Must-know Japanese Phrases & How to use them

Must-know Japanese Phrases & How to use them


Hey guys!
Today we’re going to introduce some extraordinarily useful must- know Japanese phrases for Japanese learners in the first stage, travelers, or people who just simply want to make Japanese friends.

Japanese Phrases for Meeting and Greeting

(General greeting)

O-genki desu ka.
How are you?

Genki desu.
I’m fine. Thank you.

Oaidekite ureshī desu.
おあいできて うれしいです。
I am very glad to meet you.

o hisashiburi desu ne
(Long time no see.)

JAPANESE PHRASES for Christmas and New Year greetings

merī kurisumasu
(Merry Christmas!)

akemashite omedetō gozaimasu
(I wish you a Happy New Year.)

kyūnenjū taihen osewa ni narimashita
(I’m very grateful to you for the kindness you showed us last year,)

kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu
(I look forward to your continued good will in the coming year.)

Other phrases

Eigo o hanasemasu ka.
(Do you speak English?)

Koko ni eigo o hanaseru hito wa imasu ka.
ここに えいごをはなせるひとは いますか。
Does anyone here speak English?

Watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi shika hanasemasen.
わたしは にほんごがすこししか はなせません。
I only speak a little Japanese.

O-namae wa nan desu ka.
What is your name?

Watashi no namae wa Kaori desu.
わたしのなまえは かおりです。
My name is Kaorii.

I don’t understand.

Nante iimashita ka.
What did you say?

Motto yukkuri hanashite kudasai.
もっと ゆっくりはなしてください。
Can you speak more slowly?

Yoku wakarimasu.
I understand you perfectly.

toire wa doko desu ka?
トイレはどこですか ?
(Where’s the toilet?)

Useful Tips!

 SOME OF THESE JAPANESE PHRASES are practical. Some of them are funny. Note that all of the phrases are pretty informal. Always only use with the people that you know well.
Confused already? Don’t worry about it.

Yoroshku onegaishimas.

This phrase is absolute magic. Say “yoroshiku” to any Japanese person in any situation and they will help you with anything and everything you need. It’s impossible to translate literally, but means something to the effect of, “Please do your best and treat me well.”
If you memorize nothing else before going to Japan, remember “yoroshiku” and you’re totally set. “Onegaishimasu” is a common word that means something similar to “please.”


This phrase means something like, “OK, I’m going for it!” or “Fighting!” A Japanese would say “Ganbarimasu” before taking a test or leaving the house for a job interview.
Japanese people will crack up if you say it before walking outside, eating noodles, or using a vending machine.

Mo dame. Yo ppara cchatta. Go-men!

At some point during your stay, Japanese people will probably try to make you drink past your limit. That’s when this phrase comes in handy. It means something like, “No more, I’m already drunk, sorry.”

i sshoni karaoke ni ikohka?

Shall we go to karaoke together? This is a good line to use if trying to pick someone up from the bar. Think of karaoke as a transition point between the bar and the love hotel.
Note: Please don’t pronounce “karaoke” with lots of EEE sounds. It should sound like “kah-rah-o-keh,” not “carry-oh-key.”

u mai!

Use this one when eating. It means something like, “It’s SO YUMMY!”

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