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Going to Japan? Here are some Japanese phrases to memorize on the plane.

This post is dedicated to Sarah Menkedick, who is currently learning Japanese in Nagoya, Japan.

SOME OF THESE JAPANESE phrases are practical. Some of them are funny. All 10 will greatly enhance your trip to Japan.

All of the phrases are pretty informal, especially the one about crapping your pants.

Note that I spell the phrases phonetically in the bold text, but spell them with the most common romanization of the Japanese characters when explaining a point.

Confused already? Don’t worry about it.

1. “Yo-ro-sh-ku o-neh-gai-shi-mus.”

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”.

2. “Yosh. Gahn-bah-di-mus.”

This phrase means something like, “OK, I’m going for it,” or “I’ll do my best”. 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. Try saying it before using useful phrase # 8.

3. “Ara! Onara suru tsu-mori datta keh-do, un-chi ga de-chatta.”

The literal translation of this useful phrase is “Oops! I meant to fart but poop came out”.

Saying this useful phrase never gets old, especially in public places, especially on a first date and most especially if it’s clearly one of only 10 Japanese phrases that you’ve memorized.

When in Southeast Asia, I especially enjoy muttering in Japanese about crapping my pants while walking past Japanese tourists. The reactions are priceless.

4. “Mo da-meh. Yoh-para-chatta. 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.”

Where is this? Who am I? I don’t understand anything.

This is what you say after failing to use useful phrase # 4 in time.

6. “Ee-show ni kah-rah-o-keh ni ee-koh ka?”

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”.

7. “Hon-toe ni oh-ee-shee des yo!”

Use this one when eating. It means something like, “For real, it’s delicious!”

Hontou ni means “for real” or “really” or “I’m not kidding.” Japanese people are always telling sweet little white lies, so dropping a “hontou ni” from time to time is very much appreciated.

8. “Ah-nah-tah wa ha-ruh no ee-chee ban no sah-ku-rah yo-ree u-tsu-ku-shee.”

This classic Japanese pick-up line means “You’re more beautiful than the first cherry blossom of spring.”

>9. “Ni-hon dai-skee”.

Japan is the best. I love Japan. When in doubt, just smile, nod and repeat.

10. “Koh-nah ni kee-ray na to-ko-ro wa hah-jee-meh-teh mee-tah!”

Japanese people love it when you gush about their country. This phrase means, “I’ve never seen a place so beautiful before”.

Bust it out at famous attractions and you’ll meet with instant approval.

Want To Live In Japan?

Check out: How To Get A Job Teaching In Japan

Do You Speak Any Japanese?

Help us all out by sharing a useful phrase in the comments section below.

Language Learning


 

About The Author

Tim Patterson

Tim Patterson is a long-time contributor and former contributing editor at Matador Network.

  • http://pocketcultures.com Liz

    The phrase that got the most use when I went to Japan was ‘eigo de daijobu desu ka?’ (something like is it ok to speak English?). I always feel uncomfortable just starting off speaking English if I don’t speak the language, and people seemed to appreciate that I was asking first.

    I wish I had learnt some of these though!

    Another thing I would recommend is listen to a few podcast lessons to get used to the new sounds – some of the letters sound quite different the way they are pronounced in English.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks for the thoughtful note and contribution, Liz! I checked out your website – good stuff!

    • Eric

      watashi no chinpo wa ookii = my penis is large

  • http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com Turner

    Nice Tim – I didn’t know about a few of these. Please take down that photo of the Shibuya girls, though… it’s freaking me out.

    Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu
    “A true eagle hides its talons”

  • http://www.huevosalamexicana.com Sarah

    Thanks for the shout out, Tim! 2 and 3 are definitely going to come in handy. Could’ve busted out 2 in front of the instant coffee machine this morning…

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Here’s one more for you, Sarah -

      Koo-hee no-ma-nai to sugu oh-ko-ra-re-chau kara, choo-dai.

