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

Log


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!

Log

Japanese Numbers: Let’s Master the Basic Japanese Numbers!

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Numbers are necessary in everyday life as you need them to express time, record dates, interpret recipe amounts, count objects, and the list goes on. Japanese numerical systems have unique features and they are very different from those in English.

For example, Japanese has a variety of counter words depending on different factors. Further, large numbers are counted by units of four digits while the Western system counts by that of three digits, and the differences only continue for numbers in the Japanese language.

Let’s start to learn basic Japanese numbers with JapanesePod101.com!

Table of Contents

  1. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 0-9
  2. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 10-99
  3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000
  4. Counting in Japanese: More than 10,000
  5. Decimal Fraction / Fraction Numbers in Japanese
  6. How to Say Prices in Japanese
  7. Shopping Using Numbers in Japanese
  8. How to Give Your Phone Number in Japanese
  9. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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1. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 0-9

Japanese Numbers

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading
0 ぜろ/れい Zero/Rei
1 いち Ichi
2 Ni
3 さん San
4 し/よん Shi/Yon
5 Go
6 ろく Roku
7 しち/なな Shichi/Nana
8 はち Hachi
9 く/きゅう Ku/Kyū
10 じゅう

These are the basic Japanese numbers for 0 to 10. You absolutely need to know these numbers in learning Japanese so that you can use them to build bigger numbers.

The standard way of reading 0 to 10 is also used in combination with counter words when you count anything, including actions and events. The Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3…) are also commonly used in Japanese, but they often appear in horizontal texts, while the numbers in Kanji are mostly used in vertical texts, especially in formal writings and in particular situations.

As it’s written in the chart, there are some numbers which can be read two ways:

  • 0 can be ぜろ(Zero) or れい (Rei). Nowadays, “Zero” is more common to read, and the Kanji 零 is rarely used.
  • 4 can either be し(Shi) or よん (Yon).
  • 7 can either be しち(Shichi) or なな (Nana).
  • 9 can be either く(Ku) or きゅう (Kyū).

In most circumstances, both are acceptable. In general, よん (Yon), なな (Nana), and きゅう(Kyū) sound more casual and common.し(Shi), しち (Shichi), and く(Ku) sound more formal.


2. Counting in Japanese: Numbers 10-99

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
11 十一 じゅういち jū-ichi 10, 1
12 十二 じゅうに jū-ni 10, 2
13 十三 じゅうさん jū-san 10, 3
14 十四 じゅうし/よん jū-shi/yon 10, 4
15 十五 じゅうご jū-go 10, 5
16 十六 じゅうろく jū-roku 10, 6
17 十七 じゅうしち/なな jū-shichi/nana 10, 7
18 十八 じゅうはち jū-hachi 10, 8
19 十九 じゅうく/きゅう jū kyū/ku 10, 9
20 二十 にじゅう ni-jū 2, 10
21 二十一 にじゅういち ni-jū ichi 2, 10, 1
30 三十 さんじゅう san-jū 3, 10
40 四十 よんじゅう yon-jū 4, 10
50 五十 ごじゅう go-jū 5, 10
60 六十 ろくじゅう roku-jū 6, 10
70 七十 ななじゅう nana-jū 7, 10
80 八十 はちじゅう hachi-jū 8,10
90 九十 きゅうじゅう kyū-jū 9,10

You can count from 1 to 99 with just ten numbers (0-10). Japanese numbers are simple and easier to use than English in this respect because there’s no exception or particular separate words such as “twenty” or “thirty.” In Japanese, these are expressed “two ten” and “three ten.” 21 is “two ten one.”

The Arabic numerals are commonly used and Kanji is also used in some circumstances. However, Hiragana isn’t used to express numbers. Like the cases of idiomatic words or a combination of Kanji (熟語 じゅくご Jukugo), Hiragana can become long to express and hard to decipher.

For more on Japanese numbers, YouTube has some great content. Please visit our JapanesePod101 YouTube channel and watch Learn Japanese Numbers 1 to 20 to learn Japanese basic numbers. You can listen to hear how they’re actually pronounced.

Numbers


3. Counting in Japanese: Numbers up to 1000

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
100 ひゃく hyaku 100
200 二百 にひゃく ni-hyaku 2, 100
300 三百 さんびゃく san-byaku 3, 100
400 四百 よんひゃく yon-hyaku 4, 100
500 五百 ごひゃく go-hyaku 5, 100
600 六百 ろっぴゃく roppyaku 6, 100
700 七百 ななひゃく nana-hyaku 7, 100
800 八百 はっぴゃく happyaku 8, 100
900 九百 きゅうひゃく kyū-hyaku 9, 100
1000 せん sen 1000
1100 千百 せんひゃく sen hyaku 1000, 100
110 百十 ひゃくじゅう hyaku jū 100, 10
111 百十一 ひゃくじゅういち hyaku jū-ichi 100, 10, 1

From 100 to 1000, the pattern is basically simple and the same. In Japanese, as you can see in the chart, you can simply put the numbers 1 to 9 and add 100 to express 100 to 900 in Japanese. There are some exceptions for reading, such as 300, 600, and 800.

  • 100 is hyaku, but 300 is read san (3) Byaku (100)
  • 600 is roppyaku instead of “roku hyaku,”
  • 800 is happyaku instead of hachi hyaku.
  • 3000 is san (3) zen (100)
  • 8000 is hassen instead of hachi sen


4. Counting in Japanese: More than 10,000

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading Literal reading in Japanese
10,000 まん man 10000
100,000 十万 じゅうまん jū-man 10, 10000
1,000,000 百万 ひゃくまん hyaku-man 100, 10000
10,000,000 千万 せんまん sen-man 1000, 10000
10^8 おく oku
10^12 ちょう chō

For the large numbers, Japanese numerals are divided into units of four (as in the four zeros in ten thousand). As you can see in the chart, 万 (man) is 10^4, 億 (oku) is 10^8, and 兆 (chō) is 10^12. One million is expressed as one hundred ten-thousands or 百万 (hyaku-man) in Japanese.

Note that you don’t need to put a 1 for 百 (hyaku) meaning 100 or 千 (sen) meaning 1000. But for units past 1000, you need to put a 1 in front. For example:

  • ichi-man ( 10^4 )
  • ichi-oku ( 10^8 )
  • ichhō ( 10^12 )

You also read numbers in Japanese in the same pattern as mentioned before. You can count by simply chaining the numbers. However, there’s also an exception for the large numbers: 10^12 is 兆 ichhō instead of ichi-chō.

For the large numbers, the Arabic numerals are used in combination with Kanji, such as in 5万 (go-man), 4千万 (Yon-sen-man), 100億 (hyaku-oku), 3兆 (san-chō), etc.

Our JapanesePod101 YouTube video How to Count to 600,000 in Japanese is useful to help you learn large Japanese numbers. Please check it out to see how you can count large numbers in Japanese.

Highlighting Numbers


5. Decimal Fraction / Fraction Numbers in Japanese

1- Decimal Fractions

ひらがな Hiragana Reading
0.1 れいてんいち rei ten ichi
0.03 れいてんれいさん rei ten rei san
0.005 れいてんれいれいご rei ten rei rei go

0 before the decimal point is read rei and 0 after the point can be either rei or zero. The decimal point is called ten which literally means “point.”

2- Fraction Numbers

Japanese writing ひらがな Hiragana Reading
1/2 2分の1 にぶんのいち ni bun no ichi
4/7 7分の4 ななぶんのよん nana bun no yon
3/10 10分の3 じゅうぶんのさん jū bun no san

For fraction numbers in Japanese, the number after / is read first. / is expressed as 分の (bun no).


6. How to Say Prices in Japanese

漢字 Kanji ひらがな Hiragana Reading
1 Yen 1円 いちえん ichi-en
5 Yen 5円 ごえん go-en
10 Yen 10円 じゅうえん jū-en
100 Yen 100円 ひゃくえん hyaku-en
1000 Yen 1000円 せんえん sen-en
5000 Yen 5000円 ごせんえん go-sen-en
10000 Yen 10000円 いちまんえん ichi-man-en

The Japanese currency is Yen and it’s read en. Expressing prices is very simple: you just use the numbers and en. The Arabic numerals are usually used for prices.

Clothes Shopping


7. Shopping Using Numbers in Japanese

The phrase いくら (ikura) which means “How much” is often used in shopping.

The word “Price” is 値段 ねだん (nedan) in Japanese.

Examples for Shopping:

  • A: このりんごの値段はいくらですか。
    A: Kono ringo no nedan wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is the price for this apple?

    B: りんご1つ120円です。
    B: Ringo hitotsu hyaku ni-jū-en desu.
    B: One apple is 120 yen.

  • A: これはいくらですか。 
    A: Kore wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is this?

    B: それは259円です。 
    B: Sore wa ni-hyaku go-jū kyū-en desu.
    B: It is 259 en.

  • A: 2万5千円の靴の値引きはいくらですか。
    A: Ni-man go-sen-en no kutsu no nebiki wa ikura desu ka.
    A: How much is a discount for the shoes of 25,000 yen?

    B: その靴の値引きは20%で、値段は2万円です。
    B: Sono kutsu no nebiki wa ni-juppāsento de, nedan wa ni-man-en desu.
    B: The discount for the shoes is 20%, and the price is 20,000 yen.

Please visit our JapanesePod101 YouTube channel to learn more helpful Japanese for shopping. The following are practical and useful Japanese for when you go shopping: Buying Items at a Register in Japan, Top 15 Must-Know Japanese Phrases to Go Shopping in Japan, and What’s Inside a Japanese Convenience Store?

Business Deal


8. How to Give Your Phone Number in Japanese

Telephone numbers are simple, as you can just chain numbers.

The words “telephone” and “number” are denwa and bangō in Japanese, respectively.

The only thing you should keep in mind is that “ - “ between numbers are read as no. Or, you can simply pause before giving the following numbers.

Examples:

  • A: あなたの携帯電話番号は何ですか。 
    A: Anata no keitai denwa bangō wa nan desu ka.
    A: What is your mobile telephone number?

    B:私の番号は090-1234-5678です。
    B: Watashi no bangō wa zero kyū zero no ichi ni san yon no go roku shichi hachi desu.
    B: My number is 090-1234-5678.

  • A: お問い合わせはフリーダイヤル0120-123-456におかけください。
    A: O-toiawase wa furī daiyaru zero ichi ni zero no ichi ni san no shi go roku ni okake kudasai.
    A: Please call to the toll-free 0120-123-456 for inquiries.


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

As we’ve seen, Japanese numbers are very simple to read. However, how to count things is a bit more complicated because there are a variety of Japanese counter words for each object, action, or event.

If you’d 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.

On our YouTube channel, you’ll enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. For more about Japanese numbers, Numbers & Days, Learn Japanese Counters, and Learn Japanese Superstitions - Unlucky Numbers are helpful.

Further, for reading and writing Japanese, Learn to Read and Write Japanese is a good watch. For much more, please check out our YouTube channel!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Japanese

How To Post In Perfect Japanese on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Japanese, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much so that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Japanese.

At Learn Japanese, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Japanese in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Japanese

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Japanese. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Mamoru eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

友だちと、しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう。 (Tomodachi to, shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)
“At all-you-can-eat shabushabu with my friends now.”

1- 友だちと (Tomodachi to)

First is an expression meaning: “With my friends.”
It’s common to include information about who you’re spending time with in a social media post. However, eating or drinking alone is also common in Japan, and a lot of restaurants accommodate single customers.

2- しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題なう (Shabushabu tabehōdai nau.)

Then comes the phrase - “At all-you-can-eat shabushabu now..”
All-you-can-eat cuisine is very popular in Japan. When you go to Japanese style bars, you’ll often see a menu that says all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-drink. A lot of Japanese people upload a post while they are still at the place, and share the latest status of themselves with others by emphasising that they’re “now” at the place.

COMMENTS

In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

1- 本当、おいしかったね。 (Hontō, oishikatta ne. )

His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Indeed, it was delicious. ”
This expression shows you are appreciative of the quality of the food.

2- うわー、誘ってくれよ! (Uwā, sasotte kure yo!)

His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What, why didn’t you invite me!”
With this expression, Shō is being playful.

3- こんど行くとき私も連れて行って〜。 (Kondo iku toki watashi mo tsurete ittē.)

His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta take me with you next time.”
This phrase expresses a wish.

4- 高そう。。 (Takasō..)

His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks expensive…”
Perhaps Yamato is a bit cynical? But he could also be appreciative of the restaurant or the food’s quality.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 友だち (tomodachi): “friend”
  • しゃぶしゃぶ (shabushabu): “shabushabu (thin slices of beef and a variety of vegetables parboiled in hot soup usually eaten with sesame sauce or sour sauce called Ponzu)”
  • 食べ放題 (tabehōdai): “all-you-can-eat”
  • 本当 (hontō): “indeed”
  • おいしい (oishii): “delicious”
  • 誘う (sasou): “to invite”
  • 高い (takai): “expensive”
  • 連れて行く (tsurete iku): “to take someone with someone “
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Japanese restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Japanese

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Japanese phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Hazuki shops with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しくできたお店に妹と。ものすごい列。。 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise ni imōto to. Monosugoi retsu̷ ;)
    “With my sis at the store that recently opened. What a super long line..”

    1- 新しくできたお店 (Atarashiku dekita o-mise)

    First is an expression meaning: “Newly opened store.”
    In Japan, sharing hot news and the latest information a common thing to do on social media. When you go to a recently-opened store that’s been mentioned on TV or on social media, it’s a perfect chance to show the world that you already went there before anyone else did!

    2- ものすごい列 (Monosugoi retsu)

    Then comes the phrase - “What a super long line.”
    Passing information by word of mouth is also one of the popular uses of social media in Japan. For example, you could check other people’s posts to calculate a less crowded time to visit the place!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- またショッピング? (Mata shoppingu?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Shopping again?”
    Yamato is making conversation with this phrase..

    2- わたしも昨日ここにいた! (Watashi mo kinō koko ni ita!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “I was here yesterday, too!”
    This shares a detail of your life - good conversation starters!

    3- また服が増えるのか。。 (Mata fuku ga fueru no ka̷ ;)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, there we have more clothes…

    4- え、本当に妹さん?大人っぽい。 (E, hontō ni imōto-san? Otonappoi.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No, is that really your younger sister? She looks mature.”
    Use this expression to demonstrate surprise and even appreciation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 新しくできた (atarashiku dekita): “newly opened”
  • 妹 (imōto): “younger sister”
  • ものすごい (monosugoi): “incredible, super”
  • また (mata): “again”
  • いる (iru): “to be, to exist”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • さん (san): “polite name suffix, similar to Mr. or Mrs.”
  • 大人っぽい (otonappoi): “mature”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Japanese

    Sport events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Japanese.

