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Sakura: はい、ジャパニーズポッド101でございます。おはよう東京、こんばんはニューヨーク、こんにちはロンドン。
Peter: Stop by our website japanesepod101.com for all the latest and greatest features, line by line audio, iPod on the go plus much more. Stop by and see what’s going on at japanesepod101.com
Sakura: サクラです。
Peter: Peter here and we are back with another lesson. As always, we are brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Okay, today we have another great lesson for you, right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Right Sakura? Yes.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay so today is survival phrases #
Sakura: Six.
Peter: Six.
Sakura: 6(ろく)
Peter: Very nice Sakura. They are really, really starting to pile up now.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And again, these are the phrases that are going to get you through your trip, they are going to help you get more out of your trip.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: This is essential, essential stuff that’s going to be so beneficial to you. Okay and again if anybody has any stories out there of how this came in handy or how it’s used, please send it to us because that’s going to make our day. Okay so without further ado, let’s jump into today’s lesson. Now Sakura, can you give us today’s first expression?

Lesson focus

Sakura: 英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Very nice. One more time please, a little slower.
Sakura: えいごでだいじょうぶですか?
Peter: Okay very nice. Now there is something that should be familiar in there from survival phrases 2. Can you give us the familiar part one more time?
Sakura: 大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Everybody, remember that, now that’s in survival phrases 2. One more time Sakura?
Sakura: 大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Okay and what does this mean Sakura?
Sakura: Is it okay.
Peter: Yes, is it okay. Okay, we covered this again in 2. Now it’s coming back because again this is very, very useful. Okay, so we have the latter part of the phrase, is it okay.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Now what about the first part, can you give us that one more time?
Sakura: 英語で
Peter: Very nice. What does this mean?
Sakura: In English.
Peter: Yes in English. Can you separate the words because there’s two words in there.
Sakura: 英語
Peter: And
Sakura: で
Peter: Yes very nice. Now can you give us the first word?
Sakura: 英語
Peter: And what’s this?
Sakura: It’s English.
Peter: Yes English. And then in is
Sakura: で
Peter: Yes. Okay, so can you break down English for us?
Sakura: え・い・ご
Peter: One time fast.
Sakura: 英語
Peter: And then in.
Sakura: で
Peter: And then the last part
Sakura: 大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Okay and one time altogether.
Sakura: 英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Perfect, excellent. Now, this again is an extremely, extremely useful phrase, right Sakura?
Sakura: はい。
Peter: So what does the whole phrase mean altogether?
Sakura: Can I use English?
Peter: Yes. So the literal translation is
Sakura: English okay.
Peter: Yes but it really comes out to
Sakura: Is it okay to speak in English?
Peter: Yes okay. And the reason this phrase is so important is most Japanese can speak to some degree English, right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Now in Japanese schooling, how long do Japanese study English?
Sakura: Six years.
Peter: Yeah the average Japanese, six years.
Sakura: Yes they start in junior high school 3 years.
Peter: Three years in junior high school.
Sakura: And then in high school 3 years.
Peter: Three years.
Sakura: And after that, if they go to college or university, they keep on studying it.
Peter: Another four years.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: That’s 10 years of English.
Sakura: Yes. Actually, if you meet someone on the street and say 英語で大丈夫ですか? Maybe they won’t say はい. If you start, they will want to you know help.
Peter: Yes.
Sakura: They will want to listen to your English and do something but umm probably they won’t say oh yes I can you know, I understand English like this because Japanese people are very shy and modest and you know, not confident about themselves usually.
Peter: Yeah I see. So yes you have a very good point Sakura.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Very good point. Umm Japanese are usually very reserved.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And even though they can speak English, they usually don’t make the first move to approach you and speak but if you were to make the first move and approach them…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: They reciprocate to such an unbelievable degree, it will leave you shocked. So the reason that this phrase is so important is it gives you the tool to make a chance to start talking.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And it’s very, very, very useful as Sakura said.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Now, yes, most Japanese may not be confident about their English as Sakura had, so…
Sakura: Yes, but they want to help. So you know.
Peter: Yes. So the reason we are teaching you this is, for example, say you are on the street and you got the map in your hand. You look, you turn the map left, you turn it right. It just doesn’t make sense. You are on ends but you don’t know what to do. This is the type of situation where you can use this expression.
Sakura: 英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Yes. If you see somebody walking on the street, we can go back to survival phrases one and we can get the word
Sakura: すみません。
Peter: Yes, excuse me, and then we can say the whole phrase together
Sakura: すみません。英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Yes, and with this phrase - excuse me, may I speak English, can I speak English, is it okay to speak English, it will do wonders for you. Nine times out of ten, that person will be willing to help you, right Sakura?
Sakura: That’s right. They may say umm but they are really willing to help you.