      “If I don’t get my coffee soon I’ll get pissed off so give it.”

  • http://musictravelwrite.wordpress.com/ Michelle

    Hilarious! I need an article like this for Korean…

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      paging Chris Tharp…Mr. Tharp….we need an article from you…

  • http://lusciousasnaked.blogspot.com Eleonora

    I think the fifth is essential u_u

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      yeah, especially for those Lost in Translation moments of total disorientation.

  • http://matadorabroad.com Tim Patterson

    Glad you guys liked the picks! Thanks for the contribution, Turner.

  • http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com Turner

    #5 kind of reminded me of the Gaijin Invasion song from Adam and Joe Go Tokyo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHHWc7_-3zU

    Oh, and their Japanese insults episode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdT4lpJhyAY&feature=related

  • Leigh

    These were the most useful phrases for me while I was in Japan (though, admittedly, not as much fun as yours)

    “toy-reh wah dough-koh dehs-kah?” – Where’s the toilet?
    “kahn-jee woe deh-kee-mah-sehn.” – I can’t read kanji.
    “ee-mah nahn-jee dehs-kah?” – What time is it? (for the first half of my trip I was running around asking strangers “Toki wa nan desu ka?” instead until a group of middle school kids laughed at me and corrected me)
    “Koh-reh wah California, koh-reh wah New York, koh-reh wah Georgia. Wah-tah-shee wah Georgia kah-rah.” – This is California, this is New York, this is Georgia. I’m from Georgia. (almost every person I talked to asked me if I was from California or New York, so I started pointing out US geography on a map after telling them no)

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks for the contribution, Leigh, much appreciated.

  • Daniel McCarthy

    At mealtime it is customary to say, “Ita daki masu” (Eetah docky moss), just before digging in. This is said by everyone at the table and is similar to a blessing before the meal, although it has, mercifully, no religious connotation. Similarly, “Gochiso samma deshita” (go chee so samma deshtah), which means, roughly, “It was a wonderful meal, thank you very much!”
    I spent a month in Japan in 1984 with Japanese friends, staying with their families all over the country, and it was the most magical month of my magical life. Kyoto, especially, is not to be missed.
    I hope this will be helpful.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      I agree with you about Kyoto – especially Fushimi Inari, one of my favorite destinations in Japan. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://www.jsfishtankaquariums.com Fish Tank Aquariums

    I will make sure to keep these in mind before traveling to Japan.

  • Daniel McCarthy

    PS–
    “Gochiso samma deshita” is said AFTER the meal on the way out the door.

  • Laura

    It would be nice to have these in romaji as well as the phonetic spellings–it just feels really awkward reading it this way for some reason. But this is still quite the amusing list! \o/

  • Alan

    Man, Japanese looks like it’s really hard. I’m glad all I have to do is improve my Spanish!

  • http://www.vuljespaarpot.nl gratis

    Japan is a wonderfull country! So different, but very nice to visit

  • tom gates

    we really should be doing this as a series. this rules and i’d print it before going to japan, for sure. the good thing is that you’re also pocket-sized, so i could just put you in my luggage and have you translate for me.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Tom, you don’t need to put me in your luggage – just keep a supply of cashew nuts on hand and I’ll follow you around.

  • Silva

    I spent a short time in Japan Last year. Most amazing place I’ve ever been.
    Anyway A few MUST HAVES this post missed

    #1. Sue-Me-Mah-Sen. You will here and use this 100 times a day. Van be used for “sorry / excuse me / to get someones attention / if someone is in yourway ” its a very very common term in Japan. if u bump someone by addicent of if you want to call a waiter it works!

    Kan Pai. This is to toast. like “cheers”

    Ichiban, Ee-Chee-bahn. This kinda of means NUMBER ONE. or Favourite. you will see it everywhere. and can use it. for example, if you try some new foods or drink. they will want to know which u like best.

    DAH-MEH. means NO! cancel! reverse! stop! it used used often to foreighners if u do something wrong.

