Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript


Jessi:Jessi here! Absolute Beginner Season 1 , Lesson 5 - Can You Take My Japanese Order?
Jessi: Hi everyone! Welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 5 - Can You Take My Japanese Order? Jessiです。Jessi here.
Naomi: こんにちは!なおみです。Naomi here and thanks again for being here with us for this Absolute Beginner Lesson.
Jessi: In the last lesson, we learned how to say "Excuse me" and "I'm sorry." One phrase covered them both!
Naomi: Yes, and that phrase was すみません。Jessi, what are we going to learn in this lesson?
Jessi: In this lesson, which is the last of the five Introduction lessons, you'll learn how to ask for something in Japanese.
Naomi: Like, if you're at a restaurant, and want to say "Can I get a menu?"
Jessi: Or "Can I get some water?" It's actually really easy to say.
Naomi: You will hear a short conversation at a restaurant.
Jessi: It takes place between a customer and a waiter. Okay, let's listen in.

Lesson conversation

English Host: Now let’s listen to it with the translation.
Jessi: Excuse me, can I get a menu?
Jessi: Sure.
Jessi: Excuse me, can I get some water?
Jessi: Sure.
Jessi: Excuse me, can you take my order?
Jessi: Sure!
Jessi: It sounds like the waiter is having a bit of a tough time with that table...
Naomi: She has to keep going back. The customer kept saying すみません~ すみません~.
Jessi: Listeners, you remember this, right? From the last lesson? One of the meanings of すみません is "excuse me." So, "Excuse me, excuse me, can I get some help here?" Kind of like that.
Naomi: Right. Okay. So let's look at what he asked for.
Jessi: The first new word is...
Naomi: メニュー
Jessi: Menu. If it sounds exactly the same, that's because it is! You'll find that a lot of words in Japanese come straight from English. Just like this one.
Naomi: Just, the pronunciation might be different.
Jessi: Right. In most cases it will be very different. But in this case...
Naomi: メニュー
Jessi: メニュー sounds just like "menu". And the next word?
Naomi: 水.
Jessi: 水 is "water," and after that...?
Naomi: 注文.
Jessi: 注文 is "order." Don't worry about trying to memorize all these now. Just keep them in the back of your brain. We'll be using them in the next section.
Naomi: There's one more word I want to cover.
Jessi: The one the waiter kept saying, right?
Naomi: Yes! That word is はい!
Jessi: はい! We talked about this in the last lesson where it was almost like a question - はい? Yes? This time it's just a straightforward "yes" or "sure."

Lesson focus

Jessi: In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask for something in Japanese.
Naomi: There's one phrase you will learn for that in this lesson.
Jessi: And you actually already know it! Do you remember the phrase you learned when introducing yourself. The one you say at the end after your name?
Naomi: よろしくお願いします。
Jessi: That's it! よろしく お願いします. That second part, お願いします, is what we'll be using today.
Naomi: On its own, you can think of it as meaning "please."
Jessi: Yes, as in "menu please", "water please", and so on. Okay so Naomi, what is the formation?
Naomi: Very simple. Just say the item you want and add お願いします.
Jessi: So that's item plus お願いします
Naomi: Exactly.
Jessi: So like we had in the dialogue...
Naomi: メニューお願いします
Jessi: Literally, "menu please". In more natural English we'd say "Can I get a menu?" And the next one?
Naomi: 水お願いします
Jessi: "Can I get some water?" Let's practice those, shall we?
Naomi: Okay!
Jessi: Repeat after Naomi. Can I get a menu?
Naomi: メニューお願いします
Jessi: And now, can I get some water?
Naomi: 水お願いします
Jessi: Now, a menu and water are both physical objects. So you can use this お願いします for actual tangible things. BUT you can also use it for not-so-tangible things.
Naomi: Ahh, like... a service.
Jessi: Right. Can you give us the example of that we had in the dialogue?
Naomi: Sure. 注文お願いします.
Jessi: 注文 is order, and お願いします is like please. So literally, it's like saying "Order please." You may think it means something like, "Can I have my order please?" But what it really means is, "Can you take my order please?"
Naomi: So you're asking them to do something.
Jessi: Yes. Quite handy, this お願いします (笑).
Naomi: Okay, let's try a small role play!
Jessi: Okay! How about you and I first and then you with the listeners?
Naomi: Sounds good! I'll be the waitress.
Jessi: And I'll be the customer. Okay, I've just settled down in this nice looking restaurant, what do I want to eat... hmm? I don't see a menu. I better get the waitresses attention... あの...すみません~
Naomi: はい!
Jessi: メニューお願いします。
Naomi: はーい。
Jessi: Yay, I got my menu! Okay, listeners, your turn! You've just sat down at your table. First, get the attention of the waitress.
[Pause] (あの...)すみません
Naomi: はい!
Jessi: Ask the waitress for a menu.
[Pause] メニューお願いします
Naomi: はーい。
Jessi: Very nice! How about a small bonus one? Here comes Naomi with your menu. She hands it to you and you thank her by saying...?
Jessi: If you said...
Naomi: ありがとうございます!
Jessi: Give yourself an extra point.
Naomi: If not, please review Lesson 3!


Jessi: Okay. Well, that's going to be all for this lesson. Congratulations! You've made it through the first five introduction lessons.
Naomi: Now you know now around 10 useful phrases.
Jessi: And some vocabulary words! I think that's a really great start. Join us next time when we move on into the main part of the series. The story that revolves around Taylor Allen and his visiting Japanese relatives.
Naomi: As always, thanks for listening!ありがとうございます!
Jessi: See you all next time!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters.

Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi everyone,

This lesson concludes the 5 introductory lessons! How were they? Join us for the next lesson, where our story begins!

October 30th, 2018 at 12:42 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Hein San,

Thank you very much for such a nice comment. We are glad to hear you like our lessons! 😄


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

Hein San
October 29th, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Absolutely effective learning for me

October 10th, 2018 at 12:26 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi ojus,

Thank you for your comment and let us know if you have any questions.



Team JapanesePod101.com

October 10th, 2018 at 3:18 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Its very helpful to learn japanese..😊


May 31st, 2018 at 9:16 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Diora Erskine,

Thank you for the comment!

は is read as "wa" when it is used as a particle. This lesson below might help you understand more about wa particle.


When it's not used as a particle, は character is pronounced as "ha."


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

Diora Erskine
May 29th, 2018 at 9:15 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I am having a bit of a problem understanding the difference between

Wa and ha

When I look at them in written from the look like this は

How do i tell them apart?

May 4th, 2018 at 2:31 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Bea Althea & Anh,

Thank you for the question.

メニュー、おねがいします。(Menyu, onegai shimasu.)

メニュー、ください 。(Menyu, kudasai.)

These two sentences mean the same thing; "can I get a menu?" But using おねがいします (onegai shimasu) is more polite and show respect to the waiter/waitress.


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

April 9th, 2018 at 5:11 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

hello. what is the difference between:




when you ask for the objects you want.

thank you

February 23rd, 2018 at 12:59 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.




Bea Althea
February 1st, 2018 at 1:17 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Is "ください" the same with "おねがいします" ? How will I know when to use the first or the second one? たすけて ください, ありがと ございます!