Lingual Ninja! - Japanese Lessons Online

This blog is for people studying Japanese! I hope this blog helps you study basic Japanese!


Showing posts with label - Japanese phrases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label - Japanese phrases. Show all posts

Sep 8, 2018

September 08, 2018

How to introduce yourself in Japanese

In this article, let's learn how to introduce yourself in Japanese!

If you go to Japan for studying, working, or making friends, maybe you will have many opportunities to introduce yourself in front of Japanese people.

Let's prepare using this article!

Please choose the item which you want to know from the index below!

1. Nice to meet you

When we meet someone for the first time, we say,

"はじめまして (ha ji me ma shi te)".

This is a greeting to say "nice to meet you" in Japanese.

This is a shorter version of
(ha ji me ma shi te, o me ni ka ka ri ma su)

It means "this is the first time for me to meet you".

However, you don't need to remember the longer version because only "はじめまして" is used now.

"はじめまして (hajimemashite)" is used only when you meet someone for the first time.

From the second encounter on, you should use other greetings depending on time of the day:
  こんにちは (konnichiwa) >>
  おはよう (ohayou) >>
  こんばんは (kombanwa) >>

2. My name is ...

To introduce your name, please remember the sentence below:

わたしのなまえは [your name] です。

wa ta shi no na ma e wa [your name] de su.

It means "My name is [your name]".

If your name is "さすけ (Sasuke)", you can say,

"わたしの" means "my".
  I, my, me, and mine >>

"なまえ" means "name".

So "わたしのなまえ" means "my name".

If you don't know "は", please check this:
  は (wa) >>

If you don't know "です", please check this:
  です(desu) >>

Please practice saying the sentence, using your name, to remember:

わたしのなまえは [your name] です。

3. I am from ...

If you are not Japanese, maybe Japanese people are interested in the place you are from.

Probably, they would like to ask questions regarding your country.

So I recommend you to inform where you are from in your self introduction!

Before remembering the sentence to introduce your country, please check what to call your country in Japanese:
  Country names in Japanese >>

After checking the Japanese name of your country, please remember the sentence below:

わたしは [your country] からきました。

wa ta shi wa [your country] ka ra ki ma shi ta.

"わたしは" means "I am".
  わたし (watashi) >>

"から" means "from".

"きました" means "came".

So "わたしは [your country]" からきました" means:

"I came from [your country]."
"I am from [your country]."


1. わたしはアメリカからきました。
   I am from America.

2. わたしはフィリピンからきました。
   I am from the Philippines.

3. わたしはインドネシアからきました。
   I am from Indonesia.

4. わたしはしのびのくにからきました。
   I am from the country of ninja.

4. My hobby is ...

If you have some hobbies, please introduce them to Japanese people!

Below is the sentence to introduce your hobby!

わたしのしゅみは [your hobby] です。

wa ta shi no shu mi wa [your hobby] de su.

"わたしの" means "my".
  I, my, me, and mine >>

"しゅみ (shu mi)" means "hobby".

So "わたしのしゅみ (watashino shumi)" means "my hobby".

The sentence means "My hobby is [your hobby]".

Below is the table of hobbies in Japanese!

Is your hobby in the table below?

reading booksどくしょdo ku sho読書
watching moviesえいがかんしょうe i ga ka n sho u映画鑑賞
watching animeアニメかんしょうa ni me ka n sho uアニメ鑑賞
reading comicsまんがをよむことma n ga wo yo mu ko to漫画を読むこと
cosplayコスプレko su pu re-
drinking alcoholおさけをのむことo sa ke wo no mu ko toお酒を飲むこと
runningランニングra n ni n gu-
soccerサッカーsa k ka-
footballフットボールfu t to bo ru-
basketballバスケットボールba su ke t to bo ru-
watching soccerサッカーかんせんsa k ka ka n se nサッカー観戦
watching basketballバスケットボールかんせんba su ke t to bo ru ka n se nバスケットボール観戦
mountaineeringとざんto za n登山
swimmingスイミングsu i mi n gu-
shoppingショッピングsho p pi n gu-
dancingダンスda n su-
studying Japaneseにほんごのべんきょうni ho n go no be n kyo日本語の勉強
studying historyれきしのべんきょうre ki shi no be n kyo歴史の勉強
programmingプログラミングpu ro gu ra mi n gu-
practicing to be a ninjaにんじゃのしゅぎょうni n ja no shu gyo忍者の修行


