Don't worry! This post is about some simple Japanese phrases that you may want to use especially when travelling in Japan.
1. こんにちは！ (Konnichiwa) - Hello!
Saying Hello is the most basic form of conversation. Konnichiwa can be said anytime of the day and is a form and also an informal way of saying hello.
2. ありがとうございます。 (Arigatou Gozaimasu) - Thank you.
This is one of the most common phrase to be said in Japan, and commonly used anywhere, when you visit shops, restaurants etc.
Arigatou Gozaimasu is a formal way and Arigatou is informal.
3. どうもありがとうございます。 (Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu) - Thank you very much.
This is another formal way of saying thank you, usually used in very formal circumstances.
4. いくらですか？(Ikura Desu ka ?) - How much is it ?
This phrase is very useful for daily purchasing. You can just use this phrase or if you want to be more precise you might want to use it as following:
- これはいくらですか？ (Kore wa Ikura Desuka?) - How much is this ?
- [Name of item] は いくらですか？([Name of item] wa Ikura Desuka?) - How much is [ Name of item] ? - This is useful if you know the product name.
In some places, photo-taking might be restricted, but for us as a tourist, we might not know it well.
Therefore it will be good to ask the locals first before taking pictures. They will be happy to answer you.
6. 写真を撮っていただけますか？ (Shashin o totte itadakemasu ka?) - Could you please take a photo of me?
You can use this phrase if you need to request someone to help you take a photo.
Usually get a response like - はい (Hai) - Yes.
Remember to say ありがとうございます (Arigatou Gozaimasu) after that!
7. [Place] はどこですか？([Place] wa Doko Desu ka?) - Where is .... ?
When asking for direction, you can use this sentence. The following are some possible words for direction:
- まっすぐです (Massugu Desu) - Go straight
- うえ (Ue) - Up
- した (Shita) - Down
- みぎ (Migi) - Right 右
- ひだり(Hidari) - Left 左
- 右 / 左に曲がってください (migi / hidari ni magatte kudasai) - Please turn right / left
*ください (Kudasai) - Please
It is a polite form of declining an offer. Probably in restaurants when being offered more food / water.
9. 英語のメ二ューはありますか？(Eigo no menyu wa arimasu ka?) - Do you have English menu?
It is useful in restaurants and many places. Note that some smaller restaurant/izakaya might not have any English menu at all.
This is simple word of accepting of saying no.
11. すみません。(Sumimasen) - Excuse me.
This word is also quite important and used daily.
It can be used to try to get attention of someone, or to apologies
12. ごめんなさい。(Gomennasai) - I'm Sorry.
A more polite way of apologizing to someone.
13. 英語を話せますか? (Eigo o hanase masu ka?) - Can you speak English?
Sometimes when it becomes too difficult to communication in Japanese, you can use this to ask another person if he/she can speak English.
14. 日本語を話せません。(Nihongo o hanasemasen.) - I don’t speak Japanese.
Just in case someone talks to you in Japanese only you can use this! It's really useful!
15 .さようなら 。(Sayonara) - Goodbye.
That's it for now! If you have any question, feel free to contact me~
See ya and Enjoy!