    Mamoru plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今年こそ、絶対勝つ! (Kotoshi koso, zettai katsu!)
    “This year, for sure, we must win!”

    1- 今年こそ (Kotoshi koso)

    First is an expression meaning “This year for sure.”
    Japanese people love sports, and often gather to play games after work or school. Watching sports games together with friends at a public space is also a big thing in Japan. Some of the most popular sports are baseball and soccer.

    2- ぜったい勝つ! (Zettai katsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “we must win!.”
    This expression is used when you’re cheering for a team while watching a sports game. This phrase is also used when going into a match. It shows a strong determination. You can also replace the verb with other verbs.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- がんばれー! (Ganbarē!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Go for it!”
    Use this expression to show your enthusiastic support for your team.

    2- どこのビーチですか? (Doko no bīchi desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Where’s the beach at?”
    This is a question to determine the location of the game. So, to gather information, use this phrase.

    3- けっきょく結果はどうだったの?笑 (Kekkyoku kekka wa dō datta no?wara)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “So what was the result after all? lol”
    This question shows inquisitiveness.

    4- 大学時代を思い出すなあ。 (Daigaku jidai o omoidasu nā.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Reminds me of our college life.”
    Somewhat nostalgic, Norio holds a senior position at work, and is perhaps a bit old-fashioned.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • こそ (koso): “for sure”
  • 絶対 (zettai): “unconditional”
  • 勝つ (katsu): “to win”
  • がんばれ (ganbare): “Go for it”
  • けっきょく (kekkyoku): “after all”
  • 結果 (kekka): “result”
  • 思い出す (omoidasu): “to remember, V1″
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Japanese

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Hazuki shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    おすすめの1曲! (Osusume no ikkyoku!)
    “The one song I recommend!”

    1- おすすめの (Osusume no __)

    First is an expression meaning “__ to recommend.”
    Among the Japanese, it is pretty common to share something you like or recommend on social media. Add any noun right after this phrase to make a recommendation.

    2- 1曲 (ikkyoku)

    Then comes the phrase - “one song.”
    In Japanese, there are various types of counters you have to add after numbers. This counter is only one of them and is used to count “songs” and “music.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うわー、なつかしい。 (Uwā, natsukashii.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Wow, how nostalgic.”
    This expresses an opinion about Hazuki’s choice of music.

    2- 名曲ですね。 (Meikyoku desu ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Classic, indeed.”
    This warmhearted comment is a response to the previous one about the song.

    3- 古すぎ。。 (Furusugi..)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Too old..”
    Yamato again doesn’t hold back on expressing his opinion. He finds the song dated.

    4- ぼくも昔このバンドの大ファンだったな。 (Boku mo mukashi kono bando no daifan datta na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “I used to be a huge fan of this band. ”
    Again a nostalgic comment, with Norio reminiscing about his earlier taste in music.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • おすすめ (osusume): “recommendation”
  • 曲 (kyoku): “song, piece of music, counter for songs”
  • なつかしい (natsukashii): “missed, desired, nostalgic”
  • 名曲 (meikyoku): “famous song”
  • 古い (furui): “old (not person); Adj(i)”
  • 昔 (mukashi): “long ago”
  • バンド (bando): “band”
  • 大ファン (daifan): “huge fan”
  • Do you have a favorite song you would share? And what would you say to a friend posting a song?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Japanese Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru goes to a concert, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    毎年恒例の夏フェスです。 (Maitoshi kōrei no natsufesu desu.)
    “Summer music festival like every year.”

    1- 毎年恒例の (Maitoshi kōrei no )

    First is an expression meaning: “Annual, like every year.”
    This expression is commonly used when you want to share a tradition you never fail to honor every year. In this sentence, you can see he’s emphasizing that going to a summer music festival has become a tradition for him.

    2- 夏フェスです (natsufesu desu)

    Then comes the phrase - “summer music festival.”
    It’s become more and more popular to go to summer music festivals in Japan. Then you will see a lot of pictures, videos and status updates on social media about them. You can replace the noun before “festival” with other nouns, for example, “winter”, “beach” or “rock” as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 楽しそう! (Tanoshisō!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Looks fun!”
    Yui is making conversation and seems pretty positive and optimistic.

    2- すごい人だな。 (Sugoi hito da na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What a huge crowd of people. ”
    This conveys a sense of surprise.

    3- いっきに3キロやせた気分。。 (Ikki ni san-kiro yaseta kibun..)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “I feel like we lost 3 kilos all at once..”
    Hazuki is sharing a feeling.

    4- よく飽きないね〜 (Yoku akinai nē)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “No idea why you don’t get tired of it~”
    Yamato is not the most positive of people, is he? He’s commenting on this post with an opinion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 毎年 (maitoshi): “every year”
  • 恒例 (kōrei): “regular, customary”
  • 夏フェス (natsufesu): “summer music festival”
  • すごい (sugoi): “amazing, great, fabulous”
  • 一気に (ikki ni): “at once, in one go”
  • 痩せる (yaseru): “to lose weight”
  • 気分 (kibun): “feeling”
  • 飽きる (akiru): “to get tired of, to lose interest in; V2″
  • If a friend posted something about a concert, which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Japanese

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Tell friends about it by using these Japanese phrases in a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Hazuki accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    ついにやってしまった。。 (Tsui ni yatte shimatta.. )
    “I finally did it.. ”

    1- ついに (Tsui ni )

    First is an expression meaning “Finally.”
    Japanese use this word when something that they expected would happen someday has finally happened.

    2- やってしまった (yatte shimatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I did it.”
    You can say this expression when you have done something bad. It’s a good opening line to catch people’s attention as well.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこで、なんでこんなことに? (Doko de, nande konna koto ni?)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Where and how did that happen?”
    Her friend is curious as to how Hazuki broke her phone, and is also making conversation.

    2- えー!これはショック。 (Ē! Kore wa shokku.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh no, this is a shock. ”
    This expression shows sympathy with the accident.

    3- この前も壊したばかりなのに!? (Kono mae mo kowashita bakari na noni!?)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You just broke (another) one recently!”
    Don’t you feel you want to slap cynical Yamato?! He seems to be a glass-half-full person.

    4- まさか会社のものではないよな・・・? (Masaka kaisha no mono de wa nai yo na…?)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “It’s not a company phone, is it…?”
    Norio feels anxious about this accident and shows it with this question.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • ついに (tsui ni): “finally”
  • どこ (doko): “where”
  • なんで (nande): “why”
  • ショック (shokku): “shocking”
  • この前 (kono mae): “some time ago, recently”
  • 壊す (kowasu): “to break”
  • まさか (masaka): “by no means, never (used before a negation as an exclamation) “
  • 会社 (kaisha): “company, office”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Japanese. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Japanese

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Japanese!

    Mamoru gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    暇だなあ。つまんない。 (Hima da nā. Tsumannai.)
    “I have nothing to do. I’m so bored. ”

    1- 暇だなあ。 (Hima da nā.)

    First is an expression meaning: “I have nothing to do..”
    You can also use this expression when you want someone to ask you out but are too shy to directly say it.

    2- つまんない。 (Tsumannai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m so bored..”
    This is the most common expression to say you’re bored in Japanese in a casual way. You can often hear teenagers use this phrase at school.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 花見に行こうよ。 (Hanami ni ikō yo. )

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s go to the cherry blossom viewing.”
    Yui makes an optimistic suggestion.

    2- 外で運動したらどうですか? (Soto de undō shitara dō desu ka?)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Why don’t you exercise outside?”
    And the neighbour makes a friendly suggestion.

    3- 新宿で飲もうぜ! (Shinjuku de nomō ze!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s drink in Shinjuku!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    4- 私も。。遊ばない? (Watashi mo.. Asobanai?)

    His girlfriend, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Me too.. Wanna hang out?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暇 (hima): “time to spare, free time”
  • つまんない (tsumannai): “casual expression of “I’m bored”"
  • 花見 (hanami): “cherry blossom viewing, flower viewing”
  • 外 (soto ): “outside”
  • 運動する (undō suru): “to exercise; V3″
  • 新宿 (Shinjuku): “Shinjuku, the prefectural capital of Tokyo “
  • 飲む (nomu): “to drink;V1″
  • 遊ぶ (asobu): “to hang out; V1″
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Japanese

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Japanese about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Hazuki feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あー疲れた! (Ā tsukareta!)
    “Uh, I’m exhausted!”

    1- あー (Ā)

    First is an expression meaning “Uh.”
    This interjection is often used to express a sigh before you start a sentence. In casual settings like social media, it’s common for Japanese people to write interjections down as well as the actual context.

    2- 疲れた! (tsukareta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m exhausted!.”
    This is one of the most commonly-used phrases in Japanese, both on and offline. You’re going to hear many people saying this phrase after work or school on the way back home.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 今週は長かったな。。 (Konshū wa nagakatta na..)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “This week felt longer..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling empathy.

    2- お疲れさま! (Otsukare-sama!)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “Well done! ”
    But Hazuki’s boyfriend chooses to be encouraging in his comment.

    3- やっと花金だね。 (Yatto hanakin da ne.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Thank God it’s finally Friday!”
    Another post of commiseration and empathy.

    4- たまには休まないと。 (Tamani wa yasumanai to.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “You gotta get some rest. ”
    Yamato likes to state the obvious.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 疲れる (tsukareru): “to tire, to get tired”
  • 今週 (konshū): “this week”
  • 長い (nagai): “long”
  • お疲れさま (otsukare-sama): “thank you, that’s enough for today, greeting at workplace”
  • やっと (yatto): “yay, finally, at last”
  • 花金 (hanakin): “Thank God it’s Friday. TGIF.”
  • たまに (tama ni ): “once in a while, occasionally”
  • 休む (yasumu): “to rest, to have a break”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Japanese! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Japanese

    So life happens, and you managed to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Japanese.

    Mamoru suffers a painful injury, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    練習中に骨折。。痛い。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu.. Itai.)
    “Broke my leg during practice.. It hurts.”

    1- 練習中に骨折。。 (Renshūchū ni kossetsu..)

    First is an expression meaning: “Broke my leg during the practice…”
    This is an example of an expression ending with a noun, which is often used in the headlines of newspaper articles or on TV news.

    2- 痛い。 (Itai.)

    Then comes the phrase - “It hurt.”
    This is a must-know phrase when you go to a dentist or any clinic in Japan. When something hurts, say this phrase out loud.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 痛そう。お大事に。 (Itasō. O-daiji ni.)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Ouch. Get well soon.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling warmhearted.

    2- うわ、グロいな。 (Uwa, guroi na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Holy smokes, gross.”
    This is an exclamation and an opinion all at once.

    3- すぐ治るといいね。 (Sugu naoru to ii ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Get well soon!”
    Use this expression to wish your injured friend well.

    4- 無理しないで、安静にするんだぞ。 (Muri shinai de, ansei ni suru n da zo.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t strain yourself. Take a good rest.”
    This expression shows concern and caring.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 練習中 (renshūchū): “during practice; in the middle of practice”
  • 骨折 (kossetsu): “bone fracture”
  • 痛い (itai): “painful, hurt”
  • お大事に (o-daiji ni): “Bless you, get well soon”
  • うわ (uwa): “Whoa, holy smokes, oh my gosh”
  • 治る (naoru): “to heal, to get cured”
  • 無理する (muri suru): “to take something too far, to overdo something”
  • 安静にする (ansei ni suru): “to rest, to be calm”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Japanese

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Hazuki feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    暑すぎる。。お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Atsusugiru.. Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)
    “It’s too hot today.. For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please.”

    1- 暑すぎる。。 (Atsusugiru..)

    First is an expression meaning “It’s too hot…”
    Japanese people are not the biggest fans of sunlight. If you look at trendy Japanese magazines, you will see having light skin is often considered more attractive. Being tanned and brown as a chestnut is not as attractive as it is in many western countries. When you visit Japan in summer, you will see a lot of Japanese ladies with a sunshade and sunblock groves walking down the streets!

    2- お願いだから、早く秋になって。 (Onegai da kara, hayaku aki ni natte.)

    Then comes the phrase - “For God’s sake, turn to autumn already, please..”
    This Japanese expression for “for God’s sake” is frequently used when you are desperately in need of something. By writing this line at the beginning of a sentence, you can emphasize that you really need whatever follows.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ほんと!湿気もすごい。 (Honto! Shikke mo sugoi.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “I know right! Massive humidity, too.”
    This expression shows commiseration and empathy.

    2- 今日はスーツのジャケットは着られないな。 (Kyō wa sūtsu no jaketto wa kirarenai na.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Today, I can’t wear a suit (anymore).”
    Norio agrees with the general sentiment that it’s a very hot day, sharing a personal detail about his preferred attire.

    3- これからもっと暑くなるらしいけどね。 (Kore kara motto atsuku naru rashii kedo ne.)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Looks like it’s going to get even hotter, though.”
    Trust Yamato to be the one who brings even worse news. He doesn’t seem like a very optimistic, positive person!

    4- 汗がとまらない。。 (Ase ga tomaranai..)

    Her boyfriend, Mamoru, uses an expression meaning - “I can’t stop sweating..”
    Hazuki’s boyfriend partakes in the conversation by sharing a personal detail.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 暑い (atsui): “hot”
  • お願いだから (onegai da kara): “Come on, for God’s sake”
  • 秋 (aki): “fall, autumn”
  • 湿気 (shikke): “humidity”
  • 今日 (kyō): “today”
  • 着る (kiru): “to wear”
  • もっと (motto): “more”
  • とまる (tomaru): “stop”
  • How would you comment in Japanese when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about negative feelings and experiences, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Japanese

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Mamoru changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of him and Hazuki, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    今日で付き合って1ヶ月!ラブラブです。 (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu! Raburabu desu.)
    “Today is 1 month since we started dating. We’re in love.”

    1- 今日で付き合って1ヶ月! (Kyō de tsukiatte ikkagetsu!)

    First is an expression meaning: “Today is one month since we started dating!.”
    In Japan, you can often see couples counting the number of months they’ve been together for, then making it an anniversary and posting about it on social media.

    2- ラブラブです。 (Raburabu desu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “We’re in love.”
    Although there’s an expression meaning “lovey-dovey”, it’s not very common for Japanese people to show affection such as kissing and hugging in public. Never show too much affection in front of your Japanese girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents! Thismight get a little confusing and embarrassing.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うそだ!! (Uso da!!)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “No way!!”
    This is a playful and teasing phrase to make conversation.