1. わたしのしゅみはえいがかんしょうです。
 wa ta shi no shu mi wa e i ga ka n sho de su.

 -> My hobby is watching movies.

2. わたしのしゅみはプログラミングです。
 wa ta shi no shu mi wa pu ro gu ra mi n gu de su.

 -> My hobby is programming.

3. わたしのしゅみはフットボールかんせんです。
 wa ta shi no shu mi wa fu t to bo ru ka n se n de su.

 -> My hobby is watching football.

4. わたしのしゅみはにんじゃのしゅぎょうです。
 wa ta shi no shu mi wa ni n ja no shu gyo de su.

 -> My hobby is practicing to be a ninja.

At the end of your self introduction, it's good for you to say, "よろしくおねがいします (yo ro shi ku o ne ga i shi ma su)".

Japanese people use this sentence so often.

It means "please treat me well".

But it is just a habit.
Maybe you should just remember that it is used at the end of self introductions.

If you want to know more about "よろしくおねがいします", please check this:

Please remember the 5 sentences below!

1. Nice to meet you

(ha ji me ma shi te)

2. My name is ...

わたしのなまえは [your name] です。
(wa ta shi no na ma e wa [your name] de su)

3. I am from ...

わたしは [your country] からきました。
(wa ta shi wa [your country] ka ra ki ma shi ta)

4. My hobby is ...

わたしのしゅみは [your hobby] です。
(wa ta shi no shu mi wa [your hobby] de su)

5. End of Introduction

(yo ro shi ku o ne ga i shi ma su)

I hope this article helps you introduce yourself in Japanese!
Thank you for reading!

Aug 19, 2018

August 19, 2018

8 unique Japanese greetings

Hello. I'm Kosuke!

In the previous article, I explained about Japanese particle "~さま (-sama)"!
  ~さま (-sama) >>

In this article, let's check unique Japanese greetings!

I would like to talk about the 8 greetings below!

1. いただきます
   (i ta da ki ma su)

Some people pray before eating.

But in Japan, they just say "いただきます(itadakimasu)" before eating.

There is no "いただきます(itadakimasu)" in English.

"いただきます(itadakimasu)" is similar to "Guten Appetit" in German or "Bon apetit" in French.

"いただく(itadaku)" means "to accept".

"いただく(itadaku)" is already a very polite word.

In addition to that, "ます(masu)" makes the sentence more polite.

If you don't know about "ます(masu)", please check this:
  です(desu) and ます(masu) >>

"いただく(itadaku)" and "ます(masu)" are combined, and they become "いただきます(itadakimasu)".

So "いただきます(itadakimasu)" means "I accept something gratefully".

It is a greeting to express our gratitude to someone who cooked, and the animals eaten by us.

When you eat something in Japan, maybe it's good for you to say "いただきます(itadakimasu)"!

Then the cook will be glad!

2. ごちそうさまでした
   (go chi so u sa ma de shi ta)

This is a greeting used when we finish eating.

"ごちそう(gochisou)" means "food" or "meal".

There is "さま(sama)" right after "ごちそう(gochisou)".

"さま(sama)" is the word used when you call someone's name very politely.

If you don't know "さま", please check this:
  ~さま(sama) >>

"でした(deshita)" is a word which makes the sentence past tense.

"ごちそう(gochisou)", "さま(sama)", and "でした(deshita)" are combined to form "ごちそうさまでした(gochisou sama deshita)".

