Monday, 3 August 2015

[Japanese Stuff] Common Daily Phrases

Hello everyone. So for the past year I have been studying Japanese. It's a passion that quite frankly has taken over a big chunk of my life and has left me with less time to write for this blog since I started. Seeing that I've neglected this blog, I've decided to start a little trial experiment and impart some of my new-found gained knowledge with anyone who might be interested. That's right, I'm going to teach those of you who are interested some basic Japanese.

Not only will it help me by keeping my mind sharp and agile, but maybe someone out there will (hopefully) learn something as well. So without further ado let's jump on in and start with a simple introduction. We're going to keep this really light and simple today by giving a few simple phrases. Yes, you may have seen postings like this elsewhere, but trust me, for now we want to keep it simple. So here's a few useful daily expressions to get you started.

おはようございます // Ohayou Gozaimasu // "Good Morning"

"Ohayou Gozaimasu" is a friendly greeting meaning "Good Morning," It's commonplace to hear it shortened down to "Ohayou" and it is something you might hear until about 11am or 12pm.

こんにちは // Konnichiwa // "Hello"

"Konnichiwa" is the most common greeting you will hear. Simply is "Hello."

いらっしゃいませ // Irrashaimase // "Welcome"

If you have ever had the pleasure of being in Japan and have walked into any place of commercial business then chances are you've heard "Irrashaimase." It's extremely common to hear this "welcome" greeting in Japan courtesy of cheerful company employees.

こんばんは // Konbanwa // "Good Evening"

"Konbanwa" is something one might say to greet friends or relatives in the evening.

おやすみなさい // Oyasuminasai // "Good Night"

"Oyasuminasai" is used when parting ways with friends in the evening or said before going to bed.

さようなら // Sayonara // "Good Bye"

"Sayonara" is one method to say "Good Bye" however, there is a subtle finality to "Sayonara." "Sayonara" is something you might say to someone who you're not going to see for a while. Otherwise, another more casual way of saying "farewell" would be to say....

じゃ また // Jaa, mata // "Well then..."

"Jaa, mata" is a far more casual (and common) way to bid farewell among friends and relatives. The subtle difference being that it implies that one will see the person again sooner rather than later.

おさきに  しつれいします // Osaki ni shitsureishimasu// "Excuse Me" (but I'm going to be rude)

Said when leaving the office or a business meeting before other people.  "Shitsureishimasu" literally translates to "I'm going to be rude" but don't fret, it's not considered rude to use when excusing oneself. It's one of those "best not to question it too much" moments that one will run into when learning this language.

いってらっしゃい // Itterasshai // "Have a Safe Trip" (lit. go and coming back)

Usually said to friends, family and cohorts as they leave for an extended period; be it a holiday, business trip or other variation. Think "Bon Voyage" and you get "Itterasshai."

行ってきます // Ittekimasu // "I'm going" (lit. go and coming back)

"Ittekimasu" is actually made up of two parts. It combines the ~te form of the verb "Ikimasu" (to go) and "kimasu" (to return) to make "Ittekimasu." As you can sort of probably already guess, it means that "I will go and return." It's something one might say when leaving the household to run errands." For example:


"Yuubinkyouku ni ittekimasu."
I'm going to the Post Office (and I will return shortly)

or maybe you're going to Japan on vacation

"Nihon ni ittekimasu."
I'm going to Japan (and will return)

ただいま // Tadaima // "I'm back"

Said by a person on returning home, which is paired with the response...

おかえりなさい // Okaerinasai // "Welcome Home"

いただきます // Ittadakimasu // Said Before Eating a Meal

Said before eating a meal. To keep "Ittadakimasu" in memory, I like to think that it sounds kind of like "Eat-a-ducky-masu", as corny as it is, it works. "Ittadakimasu" is, of course, paired with the follow-up response upon completion of a meal...

ごちそうさまでした // Gochisousama deshita // Said after Eating a Meal

おめでとうございます // Omedetou Gozaimasu // "Congratulations"

"Omedetou Gozaimasu" (Congratulations) or for short, "Omedetou."

どうも ありがとうございます // Doumo Arigatou Gozaimasu // "Thank You Very Much"

Or casually one can shorten it to "Doumo" by itself.

どういたしまして // Dou Itashimashite // "You're Welcome"

すみません // Sumimasen // "Excuse Me"

ちょっとまってください // Chotto Matte Kudasai // "Wait just a moment, please"

もういちどおねがいします // Mou ichido onegaishimasu // "Once more, please"

どうぞおさきに // Douzo Osakini // "Please, go ahead"

気をつけて // Ki o tsukete // "Be Careful"

Or alternatively

Ki o tsukete kudasai
"Please be careful"

おだいじに // Odaiji ni // "Take Care of Yourself"

Commonly used towards an ill or injured person.

Now, if you're like me and you're a bit of a social drinker then these next three phrases are absolutely mandatory to know for when you hit up a bar in Japan.

ビールをひとつください // Biru o hitotsu kudasai // "One Beer, please"

もう一つください // Mou hitotsu kudasai // "Another, please"

トイレはどこですか?// Toire wa doko desu ka? // "Where is the toilet?"

Hopefully you've learned something today. Happy trails and I'll see you shortly with another lesson.

-Daniel M 



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