    2- おめでとう!彼女かわいいね! (Omedetō! Kanojo kawaii ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Your girlfriend is cute!”
    Here, Yui complements his friend on his girlfriend’s appearance.

    3- さて、いつまで続くかな? (Sate, itsu made tsuzuku ka na?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Well, let’s see how long it lasts?”
    Don’t be the Yamato in any conversation…! Real wet blanket, hey?

    4- 職場恋愛か。。 (Shokuba ren’ai ka..)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Office romance, huh..”
    Norio is expressing surprise over this relationship.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 付き合う (tsukiau): “to keep company with, to go out with; V1″
  • ラブラブ (raburabu): “lovey-dovey”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • かわいい (kawaii): “pretty, cute, lovely, charming :Adj(i)”
  • さて (sate): “Well, now, anyway”
  • 続く (tsuzuku): “to last, to be continued”
  • 職場恋愛 (shokuba ren’ai): “office romance”
  • What would you say in Japanese when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Japanese

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Japanese.

    Hazuki is getting married today, so she eaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    いよいよ結婚式です。ドキドキ。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu. Dokidoki.)
    “Finally getting married. Nervous and excited.”

    1- いよいよ結婚式です。 (Iyoiyo kekkonshiki desu.)

    First is an expression meaning “Finally getting married.”
    In Japan, there are two common types of weddings: one is western style with a church ceremony, and the other is Japanese traditional style where the celebration is proceeded in a shrine. Note that a western style wedding at a church doesn’t necessarily mean the couple is Christian. A lot of non-Christian Japanese people prefer to have a wedding at a church.

    2- ドキドキ。 (Dokidoki.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Nervous and excited.”
    This expression can show both excited and nervous feelings at the same time. It’s commonly used to describe feelings before an important event.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとうございます。末永くお幸せに! (Omedetō gozaimasu. Suenagaku o-shiawase ni! )

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations. Have a long and loving life together!”
    What a warm-hearted, positive wish!

    2- おめでとう!あとでブーケは私に投げてね。 (Omedetō! Ato de būke wa watashi ni nagete ne.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! Throw the bouquet to me later, will ya?”
    Manami is being the clown and wants Hazuki to throw her the hand bouquet. In many wedding traditions, when you catch the bride’s hand bouquet, it means you’re getting married next.

    3- 結婚?!全然知らなかった。。 (Kekkon?! Zenzen shiranakatta.. )

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Getting married?! I had no idea.. ”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling surprised.

    4- 守は幸せ者だねー! (Mamoru wa shiawasemono da nē!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Mamoru is one lucky guy! ”
    Basically, Yui is giving the bridegroom a compliment with this expression. He thinks Hazuki is a very fine bride, and expresses his appreciation this way.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • いよいよ (iyoiyo): “finally, more and more”
  • 結婚式 (kekkonshiki): “wedding ceremony”
  • ドキドキ (dokidoki): “excited and nervous”
  • おめでとうございます (omedetō gozaimasu): “Congratulations”
  • 末永く (suenagaku): “For many years to come”
  • おめでとう (omedetō): “Congrats”
  • 投げる (nageru): “to throw”
  • 幸せ者 (shiawasemono): “lucky guy, person”
  • How would you respond in Japanese to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Japanese

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Japanese.

    Mamoru finds out he and his wife are going to have a baby, posts an image of his pregnant wife, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    来年パパになります。早く会いたいな。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu. Hayaku aitai na.)
    “I’ll be a dad next year. Wanna see the baby sooner.”

    1- 来年パパになります。 (Rainen papa ni narimasu.)

    First is an expression meaning “I’ll be dad next year..”
    This is a common, simple line to use when you just found out you’re becoming a father and want to let the world know. InJapan, it’s tradition to use this only before you have your first child.

    2- 早く会いたいな。 (Hayaku aitai na.)

    Then comes the phrase - “I want to see him sooner.”
    In Japanese, we don’t have an exact translation for “I miss you” or “Can’t wait” that sounds natural. Instead, we say “I want to see (you) sooner” in Japanese. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with a Japanese partner, you could also use this expression as a way to say you miss a person.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おめでとう!!楽しみだね! (Omedetō!! Tanoshimi da ne!)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats!! Isn’t that exciting!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling optimistic.

    2- やったー、新しいいとこが増える! (Yattā, atarashii itoko ga fueru!)

    His wife’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Yay, a new cousin will be added!”
    For a change, Yamato is really happy.

    3- 女の子?男の子? (Onnanoko? Otokonoko?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Girl or boy?”
    Shō wants to know details!

    4- いろいろ準備しないとね。 (Iroiro junbi shinai to ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “Gotta prepare a lot of stuff.”
    Hazuki shows a realistic view of the matter, as she knows a lot of work is lying ahead of them.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 来年 (rainen): “next year”
  • 早く (hayaku): “fast, quickly, soon”
  • 会う (au): “to meet; V1″
  • 楽しみ (tanoshimi): “fun, excitement”
  • 新しい (atarashii): “new ;-i adjective”
  • いとこ (itoko): “cousin”
  • 増える (fueru): “to increase”
  • 準備する (junbi suru): “to prepare”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Japanese Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Japanese.

    Hazuki plays with her baby, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    新しい家族が増えました。ゆきこと言います。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita. Yukiko to iimasu.)
    “One new family member is added. She’s named Yukiko.”

    1- 新しい家族が増えました。 (Atarashii kazoku ga fuemashita.)

    First is an expression meaning: “One new family member is added.”
    It’s almost like a must-do thing for Japanese couples to post a baby picture when they first give birth to one. This expression is one of the most common lines to use when you share the news of having a baby on social media. It is simple yet it is cute, and heartwarming.

    2- ゆきこと言います。 (Yukiko to iimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “She’s named Yukiko.”
    A lot of Japanese people include the name of the new born baby in a post. Sometimes they also explain the origin of the name and the meaning of the chosen characters (kanji).

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- かわいすぎる〜!手も小さい。。 (Kawaisugirū! Te mo chiisai..)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Too cute! Her hand is tiny too..”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling excited.

    2- よく頑張ったな。おめでとう。 (Yoku ganbatta na. Omedetō.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Great job. Congrats. ”
    A warm-hearted compliment and congratulation.

    3- ゆきこに早く会わせて〜! (Yukiko ni hayaku awasetē!)

    Her nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Let me see Yukiko soon!”
    Yamato is keen to meet his new cousin.

    4- ご出産おめでとう。元気そうな赤ちゃんで何より。 (Go-shussan omedetō. Genki sō na aka-chan de nani yori.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations on her birth. I can’t be any happier that she looks like a healthy baby.”
    Norio is sharing warmhearted congratulations and feelings about the baby.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 家族 (kazoku): “family”
  • と言います (to iimasu): “to be named”
  • 手 (te): “hand”
  • 早く (hayaku): “soon”
  • 出産 (shussan): “birth”
  • 元気な (genki na): “healthy, fine, good”
  • 赤ちゃん (aka-chan): “baby”
  • 何より (nani yori): “more than anything”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Japanese! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Japanese Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Mamoru attends a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    久しぶりに親戚の集まり。甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari. Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)
    “Family gathering for the first time in forever. My nephew has gotten big..”

    1- 久しぶりに親戚の集まり。 (Hisashiburi ni shinseki no atsumari.)

    First is an expression meaning “Family gathering for the first time in forever.”
    This Japanese expression for “for the first time in forever” can be used when you did something that hasn’t been done in ages. Japanese people get together with families usually on New Year’s and Bon Festival holidays in August. When they gather, they usually eat a lot and drink a lot just like many families in other countries do.

    2- 甥っ子が大きくなってる。。 (Oikko ga ōkiku natte ru..)

    Then comes the phrase - “My nephew has gotten (all) big..”
    One of the things you’d often comment at the family gathering is how your nephew or younger family members who were small before grew a lot bigger now. You can replace “nephew” with another word to refer to other family members or guests.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 次会うときにはもう大人になってるかもね。 (Tsugi au toki ni wa mō otona ni natte ru kamo ne.)

    His wife, Hazuki, uses an expression meaning - “He might be all grown up the next time we see him.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling sensitive.

    2- 懐かしいな。みなさん元気? (Natsukashii na. Mina-san genki?)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Nostalgic. How are you all?”
    Use this expression to share your feelings of nostalgia.

    3- 大家族ね! (Daikazoku ne!)

    His neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “What a big family!”
    Yūko is expressing surprise and, perhaps, appreciation for the size of the family.

    4- お母さん全然変わってないな。 (O-kā-san zenzen kawatte nai na.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Your mom hasn’t changed at all.”
    This is a warm-hearted compliment to Hazuki’s mother and the way she looks.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 久しぶりに (Hisashiburi ni): “for the first time in forever”
  • 親戚 (shinseki): “relative”
  • 集まり (atsumari): “gathering”
  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 大人 (otona): “adult”
  • 大家族 (daikazoku): “big family”
  • お母さん (o-kā-san): “mother”
  • 変わる (kawaru): “to change”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Japanese

    So, Hazuki is going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Japanese about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Hazuki waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    これからタイに行ってきまーす! (Kore kara Tai ni ittekimāsu!)
    “Off to Thailand now!”

    1- これから (Kore kara )

    First is an expression meaning “(from) now.”
    Add this expression at the beginning of a sentence when you want to indicate that you’re about to do something.

    2- タイに行ってきまーす! (Tai ni ittekimāsu!)

    Then comes the phrase - “off to Thailand!.”
    This is a common expression to use when you’re on your way to somewhere to do something. Japanese people on social media often write this line before they go on a trip.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いいなあ。本場のタイ料理楽しんでね。 (Ii nā. Honba no Tai ryōri tanoshinde ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous. Enjoy the authentic Thai food.”
    Yūko wishes to be in Hazuki’s shoes - a warmhearted comment.

    2- お土産よろしく! (O-miyage yoroshiku!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I’m expecting a souvenir!”
    Making conversation, Shō pretends to be a demanding friend.

    3- いつまで?私も来週行くよ。 (Itsu made? Watashi mo raishū iku yo.)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Until when? I’m going next week.”
    Here, Manami is sharing information about her own travels that could mean a meet-up with Hazuki in Thailand.

    4- 楽しんでね! (Tanoshinde ne!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Have fun!”
    A common well-wish.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • これから (kore kara): “from now”
  • タイ (Tai): “Thailand”
  • に行ってきます (ni ittekimasu): “off to …”
  • 本場 (honba): “home, best place”
  • 料理 (ryōri): “food as in dishes, cuisine”
  • 楽しむ (tanoshimu): “to enjoy oneself; V1″
  • お土産 (o-miyage): “souvenir”
  • 来週 (raishū): “next week”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Japanese!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Japanese

    So maybe you’re strolling around at your local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Japanese phrases!

    Mamoru finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    何だこりゃ。初めて見た。 (Nan da korya. Hajimete mita.)
    “What the –. Never seen this before.”

    1- 何だこりゃ。 (Nan da korya.)

    First is an expression meaning “What the –?.”
    This is a common reaction when you see something confusing or surprising. When you find something completely new and interesting overseas, you’ll probably get to use this comment.

    2- 初めて見た。 (Hajimete mita.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Never seen this before.”
    This is a simple and short expression to use when you find something you have never seen.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- タイ限定だね。 (Tai gentei da ne.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Only in Thailand.”
    This indicates that Thailand has strange customs or people.

    2- ショッキングな外見だね。 (Shokkingu na gaiken da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “What a shocking look.” This phrase refers to something that looks shocking to the observer, and not a “fashion look”!
    Expressing surprise, Yuki shares her opinion to keep the conversation going.

    3- あ、これ流行ってるって聞いた。 (A, kore hayatte ru tte kiita.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Oh, I heard it’s a thing now.”
    Manami shows she’s up to date with the latest trends.

    4- 欲しい!! (Hoshii!!)

    His nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I want it!!”
    Yamato clearly likes what he sees.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • こりゃ (korya): “term derived from これは meaning “this is”"
  • 初めて (hajimete): “first time”
  • 見る (miru): “to see, to watch, to look ; V2″
  • 限定 (gentei): “limit, restriction”
  • ショッキングな (shokkingu na): “shocking”
  • 外見 (gaiken): “look”
  • 流行る (hayaru): “to be popular”
  • 欲しい (hoshii): “want, to want”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting discovery?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Japanese

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Japanese, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Hazuki visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    世界遺産に到着!観光客だらけだ。。 (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! Kankōkyaku darake da..)
    “Arrived at the World Heritage! So many tourists..”

    1- 世界遺産に到着! (Sekai isan ni tōchaku! )

    First is an expression meaning “Arrived at the world heritage!”
    This is a common expression to use when you arrive somewhere and want to post about it. You can replace the Japanese word for “world heritage” with any other place, for example, schools, meeting place, etc.

    2- 観光客だらけだ。。 (Kankōkyaku darake da..)

    Then comes the phrase - “So many tourists..”
    When you visit Japan, especially in big cities like Tokyo, a lot of places you go to will probably be crowded. To get on a train also, you often have to throw yourself into crowds. When this happens, you can use this expression, replacing the word “tourists” with something else, for example, “students” or “workers”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- いい景色だね。 (Ii keshiki da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Nice view. ”
    This comment is used to make conversation and showing interest.

    2- わーおれもここ行ったことある! (Wā ore mo koko itta koto aru!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Oh I’ve been there too!”
    Sharing experiences is a great way to bond on social media.

    3- 夏休みだから、しょうがないよ。 (Natsuyasumi da kara, shōganai yo.)

    Her husband’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “It’s during summer break, so it can’t be helped.”
    Yamato adds a dash of realism again with this explanation, fortunately not too negative or cynical.

    4- もっと写真見たい! (Motto shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Show us more photos!”
    Manami shows she is curious and wants more details about Hazuki’s experience.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 世界遺産 (sekai isan): “World Heritage site”
  • 到着 (tōchaku): “arrive, arrival”
  • 観光客 (kankōkyaku): “tourist”
  • 景色 (keshiki): “scenery, view”
  • 行く (iku): “to go”
  • 夏休み (natsuyasumi): “summer vacation”
  • しょうがない (shōganai): “can’t be helped”
  • 写真 (shashin): “photograph”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Japanese

    So you’re doing nothing, yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Japanese!

    Mamoru relaxes at a beautiful place, posts a chilled selfie, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。最高! (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru. Saikō!)
    “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold drinks. The best!”

    1- 波の音、青い海、冷たいカクテル。 (Nami no oto, aoi umi, tsumetai kakuteru.)

    First is an expression meaning “The sound of the waves, the blue sea and the cold cocktails..”
    This is a poetic description of the situation, which is done by paralleling the key factors in short words. This expression method is often used in advertisements as well. It’s a simple and easy way to catch people’s attention.