So it means "It was a great meal".

Japanese people always say this after eating.

I am living in the Philippines now, and living with my American wife.

But I sometimes say "いただきます" and "ごちそうさまでした" even though no one can understand. hehe

I feel uncomfortable if I don't say it! haha

3. いってきます
   (i t te ki ma su)

When Japanese people leave their home, they say "いってきます(ittekimasu)".

In English, maybe there are some similar sentences to this:

"I'm leaving."
"I'm going."
"I'm about to leave."

However, "いってきます(ittekimasu)" is a little different.

"いってきます(ittekimasu)" includes two parts, "いって(itte)" and "きます(kimasu)".

"いって(itte)" means "to go".
"きます(kimasu)" means "to come".

So "いってきます(ittekimasu)" means "I'm going, and I will come back."

This is to inform our family that we are leaving home.
At the same time, we are promising our family that we will have a safe trip, and we will return home safely.

4. いってらっしゃい
   (i t te ra s sha i)

When someone says "いってきます(ittekimasu)", people staying home say "いってらっしゃい(itterasshai)" to that person as a reply.

"いってらっしゃい(itterasshai)" includes two parts, "いって(itte)" and "いらっしゃい(irasshai)".

"いって(itte)" means "to go".
"いらっしゃい(irasshai)" means "please come".

So "いってらっしゃい(itterasshai)" means "Go and come back, please."

This greeting is also for hoping that the person will come home safely.

5. ただいま 
   (ta da i ma)

This greeting is used when someone comes home.

This is similar to "I'm home" in English.

Also, "ただいま" means "now".

Originally, it was "I'm back now".

Later, it became shorter, and Japanese people only say "ただいま(tadaima)".

6. おかえりなさい
   (o ka e ri na sa i)

When someone comes home, we say "おかえりなさい(okaerinasai)" to that person.

This means "welcome back".

But, do you always say "welcome back" to your family?

I asked it to my American wife.

She told me that:
When she said "I'm home" to her family, they reply "OK".

Maybe "おかえりなさい(okaerinasai)" is also a unique Japanese greeting.

How about your language?

Originally, "おかえりなさい(okaerinasai)" was "ようこそ おかえりなさいました".

"ようこそ" means "welcome".

"おかえりなさいました" was a polite way to say "you came back".

We just say "おかえりなさい(okaerinasai)" nowadays.

So "おかえりなさい(okaerinasai)" means "welcome back".

7. よろしくおねがいします
   (yo ro shi ku o ne ga i shi ma su)

When I searched the meaning of "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)" in the dictionary, it says:

  "Best regards"
  "Thank you."
  "Nice to meet you."
  "I'm looking forward to working with you."

Like above, "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)" has many meanings.

In addition to above, when you request someone to do a task instead of you, you can say "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)".

When you beg someone to lend you money, you can say "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)".
In this case, "thank you" is strange because you haven't received the money yet.

"よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)" is very useful sentence for Japanese people.

There are many cases to use it.

But I think it is a little confusing because it has too many meanings.

Actually, "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)" has only one important meaning.

It is:
"Please treat me well."

"よろしく(yoroshiku)" means "well".
"おねがいします(onegaishimasu)" means "please".

So originally, "よろしくおねがいします(yoroshiku onegaishimasu)" means "please treat me well".

We often use this greeting when we do something with other people.
We always include this greeting in our business emails.
We always say this when we introduce ourselves to someone.

We do that because we want other people to treat us well.

This greeting is used for getting along with other people well.

8. おつかれさまです
   (o tsu ka re sa ma de su)

I explained about this greeting in the past article.

We use this in the office very often.

This is similar to:
  "Good bye."
  "Thank you for your work."
  "I sympathize with you because you work so hard."

Also, it is custom to include "おつかれさまです(otsukaresamadesu)" at the top of the business emails.