    DOH MOE is very casual thanks. you will learn a more formal one from transalation books. but this is what the locals say. so they are very impressed when it is used.

    If you are interested in others or more information about japan. pic, tips etc.
    Please email. Thanks.,

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Good contributions, thanks!

  • http://www.mikesryukyugallery.com Ryukyu Mike

    Stray-she-mas: excuse me (when you’re trying to get around somebody).
    Sue-me-massen excuse me (when you want to ask a question)
    Dozo: Please, go ahead
    Domo: Thanks (Everybody knows “Domo Arrigato, Mr Roboto”, right?)

    For Taxi drivers:
    Ma-sue-gu: straight
    Me-gi : right
    He-da-ri : left
    Coach-chi : here

    Typin’ finger runnin outa ink. Good dictionary; better idea !

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks Mike – Shitsurei-simasu was the one phrase that I could never seem to wrap my tongue around. I always just mumbled it instead.

  • http://serenamathews.blogspot.com Serena Mathews

    I’m studying Japanese right now and it’s pretty easy. Here’s some things to remember. Rember the U is silent is Gozimasu, Desu, Wakarimasu etc.
    Ohayoo Gozimasu – Oh-hi-yoh go-zi-ma-su
    Good Morning
    Ekaga Desu ka – Ee-kah-gah de-su kah-
    How are you
    OR
    Ogenki desu ka – Oh-gen-ke-ii de-su kah

    Konnichi-wa (Everyone knows this one)

    Konbawa – Kon-bah-wah
    Good Evening

    Anata-wa Nihon-go ga wakarimasu ka? An-at-ah-wa Ni-hon go ga wah-kari-mas
    Do you understand Japanese?

    Anata-wa ego ga wakarimasu ka? An-at-ah-wa eh-go go wah-kari-mas
    Do you understand english?

    Wakarimasu Wah-kari-mas
    Understand

    Wakarimasen Wah-kari-masen
    Don’t Understand

    Hai
    Yes

    Iie
    No

    anata-wa American-jin Desu ka?
    Are you American?

    There’s lots more. I highly recommend Pimsleurs Japanese Lessons. They are about 30 minutes each lesson, but it gets you learning fast.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Good additions, but it’s important not to overuse “anata” – Japanese usually just intuit by context who you’re talking about.

  • Katie

    Kochira wa tomadachi ________. It means something like “Hello, this is my friend ______.”

  • Karuko

    Another few useful phrases to use when in Japan:

    ______ wa doko desu ka? = Where is ________?
    Would be useful for finding certain places, for example, Tokyo Tower, Train Station, convenience store, etc.

    Arigato/Douitashimashite (dou-ee-tah-shee-mah-shi-teh) = Thank you/You’re Welcome
    Self explanatory.

    Yukkuri o hanshite kudasai (yoo-koo-ree wo hah-nah-shee-teh koo-dah-sigh) = Please speak slowly.
    Good for when you understand what they’re saying, but they’re speaking a tad too fast.

    Doko no omise wa iindesuka? (doh-koh no oh-mee-seh wah eeen-dess-kah) = Where is a good place to eat/drink?
    Locals always know where its good to eat and drink, or have a great time all together.

    Kore wa doko ni kaemasuka? (koh-reh wah doh-koh nee kah-ehh-mah-suu-kah) = Where can I buy this?
    Useful for when you have a magazine with a photo of something you’d like to buy.

    Enjoy~
    Shitsureshimasu~

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Arigatou gozaimasu!

  • http://skybase.deviantart.com Skybase

    Hello there! Very entertaining article, though I spotted a couple errors in terms of pronunciation.

    Example:
    “Yosh. Gahn-bah-di-mus.” Should be “Yosh. Gann-Bari Masu.”

    “Ni-hon dai-skee”. Should be “Nihon Daisuki.”

    Instead of using the English phonetic pronunciation, its better off using romaji.