Peter: Yes. You know if you are lost and you need to be taken somewhere, if they took you to the place, if they just stop what they are doing and took you to the place, we would not be surprised, right Sakura?
Sakura: Uhoo…
Peter: Yes again, this is one phrase that you can use in all kinds of situations just to, you know, to ease the tension.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: If you start with the Japanese first, you are going to make the other person feel much more comfortable and then they can understand that you know, you are nice and that you are trying.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And then they are going to try too and once they try, it’s going to be great, right Sakura?
Sakura: Uhoo.
Peter: Restaurants, meeting people, asking for directions, lost, this is all stuff that you can use this phrase.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So this is one that you definitely, definitely want to remember. Okay, so Sakura, can you give it to us one more time?
Sakura: 英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Yes excellent. Okay so now that you have that one and this is going to open a lot of doors. Now there is another one, another phrase that we would like to introduce you today and this phrase too is very, very useful because in Japan, there is a high probability that you are going to take a taxi but there is no way that you are not going to take a train, right Sakura?
Sakura: Right.
Peter: They won’t let you leave the country if you don’t ride a train. All right a little overboard. So there is another expression that I use all the time because there are so many trains here. Some stations have 8, 10 tracks. So which train is going where? It’s very, very difficult to find out and although they do have an English in the major cities but once you get outside the major cities, they are not going to have the electronic sign flashing both Japanese and English. There is many times when I’ve been in small towns or smaller towns that this phrase has come in helpful, okay. Now this phrase is primarily used when you are on the platform waiting for a train or you might have boarded the train and you are waiting for it to leave and you just want to make sure its heading where you are going because you don’t want to get on the wrong train. So Sakura, let’s use Tokyo as our example. How can I ask someone if I am waiting for a train and I think it’s the Tokyo train but I am not sure. How can I ask someone is this the train for Tokyo?
Sakura: 東京行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Very nice. One more time.
Sakura: 東京行きですか?
Peter: Very nice. Is this headed for Tokyo?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: That’s the literal translation. Is this the train for Tokyo. Now again, it’s a very, very simple expression.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And it’s one that is so important. So what we are going to do is break it down. Now, we use Tokyo, right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: You are not always going to be going to Tokyo but the city or the place can always be changed, right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: What stays constant?
Sakura: 行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Yes very nice. Okay, and can you break it down by syllable?
Sakura: ゆ・き・で・す・か?
Peter: And one time fast?
Sakura: 行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Very, very nice, okay. So this is what you want to ask before you get on the train, once you are on the train, I usually ask two times just to make 100% sure because I have gotten on so many wrong trains in Japan that I make it a point to ask where I am going.
Sakura: Umm very important.
Peter: Okay. So what we are going to do is give some examples. Give us Tokyo one more time?
Sakura: 東京行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Okay. Is this headed for Tokyo? How about Osaka?
Sakura: 大阪行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Is this headed for Osaka? How about Kyoto?
Sakura: 京都行き(ゆき)ですか?
Peter: Yes. Is this train headed for Kyoto? Again this is definitely, definitely what you want. It’s such a simple phrase and it can save you so much aggravation. Okay now here is something that might come in useful. If it is the train, what will the person say? So for example, if the train is going to Tokyo and I say to you 東京行きですか? you would say
Sakura: はい、そうです。
Peter: Yes which is…
Sakura: Yes it is.
Peter: Yes, yes it is. One more time, please.
Sakura: はい、そうです。
Peter: Yes very nice. Okay now let’s do, it’s not the train for Tokyo and I say to you 東京行きですか?
Sakura: いいえ、違います。
Peter: Yes which means
Sakura: No it’s not.
Peter: Yeah. So these are the two important phrases you want to know.
Sakura: Umm yes.
Peter: Okay can you give it to us one more time?
Sakura: いいえ、違います。
Peter: Which is?
Sakura: No it’s not.
Peter: Yeah and break down both words.
Sakura: い・い・え、ち・が・い・ま・す。
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: いいえ、違います。
Peter: And that’s your cue to get off the train. So the phrase you are hoping for is…
Sakura: はい、そうです。
Peter: Okay and if not.
Sakura: いいえ、違います。
Peter: You get off the train. Now if you are off the train, you don’t know where to go. Now this is a time you can pull out the magical は(va)…
Sakura: は(va)
Peter: Right Sakura.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And you can find the person wearing a nice uniform and you can say to him?
Sakura: 東京行き(ゆき)は?
Peter: Yes. Beautiful Sakura. It all came together.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And he will maybe answer you in Japanese but he will point or he will say the number.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And if he’s still speaking Japanese, you can break out the
Sakura: 英語で大丈夫ですか?
Peter: Yes. And he will try and nine times out of ten, he will get the English word for track like he will get you that track number in English. Okay, so again give us the magical は(va) expression.
Sakura: 東京行き(ゆき)は?
Peter: Yeah. Which one is the train for Tokyo or we can do it for Osaka.
Sakura: 大阪行き(ゆき)は?
Peter: Yes which one is the train for Osaka. See how it all comes together ah and who told you Japanese is a tough language. Come on! A piece of cake, right, Sakura?
Sakura: Yeah 朝飯前