    2- 最高! (Saikō!)

    Then comes the phrase - “The best!.”
    This literally means “the best,” and Japanese people often use this expression on social media to emphasize that something is great.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- うらやましいぞー。 (Urayamashii zō.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Jealous.”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling envious.

    2- すごい海きれい! (Sugoi umi kirei!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Amazingly beautiful sea!”
    Manami leaves a positive opinion about the setting Hazuki finds herself in.

    3- 飲んでばかりいないで、泳ぎなよ。 (Nonde bakari inaide, oyogina yo.)

    Mamoru’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Don’t just drink, go swimming.”
    Yamato has his own idea of what Hazuki should be doing.

    4- 焼けて帰ってくるんだろうな。。 (Yakete kaette kuru n darō na..)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “I bet you guys are coming back all tanned.”
    Shō is making conversation with this comment.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 波 (nami): “wave”
  • 音 (oto): “sound, noise”
  • 青い (aoi): “blue, green, pale; Adj(i)”
  • 海 (umi): “sea, ocean”
  • 冷たい (tsumetai): “cold;Adj(i)”
  • うらやましい (urayamashii): “envious”
  • 泳ぐ (oyogu): “to swim”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get a suntan;V2″
  • Which phrase would you use to comment a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Japanese When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Hazuki returns home after the vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    あーあ、帰って来ちゃった。 (Āa, kaette kichatta.)
    “Oh well, I’m back again.”

    1- あーあ (Āa)

    First is an expression meaning “Oh well.”
    This is an interjection that describes a sigh of boredom or disappointment.

    2- 帰って来ちゃった (kaette kichatta)

    Then comes the phrase - “I’m back again.”
    Japanese people love to travel, even during the short breaks such as a day off. When they’re back home, this expression is often used to show sadness that the adventure is over.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- おかえりなさい。 (Okaerinasai.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back. ”
    A friendly, common greeting.

    2- おみやげ楽しみだな。。 (O-miyage tanoshimi da na..)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Can’t wait to see the souvenirs..”
    Sharing a need to see brought back from travels is a good conversation starter.

    3- 焼けた?写真見たい! (Yaketa? Shashin mitai!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Sunburnt? Wanna see the photos!”
    Manami is making conversation by asking a question, and also expressing a need.

    4- 東京は寒いでしょ〜。 (Tōkyō wa samui deshō.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Tokyo feels so cold to you.”
    Yui is suggesting that Tokyo’s weather must be a big change from Thailand’s.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あーあ (āa): “oh well”
  • 帰って来る (kaette kuru): “to return, to come back”
  • おかえりなさい (okaerinasai): “Welcome back, welcome home”
  • おみやげ (o-miyage): “a small gift, a souvenir”
  • 焼ける (yakeru): “to get sunburned”
  • 見る (miru): “to take a look”
  • 東京 (Tōkyō): “Tokyo, the capital of Japan”
  • 寒い (samui): “cold”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What would you post on social media regarding an event such as Hazuki’s nephew’s Coming of Age Day?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Japanese

    For Yamato and his family, this is an important day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Hazuki celebrates his nephew’s Coming-of-Age Day, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    甥っ子、成人おめでとう!飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Oikko, seijin omedetō! Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)
    “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew! Be careful not to drink too much. ”

    1- 甥っ子、成人おめでとう! (Oikko, seijin omedetō! )

    First is an expression meaning “Congrats on the Coming-of-Age day, my nephew!”
    On Coming-of-Age Day, not only the new adults, but many other people also post a message congratulating “the new adults” on social media. On this day, many new adults, often dressed in Japanese traditional clothes, go to a ceremony in their neighborhood with the friends they grew up with.

    2- 飲みすぎには注意だぞ。 (Nomisugi ni wa chūi da zo.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Be careful not to drink too much.”
    It’s not unusual for young people to drink too much and make mistakes during any big celebration. But especially on Coming-of-Age day in Japan, some new adults go too wild. For this reason, it’s common for older adults to warn them about drinking, as well as congratulate them on their growing up.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 気をつけまーす! (Ki o tsukemāsu!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll be careful!”
    Yamato shows good intentions with this comment.

    2- もうハタチ?!この前まで小さかったのに。。 (Mō hatachi?! Kono mae made chiisakatta noni..)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Already the 20th? He was so small not very long ago..”
    A common comment on how fast someone young has grown.

    3- おめでとう!いよいよ大人への仲間入りね。 (Omedetō! Iyoiyo otona e no nakamairi ne.)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats! He’s finally joined adulthood.”
    An optimistic, positive congratulation on this big day.

    4- 甥っ子さん、成人おめでとう!すっかり大人びて、見違えたな。 (Oikko-san, seijin omedetō! Sukkari otonabite, michigaeta na.)

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Congrats to your nephew! He’s so grown up that I could hardly recognize him.”
    In the same vein as the previous comments, people are expressing surprise at how big Yamato has grown.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 甥っ子 (oikko): “nephew”
  • 成人 (seijin): “adult, coming-of-age”
  • 飲みすぎ (nomisugi): “overdrinking, excessive drinking”
  • 注意 (chūi): “caution, attention”
  • ハタチ (hatachi): “twenty-years old”
  • 仲間入り (nakamairi): “joining a group”
  • 大人びる (otonabiru): “to become grown-up”
  • 見違える (michigaeru): “to be beyond recognition”
  • If a friend posted something about a special day in their lives, which phrase would you use?

    Someone’s Coming of Age Day and public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Japanese

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Hazuki attends her own birthday party, posts an image of the event, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    今までで最高の誕生日だった! (Ima made de saikō no tanjōbi datta! )
    “The best birthday ever! ”

    1- 今までで最高の (Ima made de saikō no)

    First is an expression meaning “The best ever.”
    If you want to say that something is the best you ever had, you can add this expression before the noun you are referring to.

    2- 誕生日だった! (tanjōbi datta!)

    Then comes the phrase - “It was a birthday!”
    It’s common to get together with your friends by renting a space at a restaurant and celebrating your birthday in Japan. You’ll have a lot of good deals on your birthday, so make sure to check if they have any birthday deals before you book somewhere!

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- 遅くなったけど、誕生日おめでとう! (Osoku natta kedo, tanjōbi omedetō!)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “It’s a bit late, but happy birthday!”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling frivolous.

    2- おめでとう。素敵な1年になりますように。 (Omedetō. Suteki na ichi-nen ni narimasu yō ni.)

    Her supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday. Hope you have a great year ahead.”
    This is a warmhearted, friendly well-wish.

    3- いい写真だね! (Ii shashin da ne!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Nice pic!”
    Manami is complimenting Hazuki’s photographic skills.

    4- 私もお祝いに行きたかったな~。 (Watashi mo o-iwai ni ikitakatta nā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Wish I could have come to celebrate, too.”
    This friend is cleary feeling disappointed that he couldn’t attend.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 今までで (ima made de): “so far, ever”
  • 最高 (saikō): “best”
  • 誕生日 (tanjōbi): “birthday”
  • 遅い (osoi): “late, slow”
  • 誕生日おめでとう (tanjōbi omedetō): “Happy birthday (casual expression)”
  • 素敵な (suteki na): “fabulous, excellent, fantastic”
  • 年 (nen): “counter for years”
  • 祝う (iwau): “to celebrate”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Japanese

    Impress your friend with your Japanese New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Mamoru celebrates the New Year, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    あけましておめでとうございます!今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
    “Happy New Year. May this year be another good one for us.”

    1- あけましておめでとうございます! (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! )

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year!”
    When you want to use Japanese New Year’s greetings, this phrase must be top of the list. Regardless of age and sex, Japanese speakers usually use this line to say “happy new year”.

    2- 今年もよろしくお願いします。 (Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “May this year be another good one for us.”
    It’s also common to use this wish for the new year. It’s a must-know expression when you greet someone in the new year. Even if New Year’s has past and you’re seeing someone for the first time, it’s polite to give this expression.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- あけおめ! (Akeome!)

    Hazuki’s nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year! ”
    A common wish for New Year.

    2- あけましておめでとう。新年会楽しみにしてるね。 (Akemashite omedetō. Shinnenkai tanoshimi ni shite ru ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Happy New Year. Looking forward to the new year party. ”
    Yui is expressing how he feels about the party.

    3- 明日初詣行こうぜ。 (Ashita hatsumōde ikō ze.)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s make the first visit to a shrine tomorrow.”
    Making a suggestion is a good way to keep a conversation flowing.

    4- 去年も早かったなー。 (Kyonen mo hayakatta nā. )

    His supervisor, Norio, uses an expression meaning - “Last year went pretty quick (again).”
    Norio is a bit nostalgic again, commenting on how fast time flies.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • あけましておめでとうございます。 (Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu.): “Happy New Year. (formal)”
  • 今年 (kotoshi): “this year”
  • よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegai shimasu): “Best wishes”, “Nice to meet you”
  • あけおめ (akeome): “Shortened version of “happy New Year.” Used between friends.”
  • 新年会 (shinnenkai): “New Year’s party”
  • 楽しみにしている (tanoshimi ni shite iru): “to be looking forward to”
  • 初詣 (hatsumōde): “The first visit to a shrine in the new year, a traditional custom in Japan”
  • 早い (hayai): “early”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    But before New Year’s Day comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Japanese

    What will you say in Japanese about Christmas?

    Hazuki celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Hazuki’s post.

    メリークリスマス!旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Merī Kurisumasu! Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)
    “Merry Christmas! Off to see some illuminations with my husband. ” The “illuminations” refered to here are Christmas lights.

    1- メリークリスマス! (Merī Kurisumasu! )

    First is an expression meaning: “Merry Christmas!”
    Because so few people in Japan are Christians, Christmas is not celebrated as it is in western countries. However, we do give greetings, decorate our houses a bit Christmas-y, exchange gifts and so on. It’s also more common to celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Also, we don’t have any Christmas holidays.

    2- 旦那とイルミネーションを見に行ってきます。 (Danna to iruminēshon o mi ni itte kimasu.)

    Then comes the phrase - “Off to see some illuminations with my husband.”
    Compared to western countries, it is rare to find someone who thinks of Christmas as a family event in Japan. Christmas in Japan is more of a romantic event for couples or a day to get your child a gift than to spend time with your family. For couples, going to see illuminations is a popular thing to do.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Hazuki’s friends leave some comments.

    1- どこもカップルばっかり!! (Doko mo kappuru bakkari!!)

    Her high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Couples everywhere!!”
    Post an opinion to keep your social media friends informed.

    2- 今夜はホワイトクリスマスだね。 (Kon’ya wa howaito kurisumasu da ne.)

    Her neighbor, Yūko, uses an expression meaning - “Tonight is the white Christmas.”
    Another comment that will be suitable on a social media feed during this time.

    3- 俺は今年もクリスマスは仕事です。。彼女ほしい。 (Ore wa kotoshi mo kurisumasu wa shigoto desu.. Kanojo hoshii.)

    Her college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “Working this Christmas as usual. I want a girl
    friend. ”
    As said, it’s not common to celebrate Christmas, but Shō seems envious, doesn’t he? He’d have liked to have romantic partner to go out with on this day.

    4- メリクリ!今年も1年早かったわ〜。 (Merikuri! Kotoshi mo ichi-nen hayakatta wā.)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Merry Christmas! This year went pretty quick for me.”
    Another comment about time.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • メリークリスマス (Merī Kurisumasu): “Merry Christmas”
  • イルミネーション (iruminēshon): “illuminations, lights”
  • 見に行く (mi ni iku): “go to watch”
  • カップル (kappuru): “couple”
  • ホワイトクリスマス (howaito kurisumasu): “white Christmas”
  • 彼女 (kanojo): “girl, she, girlfriend”
  • 仕事 (shigoto): “work, job”
  • メリクリ (merikuri): “Shortened version of “Merry Christmas.” Used between friends.”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Japanese

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Japanese phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Mamoru celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of them, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Mamoru’s post.

    初めての結婚記念日ディナー! (Hajimete no kekkon kinenbi dinā!)
    “Wedding anniversary dinner for the first time!”

    1- 初めての (Hajimete no )

    First is an expression meaning “for the first time.”
    When you want to post something you’ve done for the first time, you can add this expression at the beginning.

    2- 結婚記念日ディナー! (kekkon kinenbi dinā!)

    Then comes the phrase - “wedding anniversary dinner!”
    Like in many western countries, it’s common for couples to celebrate wedding anniversaries in Japan. The 25th anniversary is also called the “Silver anniversary,” and the 50th anniversary is called the “Golden anniversary.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Mamoru’s friends leave some comments.

    1- ラブラブ! (Raburabu!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Manami, uses an expression meaning - “Lovey-dovey!”
    Manami posts something humorous and teasing.

    2- 夫婦円満の秘訣は? (Fūfu enman no hiketsu wa?)

    His college friend, Shō, uses an expression meaning - “What’s your secret to maintaining a harmonious marriage?”
    The single guy is curious how they manage to maintain a good marriage.

    3- 理想の夫婦だね。 (Risō no fūfu da ne.)

    His high school friend, Yui, uses an expression meaning - “Ideal couple.”
    Complimenting them, Yui leaves a positive post.

    4- 今日だけは、けんかしないように。 (Kyō dake wa, kenka shinai yō ni.)

    The nephew, Yamato, uses an expression meaning - “Just for today, try not to fight.”
    Yamato is being a bit of a wise-nose again, or he’s trying to be funny!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • 初めての (hajimete no): “for the first time “
  • 結婚記念日 (kekkon kinenbi): “wedding anniversary”
  • ディナー (dinā): “dinner”
  • 夫婦 (fūfu): “married couple”
  • 夫婦円満 (fūfu enman): “harmonious marriage”
  • 秘訣 (hiketsu): “secret, trick”
  • 理想 (risō): “ideal, dream”
  • けんかする (kenka suru): “to fight”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly-used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Japanese! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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    Bunka no hi: Celebrating Culture Day in Japan

    Bunka no hi, celebrated each year in November, is a relatively new Japanese cultural holiday that has experienced some adaptations over time. Originating during the reign of Emperor Meiji, and originally called Meijisetsu, this holiday was a day for Japan to celebrate the birth of its emperor until 1948.

    In this article, you’ll learn the most pertinent facts about Culture Day in Japan: activities, meaning, and what role the Constitution of Japan played in evolving the holiday into what it is today.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Culture Day in Japan?

    Culture Day is a Japanese national holiday for appreciating peace and freedom, and was originally put in place to celebrate the birthday of Emperor Meiji. The entire week from November 1 to November 7 is designated as Education and Culture Week, with a focus on Culture Day. Various events such as public lectures and hands-on activities are held, and admission to art galleries and museums is free.