    - Just sayin.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks skybase – I used phonetics to make the list easy for beginners. To my ear, the “ri” sound in Ganbarimasu sounds more like a “d” than an “r”. It’s not Gan Bah Ree, it’s more like Gan Bah Di … and the romanization “Suki” never made sense to me when the word is pronounced “ski” or “skee”.

  • chris

    Great list, but I wonder why #3 is so effective? If anyone ever said that in English here in Sydney they’d get crazy looks.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      I enjoy crazy looks once in a while.

  • chris

    Great list, but I wonder why you think #3 is effective? If anyone ever said that in English here in Sydney they’d get crazy looks.

  • http://www.mikesryukyugallery.com Ryukyu Mike

    Just read in this morning’s newspaper about a gadget like an ipod that’s gonna translate and speak for you ! I ain’t buyin’ no more dictionaries !

  • http://poweredbytofu.com/ Powered by Tofu

    Watashi wa vegetarian desu. “I’m a vegetarian!”

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      …sakana wa daijoobu. “fish is OK”.

  • ben

    itadakimasu (lit: i receive – say before receiving food from someone/eating) seems pretty legit. along with gochisoosama deshta (that was delicious! – post meal). host family musts

  • Jen

    I stumbled this article and I’m so glad that I did. I really enjoyed it and I’m sitting here alone in my room at 5 a.m., speaking Japanese phrases and laughing my butt off at #3. My family is sleeping so hopefully they don’t hear me because they will think I’ve lost it…since I don’t normally speak Japanese. lol

    Thumbs up on Stumble! I can’t wait to read more of your articles! You are funny, remind me of my brother Jason!

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks Jen!

  • joey

    some nihongo phrases: (read each syllable)

    ba’ka = same as s.o.b.
    o na’ma’e wa = what’s your name? (informal) anata wa namae nan desu ka? (formal)
    da’me = bad/not good
    ima nan ji? = what time is it?
    i’chi = one
    ni = two
    san = three
    shi = four
    go = 5
    roku,
    nana
    hat’chi
    ku
    ju = 10, and so on..

    nice to learn a few japanese words….

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  • http://www.2getitnow.com tommy

    These are great. I am sure American phrases sound geeky to them as well. I am set now and packing my bags to go next week.

    Thanks for posting.

  • andzaa

    very usefull and funny
    thnx for posting

  • Cody

    Eehhh, I can kinda understand the ri in ganbarimasu being heard as di…but if you try and pronounce it like that I’m sure you’d get an extra funny look (as opposed to the funny look they’re going to give you for trying to speak Japanese anyways). It’s just the strange l/r combo they have going on. I totally agree on the romanization of ‘suki’ though. The only time I hear that u is in the grocery store recording “su-ki su-ki o-niku su-ki su-ki”…that plays in the meat dept of my local grocery.

    I’m also surprised no one has mentioned the great phrase when you’re shopping in a small store “kore wa ee-kura dess-ka” -How much is this? Sometimes prices can be kinda confusing, and it’s nice to know before you’re shocked at the register.

    Oh, and jya-mata or mata-ne, ie See you later.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      Thanks for the note, Cody. Where in Japan do you live?

    • http://www.keepingpaceinjapan.com Turner

      Thank you, Cody! I had been trying forever to decipher those lyrics – I thought it said “onaka su-ki su-ki”

  • Mark

    when I was 18 I went to visit my grandfather, who had lived in Japan for 30 years. He taught me many phrases, but the one that always stuck with me we “Ben-joe wah-doko deska?” I was led to believe that it meant “Where is the restroom?”, but years later learned that it is a more vulgar form of that phrase, translating to something like “Where is the shitter?”

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  • http://www.ninja-girl.net(ThePicturesOfMeAreVeryOld) Laura Summersall

    Konnichiwa! This website ROCKS! I’m 13 Years old and I LOVE NIHON !!!!!!!!!!! I’m Crazy about anything Nihongo!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a Japanese Fan, dressing gown, phrase book etc. NIHONGO RULES!!!!!!!!