To know this greeting well, please check this:
  おつかれさまです >>

How was it?

Do you think Japanese greetings are strange? hehe

Some greetings are difficult to translate into English.

However, I think they reflect Japanese culture well.

They care about other people's feeling so much. (Or too much? hehe)

Before eating, after eating, before going, after returning, we always say those greetings.

Also, Japanese mindset is based on "tacit understanding".

They don't say everything.

Saying just one word is enough in Japan, and they guess the real meaning of the words.

That's why one greeting has many meanings in Japan.

The typical example of it is the "bow", I think.

It can imply everything without saying anything.

I also wrote about the "bow" in the past article.
For knowing about bowing, please check this:
  Greeting without word >>

I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading my long article!

Jul 30, 2018

July 30, 2018

How to say goodbye in Japanese

Hello. I'm Kosuke!

In the previous article, I explained about greetings used when you meet someone.
  Greetings - How to say hello in Japanese >>

However, there are still more greetings in Japanese.

In this article, I will show you greetings used when you say good bye!

The 4 items below will be explained in this article:

1. さようなら (sa yo na ra)

This simply means "good bye".

This greeting can be used in both formal or casual situations.

This is the most basic way to say "good bye".

2. またね (ma ta ne)

This means "see you".

This is used in casual situations.
You can say it to your friends.
This cannot be used for business.

'また (mata)' means 'again'.

Originally, it was longer like 'またあおうね (ma ta a o u ne)'.
It means 'see you again'.

Later, it became shorter and they start to say just 'またね'.

3. ばいばい (bai bai)

I think you have already understood this meaning.

This means 'byebye'.

This is not formal in Japanese.
So you should not use this in business scene.
You can use this for your friends.

Of course, this greeting is from English.

Also, I heard that 'Good bye' comes from 'God be with you'.
Do you think it is true!?

4. おつかれさまです (o tsu ka re sa ma de su)

This is formal way to say 'good bye' in Japan.
Mainly, this greeting is used for business.

Actually, in your country, perhaps you don't need to say anything when you leave office.

However, generally, you should say 'o tsu ka re sa ma de su' to people around you before you leave the office.
This greeting makes it difficult for Japanese workers to leave the office on time.
(What an awful greeting this is!)

Also, 'おつかれさまです ' can be used as many other meanings, not only 'good bye'.

For example, when you meet your boss in the elevator, you should say 'おつかれさまです' as 'hello'.

When someone looks busy because he/she has too many tasks, you can say 'おつかれさまです' as 'my condolences'.
Then he/she would think "why does this person only say that without helping me!?" inside of his/her heart.
When it happens, you should ignore him/her and go home silently.
(This is the most important lesson today. hehe)

In the office, Japanese people use 'おつかれさまです' so often.
Also, in business emails, it is the manner to write おつかれさまです before your name.

'つかれ' means 'tiredness'.
All 'お', 'さま', and 'です' are the words to make the sentence polite.

If you don't know what 'さま(sama)' is, please check this:
  ~さま(sama) >>

If you don't know what 'です (desu)' is, please check this:
  です(desu) and ます(masu) >>

So originally, 'おつかれさまです' is just a very polite way to say 'tiredness'.

Why do Japanese people use this greetings in the office so often?

Because they are always so tired in the office.
(What an awful greeting this is!)

In the next article, let's check how to count numbers!
  Counting numbers in Japanese >>

I hope this article helps you study Japanese.
Thank you for reading!
July 30, 2018

How to say hello in Japanese

Hello. I am Kosuke!

In the previous article, I explained 'は (wa)' as a post-positional particle.
  ~は (wa) >>

At the end of the previous article, I also mentioned about a greeting,

'こ ん に ち は (ko n ni chi wa)'.

In this article, I would like to explain about some basic greetings of Japanese, especially the greetings used when you meet someone!