    2. When is Culture Day?

    November Holiday

    On November 3, Culture Day in Japan is celebrated. Later in this article, you’ll discover why this date in particular was chosen. ;)

    3. Japan Culture Day Events & Celebrations

    On Culture Day, Japan puts on events with a deep connection to culture. For example, at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, a Fall Festival is held which is dedicated to traditional arts such as Bugaku and horseback archery. In Asakusa in Tokyo, and in Shiga Prefecture, parades are held in which people dress in costumes from different eras to demonstrate Japan’s history. In Kanagawa Prefecture, a reenactment of the Daimyo’s Procession from the Edo era is also held. Events such as these provide the opportunity to once again look at the culture that has been passed down through the ages.

    At the Imperial Palace, an Order of Culture Ceremony is held. During this culture award ceremony, people who have made remarkable achievements in the development and improvement of science, technology, culture, and the arts are awarded a medal. In recent years, world-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa, leading architect Tadao Ando, and famous fashion designer Issey Miyake have all been honored. Images of the emperor personally presenting the awards always appear on the news.

    For National Culture Day, Japanese arts festivals sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs are also held. During this time, those with a proven track record of excellence in the performing arts give performances. In addition to this, from all of the participating performances and works of art, including those approved by the Executive Committee, a grand prize, excellence award, and newcomer award are presented to those who have made great contributions to the promotion of art and culture.

    4. The Japanese Constitution & Culture Day

    Child Doing Crafts

    Do you know which law caused this holiday to be known as Culture Day?

    The answer is the Japanese constitution. The constitution was proclaimed on November 3, 1946. Because of its focus on peace and culture, the anniversary of the proclamation of the constitution was designated Culture Day.

    Incidentally, the Japanese constitution was actually enacted six months later, on May 3. This is also a holiday, known as Constitution Day.

    5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Bunka No Hi in Japan

    Couple Looking at Painting

    • 劇場
      げきじょう
      Theater
    • 十一月
      じゅういちがつ
      November
    • 美術館
      びじゅつかん
      Art museum
    • 美術館
      びじゅつかん
      Museum
    • 文化の日
      ぶんかのひ
      Culture Day
    • 文化
      ぶんか
      Culture
    • 休日
      きゅうじつ
      Day off
    • 文化勲章
      ぶんかくんしょう
      The Order of Culture
    • 明治天皇
      めいじてんのう
      Emperor Meiji
    • 授業参観
      じゅぎょうさんかん
      Class observation day
    • 工作
      こうさく
      Craft
    • 文化祭
      ぶんかさい
      Cultural festival

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and see each one accompanied by a relevant image, be sure to check out our Japanese Culture Day vocabulary list!

    Parting Words…

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Bunka no hi with us, and that you took away something valuable from this lesson.

    Does your country have a cultural holiday? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

    Learning about a country’s culture may be the most enriching and exciting aspect of trying to master a language. If you want to continue delving into Japanese culture, you may be interested in the following pages:

    We know that learning Japanese isn’t easy, but at JapanesePod101.com, we do everything we can to make it fun! You really can master the language and come to understand Japanese culture, and we’ll be here with help and encouragement on each step of your language-learning journey!

    Happy learning!

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    How to Say Sorry in Japanese

    Greetings are the first thing you learn when you start to learn a new language. “Hello” and “Thank you” are essential, but “Sorry” becomes even more important when it comes to good communication in a foreign culture which often has different customs and values from your original culture. Thus, “sorry” in studying Japanese is one of the most vital things you’ll learn.

    One of the noteworthy features of Japanese apologies is that there are various ways to say sorry. How to say sorry in Japanese has variations, both formal and informal, and in the severity of what you’re apologizing for and who you’re apologizing to. Japanese apologies also have to accompany particular gestures in some situations.

    Let’s take a detailed look at how to say sorry in Japanese words! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Japanese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective
    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal
    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal
    4. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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    1. Japanese Apology from the Cultural Perspective

    Japanese greetings are not only words of greeting, but also reflect the very Japanese culture and values, much more so than in other languages. The same is true of Japanese apologies, which are very important for avoiding conflicts and keeping good harmony with others in the society.

    和 (wa) or “Harmony” is one of the most important values in Japan. It’s the concept that people prefer to maintain a peaceful unity and conformity with others, and it often involves priority to keep a harmonious state within a social group over its members’ personal interests.

    Some Japanese apology words, such as Sumimasen or Gomen (see below), can be often used as a substitution for “thank you” which also contains a nuance of “gratitude.”

    This may be very difficult for foreigners to understand, but in Japan, when other people do a favor for you, you’re thankful for it and also feel sorry for using their time and effort for you. In this case, those Japanese apology words are used to express both “thank you” and “sorry.” This comes from an idea in Japanese culture that an attitude of politeness and caring for others is valued, and troubling others is considered bad.


    2. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Formal

    Japanese Woman Bowing in Apology

    1- Possible Situations and to Whom to Apologize

    Formal Japanese apology words are typically used in official circumstances, such as at work, restaurants, shops, or other official office. They often involve people whom you’re not so close with and situations where certain kinds of official relationships exist: staff/manager, client/customer service provider, etc.

    2- Apology Level: General らく

    These are very common words and gestures for saying sorry in Japanese in the formal style. You can use these in most social situations.

    1. Gestures

    When you apologize, you’re supposed to show how sincerely sorry you are for your mistake to the offended person or people (otherwise, it would make them angrier and make the situation even worse!).

    The common gesture is to place both of your arms and hands straight along your body, or place one of your hands in front of your lower belly, covering it with your other hand. With either of these gestures, you make a “sorry” expression with your face and your head, and slightly tilt down like when you bow.

    2. Words and Phrases

    すみません (Sumimasen) — I’m sorry

    This is the most common “sorry” in spoken Japanese. This can be translated as “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me” in Japanese. This word is often used as a light apology and can also be “Thank you” in some situations as mentioned earlier.

    You say Sumimasen when you bump into someone on the street, when you thrust your way through a crowd, when you spill a glass of water and a waitress has to clean it up, etc.

    Example:

    • すみません、水をこぼしてしまいました。
      • Sumimasen, mizu o koboshite shimaimashita.
      • I’m sorry, I spilled the water.
    • すみません、切符はどこで買えますか。
      • Sumimasen, kippu wa doko de kaemasu?
      • Excuse me, where can I buy a ticket?

    (When someone picked up something you dropped)

    • すみません、ポケットから落ちたのに気づきませんでした。
      • Sumimasen, poketto kara ochita no ni kizukimasen deshita.
      • Thank you, I didn’t notice it dropped from a pocket.

    すみませんでした (Sumimasen deshita) — I am very sorry

    This is the past tense of Sumimasen and is more serious. The past tense often sounds more formal and polite in Japanese when it comes to apologies. Unlike Sumimasen, this word doesn’t have the meaning of “Excuse me” or “Thank you.”

    Example:

    (When you made some mistakes at work and apologize to your boss)

    • すみませんでした、正しいデータで書類をすぐに修正します。
      • Sumimasen deshita, tadashii dēta de shorui o sugu ni shūsei shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will revise the document with correct data immediately.

    (When you broke a glass at a restaurant)

    • グラスを壊してしまい、すみませんでした。
      • Gurasu o kowashite shimai, sumimasen deshita.
      • I’m sorry for breaking a glass.

    Wine Glass Shattering

    失礼しました (Shitsurei shimashita) — I’m sorry (for my mistake).

    This is another formal and general way to say sorry in Japanese. Shitsurei literally translates as “impoliteness, rudeness, or bad manners,” and the phrase means “I was rude” or “I had bad manners.”

    This word can be used the same way as Sumimasen deshita. If you want to say it more politely, use itashimashita instead of shimashita. Itashimashita is the respectful way to say “I did.”

    Example:

    (When a waiter brought you the wrong dish)

    • 失礼しました、すぐに味噌ラーメンをお持ちします。
      • Shitsurei shimashita, sugu ni miso rāmen o o-mochi shimasu.
      • I’m sorry, I will bring Miso Ramen as soon as possible.

    (To your client)

    • 間違った商品の値段をお伝えしまして、失礼いたしました。
      • Machigatta shōhin no nedan o o-tsutae shimashite, shitsurei itashimashita.
      • I’m sorry that I told you the wrong price of the product.

    3- Apology Level: Very Deep Apology

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

    The very deep apology in the formal style is quite serious and is used when the severity of your offense is considered very high. In order to show your serious and sincere apology, adjective words such as Hijō ni (“greatly”), Taihen (“terribly”), or Makoto ni (“truely”) are often added in front of the following apology words.

    1. Gestures

    For a deep and sincere apology, place both of your arms and hands straight along your body and bow 60 degrees forward, with your head and face down. If it’s a more serious situation, bow 90 degrees. (The different degrees of a bow show the level of severity.)

    In the case of an extremely severe situation, you can express your seriousness with Dogeza style. Dogeza involves both of your knees down, your hands placed on the ground, and prostrating yourself with your forehead touching the floor.

    In normal daily life, however, Dogeza is the last gesture to do in apology, unless you run over someone with your car and are going to apologize to the victim’s family!

    2. Words and Phrases

    申し訳ありませんでした (Mōshiwake arimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize

    This is a polite formal apology and you should use this when you’ve done something very wrong.

    The word Mōshi comes from the honorific word Mōsu which means “to say” in the form of Kenjō-go. While saying it, you humble yourself or lower your rank below that of the person you’re speaking to.

    Wake means “reason,” Arimasen means “there is no,” and Deshita is the past tense. The phrase can be literally translated as: “There was no reason/excuse to say (for what I have done).”

    Example:

    (When something you bought is already broken and you take it to the shop, a staff member will say this)

    • 大変申し訳ありませんでした。新しいものに交換します。
      • Taihen mōshiwake arimasen deshita. Atarashii mono ni kōkan shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will replace it with a new one.

    (To your boss)

    • 会議に遅刻してしまい、誠に申し訳ありませんでした。
      • Kaigi ni chikoku shite shimai, makoto ni mōshiwake arimasen deshita.
      • I am truly sorry that I came late for the meeting.

    申し訳ございませんでした (Mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita) — I am terribly sorry / I sincerely apologize.

    This is similar to Mōshiwake arimasen deshita, but this phrase is even more polite and respectful.
    Gozaimasen is a negative of Gozaimasu which means “there is/are” in a very polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    (The president of a company that has conducted an accounting fraud)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。詳細を調査してしかるべき対応をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Shōsai o chōsa shite shikarubeki taiō o shimasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. We will investigate the details and take the appropriate actions.

    (When you bumped your car into someone else’s car)

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。損害の賠償をします。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. Songai no baishō o shimasu.
      • I am terribly sorry. I will reimburse for the damage.

    お詫び申し上げます (O-wabi mōshiagemasu) — I make a deep apology

    This is another very polite way to say sorry in Japanese. This phrase is usually used after you apologize with mōshiwake arimasen deshita or mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. The word O-wabi means “apology” in a polite way, and the phrase is translated as “I state apology” in a polite and respectful way.

    Example:

    • 大変申し訳ございませんでした。お詫び申し上げます。
      • Taihen mōshiwake gozaimasen deshita. O-wabi mōshiagemasu.
      • We are terribly sorry. I make a humble apology.

    Man Extending Hand in Apology


    3. “I’m Sorry” in Japanese — Informal

    1- Possible Situations

    Informal apologies are used among very close people, such as family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, and people you know very well. Note that informal apologies in Japanese should never be used during official occasions because it sounds very casual and it would make things worse.

    Saying Sorry

    2- Apology Level: Light

    These apology words are used in situations where you did something wrong or unpleasant but not so very bad.

    1. Gestures

    For light apologies, usually you just say sorry without any gestures. In some cases, casually put your palms together in front of your face.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめん (Gomen) — Sorry

    The word Gomen originally meant “forgive” or “pardon” in a polite way in Japanese, and it was used to ask for forgiveness or pardon. Nowadays, it has become shorter so that we just use the word meaning “sorry.” When you want to say it in a cuter way or with affection, you add ne to the end: Gomen ne.

    Example:

    (After a couple fought over something)

    • A (male):
      • ごめん。俺が悪かった。
      • Gomen. Ore ga warukatta.
      • Sorry. I was bad.
    • B (female):
      • ごめんね。私も。
      • Gomen ne. Watashi mo.
      • Sorry. Me too.

    (When you are late to meet your friend)

    • 遅れてごめん。
      • Okurete gomen.
      • Sorry for being late.

    失礼 (Shitsurei) — Sorry / Excuse me

    Shitsurei is the short and casual version of Shitsurei shimashita. This can also be used as “Excuse me.”

    Example:

    (After you burp/fart)

    • 失礼!
      • Shitsurei!
      • Sorry / Excuse me!

      
    (When you thrust your way through a crowd of friends)
      

    • 失礼、通るよ。
      • Shitsurei, tōru yo.
      • Sorry, let me pass.

    悪い (Warui) — My bad

    It literally means “bad,” but in this case you can use this phrase as “My bad!” However, it sounds a little rough and this word is used mainly by men. Also note that in the example below, you’ll find a variation of how to say sorry I’m late in Japanese.

    Example:

    (When a boyfriend is late for dinner at a restaurant)

    • A (male):
      • 悪い、ちょっと遅れる。先に行って何か頼んでて。
      • Warui, chotto okureru. Saki ni itte nani ka tanonde te.
      • Sorry, I’ll be a bit late. You can go (to a restaurant) first and order something.
    • B (female):
      • わかった。飲み物頼んでおくね。
      • Wakatta. Nomimono tanonde oku ne.
      • Alright. I will order drinks.

    Man and Woman at Nice Restaurant

    3- Apology Level: General

    The following phrase is the common, informal way to say sorry in Japanese. It’s casual, but still sounds polite. In some cases, this phrase can be used in semi-formal occasions.

    1. Gestures

    There is no particular gesture you should do for informal and general apologies. However, it’s a good idea to show your sincere feelings using facial expressions and through the tone of your voice.

    2. Words and Phrases

    ごめんなさい (Gomennasai) — I am sorry

    Gomennasai is a more polite version of Gomen.

    Example:

    • ごめんなさい。お母さんのパソコン壊しちゃった。
      • Gomennasai. O-kā-san no pasokon kowashichatta.
      • I’m sorry. I broke mom’s computer.

     (At a restaurant)
       

    • ごめんなさい。やっぱり注文はカルボナーラに変更したいです。
      • Gomennasai. Yappari chūmon wa carubonāra ni henkō shitai desu.
      • I’m sorry. I want to change my order to Carbonara.