    Mate Ne!
    (See Ya!)

    ローラ (Laura)

  • http://www.monterosa-nepal.com Nepal expedition

    Thanks so much for these list. very usefull post and help full when we travel to japan

  • ScottoSensei

    If you’re planning on heading to the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara..) and want to be everyone’s favorite gaijin, it’s advisable to learn some of the Osaka dialect or “Osaka-ben”. For Osakaens (?), this loud, lovable dialect is a defining characteristic, one which distinguishes them from the much more reserved Kanto region. They take great pride in it, and I promise you that they will go absolutely apeshit if you use any of the following phrases:

    First, most importantly:
    1. Nan-day-ya-nen – This essentially means, “What the Fuck!?!?”, but can be used in a much more casual sense. One must be quick when using it, as the average Osakaen will break it out within .034329932390 milliseconds of the disagreed upon comment. When saying it, you must, under all possible circumstances, accompany the phrase with a light, backhanded bitch slap to the general shoulder region of your target.

    2. Metcha – This an Osakan slang way of saying “very” or “a lot”. Like “hella”, “wicked”, “mad”, etc.. For emphasis, the speaker can place a pause between the Met and the cha ( met…..cha).

    3. Mo-kari-ma-ka? – Literally means “How is business?”, but this is an izakaya (Japanese traditional alcohol and delicious food establishment) favorite way to ask “How’s it going”.

    4. Bochi-bochi de na – The one and only way to respond to # 3. Not too sure of the translation, but use it, and you will be a gaijin superhero.

    5. A-ho – idiot, fool, asshole, George W. Bush

    6. Ya-de – I’m pretty sure this is equivalent to “Desu” which is a grammatical particle. Just throw it in after any statement, and you’ll be all good.

    These are just a few… but if interested, a quick google search should yield Metcha results yade.

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/rsw Tim Patterson

      thanks for the contributions, scott-sensei!

  • http://www.japanesewords.net/ Japanese Words

    Great list! Number 3 is a bit out there, but some of them are really useful…..I really hope no one uses #3 though.

  • http://robinferianto.com robb

    #3 is gotta be a joke. gotta try that.
    nice tips !!

  • http://londoniscool.com William Wallace

    I wish I could ask all those Japanese tourist girls you see wandering around London, dressed like they are little school girls, “WTF are you dressed like that for?”

  • http://chibihezaa.blogspot.com hezaa

    I think the phrases would be more helpful if all of them where also spelled out with romanji, I’m used to looking at romanji. So the slightly more Americanized transliteration is confusing.

    The most useful phrase I found was, “Sumimasen.” To get people’s attention, to get them to move, etc.

    My Japanese friends often walked too fast for me, causing me to yell out, “Chotto matte!”

  • http://www.luggageonline.com luggage

    These are great tips if I ever want to travel to Japan. Great site (2 articles in a row that were helpful).

  • Matt

    One time while eating with our Mayor. (JET Program alum from 17 years ago)

    I said “Inaka Opai” instead of Onaka ipai…it got a strange look and the laugh of the century from the Mayor

    O Naka eee pie

    (I am full)

    ee naka o pie

    (country tits) or (Boondocks Knockers)

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  • http://www.bedandbreakfastnetwork.com/blog/ Steve

    HAHAH #3

  • Lorna

    Here’s a couple useful phrases:

    One more time (please): Mo ichido (kudasai)

    Repeat that (please): Mo ichido itte (kudasai)
    (itte is pronounced ee-tay)

    I will never forget that one because of the time I mispronounced it “Mo ichiro” which means “more strawberries” I think. :)

  • RICHARD

    kuttabare bakka kitsnauna

  • katherine

    Shasshin o totte mo ii desu ka?
    (Guys)
    Shasshin o totte mo ii no?
    (Chicks)

    Can I take a picture?(when you hold the camera)
    Can you take a picture(handing person the camera)

  • http://www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com Martin

    Love Phrases could come in useful….

