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Basic Beginning Japanese Phrases

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Meeting for the First Time

はじめまして hajimemashite - meeting for the first time. Let's start on the right foot together.

どうぞ よろしく お願いします。 douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu - More polite than the above.
こちらこそ、 よろしく お願いします kochirakoso, yoroshiku onegaishimasu - Same here, nice to meet you too.


私は___です。 watashi wa _____ desu. I am ______.
私は___と申します。 watashi wa ___ to moushimasu. I am _____. (more polite)
お名前は? onamae wa? What is your name?
こちらは田中さんです。 kochira wa tanaka san desu. This is Mr. (or Ms/Mrs) Tanaka.
私はアメリカからきました。 watashi wa amerika kara kimashita. I am from America.


おはようございます ohayou gozaimasu Good morning.
こんにちは konnichi wa Hello (during the day)
こんばんは konban wa Good evening


元気ですか? genki desu ka? How are you?
元気です。 genki desu. I'm fine.
英語が話せますか? eigo ga hanasemasu ka? Can you speak English?
日本語が少し話せます。nihongo ga sukoshi hanasemasu. I can speak a little Japanese.
もっとゆっくり話してください。 motto yukkuri hanashite kudasai. Please speak slower.
もう一回話してください。 mou ikkai hanashite kudasai. Please repeat that again.
分かりますか? wakarimasu ka? Do you understand?
分かりません。 wakarimasen. I don't understand.
分かります。 wakarimasu. I understand.

Holidays, Special Occasions:

あけまして おめでとう! akemashite omedetou - Happy New Year!
今年も どうぞ よろしく kotoshi mo douzo yoroshiku - This year too, show me kindness.
( 本日は )  おめでとう ございます (honjitsu wa) omedetou gozaimasu - (On this day) Congratulations!!!

Thank You

どうも ありがとう ございます。 doumo arigatou gozaimasu - The long one.
ありがとうございます。arigatou gozaimasu - Shorter.
ありがとう arigatou - Shorter still.
どうも doumo - Shortest
どういたしまして douitashimashite You're welcome.

Other Non-Standard Thank yous

毎度 ありがとう ございます。 maido arigatou gozaimasu - Used mainly in shops. meaning: Thank you, every time.
毎度 あり maido ari - a shortened 'cute' form of the above.
おおきに ookini - Osaka dialect. Thanks

I'm Sorry

御免なさい gomen nasai -I am sorry. Used when you did a bad thing.
すみません sumimasen - I am sorry; Pardon, but... Used when you did a bad thing and when trying to get someones attention. Excuse me...
申し訳ありません moushi wake arimasen - I have no excuse for my bad bahavior, sorry.


バイバイ bai bai Bye bye
またね mata ne See you again
さようなら sayounara Good-bye

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Basic Japanese words

In addition to the basic Japanese phrases, I think it would be very useful to have a list of basic Japanese words used in daily life, such as: gohan, ofuro, ohashi, genkan, heya, toire, gakkou, sakana, mizu, oyu, oyatsu, terebi, okaasan, etc.

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Check out our online audio

Check out our online audio phrasebook:

It has most if not all of those words.

TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone

OK, I have sound now

Thanks, I now have sound. It took me only 2 minutes to download Adobe Flash Player 10 and install it.

Why no sound?

Why no sound on this page?

clay's picture

There is sound, but you need

There is sound, but you need the Adobe Flash player. If you don't see the play buttons, you should download the free Flash Player.

TheJapanShop.com- Japanese language learning materials
Checkout our iPhone apps: TheJapanesePage.com/iPhone

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