    4- Apology Level: Deep Apology

    When you want to express your deep apology in informal occasions, you can add Hontō ni (“truly”) in front of Gomennasai. It looks more polite and sincere when you hold your hands in front of your lower belly, or put your palms together in front of your face.

    Example:

    • 本当にごめんなさい。お父さんの車で事故おこしちゃった。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. O-tō-san no kuruma de jiko okoshichatta.
      • I’m very sorry. I made a car accident with the father’s car.
    • 本当にごめんなさい。君に借りた本を失くした。
      • Hontō ni gomennasai. Kimi ni karita hon o nakushita.
      • I’m very sorry. I lost your book that I borrowed.


    Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope this article on how to say sorry in Japanese is helpful and that you have a better understanding of the Japanese language and Japanese culture. You should now know many Japanese ways to say sorry, as “sorry” in learning Japanese is vital.

    If you’d 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.

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    Taiiku No Hi: Health and Sports Day in Japan

    From time to time, we all need to reevaluate our health—our dietary habits, our exercise patterns (or lack thereof), and our ability to live each day well. On Health and Sports Day, the people of Japan do just this. This holiday encourages and inspires good health and more exercise at every level of society, but most especially for children and young adults.

    In this article, you’ll learn about Health-Sports Day in Japan and how it affects the health and lives of people all over the country.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Health and Sports Day in Japan?

    Health and Sports Day is a national Japanese holiday dedicated to inspiring a love of sports, exercise, and good health. Further, people are encouraged to think about the role of exercise and health in their daily lives.

    Do you know what event inspired the creation of Health-Sports Day?

    The correct answer is the Tokyo Olympics. On October 10, 1964, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games was held in great fanfare.

    To commemorate this event, two years later, from 1966, October 10 became a national holiday to mark Sports Day. After this, since 2000, and in line with the Happy Monday System, Sports Day was moved to the second Monday of October. This means that every year, many people get to enjoy the feeling of playing sports under a fine autumn sky.

    2. When is Japanese Health Sports Day?

    Many Sports Items

    Each year, Japan celebrates Health-Sports Day on the second Monday of October. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: October 14
    • 2020: October 12
    • 2021: October 11
    • 2022: October 10
    • 2023: October 9
    • 2024: October 14
    • 2025: October 13
    • 2026: October 12
    • 2027: October 11
    • 2028: October 9

    3. Celebrating Sports Day in Japan

    On National Health and Sports Day, Japanese kindergartens, schools, companies, and regional organizations across the country hold events such as track meets. On top of relays and races, other more game-like events such as toss-ball, tug of war, and scavenger hunts, are also held.

    There are also events such as sports festivals, physical fitness tests, and marathons, which the entire family can participate in. On Health and Sports Day, Japanese people can enjoy the autumn season, which is known in Japan as the season for sports.

    At kindergarten and elementary school sports events, families also run in order to support their running child. A common sight on Health Sports Day in Japan is that of fathers holding video cameras, lined up in the best position for taking a video while cheering loudly through the viewfinder. The sight of children running with all their might is very cute and is sure to make anyone cheer excitedly. At lunchtime, the children eat lunch with their families.

    Each municipality also organizes a sports event for Health and Sports Day in Japan. These include events where parents and children can enjoy Frisbee, bowling, and marathons. Some places also offer health assessments for adults to raise awareness of their own lack of exercise.

    On Health-Sports Day, Japanese amateur teams in sports such as soccer and baseball form inter-league games and have fun while breaking a sweat.

    4. Fine Weather, Indeed

    Two People Jogging

    Statistically, this day has a high likelihood of having good weather. According to the statistics, in the thirty-four years since Sports Day was first held on October 10, there has been a more than eighty-five percent chance of no rain in Tokyo.

    5. Essential Vocabulary for Health-Sports Day in Japan

    Taking Care of Health

    Here’s some essential vocabulary you should know to talk about Health and Sports Day in Japanese!

    • スポーツ (スポーツ) — sports
    • ジョギング (ジョギング) — jogging
    • 体育の日 (たいいくのひ) — Health-Sports Day
    • 運動 (うんどう) — exercise
    • 健康 (けんこう) — health
    • 運動会 (うんどうかい) — sports festival
    • 体力測定 (たいりょく そくてい) — measurement of physical fitness
    • 運動不足 (うんどうぶそく) — lack of exercise
    • スポーツに親しむ (スポーツにしたしむ) — familiar with sports
    • スポーツの秋 (スポーツのあき) — Autumn is the season for sports.
    • 1964年夏季オリンピック (1964ねん かきオリンピック) — 1964 Summer Olympics

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, alongside relevant images, check out our Japanese Health-Sports Day vocabulary list!

    How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Health-Sports Day in Japan with us, and learned something new.

    Are there any holidays or special events in your country to encourage better health? Tell us about it in the comments; we love hearing from you!

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    Japanese Keiro no hi: Respect for the Aged Day in Japan

    Have you ever wondered “How are the elderly treated in Japan?”

    Each year, the Japanese population celebrates and honors the elderly people in Japan for their contributions to society. The aged are regarded with much respect, and Respect for the Aged Day is a special occasion on which to really go all out and show this admiration.

    In this article, you’ll learn all about the Respect for the Aged Day meaning, and more facts about the elderly people in Japan. Learning about this holiday and what it looks like in Japanese society will go a long way toward helping you understand the culture of Japan.

    At JapanesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started.

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    1. What is Respect for the Aged Day?

    Essentially, the Respect for the Aged Day meaning has to do with respecting one’s elders.

    Respect for the Aged Day, Tokyo and all over Japan, is when Japanese people convey feelings of gratitude, respect, and good wishes toward the elderly population. Be it grandparents, parents, or elderly neighbors, the Japanese recognize the contributions that the aged have made for society to make it what it is today.

    While there are several theories about this holiday’s origins, many people think it began in a rural village in the Hyōgo Prefecture in 1947. However, until 1964, this holiday was known as としよりのひ (toshiyori no hi), or “Old Folks’ Day.”

    2. Respect for the Aged Day Date

    Third Monday in September

    Each year in Japan, Respect for the Aged Day is observed on the third Monday of September. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

    • 2019: September 16
    • 2020: September 21
    • 2021: September 20
    • 2022: September 19
    • 2023: September 18
    • 2024: September 16
    • 2025: September 15
    • 2026: September 21
    • 2027: September 20
    • 2028: September 18

    3. How to Celebrate Respect for the Aged Day

    Comparatively speaking, this holiday is a modern one. Therefore, Respect for the Aged Day traditions are few, though there are a few common Respect for the Aged Day activities that we’ll cover here.

    The day before, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare finds out how many people are over 100 years of age. Local municipalities often give gifts or souvenirs to elderly people who are celebrating a milestone birthday that year, such as Sanju (which is when they turn 80), or Sotsuju (which is when they turn 90). Those turning 100 years old or older receive a visit from the city or town mayor. They’re then congratulated and presented with a congratulatory gift.

    On Respect for the Aged Day, and the days surrounding it, the elderly gather together in public facilities, such as community centers, to watch entertainment—such as choir and dance performances—alongside the participants and local residents. Sometimes the elderly also receive souvenirs such as red rice, Japanese sweets, and magnifying glasses.

    Kindergartens and nurseries invite grandparents to see their grandchildren, and elementary school students write letters of thanks to their grandparents. This day is a good opportunity for different generations to strengthen their bonds.

    Naturally, households with elderly family members convey their gratitude on Respect for the Aged Day, but families who live apart get involved as well. Often, this involves not only saying thank you, but also giving gifts. Meals, flowers, handmade crafts by the grandchildren, and photos of the grandchildren, are high on the list of popular gifts.

    4. A Declining Population

    Old Woman with Flowers

    Japan currently faces the prospect of a declining population, and this is a potential situation that could result in profound economic and social impacts.

    Japan’s population is rapidly aging, which means that the number of people over 65 is rapidly increasing. Some people also call this phenomenon the “graying” of the population.

    There are a few major factors behind this trend:

    • An increasing number of retiring baby boomers
    • Gains in longevity
    • Decreasing fertility

    To combat this, the Japanese government has implemented a series of plans, beginning in 1995, with the goal of improving conditions for child-rearing.

    5. Useful Vocabulary for Respect for the Aged Day

    Longevity Rankings

    Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Respect for the Aged Day in Japan!

    • プレゼント (プレゼント) — present
    • 孫 (まご) — grandchild
    • 米寿 (べいじゅ) — 88th birthday
    • 敬老の日 (けいろうのひ) — Respect-for-the-Aged Day
    • 祝う (いわう) — celebrate
    • 高齢者 (こうれいしゃ) — senior citizen
    • 祖父母 (そふぼ) — grandparents
    • 長寿 (ちょうじゅ) — long life
    • お年寄り (おとしより) — elderly person
    • 9月の第3月曜日 (くがつの だいさんげつようび) — the third Monday in September
    • 長寿番付 (ちょうじゅばんづけ) — longevity ranking
    • 白寿 (はくじゅ) — 99th birthday
    • 卒寿 (そつじゅ) — 90th birthday
    • 傘寿 (さんじゅ) — 80th birthday
    • 喜寿 (きじゅ) — 77th birthday

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Respect for the Aged Day vocabulary list!

    How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Understand Japanese Culture

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Respect for the Aged Day with us! Does your country have a holiday to celebrate or show respect to the aged and eldelry? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about Japanese culture and the language, explore JapanesePod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

    • Insightful blog posts on an array of cultural and language-related topics
    • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
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    • Mobile apps so you can learn Japanese anywhere, on your own time
    • Much, much more!

    If you’re interested in trying a one-on-one learning approach, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Japanese teacher who will help you create a learning plan based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

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    Japanese Hand Gestures and Body Language

    Thumbnail

    Every culture has its own unique body gestures when speaking to express certain feelings or situations efficiently. Japanese hand gestures and body language are no exception and there are a variety of body gestures in Japan—many more than you’d expect!

    Most Japanese body gestures are particular to the Japanese culture and foreign people may wonder what they stand for, or even get the wrong meaning from them. Learning the body language in Japan will not only help you understand the Japanese culture better, but also make you feel more comfortable communicating with Japanese people.

    If you’re a beginner in the Japanese language, you can express and communicate much more with Japanese body gestures without lengthy explanation. If you already know much about spoken Japanese, using Japanese body language and hand gestures while speaking will make you look more natural and fluent than you actually are!

    Here’s a list of common Japanese gestures and other Japanese body signs. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Japanese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Table of Contents

    1. Body Gestures
    2. Hand Gestures
    3. Face Gestures and Facial Expressions
    4. Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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    1. Body Gestures

    1- Bow

    Bowing is one of the most important things in Japanese etiquette for any occasion, in both formal and informal settings. It’s also one of the most common Japanese body language gestures. Bowing can represent a number of things, such as greetings, gratitude, and apologies.

    1. Bow with upper body to 15 degrees (会釈 [Eshaku]) : [Informal]

    - Meaning: Saluting; light greeting; slight bow

    - How to do:
    From the beginning posture of standing straight and facing toward the person you wish to bow to, bow and tilt your upper body forward 15 degrees. Your eyes are kept on the person you greet. In informal settings, you don’t need to use your hands; however, it’s more polite if you hold your hands in front of you.

    - When/where to use:
    This light bow or Eshaku is usually used for an informal and light greeting, gratitude, or apology. This is a casual greeting and not a proper greeting. However, this can be used in business settings in some cases. Japanese people sometimes do this even after finishing a proper greeting as a repetition of a proper greeting.

    - Example situation:
    When you pass by someone you know on the street, in the office, at school, etc., you bow Eshaku and say “Hi” or “Hello.” However, you don’t always need to include the actual greeting words when you greet with Eshaku.

    Eshaku: Smile to someone whom you greet as you bow. Holding hands is polite but not necessary in most cases.

    2. Bow with upper body to 30 degrees (敬礼 [Keirei]): [Formal]

    - Meaning: Respectful saluting; greeting

    - How to do:
    From the beginning posture of standing straight in line and facing toward the person you wish to bow to, bow slowly and tilt your upper body forward 30 degrees. Make sure you keep your back straight and don’t just bend your head when you bow. As you bow, you naturally look at the floor. Your arms and hands are placed straight along your body, or in some situations such as in hospitality, hands are placed in front your body, covering one hand with the other. This hand position is suitable for women.

    - When/where to use:
    You use this gesture in formal settings when you greet, thank, or apologize to someone whom you should communicate with respectfully, such as a client, customer, boss, etc. This is a Japanese gesture of respect.

    - Example situation:
    This bow or Keirei is used when staffs welcome customers at a luxury hotel or restaurant, and when you apologize to your boss for something at work.

    Keirei

    Keirei: Make sure your back is not arched when you bow and do not move too quickly.

    3. Bow with upper body to 45 degrees (最敬礼 [Saikeirei]): [Formal]

    - Meaning: The most respectful saluting; greeting; deep apology

    - How to do:
    Do basically the same action as Keirei, but in this case you bow and tilt your upper body deeper, to 45 degrees.

    - When/where to use:
    This gesture is used when you greet or apologize with respect at the highest level of seriousness or severity. This is a very formal style and is used at work and for other official occasions.

    - Example situation:
    The president of a company which produced defective products apologizes with this bow or Saikeirei at a press conference.

    Saikeirei

    Saikeirei: Your back is kept straight and you bow deeply and slowly to show respect.

    2- Expressing that You’re Embarrassed or Upset

    - Meaning: Embarrassed; upset

    - How to do: Raise one of your arms and put a hand behind your slightly tilted head.

    - When to use:
    This is one of the most common Japanese body language and gestures to use when a person is embarrassed about something, or is upset by something that another person said.

    - Example situation:
    You’re likely to see this gesture when a father finds a huge mess made by his children after he was asked by his wife to take good care of them. He would be thinking, “Oh what should I do with this mess, my wife would get angry if she finds this out…” Or, you do this gesture when your friend asks you if he can use your car. Instead of directly saying “No,” you can use this gesture to show him that you’re upset and you don’t feel like lending it.

    Woman scratching her head

    Japanese people usually show embarrassed/upset expressions on their faces often with awkward small smiles.

    3- The ”No, no” Wave

    - Meaning: “No, no”; something is different

    - How to do:
    Wave your arm and hand in front of your body or face. The position of your elbow is fixed and not moving around.

    - When to use:
    This Japanese gesture is used when you want to deny something that has just been said. Japanese people often say, chigau, chiagu (“no, no”) while doing this gesture.

    - Example:
    A: Is he your boyfriend?
    B: No, no. *wave*

    Wave when you deny something in casual situations. Shaking your head left and right emphasizes more denial.