    I Really Like You = Dai Suki Dayo
    May I kiss You? = Kisu shite mo ii?
    I Love You = Ai shiteru
    Will You Marry Me? = Kekkon shite kureru

    Hear the pronunciation at :
    http://www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com/japanese-phrases/

  • http://dewabharataubud.com putude

    Great information! I make a note for this, because I will go to Japan soon.

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  • http://speakjapanesefluently.com Speak Japanese

    I lived in Japan for ten years and used almost all of these expressions. Didn’t quite have the opportunity to say “Oops! I meant to fart but poop came out”.

    I will give it a go the next time I am there.

  • http://www.japanesephrases.org/ Japanese Phrases

    These are all pretty good. Except #3. I have lived in Japan for quite a few years and still haven’t had a chance to use that one. lol

  • Lindsay

    2. “Yosh. Gahn-bah-di-mus.” should be more like “Yosh, gahn-ba-rih-mas.”

    in Japanese it’s よし!がんばります!while the “r” in Japanese is not exactly equivalent to the “r” in English… if an English speaker were to say “gahn-ba-di-mus” I have serious doubts the Japanese speakers would understand them very well… if at all… right after they burst into laughter… that is.

  • http://fexute.com bpk

    Here is a good free ebook to learn japanese basics…
    http://fexute.com/speak-japanese-fast.pdf

  • Israel

    The guide for pronunciation is awful!!!!
    lots of mistakes. i could notice even i am not a japanese expert.

  • Sarah

    I found many of these to be quite funny! Especially #4.
    I’ve been speaking basic-intermediate Japanese for 11 years, and I found the pronunciation breakdown to be terribly hard to read.

    Here are some helpful phrases:

    I’m very sorry, but, I do not speak Japanese. = “Gomenasai, demo, watashi wa nihongo o hanashimasen.”

    Who here can speak English? = “Koko dare wa eigo o hanashimasu ka?”

    Where am I? = “Watashi wa doko desu ka?”

    Is it alright if I go to the washroom? = “Oteari ni itte mo ii desu ka?”
    (not 100% on the ‘oteari’, that phrase became very slurred in class)

    Hope I helped!!

  • http://none Jazmin M.

    I know one phrase in japanese and I am terrible at spelling but its..
    Ashita no Roku ji ni monigu koru o onigasi masu
    What it is supposed to be is “Wake me up at 6:00 tomorrow morning please”
    lol not sure though i found it usefull at one point in time.

    6時で私を明日の朝喜ぶ目覚めさせなさい

  • Manasama

    I agree with the last comment I read, although these phrases ARE amazingly useful for foreigners in Japan with little language capabilities, the way you’re all explaining pronunciation is very unhelpful. Truthfully, most people would find it much easier if you just wrote the phrases in full romaji. For example

    kurenai buta wa ii eiga desu ne.

    you might want to point out specific points like the common dropping of the u from desu though. and any other dropped letters…

    tsukareta (ts’kareta) – I’m tired
    nemui – I’m sleepy
    tsumaranai – boring
    kore wa tsumaranai – this is boring
    ikimashou (poilter) – let’s go
    ikou (inf) – let’s go
    X wo nomitai desu – I want to drink X
    Y wo tabetai – I want to eat Y (inf)
    X ga suki (s’ki) – I like X
    mita koto ga nai (inf) – I haven’t seen it
    mita koto ga arimasen (polite) – ” ” ” ”
    sumimasen, shitsureishimasu (shitsureishimas’) – Excuse me I’m being rude, about to be rude, may I intrude etc. (polite)
    X ga hoshi desu – I want X (polite)

    ;3 have fun kiddies.

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  • Kirsten

    Number three almost made me spit out my drink! What a brilliantly fun/horrible idea!

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  • http://www.spunkygirlmonologues.com SpunkyGirl

    Fun! I especially loved number 4. Fabulous.

