Going on a trip to Japan? Want to learn useful phrases to impress your Japanese friends? Knowing these common Japanese phrases will help you communicate while traveling or just hanging out with your friends.

Listen to the recording and mimic the speaker. Japanese has both pitch accents and whole sentence intonation. Listening to and mimicking the sound files over and over again will help improve your pronunciation. To learn more about Japanese pronunciation, please see Makoto Letter #8.

If you are a Makoto+ member or Patreon supporter (any level), download a free Anki flashcard deck for the phrases found on this lesson page. Not a member? Click here to learn more about Makoto+.

Saying Hello

おはようございます。

ohayou gozaimasu.

Good morning.

                                                 

こんにちは。

konnichi wa.

Hello; Good afternoon.


                                                 

こんばんは。

konban wa.

Good Evening.


                                 

元気(げんき)ですか?

genki desu ka?

How are you?


                                                 

元気(げんき)です。

genki desu.

I'm fine.


                                                 

最近(さいきん)どうですか?

saikin dou desu ka?

How have you been recently?


                                                 

ひさしぶり。

hisashiburi.

It has been a while.


ようこそ。

youkoso

Welcome.


Saying Good-bye

バイバイ。

bai bai.

Bye bye.

Note: From the English 'bye bye'

                                                 

じゃあ、またね。

jaa, mata ne.

See you later.


                                                 

さようなら。

sayounara.

Good-bye.


()をつけて。

ki o tsukete.

Take care; be careful.


                                                 

失礼(しつれい)します。

shitsurei shimasu.

Excuse me (said when leaving).


                                                 

おやすみなさい。

oyasumi nasai.

Good Night.


                                                 

おやすみ。

oyasumi.

Night.


Saying Sorry

すみません。

sumimasen.

Excuse me (apologizing).

Note: Sumimasen and gomen nasai can overlap in meaning, but listen for context when used

                                                 

ごめんなさい。

gomen nasai.

I'm sorry.


                                                 

(もう)(わけ)ございません。

moushi wake gozaimasen.

I am very sorry.  (I have no excuse. - formal)


Showing Gratitude

ありがとう。

arigatou

Thank you.


                                                 

どうもありがとうございます。

doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

Thank you very much.  (formal)


                                                 

どういたしまして。

dou itashimashite.

You are welcome.


Greetings

(はじ)めまして。

hajimemashite.

Nice to meet you.


                                                 

どうぞよろしくお(ねが)いします。

douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Nice to meet you.


About me

日本語(にほんご)(すこ)(はな)せます。

nihongo ga sukoshi hanasemasu.

I can speak a little Japanese.


                                                 

英語(えいご)()かりますか?

eigo ga wakarimasu ka?

Do you understand English?


                                                 

(わたし)はアメリカから()ました。

watashi wa amerika kara kimashita.

I am from America.


                                                 

(わたし)は__です。

watashi wa ___ desu.

I am ___.


                                                 

(わたし)名前(なまえ)は__です。

watashi no namae wa ___ desu.

My name is ___.


                                                 

(わたし)は__と(もう)します。

watashi wa ___ to moushimasu.

My name is ___. (polite)


                                                 

名前(なまえ)は?

onamae wa?

What is your name?


                                                 

こちらは___さんです。

kochira wa ___-san desu.

This is Mr. (or Ms.) ____.


Conversational Phrases

もう一回(いっかい)()ってください。

mou ikkai itte kudasai.

Please say that again.


                                                 

~とは日本語(にほんご)でなんと()いますか?

~ to wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka?

How do I say (~) in Japanese?


                                                 

あのう、すみませんが・・・

anou, sumimasen ga...

Sorry to bother you, but...


                                                 

はい、そうです。

hai, sou desu.

Yes, that's right.


                                                 

その(とお)りです。

sono toori desu.

That's exactly right.


                                                 

いいえ、(ちが)います。

Iie, chigaimasu.

No, that's wrong.


                                                 

()かりません。

wakarimasen.

I don't understand.


                                                 

よく()かりません。

yoku wakarimasen.

I don't really understand.


                                                 

()かりますか?

wakarimasu ka?

Do you understand?


                                                 

はい、()かります。

hai, wakarimasu.

Yes, I understand.


                                                 

そうですか?

sou desu ka?

Is that so?


                                                 

本当(ほんとう)ですか?

hontou desu ka?

Are you sure?; Is that true?


                                                 

おなかがすきました。

onaka ga sukimashita.

I'm hungry.


                                                 

どこかで()べましょうか?

dokoka de tabemashou ka?

Shall we go somewhere to eat?


                                                 

用意(ようい)ができました。

youi ga dekimashita.

I'm (we're) ready.

                                                 

色々(いろいろ)ありがとうございました。

iroiro arigatou gozaimashita.

Thanks for everything.


                                                 

(おし)えてくださってありがとう。

oshiete kudasatte arigatou.

Thank you for your suggestions (help).


                                                 

だれか英語(えいご)(はな)せますか?

dareka eigo ga hanasemasuka?

Is there someone here who speaks English?


                                                 

電話(でんわ)使(つか)ってもいいですか?

denwa o tsukatte mo ii desu ka?

