Words and Phrases that may just come in Handy while in Japan

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Good to Know

Good to Know

If you're anything like me, you know speaking Japanese isn't an easy feat. I still don't really get how I can survive daily in a Japanese office with my limited skills, but I have come to realize that there are some Japanese words that are essential to know in this environment. Here are some Japanese words worth knowing as a traveler, hopefully they come in handy during your next visit to Japan!


All of the words are spelled in Romaji and have English translations!

Emergency words:

Emergency words:

  • toire/ toilet (or bathroom)
  • tearai/ bathroom (or toilet)
  • wakarimasen/ I don't understand
  • tasukete/ help
  • maigo/ lost child
  • yamete/ stop it
  • eigo / English
  • keisatsu/ police
  • koban/ police box
  • abunai/ dangerous

Asking words:

  • shitsumon/ question
  • nani/ what?
  • nande/ why?
  • doushite/ why?
  • nanji desuka/ what time is it?
  • itsu desuka/ when is it?
  • dare desuka/ who is it?
  • doko desuka/ where is it?

Locations:

  • hoteru/ hotel
  • kuukou/ airport
  • eki/ station
  • takushi/ taxi
  • uchi or ie / home

Food/ordering

Food/ordering

  • kokoni/ for here
  • mochi kaeri ni/ to go
  • tabemasu/ to eat
  • nomimasu/ to drink
  • tabemasen/ will not eat
  • nomimasen/ will not drink
  • mizu/ water
  • tabemono/ food
  • nomimono/ drink (noun not verb)
  • oishii/ delicious
  • mazui/ opposite of delicious
  • resutoran/ restaurant
  • konbini/ convenience store
  • suupaa/ super market

Other good words to Know

  • arigatou/ thanks
  • konnichiwa/ good afternoon
  • konbanwa/ good evening
  • sayounara/ good bye
  • sumimasen/ excuse me
  • gomennasai/ sorry

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