  • http://www.tourandtravelagentindia.com/ India travel packages

    I would have liked to have seen the actual phrases along with the phonetic rendering, but otherwise, these are great ;-) Now to just get back to Japan to use them. Or store them up for my next visit with my Japanese aunt ;-)

  • Yonatan

    And for those of you a little farther afield…

    “Yunbe, washa no kei-tora ga tanbo ni ochi-tan ja waa…”
    (“Last night, my light pick-up truck fell into the rice paddy…” as spoken by an old man in the boonies)

  • Michiko

    Personally, after taking japan for five years, most people won’t know how to pronouce japanese very well, like when you read things with an “r” in it, it is ment to sound more like a “L” like loku instead of roku. politeness is everything and simpler phrases like sumimasen, which means im sorry or excuse me. and also kudasai which means please. Just remeber simpler is better and if you arent 100% sure on the pronunciation of the word, DONT SAY IT. you could be saying something you really dont mean, that could offend someone and get you in trouble.

  • Lance

    Hey, great site! I love the sayings.

    I found this site that teaches Japanese phrases through short video lessons. It’s a good place to start learning Japanese. I’ve been using it for a while and It’s really helped me out. Here’s the link;

    http://www.bitesizejapanese.com/

    Hope this helps

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you for the site, Lance.  Very helpful.  It brought back some memories of other words I used the year I was in Japan.  (*and I notice i did not spell some of t hem right.)

      I will check the site again, thanks to you. 

  • http://www.mestarhanta.com Hanta

    Jesus… this is awful.

    Terrible phrases and even worse pronunciation.

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  • DANTE!

    This was really funny! It made my night reading this, thanks for posting it.

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  • Elizabeth

    Ohio gozaimaska.  Igakadeska?  (Good morning….how are you.)  Genki des.  (Fine)  Anatawah?  and you?  Ano – (listen)  Ha!  I understand or yes..  Domme arigato, gozai maska.  (Thank you very much).  And haiku. – hurry up. 

    Those were the phrases I used in Japan in l947.   My father was Kernason.  (Col.) Mother was Mamasan, and I was Gigisan.  I adored every minute of my one year in Japan.  We were in Sendai. 

    • kamesan

      I will tell you a thing this site is not that awesome though your japanese I guess is much more useful than this site one xD

      and one more point I wantto say is that your phonetic is not good at all so good luck in learning Japanese bye bye

  • kamesan

    funny and mean at the same time…. using those phrases wont help in the Japanese community … I guess it could be used as jokes though … it will just disgust and repulse  the girls xD
    and think your a weirdo xD
    However i enjoyed it =) it was fun reading it and I guess I will use often the 3rd one with my  groupies xD

  • Guest

    So many misspellings …

  • travelgirl

    I wish the phrases had just been written out normally in Roman letters and not with those awful hyphenated versions that are much more difficult to read.

    • Browsery

      I agree. I studied Japanese decades ago and this was confusing The Romaji version should be included with every example.

  • TurkceMelek

    I especially love #3. Pooping is cool! ;)

  • Yan Marchell

    Lol, very nice phrases. it’s very helpful :D

  • IchiM3

    Lmao you lied about the last one. Ten means It’s the first time i’ve ever hated a place so much.

    You’re setting tourists up for failure. Haha. Doesn’t matter some Japanese natives will cross the street when a foreigner passes by anyway.

    • peasnquiet

      lol I think he was trying to say kirei, not kirai

    • Shaun McGuigan

      Yeah, this is why I hate the OP for posting those horrible phonetic spellings.  It just makes it more difficult to read, and you can easily run into confusions such as this.

      kirei (sounds like “key ray”) = pretty/beautiful

      kirai (sounds like “key rye”) = dislike/hate

  • Hokkaido Jam

    This really is awful.. 

    As a native-English speaker living in Japan, take my advice – ignore this page and look for another website. 

