Japanese Phrases

This page contains a table including the following: Japanese phrases, expressions and words in Japanese, conversation and idioms, Japanese greetings, and survival phrases. It also helps if you simply want to know what to say when chatting in Japanese!

Most of the sentences below are used for everyday life conversations, so they might come handy if you memorize them.

If you don't know how to say a word then check our alphabet in Japanese which can be found on the menu above to get some help.

Japanese Phrases


    

English Phrases Japanese Phrases
 
English Greetings Japanese Greetings:
Hi! Yaa. *1   やあ。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Good morning! Ohayou gozaimasu.   おはようございます。
Good evening! Konbanw   こんばんは。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Welcome! (to greet someone) Youkoso irasshai mashita.   ようこそいらっしゃいました。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
How are you? Ogenki desuka?   お元気ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm fine, thanks! Watashi wa genki desu. Arigato!   わたしは元気です。ありがとう。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
And you? Anatawa?   あなたは? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Good/ So-So. Genki desu. / maa-maa desu.   元気です。/ まあまあです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Thank you (very much)! Arigatou! *2   ありがとう! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
You're welcome! (for "thank you") Dou itashi mashite.   どういたしまして。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I missed you so much! Samishi katta desu. *3   さみしかったです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What's new? Saikin dou desuka?   最近どうですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Nothing much Kawari nai desu.   変わりないです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Good night! Oyasumi nasai.   おやすみなさい。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
See you later! Mata atode aimashou!   またあとで会いましょう! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Good bye! Sayonara!   さようなら! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Asking for Help and Directions
I'm lost Mayotte shimai mashita.   迷ってしまいました。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Can I help you? Otetsudai shimashouka?   お手伝いしましょうか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Can you help me? Tetsudatte kuremasuka? *4   手伝ってくれますか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)? (Toire/yakkyoku) wa doko desuka?   (トイレ/薬局) はどこですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Go straight! then turn left/ right! Massugu itte kudasai. Soshite, hidari / migi ni magatte kudasai
まっすぐ行ってください。そして、 左/右にまがってください。
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm looking for john. John wo sagashite imasu.   Johnを探しています。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
One moment please! Chotto matte kudasai.   ちょっと待ってください。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Hold on please! (phone) Chotto matte kudasai.   ちょっと待ってください。
How much is this? Kore wa ikura desuka?   これはいくらですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Excuse me ...! (to ask for something) Sumimasen!   すみません! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Excuse me! ( to pass by) Sumimasen!   すみません!
Come with me! Watashi to issho ni kite kudasai.   私といっしょに来てください。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example


    