Peter: Yeah okay. So that’s going to be it for today. We will see you tomorrow with another lesson.
Sakura: また明日ね。
Peter: Be sure to stop by japanesepod101.com and check out the premium learning center. Inside we have material to bring everything you learned in the lesson together. Flashcards, quizzes really consolidate what you learned in today’s lesson. Stop by, say hi and be sure to leave us a post.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

Japanesepod101.com Verified
August 3rd, 2017 at 07:50 PM
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for posting!

We're glad you're enjoying our lessons and learning Japanese so well with us!

Please let us know if you have any questions ;)

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team Japanesepod101.com

August 3rd, 2017 at 02:21 PM
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Since I live in Canada I had to take French from grade 1 to grade 10 and I've already learned more Japanese from the first 6 survival phrases lessens then I did french en classe de francais.???

Japanesepod101.com Verified
June 14th, 2017 at 08:30 PM
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Red さん、


Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Indeed, the more you learn the language the better for traveling and doing different things in a foreign country ;)

Ganbatte kudasai :)

Please also check out our "Top 30 Travel Phrases" list:


If you have any questions, please let us know.

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team Japanesepod101.com

June 14th, 2017 at 07:29 AM
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Hello All,

Based on our recent experience, it is true that Japanese are reserved. When were in Tokyo, when we ask someone usually they are shy but they will do everything, spend time to help you figure out directions. They are really nice people! But sometimes you don't get a Japanese reply if they see you're a foreigner. Even if you ask in Japanese, they will reply in the simplest English. Most of the Eki staff or Train stations can speak in English. But in the streets, some will still reply in Japanese but it will be hard to listen to and understand because it will sound too fast for a beginner.

Because of language barrier, one time we ended up ordering and paying more food than we should and we also spent at least 3 hours extra just by hopping in the wrong train in Osaka. I learned a bit of survival phrases from the internet before the trip but not from JapanesePod101. I wish I did! I could have used some of these lines and saved me a lot of time and trouble.

I would really advice to spend more time learning here for a few months before going to Japan. Even learn how to read Kana and Kanji a bit. It will help you a lot reading signs (without English) at the train stations or figuring out things like buttons, functions from a washing machine, remote control of your tv in the hotel, reading labels on products that you need to buy, etc.

The more you learn the language, the faster you can solve things and you will have more time to enjoy Japan rather than stressing yourself how to get through the communication.

Were planning to go back, but this time in Hokkaido. I hope I will be ready by then :)

Good luck, keep on learning!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 8th, 2017 at 08:02 AM
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Rachel さん、


Basically iki is used in conversations.

When yuki is used, those situations are announcements at train stations or poetries.


Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

April 19th, 2017 at 10:39 AM
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When should you pronounce 行き as iki, and, when do you pronounce it as yuki?

Thanks! ?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 17th, 2016 at 08:09 AM
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Aidan Sowa さん、



You are welcome.

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

Aidan Sowa
October 7th, 2016 at 08:05 PM
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:thumbsup:Thank you! 朝飯前!:smiling_imp:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 20th, 2016 at 05:44 AM
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Rakefet san,


Thank you for your positive feedback.

douitashimashite. :smile:

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 7th, 2016 at 07:54 AM
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u r the best!!

it's realy fun learning this way.

arigato gozaimashita :D