  • :)

    What’s with the spelling

  • Bo

    ohio gozimasu

    • Jsdodgers

      ohayou gozaimasu you mean? (おはようございます)

  • Bo

    stupid kyle

  • Uhlesfamily

    domo arigatou gozamsu
    thank you very much!

  • Alex

    Wow, horrible spelling.  Romaji is horrid enough, but at least it’s an acceptable standard.

  • Yumaterasu

    Ohayo Gozaimasu (Good Morning -Highly Formal used with strangers or Friends you haven’t seen in a while otherwise may be offensive-)

  • http://twitter.com/HoshinoArisu レイン!

    I agree with travel girl, but thank you for your effort on teaching us these useful, and funny phrases. i could use some of these to joke my Japanese friends. lol XD

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAYP6TVWDDD4D77Z33SSVI374E Green Meanie

    Great, another post by some fool who thinks that all Japanese stopped developing intellectually at eight.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAYP6TVWDDD4D77Z33SSVI374E Green Meanie

    Great, another post by a fool who believes that all Japanese have the sense of humor of underdeveloped pre-teens. Guess what buddy, if anyone is laughing, it’ll be at you, not with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712981484 Kristina Mitsuho Humphrey

    I hope no one takes this “advice”… The first 2 phrases are the only ones worth a damn. The others just make you look ignorant, tacky – an UGLY AMERICAN.

  • Tklolita

    watashi wa nihongo ga  heta desu, demo, sukoshi wakarimasu -= my japanese is poor but/however i understand a little  
    is the most useful phrase you’ll ever learn. people seem to think it’s adorable when you don’t know anything. the japanese tend to put themselves down especially when giving gifts….they could give you a chunk of diamond and say ” this is just a little nothing” and they are genuinely entertained by people making an effort to speak their language. especially people who are distinctly foreigners

  • Sdf

    Possibly the worst advice I’ve ever seen for anyone coming to Japan.   If you were aiming for humour, you failed miserably.

  • Joshua Zaris

    this is almost impossible to read. Should have used romaji.

  • Poopshit

    How do I know you’ve never been to Japan before?

  • Chris Fox

    Who knew speaking Japanese could be so easy!

  • Ken Doyle

    ‘Suu me ma sen’ is a great one. Simply ‘I am sorry’ or ‘excuse me’. You can use it to start conversations. It got me around Japan for 2 years!

  • Gozde Okcu

    http://www.nippon-yasan.com/lang-en/
    is a website where you can order Japanese products from A to Z. It’s cheap, efficient, and good quality. Give it a try.

  • Danielle Rodger

    “Watashi wa nihongo wo sukoshi dake hanashimasu” = I only speak a little Japanese.

  • Teigan Jane

    I’ve always liked “Watashi ni go shidō o onegaishimasu” Please give me your guidance. It helps when you meet someone new, especially a parent or partner of a friend.

  • Yushan Cong

    I’m chinese canadian, so in preparation for eventually going to japan and accidentally getting mistaken for a native, dad taught me this one phrase: gome-ne, Watashi chongoku-desu, (sorry, I’m chinese) I wouldn’t exactly trust his japanese, this the man who confused good morning and good evening. they do not sound even remotely similar. XD (ohaiyo/konbonwa etc).

    • quickquick

      Yeah, it’s not 100% correct. A more correct version would be “gomennasai, watashi wa chuugoku-jin desu”.

  • Narsky Palmero

    japanese language is a very difficult language although maybe you have something to tell about it but mostly foreigners got mistaken with their pronunciation…..nevertheless I enjoy staying here in japan, a nice country.i hope to stay here longer…….

  • Erik Ebert

    My hovercraft is full of eels.

    私のホバークラフトは鰻にいっぱいです

    watashi no hobaakurafuto wa unagi ni ippaidesu

    (wa-ta-shi no hoo-ba-kraf-toe wa) (oo-na-gi ni) (ee’pai des)

    (my hovercraft) (of eels) (is full)

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