    2. Hand Gestures

    Hand Gestures

    1- Pointing to Your Nose

    - Meaning: “Me?”

    - How to do:
    Put the tip of your pointing finger on your nose.

    - When to use:
    Wondering about pointing in Japan? While Western people place an index finger on their chest, Japanese people place it on their nose when they indicate themselves.

    - Example:
    Teacher (from a distance in a class): You answer this problem.
    Student: Me? *points to his nose*

    Usually you point to your nose facing straight.

    2- Put Hands Together

    - Meaning: Asking for forgiveness or favor; thankful for a meal

    - How to do:
    Put your palms together in front of your body.

    - When to use:
    Western people may think this is the “praying” posture. However, Japanese people do this gesture when they casually say sorry, ask for a light favor, or before starting to eat a meal.

    - Example situation:
    Itadakimasu (I thank for a meal)! *Put hands together and start to eat*

    Can you fix my computer? Please! *Put hands together*

    Putting hands together is a very common gesture in Japan. You also see people do this in front of a shrine for praying.

    Woman Putting Hands Togeteher

    3- Crossed Index Fingers

    - Meaning: “Check/bill please” (at restaurants)

    - How to do:
    Cross your index fingers in front of your face.

    - When to use:
    When you ask for a bill at a restaurant, you show your crossed fingers to a waiter/waitress. Please keep in mind that this is a very casual sign and you shouldn’t do this at very nice restaurants!

    - Example:
    (At a restaurant)
    “Can you bring water and the check, please?” *Cross your fingers*

    Woman Crossed Fingers

    This gesture is often seen in Izakaya, Japanese style restaurants, often by men.

    4- The “Come, Come” Hand Wave Toward You:

    - Meaning: “Come, come!” or “Come here.”

    - How to do:
    Raise your hand in front of you and wave it toward you (the palm faces the person you’re calling), and move your fingers quickly up and down.

    - When to use:
    This hand gesture is used when you call someone over. This gesture is the other way around in other cultures, with the palm facing up and pulling it towards you. So, make sure your palm is facing toward the other person when you wave your hand to call someone over in Japan.

    - Example:
    1.) “Hey! We are here. Come over here!” *Wave*

    2.) “My baby, come here! Come, come.” *Wave*

    Please keep in mind that this gesture is used in casual occasions and it would be impolite if you do this to someone you’re supposed to respect or older people.

    5- Chopping Hand While Walking:

    - Meaning: Let me pass through; I’m cutting through

    - How to do:
    Hold your one hand up and chop the air in front of you repeatedly. The position of your elbow is fixed.

    - When to use:
    This is a gesture for when you want to make your way through the crowd, and is often used by older men. Japanese people say Chotto sumimasen (“Excuse me”) while walking through a crowd with this gesture.

    - Example:
    Chotto sumimasen, tōshite kudasai (“Excuse me, let me pass.”) *Chop chop*

    Chotto Sumimasen

    Please don’t forget to say Chotto sumimasen (“Excuse me”) when you do this gesture and pass through.


    3. Face Gestures and Facial Expressions

    1- 目礼 (Mokurei) — Eye Contact

    - Meaning: Greet with eyes; nod

    - How to do:
    Look the person in his/her eyes and nod by slightly pulling your chin.

    - When to use:
    This is another way to greet people, apart from the three forms of bowing mentioned above. Japanese people use eye-contact greeting in situations that require you not to make noise or when you can’t move. This sign indicates that you notice someone’s presence. Smiling while greeting with Mokurei is a bonus point.

    - Example situation:
    You make eye contact with someone when you want to greet them but they’re talking to someone else. You can also use it when there’s some distance between you and this person and your voice can’t reach them because of the crowd.

    Woman Looking Towards Viewer

    Mokurei: Eye contact is important. Japanese people are used to read feelings from facial expressions and implications through eyes.

    2- Nodding

    - Meaning: Yes; I agree

    - How to do:
    Pull your chin toward your throat.

    - When to use:
    As you may notice, Japanese people often nod with this gesture repeatedly and say Un un (“yes, yes”) while they’re listening to someone. This gesture indicates that you understand the person who’s making a speech and that you’re not against him/her. Making the atmosphere of Wa (“harmony”) and avoiding conflict is very important in the Japanese culture.

    - Example:
    [While listening to someone]
    Un Un, naruhodo (“Yes, yes, I see.”) *Nod nod*

    Two People Talking

    Japanese people often say Un Un (“Yes, yes”) casually, or Hai hai (“Yes, yes”) formally.

    3-Tilting Head

    - Meaning: I’m not sure; (indirect way to say) no

    - How to do:
    Tilt your head to either side.

    - When to use:
    This gesture is used when you’re not sure of something and are wondering what it is. Your eyes are likely looking above toward either side. Japanese people often do this gesture to show “No” without directly saying so. In this case, the eyes are usually looking down towards either side. Harmony-loving Japanese people tend to avoid saying “No” directly because it would hurt the person’s feelings.

    - Example:
    A: Do you want to go for a drink tonight?
    B: Mmm.. (“No, I don’t want to.”) *Tilt head and look aside*

    Woman Crossed Arms

    People often look away and say “Mmm” when they do this gesture. It’s not necessary to cross your arms.


    Conclusion: How Japanesepod101.com Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    We hope this article about Japanese gestures and body language is helpful and you have a better understanding of Japanese gestures and culture now. Be sure to continue practicing these Japanese body signs so that you can use them like a native and master Japanese nonverbal communication!

    If you’d 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 a YouTube channel where you can enjoy learning the Japanese language by watching videos and listening to actual Japanese pronunciation. Of course, you can learn more about Japanese gestures. While you learn basic Japanese, daily Japanese conversations, 100 Japanese phrases for beginners, how to be an effective Japanese speaker, and much more, you can apply the Japanese gestures you’ve learned to them for the best results.

    Please visit our YouTube channel for a fun learning experience! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Japanese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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    The Complete Guide for Japanese Internet Slang and Text Faces

    Do you know the Japanese slang ググる (guguru)? It means “to search on Google” and is one of the most-used Japanese internet slang terms.

    If you chat with your Japanese friends online or use social media such as Facebook, you might be struggling to understand Japanese internet slang terms. However, most common Japanese slang words
    aren’t exclusive to the internet, as you may have found them in anime and manga as well.

    The problem is that your teachers and textbooks won’t teach you those slang terms, because they aren’t official Japanese language. Japanese text slang terms might be very confusing for Japanese learners because they developed very uniquely. Japanese people also use many kinds of 顔文字 (kaomoji) or text face, such as “(*^_^*), (^_^;),(TдT).

    We’ll provide you with a complete guide for popular Japanese internet slang terms and emotional text faces. Don’t worry! You don’t need to memorize it all. Even we, Japanese people, don’t know all of them. You can just add this page to your Favorite list and use it as your Japanese slang dictionary so that you can look up new slang words whenever you find them.

    1. About Japanese Internet Slang and Text Faces
    2. Top 11 Internet Slang
    3. Short and Very Short Abbreviations
    4. Text Slang for Social Media
    5. Text Slang Terms Using the Alphabet
    6. More Alphabet Slang Terms
    7. Japanese Internet Slang Using 漢字 (kanji)
    8. Slang Words for Both Conversation and Internet
    9. Emoticons: Japanese Text Faces
    10. How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

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    1. About Japanese Internet Slang and Text Faces

    “Internet slang” is ネットスラング (netto surangu) in Japanese. ネット (netto) is a shortened form of インターネット (intānetto) and it’s the Japanese way of reading the English word “internet.” スラング (surangu) is also the Japanese sound for the English word “slang.”

    “Text face” or “text emotions” is 顔文字 (kao moji) in Japanese. 顔 (kao) means “face” and 文字 (moji) means “text” or “character.”

    Today, internet and social media are very important tools, especially for young generations. If you have Japanese friends on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media, you might find it difficult to figure out what they’re saying most of the time.

    What makes it so difficult? A big reason is that we have three kinds of letters, 平仮名 (hiragana), 片仮名(katakana), and 漢字 (kanji). In addition to that, we use ローマ字 (rōma ji) or the Roman alphabets, for text slang terms. Of course, there are some simple abbreviated slang words, though we have many other kinds as well. In this article, we divided Japanese internet slang terms into six types to make it easier to understand. Before we list those six types, we also listed eleven popular Japanese internet slang words. Take a look!


    2. Top 11 Internet Slang

    If you’re searching for the most useful Japanese internet slang, here’s a list of the top eleven most popular internet slang terms. Hopefully this list of Japanese slang words helps you find your footing in this often confusing world of foreign internet talk.

    1- w (wara)

    Meaning: to laugh

    “w” or 笑 is the shortened form of 笑う (warau) and it means “to laugh.” It’s usually used at the end of a sentence. 笑 is a more mature way of saying this and “w” is often used by guys.

    Since “to laugh” is one of the most useful Japanese text slang terms, there are many similar words. For example, “www” means “lol” in English. Sometimes, people use more w’s as in “wwwww” to express how hard they’re laughing.

    Similar words:

    • 笑 (wara)
    • 草 (kusa)
    • 草生える (kusahaeru)
    • 藁 (wara)
    • ワロタ (warota)
    • ワロス (warosu)
    • 爆 (baku)

    Some heavy internet users use a 漢字 (kanji) letter—草 (kusa)—to express their laughter. 草 (kusa) means “grasses” and they use this character because “w” looks like grass growing in the ground. The word 爆(baku) or 爆 (baku) is short for 爆笑 (bakushō) meaning “to burst out laughing.”

    2- JK (Jēkē)

    Meaning: high school girl

    JK (Jēkē) is the abbreviated word for 女子高生 (Joshikōsei). 女子 (joshi) means “girl” or “younger woman.” 高生 (kōsei) is a shortened form of 高校生 (kōkōsei) that refers to a high school student. It’s often used as a sexual expression and there’s no word for a high school boy.

    Similar slang words:

    • JD (Joshi Chūgakusei) 女子中学生 or junior high school girl
    • JS (Joshi Shōgakusei) 女子小学生 or elementary school girl
    • JD (Jyoshi Daisei) 女子大生 or female college student

    There’s another way of using “JK” and that’s the shortened form of 常考 (jōkō) or 常識的に考えて (Jōshiki teki ni kangaete), meaning “that’s common sense.”

    3- ググる (guguru)

    Meaning: to google

    This is a combination of グーグル (gūguru) and する (suru). グーグル (gūguru) means “Google” and する(suru) indicates the verb form. This is a very common Japanese internet slang and you might even hear it in real conversations.

    The imperative form of ググる is ググれ (gugure). There’s another popular slang using ググれ and it’s “ggrks” or ググれカス which means “Google it, idiot!” This slang is used when someone asks you a really stupid question, that he/she should not ask others.

    4- 乙 (otsu)

    Meaning: good job; good work

    乙 (otsu) is the shortest text slang for お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu) or “Thank you for your hard work.” This is the Common Japanese slang phrase to use when thanking someone for their hard work or good work. Japanese people use it very often, even as just a way of a greeting, like “Hi!”

    There are some other short ways of saying お疲れ様です (otsukare sama desu):

    • お疲れ様 (otsukare sama)
    • おつかれ (otsukare)

    The shorter word is the more informal way of saying this. The kanji 乙 doesn’t have the meaning of お疲れ様です, but people use it anyway because the pronunciation is おつ (otsu).

    5- 888 (pachi-pachi-pachi)

    Meaning: clap, clap, clap

    The sound of a number of “8”s is はち (hachi) or ぱち (pachi) in Japanese and the sound of clapping hands is パチパチパチ (pachi-pachi-pachi). Therefore, the sound of “8” and the sound of clapping hands are the same. It’s usually used with three characters of 8, like “888.” If you want to denote more clapping, you can write more 8’s like “88888.”

    6- orz

    Meaning: disappointment

    The word “orz” is an ASCII art which represents the shape of a person bowing down, showing a feeling of disappointment. The letter of “o” is a head, “r” is hand and body, and “z” is the bent legs.

    Since this is an ASCII art, there’s no fixed way of reading “orz.” Some people read it as オーズ (ōzu) and others as オルツ (orutsu).

    Same meaning: crz; OTL; or2; on_

    7- DQN (dokyun)

    Pronunciations: D=Do; Q=kyu; N=n
    Meaning: stupid, idiot

    “DQN” is not an abbreviation word. It means stupid or an idiot who acts without any thinking. This word is spread from a popular Japanese textboard “2ch” or “2ちゃんねる (ni channeru).” You need to be careful when you use it because it’s a very offensive swear word.

    8- 飯テロ (meshi tero)

    Meaning: food terror

    飯テロ (meshi tero) is a very popular and well-known Japanese internet slang. 飯 (meshi) means food or meal and テロ (tero) means “terror” or “terrorist.” 飯テロ (meshi tero) expresses the act of uploading pictures of an appetizing meal on social media such as Twitter, especially late at night. It makes people angry because they’ll be hungry and want to eat the meal.

    9- リア充 (riajū)

    Meaning: fulfilled person in real life

    リア充(riajū) is a very popular slang word that spread from the internet. It’s the abbreviated form of リアルが充実している (riaru ga jūjitsu site iru). リアル (riaru) means “real world” and the antonym is “internet world.” 充実している (jūjitsu site iru) means “one’s life is fullfilling.”

    リア充 (riajū) people have a girlfriend/boyfriend as well as many friends who hang out at school or a workplace. They also have good hobbies and are very active.

    Antonym words: 非リア充 (hiriajū)

    10- KY (kēwai)

    Meaning: A person who cannot read the mood

    KY (kēwai) is a very common Japanese internet and text slang that people also use in real conversations. You might see it on TV shows and in movies and books. It’s an abbreviation of 空気読めない (kūki yomenai). 空気 (kūki) means “air” or “mood” and 読めない (yomenai) is “cannot read.”

    11- ディスる (disuru)

    Meaning: to insult somebody

    ディス is an abbreviation of the English word “disrespect” and する means “to do” in Japanese. The word ディスる (disuru) means “to insult somebody.” This word is also a very popular Japanese slang that’s used often in daily conversations.


    3. Short and Very Short Abbreviations

    There are some simple Japanese text slang terms such as おめ (ome) and あり (ari), and they are just a very short form of Japanese words. There are no complicated rules.

    These words are usually spread by gamers and teenagers, because they want to type as fast or with as few characters as they can when they chat online.

    1- おめ (ome)

    Abbreviation of おめでとう (omedetō)

    Meaning: congratulations

    • Example:
      • 誕生日おめ! (Tanjōbi ome!)
    • Meaning:
      • Happy birthday!