May I use the phone?


                                                 

(えき)はどこですか?

eki wa doko desu ka?

Where is the (train) station?


                                                 

手洗(てあら)いはどこですか?

otearai wa doko desu ka?

Where is the bathroom?


                                                 

これはどういう意味(いみ)ですか?

kore wa dou iu imi desu ka?

What does this mean?


                                                 

いいえ、結構(けっこう)です。

Iie, kekkou desu.

No, thanks.


Useful Forms

~はどこですか?

~wa doko desu ka?

Where is …?


                                                 

~がほしいです。

~ga hoshii desu.

I want…


                                                 

~が()きです。

~ga suki desu.

I like…


Emergency

病気(びょうき)です。

byouki desu.

I'm sick.


                                                 

迷子(まいご)です。

maigo desu.

I'm lost.


                                                 

(たす)けて!

tasukete!

Help!


                                                 

(あぶ)ない!

abunai!

Danger!  Look out!


                                                 

警察(けいさつ)

keisatsu!

Police!


                                                 

火事(かじ)

kaji!

Fire!


                                                 

地震(じしん)

jishin!

Earthquake!


Hanging Out

元気(げんき)でしたか?

ogenki deshita ka?

How have you been?


                                                 

最近(さいきん)はどうですか?

saikin wa dou desu ka?

How have things been recently?


                                                 

学校(がっこう)はどうですか?

gakkou wa dou desu ka?

How are things at school?


                                                 

仕事(しごと)(いそが)しいですか?

shigoto wa isogashii desu ka?

Are you busy at work?


                                                 

テレビでも()ますか?

terebi demo mimasu ka?

Do you want to watch TV?


                                                 

面白(おもしろ)番組(ばんぐみ)をやっています。

omoshiroi bangumi o yatte imasu.

There is a good (TV) show on.


                                                 

(なに)がしたいですか?

nani ga shitai desu ka?

What do you want to do?


                                                 

テレビゲームをやりますか?

terebi ge-mu o yarimasu ka?

Would you like to play a video game?


                                                 

(なに)がありますか?

nani ga arimasu ka?

What do you have?


                                                 

(なに)()みたいですか?

nani ka nomitai desu ka?

Would you like to drink something?


                                                 

いいえ、結構(けっこう)です。

iie, kekkou desu.

No, thank you.


                                                 

はい、(みず)()しいです。

hai, mizu ga hoshii desu.

Yes, I'd like some water.


                                                 

コーラがありますか?

ko-ra ga arimasu ka?

Do you have a cola?


                                                 

コーヒーはいかがですか?

ko-hi- wa ikaga desu ka?

How about some coffee?


                                                 

(あか)ワインか(しろ)ワイン、どっちが()きですか?

aka wain ka shiro wain, dotchi ga suki desu ka?

Which do you like red or white wine?


                                                 

(ちゃ)()みたいです。

ocha ga nomitai desu.

I'd like to drink some (green) tea.


                                                 

紅茶(こうちゃ)がありますか?

koucha ga arimasu ka?

Do you have any (black) tea?


                                                 

(のど)(かわ)きました。

nodo ga kawakimashita.

I'm thirsty.


                                                 

(なに)()べたいですか?

nani ka tabetai desu ka?

Would you like to eat something?


                                                 

はい、(なに)がありますか?

hai, nani ga arimasu ka?

Yes, what do you have?


                                                 

ピザを注文(ちゅうもん)しましょうか?

piza o chuumon shimashou ka?

Shall we order pizza?


                                                 

ここで()べましょうか?

koko de tabemashou ka?

Shall we eat here?


                                                 

(なか)()きました。

onaka ga sukimashita.

I'm hungry.


(すわ)ってください。

suwatte kudasai.

Please have a seat.


                                                 

ちょっと()てください。

chotto kite kudasai.

Please come here.


                                                 

これを()てください。

kore o mite kudasai.

Please take a look at this.


                                                 

散歩(さんぽ)をしましょうか。

sanpo o shimashou ka.

Let's take a walk.


                                                 

ちょっと(はなし)があります。

chotto hanashi ga arimasu.

I have something to tell you.


Congratulations

おめでとうございます。

omedetou gozaimasu.

Congratulations!

Note: This is useful for any context

                                                 

本日(ほんじつ)はおめでとうございます。

honjitsu wa omedetou gozaimasu.

Congratulations on this happy occasion!


Condolences & Sorry

()たせしました。

omatase shimashita.

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.


                                                 

迷惑(めいわく)をおかけしました。

gomeiwaku o okakeshimashita.

I'm sorry for causing so much trouble.


                                                 

(もう)(わけ)ございません。

moushiwake gozaimasen.

I am very sorry.


                                                 

(おそ)れいりますが・・・

osore irimasu ga...

I beg your pardon, but...


                                                 

すみませんが・・・

sumimasen ga...

Sorry, but...


 お大事(だいじ)に。

odaiji ni.

Take care of yourself.

Note: Often said to someone who is sick or in the hospital

                               

もうこんな時間(じかん)

mou konna jikan!

Look at the time!


                                                 

(つか)れさまでした。

otsukaresama deshita.

Good work.


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