How to Introduce Yourself
 
Do you speak (English/ Japanese)? Anata wa eigo/nihongo wo hanashimasu ka?
あなたは(英語/日本語)を話しますか?
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Just a little. Sukoshi dake.   少しだけ。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What's your name? Namae wa nandesu ka?   名前は何ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
My name is ... Watashi no namae wa …..   私の名前は・・・ Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Mr.../ Mrs.…/ Miss… *5 “san” is adequate for all.   ・・・さん Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Nice to meet you! Hajimemashite! or Oai dekite ureshii desu. *6
はじめまして!/お会いできてうれしいです!
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
You're very kind! Anata wa totemo shinsetsu desu.   あなたはとてもしんせつです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Where are you from? Doko no shusshin desu ka?   どこの出身ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm from (the U.S/ Japan) Amerika/Nihon kara desu.   アメリカ/日本からです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm (American) Watashi wa Amerika jin desu.   私はアメリカ人です。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Where do you live? Doko ni sun de imasu ka?   どこに住んでいますか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I live in (the U.S/ Japan) Watashi wa amerika / nihon ni sundeimasu.
私はアメリカ/日本に住んでいます。
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Did you like it here? Kokowa suki ni narimashita ka?   ここは好きになりましたか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Japan is a wonderful country Nihon ha subarashii kuni desu.   日本は素晴らしい国です。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What do you do for a living? Osigoto wa nandesu ka?   お仕事は何ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I work as a (translator/ businessman) Osigoto wa nandesu ka?   ほんやく/会社員として働いています。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I like Japanese Watashi wa nihongo ga suki desu.   私は日本語が好きです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I've been learning Japanese for 1 month Watashi wa nihongo wo ichikagetu narrate imasu.
私は日本語を一ヶ月習っています。
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Oh! That's good! Sorewa iidesu ne.   それはいいですね。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
How old are you? Toshi wa ikutsu desu ka?   年はいくつですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm (twenty, thirty...) years old. Watshi wa (20, 30) sai desu.   私は(20,30)才です。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I have to go Ikanakutewa narimasen.   行かなくてはなりません。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I will be right back! Sugu modori masu.   すぐ戻ります。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Wish Someone Something
Good luck! Ganbatte ne! *7   がんばってね! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Happy birthday! Tanjyoubi omedetou gozaimasu!   誕生日おめでとうございます! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Happy new year! Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.
あけましておめでとうございます。
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Merry Christmas! Merii Kurisumasu! *8   メリークリスマス! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Congratulations! Omedetou!   おめでとう! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Enjoy! (for meals...) (noun, etc) wo tanoshinde kudasai.   ( ) を楽しんでください。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'd like to visit Japan one day Ituka nihon wo otozure tai.   いつか日本を訪れたい。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Say hi to John for me John ni yoroshiku to tsutaete kudasai.
Johnによろしくと伝えてください。
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Bless you (when sneezing) Odaiji ni.   お大事に。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Good night and sweet dreams! Oyasumi nasai.   おやすみなさい。
Solving a Misunderstanding
I'm Sorry! (if you don't hear something) Sumimasen.   すみません。
Sorry (for a mistake) Gomenasai.   ごめんなさい。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
No Problem! Daijyoubu desu.   大丈夫です。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Can You Say It Again? Mouichido itte kuremasuka?   もういちど言ってくれますか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Can You Speak Slowly? Yukkuri shabette kuremasuka?   ゆっくりしゃべってくれますか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Write It Down Please! Kaite kudasai.   書いてください。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I Don't Understand! Wakarimasen.   わかりません。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I Don't Know! Shirimasen.   知りません。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I Have No Idea. Wakarimasen.   わかりません。
What's That Called In Japanese? Arewa nihongo de nanto iimasu ka?
あれは日本語で何といいますか?
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What Does "gato" Mean In English? “Omedeto” wa eigo de douiu imi desu ka?
Omedeto は英語でどういう意味ですか?
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How Do You Say "Please" In Japanese? “Please” wa nihongo de nanto iimasu ka?
“Please” は日本語で何と言いますか?
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What Is This? Korewa nandesu ka?   これは何ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
My Japanese is bad. Watashi no nihongo wa heta desu.   私の日本語はへたです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I need to practice my Japanese Nihonn go wo renshu suru hitsuyou ga arimasu.
日本語を練習する必要があります。
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Don't worry! Goshinpai naku.   ご心配なく。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Japanese Expressions and Words
Good/ Bad/ So-So. Yoi / Warui / maa-maa   よい/悪い/まあまあ Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Big/ Small Ookii/Chiisai   大きい/小さい Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Today/ Now Kyou / Ima   今日/今 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Tomorrow/ Yesterday Ashita / Kinou   明日/昨日 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Yes/ No Hai / iie   はい/いいえ Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Here you go! (when giving something) Hai, douzo!   はい、どうぞ。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Do you like it? Suki desu ka?   好きですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I really like it! Honto ni suki desu.   ほんとに好きです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I'm hungry/ thirsty. Onaka ga suki masita. / Nodo ga kawaki mashita.
おなかが空きました。/のどがかわきました。
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In The Morning/ Evening/ At Night. Asa ni, yuugata ni, yoru ni   朝に/夕方に/夜に Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
This/ That. Here/There Kore / Are Koko / Asoko   これ/あれ  ここ/あそこ Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Me/ You. Him/ Her. Watashi / anata Kare / Kanojyo   私/あなた 彼/彼女 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Really! Honto!   ほんと! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Look! Mite!   見て! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Hurry up! Isoide!   急いで! Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What? Where? Nani? Doko?   何?  どこ? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
What time is it? Nanji desu ka?   何時ですか? Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
It's 10 o'clock. 07:30pm. Jyuji desu. Gogo hichi ji sanjyu pun desu.
十時です。午後7時30分です。
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Give me this! Kore wo kudasai!   これをください。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I love you! Daisuki desu./ Anata wo aishite imasu. *9
大好きです。/あなたを愛しています。
Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I feel sick. Choshi ga warui desu.   調子が悪いです。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
I need a doctor Byouin ni ikitai.   病院に行きたい。 Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
One, Two, Three Ichi, ni, san   いち、に、さん Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Four, Five, Six Yon, go, roku   よん、ご、ろく Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example
Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten Nana (shichi) hachi, kyuu, jyuu   なな(ひち)、はち、きゅう、じゅう Download Adobe Flash to hear audio example

*1 This may be a kind of literary/writing expression… and it’s seldom used in conversation. But never is unnatural.
*2 Arigato and Arigato gozaimasu. There’s no big difference between them, “Arigato gozaimasu” is more polite.
*3 (Anata ga inakute) Samishi katta desu : Abbreviated Anata ga inakute.
*4 Usually we just say “Excuse me/ Sumimasen”, and “Can you help me” is included in this “Sumimasen”.
*5 ...san is a very normal way. Add after both first and family name like Koizumi san or Jyunichiro san.
*6 This sentence can directly be Oai dekite ureshii desu. If you meet person for the first time, you can say Hajimemashite.
*7 Direct translation is Kouun wo inorimasu.
*8 Christmas is not really celebrated by the Japanese and therefore Merry Christmas is not a common greeting you would hear.
*9 This is one of the Japanese language mysteries, I love you is expressed in progressive aspect like “I am loving you”. But basically it’s seldom used. Instead, Daisuki desu is used casually.

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some Japanese phrases, expressions and words. Make sure to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. If you want to practice what you have learnt here, go to Language Test.