    2- あり (ari)

    Abbreviation of ありがとう (arigatō)

    Meaning: thank you

    • Example:
      • A: 誕生日おめ! (Tanjōbi ome!)
      • B: あり!(Ari!)
    • Meaning:
      • A: Happy birthday!
      • B: Thanks!

    3- おこ (oko)

    Abbreviation of 怒る (okoru)

    Meaning: to get angry

    Sometimes it’s written in 片仮名 (katakana) as オコ (oko), but in 平仮名 (hirakgana) おこ (oko) is very popular. When young Japanese people use おこ (oko), it’s usually as a joke.

    • Example:
      • 無視されたよ。おこだわー。(Mushi sareta yo. Oko da wā.)
    • Meaning:
      • She/he ignored me. I’m angry.

    Young people also use 激おこ (geki oko) and 激おこぷんぷん丸 (geki oko punpun maru). 激 means “extremely” and therefore, 激おこ means “to get very angry.” 激おこぷんぷん丸 (geki oko punpun maru) is the more extreme version of 激おこ (geki oko).

    4- りょ (ryo)

    Abbreviation of 了解です (ryōkai desu)

    Meaning: OK! or roger

    了解です (ryōkai desu) is a business term and it means “I understand.” But the slang word りょ (ryo) is very casual and can be used only with friends.

    Some people use a much shorter version and use only a single character り(ri). “りょ (ryo) spread from online game players, but now young people also use it at LINE. There are many LINE stickers using this word.

    • Example:
      • A: コーヒー買ってきて。(Kōhī katte kite.)
      • B: りょ
    • Meaning:
      • A: Can you buy a coffee for me?
      • B: OK.


    4. Text Slang for Social Media

    When you use social medias like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, you need the knowledge of text slang terms, because it’s everywhere. They’re common especially on Twitter, because there’s a character limit and phrases need to be made shorter. Here, let’s look at Japanese text slang terms which are often used on the internet.

    1- △ (sankakkei)

    Meaning: Mr. ~ is cool

    △ stands for a triangle shape and it’s 三角形 in Japanese. The pronunciation of 三角形 is sankakukei but people often pronounce it sankakkei. The sound of san is the same as さん, which is the most common honorific for other people. For example, Mr. Tanaka is 田中 (Tanaka) san in Japanese.

    The sound kakkei is very similar to かっけー(kakkē). かっけー(kakkē) is a slang word of かっこいい(kakkoii) that means “cool” and is often used for males. △ is used with someone’s name, usually a celebrity or popular anime character.

    • Example:
      • 本田△ (Honda-san kakkē)
    • Meaning:
      • Mr. Honda is cool.

    2- なう/ナウ (nau)

    Meaning: doing it right now; being there right now

    This is a very popular Japanese slang, used even by some elderly people. なう or ナウ is almost the same sound as the English word “now.” This word is often used on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. When they post something on those social media sites, it means that they’re doing something at exactly that moment.

    • Example 1:
      • カラオケなう (karaoke nau)
    • Meaning:
      • I’m singing karaoke now.
    • Example 2:
      • 京都なう(Kyōto nau)
    • Meaning:
      • I’m in Kyoto now.

    3- ようつべ (youtube)

    Meaning: YouTube

    If you type ようつべ in the Roman alphabet, you’ll easily know what it means. ようつべ (youtube) is Japanese slang for YouTube. This is very casual slang that only a limited number of people use.

    4- オワコン (owakon)

    Meaning: out of date; old items

    This is an abbreviation for 終わったコンテンツ (Owatta kontentsu). 終わった (owatta) means “out of date” or “too old” and コンテンツ (kontentsu) means contents such as websites, anime, YouTube, TV programs, and movies. It’s originally spread from animation fans. Today, it’s very popular and is even used in real conversations.

    5- ツィ (tsui)

    Meaning: tweet on Twitter

    It’s just an abbreviation of ツイート (tsuīto) which means “tweet” in English. It’s also used as a short form of ツイッター(tsuittā) which means Twitter. This slang is especially used among young people under the age of twenty-five.

    6- サムネ (samune)

    Meaning: thumbnail image

    It’s a shortened form of サムネイル (samuneiru) and means “thumbnail images.” This is a frequently used Japanese slang phrase on video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

    7- クラスタ (kurasuta)

    Meaning: fun group

    クラスタ (kurasta) means a fun group of something, such as animes and idol groups. The word クラスタ is originally from the English word “cluster.” It originally spread from 2ch; however, people don’t use it at 2ch anymore. Now, it’s used more on social media.

    8- ずっ友 (zuttomo)

    Meaning: friends for life

    ずっ友 (zuttomo) is an abbreviation of ずっと友達 (zutto tomodachi). ずっと (zutto) means “forever” and 友達 (tomodachi) means “friends.” It was originally used by teenage girls when they took photos in a プリクラ (purikura) which is similar to a photo booth.

    9- 炎上 (enjō)

    Meaning: to go up in flames on social media

    炎上 (enjō) is “flaming” and when people use this as an internet slang, it means that someone’s flaming on social media, or criticized by many people.

    10- バズる (bazuru)

    Meaning: to make a buzz on the internet

    バズる (bazuru) means to make a buzz on the internet, usually Twitter and YouTube. バズ (buzu) is originally from the English word “buzz” and する (suru) is “to do.” As you can see, the popular Japanese internet slang バズる (bazuru) is a combination of those two words.

    11- ラブリツ (raburitsu)

    Meaning: Like and retweet on Twitter

    ラブリツ (raburitsu) is only used on Twitter and usually by young teenage girls. ラブ (rabu)” is “love” in English, and it means “to press the Like button.”

    Why do we use “love” instead of “like”? It’s because the Like button on Twitter is a love heart shape. リツ is a shortened form of リツイート (ritsuīto) and it means “to retweet.” If someone writes ラブリツ on Twitter, it means he/she wants you to press the Like button and retweet the tweet.

    12- リプ (ripu)

    Meaning: to reply

    リプ (ripu) is a simple abbreviation for リプライ (ripurai). It means “to reply” and it’s usually used by teenage girls on social media like Twitter and LINE.

    13- 拡散希望 (kakusan kibō)

    Meaning: please share or retweet the information

    You see 拡散希望 (kakusan kibō) on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. 拡散 means “to spread” and 希望 (kibō) means “hope” or “wish.” When you combine those two words, it means “Please share the message.”


    5. Text Slang Terms Using the Alphabet

    Texting

    On the internet, Japanese people also use alphabet slang words, because many of them use the Roman alphabet for typing. One of the most unique Japanese text slangs using alphabet is to write only the consonant letters, with vowels omitted. This type of Japanese text slang spread from 2ch.

    You need to be careful since this alphabet type of text slangs are only used on the internet. Therefore, it’s not as popular as other slang terms we introduced above.

    1- wktk (wakuteka)

    Meaning: very excited

    “wktk” is an acronym of the onomatopoeia words ワクワク (wakuwaku) which means “exciting” and テカテカ (tekateka) which means “shining.” It spread from 2ch and it’s well-known among heavy internet users, such as gamers. However, you need to be careful when using this slang, as it’s not very popular among other people.

    2- gkbr (gakuburu)

    Meaning: to tremble for fear

    “gkbr” is an acronym of the onomatopoeia words ガクガク (gakugaku) and ブルブル (buruburu). Both onomatopoeia words describe trembling for fear, so this Japanese internet slang describes someone’s fear. This word is also spread from 2ch and is used by heavy internet users.

    You need to be careful because some people use “gkbr” as an acronym for ごきぶり (gokiburi) meaning “cockroach.” Popular internet slang for cockroach is “G()”, and using “gkbr” is a rare case.

    3- ksk (kasoku)

    Meaning: Faster!

    “ksk” is an acronym for 加速 (kasoku), which means “accelerate.” This frequently used Japanese internet slang word is also spread from 2ch and used at textboards and the video distribution site ニコニコ動画(niconico dōga). It’s usually used when someone wants people to write comments faster.

    4- kwsk (kuwashiku)

    “kwsk” is an acronym for 詳しく (kuwashiku). The word 詳しく (kuwashiku) means “in detail,” and “kwsk” means “Explain the detail, please.”


    6. More Alphabet Slang Terms

    We’ve gone through a lot of Japanese slang words already, but our list of Japanese slang words wouldn’t be complete without the following. Hang tight!

    1- ktkr (きたこれ) (kita kore)

    Meaning: It’s here!; Something exciting happened.

    “ktkr” is an abbreviated form of キタコレ (kita kore) which is also an internet slang word. キタ (kita) is 来た in kanji form. It’s the past tense form of 来る (kuru) which means “to come.” The official form of コレ is in 平仮名 (hiragana) form—これ (kore)—and means “this” or “it.” In this popular Japanese slang, これ (kore) means “some event or occurrence you expect” and 来た (kita) means “happened.”

    2- mjk (まじか) (majika)

    Meaning: Really?

    “mjk” is an abbreviated form of マジか (majika). マジ (maji) is a very popular Japanese slang which is especially used among young Japanese people and it means “Really?” or “seriously.” There are several forms of マジ (maji). When you ask a question, you use マジ? or マジで? マジか isn’t usually used as a question, but it’s more likely to be used to express surprise.

    3- (ry (略) (ryaku)

    Meaning: OK! or roger

    “(ry” stands for 略 (ryaku), and 略 is an abbreviation for 省略 (shōryaku). It’s used when you want to shorten a sentence, which others may already know.

    4- kaos (カオス) (kaosu)

    Meaning: chaos

    “kaos” is an abbreviation for カオス (kaosu). The Japanese word カオス (kaosu) is originally from the English word “chaos” and it has the same meaning.

    5- おK (オーケー) (ōkē)

    Meaning: OK

    The alphabet “o” is おー in 平仮名 (hiragana) form. The macron “ー” is omitted.

    6- うp (アップ) (appu or upu)

    Meaning: to upload

    Japanese people often use the English word “up.” “u” is the Roman alphabet form of the 平仮名 (hiragana) letter う, and う is used instead of “u.”


    7. Japanese Internet Slang Using 漢字 (kanji)

    Some internet text slangs are only used in 漢字 (kanji) or Chinese characters. Some of them are abbreviation forms of words using only kanji. There’s also some kanji slang which uses the same sound of kanji, but with different meanings as a kind of joke. Here, we list popular kanji slang words and their meaning.

    1- 誰得 (daretoku)

    Meaning: Who benefits from it?

    • Abbreviation of 誰が得するんだよ (dare ga toku suru n da yo)

    2- 情弱 (jōjaku)

    Meaning: People who are left behind by information on the internet

    • Abbreviation of 情報弱者 (jōhō jakusha)

    3- 胸熱 (muneatsu)

    Meaning: to become fraught with emotion

    • Abbreviation of 胸が熱くなる (mune ga atsuku naru)

    4- 禿同 (hagedō)

    Meaning: strong agreement

    • Abbreviation of 激しく同意 (hageshiku dōi)
    • 禿 means “bald” and plays a word game by using the same sound of kanji

    5- 今北 (imakita)

    Meaning: I’m here, now.

    • 今来た is the correct kanji. 北 (kita) means “north” and shares the same pronunciation as 来た. 今北” looks like someone’s family name.
    • There’s also the slang 今北産業 (imakita sangyō), which sounds like a company’s name. But it means “I’m here, now. So please explain what is happening in three sentences.” 三行 (san-gyō) which means “three sentences” is the same sound as 産業.

    6- 鯖 (saba)

    Meaning: internet server

    • The kanji of 鯖 means “mackerel.” It’s used because it has a similar sound.


    8. Slang Words for Both Conversation and Internet

    Person Messaging on Phone

    Some common Japanese slang phrases have become very popular so that they’re also used in real-life conversations, especially among young people. The opposite is also true: Sometimes slang terms from real conversations spread to internet text conversations. Here’s a list of some popular Japanese slang terms that are used both on the internet and in real-life conversations.

    1- ガチ (gachi)

    Meaning: earnestly

    • Abbreviation of ガチンコ (gachinko)

    2- クソゲー (kusogē)

    Meaning: stupid game

    • ゲー is the abbreviated form of ゲーム

    3- メシウマ (meshiuma)

    Meaning: to get happy for the misfortune of another

    • メシ is “meal” and ウマ is a shortened form of うまい that means “taste good.”

    4- ドヤ顔 (doyagao)

    Meaning: smug face

    5- 神ってる (kamitteru)

    Meaning: heaven-sent; out of this world

    6- チキる (chikiru)

    Meaning: to chicken out

    • チキ is the abbreviated form of チキン (chikin) or “chicken” in English

    7- それな (sorena)

    Meaning: express sympathy to others

    8- 推しメン (oshimen)

    Meaning: favorite member of idol group

    • Abbreviation of イチ推しメンバー (ichioshi menbā)

    9- イケメン (ikemen)

    Meaning: good-looking; hottie


    9. Emoticons: Japanese Text Faces

    If you search 顔文字 (kaomoji) or 絵文字 (emoji) on the internet, you’ll find several kinds of them. In Japanese, sometimes expression tends to be unclear, not helped by the fact that there are some words that have the same meanings. Therefore, it’s sometimes difficult to express exact emotion. In those situations, text faces help to express emotions. Text emotions are usually used at the end of a sentence. Many people use them in their emails and when chatting online.

    Those text faces are largely used by teenagers, but are also used by a broad age group. However, you can’t use those text faces in business emails.

    Here’s a list of Japanese text faces:

    • Smile : (^^), (^_^), (^o^), (^-^),(●^o^●), (*^_^*)
    • V sign: (^_^)V, (^o^)V
    • Crying: (T_T), (;_;),.・゚゚・(/ω\)・゚゚・.
    • Be excited: o(^o^)o
    • Love: (*♡∀♡),╰(*´︶`*)╯♡
    • Bowing or apology: m(_ _)m
    • Goodbye: (^_^)/~~~
    • Embarrassment: (^^;),(^_^;),(*ノωノ)
    • Joy: \( ̄▽ ̄)/, (⌒▽⌒)☆, ヽ(o^ ^o)ノ
    • Troubled: (>__
    • Sleeping: (-_-)zzz
    • Confused: (°_°),
    • Wink: (^_-), (^_-)-☆
    • Deflated: (´・ω・`), (‘A`)
    • Angry: ( ` ω ´ ), (#`Д´)


    10. How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

    In summary, we’ve listed popular Japanese internet slang terms and text faces. We hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you communicate more effectively with your Japanese friends online.

    If you liked this article, feel free to get more fun lessons of Japanese expressions and cultures on JapanesePod101. We provide over 2950 audio and video lessons and help you study Japanese with a 360° approach. We make your Japanese learning fun and easy! Study with us!

    In the meantime, make good use of your newfound knowledge in common Japanese texting and internet slang. Good luck!

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