The 4 items below will be explained in this article:

1. こんにちは (ko n ni chi wa)

This is a very basic greeting in Japan.

It means 'Hello' in English.

You can use 'こんにちは' whenever you meet someone.
You can use this greeting throughout the whole day.

As I mentioned in the previous article, 'は' makes the sound 'wa' in this case.

Why does it make the sound 'wa'?

To know the reason, we need to think about the origin of 'こんにちは'.

In Japanese, 'こんにち (ko n ni chi)' means 'today' or 'nowadays'.

In the old days when Japanese people met someone, they used to say:
  "Today is a good day, isn't it?"
  "How is today for you?"

In old Japanese, they were like:
   (ko n ni chi wa yo i hi de su ne)
   (ko n ni chi wa i ka ga de su ka)

In these sentence, 'こんにち' is the subject.

In the last article, I explained that if 'は' is right after the subject of the sentence, it makes the sound 'wa' instead of 'ha'.

Because of this, 'は' makes the sound 'wa' in these sentences.

Today, we don't say the whole sentence of 'こんにちはいかがですか'.

It became shorter, and we just say 'こんにちは' now.

That's why 'こんにちは' is not 'こんにちわ' even though its sound is 'ko n ni chi wa'.

Also, 'こんにちは' is not a question anymore.
So you don't need to respond what you are feeling today.

It is OK for you just to say 'こんにちは' as your reply.
It is just like you say "Hello" when someone says "Hello" to you.

2. おはよう (o ha yo u)

'おはよう ' means 'Good morning'.

It is used only in the morning.

'おはよう' comes from the Japanese word, 'はやい (ha ya i)'.

'はやい' means 'early'.

In the old days, in the morning, people said:
  "You arrived here early today!"
  "You woke up early this morning, didn't you?"

Later, 'はやい (early)' changed its form, and they started to use 'おはよう' as a greeting for the morning.

3. こんばんは (ko m ba n wa)

'こんばんは' is a greeting at night.

It is just like 'Good evening' in English.

This sentence is very similar to 'こんにちは' which was discussed in #1 of this article.

As well as 'こんにちは', 'は' makes the sound 'wa'.

'こんばん (ko m ba n)' means 'tonight' in Japanese.
(In Romaji, 'n' becomes 'm' before 'b'.)

Probably, in the old days, people used to say:
  "How is tonight for you?"
  "Tonight is a very good night for you!"

In these sentences, 'こんばん (tonight)' was the subject.
That is the reason why 'は' makes the sound 'wa' in 'こんばんは', too.

4. Greeting without words

In this article, I have already explained three very basic greetings of Japanese.

However, greeting without words is sometimes more important in Japan.

Perhaps, you might think "What is greeting without words!?"

It is called "bow".

If you have ever lived in Japan for a long time, you might feel that Japanese people don't speak so much, and they don't say their opinion so often.

It is because of the Japanese mindset.

Japanese people usually think that silence is beautiful and good.

Recently, maybe the mindset is changing slowly.
However, that mindset is still common in Japan.
(I am not sure whether it is good culture or not.)

"Bow" is a very useful way for Japanese people to communicate without saying anything.

Originally, "bow" is the way to show respect to someone, by the act of lowering your own head.

However, now, "bow" has many meanings, like:

   "Good morning."
   "Good evening."
   "Thank you."
   "You are welcome."
   "I am sorry."
   "Excuse me."
   "Good bye."
   "Nice to meet you."
          and so on...

Do you think it is useful?

Or confusing? hehe

Indeed, saying 'こんにちは' with energy is also very good.
It gives energy to people around you.

However, if you bow to someone while smiling gracefully, instead of saying something, it means that you have already understood Japanese culture deeply!

Do you think it is a strange culture?
I think so too! hehe

In the next article, I will show you greetings used when you say good bye!
   Greetings - How to say goodbye in Japanese >>

I hope this article helps you study Japanese.
Thank you for reading!