When you show up ...
おつかれさまです。 (Otsukaresama desu.)
When you leave ...
For the New Year, let's learn another new common greeting in Japan.
Those above are commonly used anywhere in Japan. Basically, one means hello, and the other means good-bye. Moreover, they express appreciation for great work in a profound sense. Many people use them when they start their work and end their day at their workplace. You can use these phrases pretty much all day in business between co-workers or with business acquaintances regardless of time.
These phrases can be used in sports as well. At a practice or a game, the way to use them is the same as in a business occasion.
Frankly, these phrases are like “thank you,” “well done,” or “good job.”
“You make me want to be a better man.” In a movie As Good As It Gets (1997), Jack Nicolson tells this line to Helen Hunt. That makes her start to like him. As you know, a compliment is a powerful communication tool which conveys your positive feelings to others.
Japanese translation of, “You make me want to be a better man” is difficult: “Kimi no okage de, boku wa motto ii ningen ni naranakucha to omounda.” Words of compliments listed below are simple yet versatile. Say one to your loved one from your heart and it will well communicate to make her or his day.
*(P) Polite form, (C) Casual form
You are nice. (P) Yasashii desu ne. (C) Yasashii ne.
You are beautiful. (P) Kirei desu ne. (C) Kirei dane.
You are charming. (P) Suteki desu ne. (C) Suteki dane.
You are stylish. (P) Oshare desu ne. (C) Oshare dane.
You are cute. (P) Kawaii desu ne. (C) Kawaii ne.
You are elegant. (P) Johin desu ne. (C) Johin dane.
You are cool. (P) Kakkoii desu ne. (C) Kakkoii ne.
What a genius! (P) Atama ii desu ne! (C) Attama ii!
You have a great smile. (P) Egao ga suteki desu ne. (C) Egao ga suteki dane.
That flatters you. (P) Niattemasu ne. (C) Niatteru ne.
You are skilled (at ...). (P) (…) ga jozu desu ne. (C) (…) ga jozu desu ne.
I knew you had it in you. (P) Sasuga desu ne. (C) Sasuga.
Great effort! (P) Gambari mashita ne! (C) Gambatta ne!
I'm impressed. (P) Sugoi desu ne. (C) Sugoi ne.
Before the start of the new year
“よいお年を。" Yoi Otoshio (I wish you a happy new year.)
New Year greetings
“あけましておめでとうございます。" Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu.
(A happy new year!)
“昨年はお世話になりました。"Sakunen wa Osewa ni narimashita.
(Thank you for everything last year.)
“今年もどうぞよろしくおねがいします。” Kotoshimo Douzo Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu.
(I ask for your support this year just as last year.) *Check #7 from the November 27th edition from our online archives for yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
2009 will end soon. Welcoming the new year is very special for the Japanese people. In business, people get credit for their achievement or great work. Bounenkai (忘年会 a Year End Party) is a good example of people usually getting together in December for dinner or drinking. Closer to New Year's Eve, people look back at the past year and wish for better and stronger relationship in the coming year. Why don't you try such a traditional greeting for your new friends in Misawa?
“よろしくお願いします。-- Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu.”
This phrase is great to know and can be used in many situations during your stay in Japan. It is a basic greeting you hear Japanese people use often; however, such a useful phrase is hard to translate into English. It may take time to get used to, and to find an appropriate situation to use it since the phrase can have many meanings.
For example, when you meet someone new, people say it after introducing themselves as “nice to meet you.” This implies your future relationship with your new friend. In short, the phrase is sending your regards to the other person. In another way, if you are begging someone for a favor like babysitting your children or watching a pet, you can say it as “thank you for taking care of ... .” In short, you beg the kindness (cooperation or support) for your favor. Alternatively, my son who plays ice hockey always must line up with his teammates and lively say it to his coaches before his hockey practice begins. This can be like a starting sign and to show their respect toward their coaches. If you master the phrase, you would politely give a great impression on the Japanese people.
"Odaijini": Take it easy. Take good care of yourself.
As the temperature drops, cold dry air blows around the towns. More and more people are getting sick or catching the current flu. If you see someone who is sick or has been injured, this phrase is good to remember, so try it out. This is most often used at a clinic by the doctors, nurses, or pharmacists to patients or among friends and families.
“Daijoubu desuka?":Are you ok?
When you sneeze, you would say, “Bless you” to show your care. However, Japanese people do not have such a custom. Both of these phrases could have a similar nuance.
- May I have your order, please? (Gochuumon wa nani ni nasai masuka? ご注文は何になさいますか？)
- I would like to have this one. (Kore o kudasai. これをください。)
Alternate “this one” with the following ramen options at your favorite ramen shop.
- Miso (soybean paste 味噌ラーメン）
- Tonkotsu (pork rib 豚骨ラーメン・とんこつ)
- Shouyu (soy sauce 醤油ラーメン・しょうゆ)
- Shio（salt 塩ラーメン・しお）
- Kaisen (seafood 海鮮ラーメン)
- Kaisou (seaweed 海藻ラーメン)
- Chuuka Soba (Chinese noodles 中華そば)
- Niboshi (fish broth 煮干ラーメン) - Would you like some toppings? (Topping wa ikaga desuka? トッピングはいかがですか？)
- Can you please add chaashu and an egg? (Chaashu to tamago o tsukete kudasai masuka? チャーシューと卵を付けてくださいますか？
*Check the topping samples under “The Insider's Kitchen” for photos and translations.
- How would you like your noodles and soup? (Men to suupu wa ikaga nasai masuka? 麺とスープはいかがなさいますか？)
* Hard noodles (katai men 硬麺)
Regular softness noodles (futsuu 普通)de onegaishimasu. (please make it ... . …でお願いします。
Soft (yawarakai men ?やわらかい麺)
Rich flavor (koikuchi 濃い口)
Regular flavor (futsuu 普通) de onegaishimasu. (same as right above.)
Light flavor (usukuchi 薄口)
- Would you like to have something drink with your order? (O nomimono wa ikaga desuka? お飲み物はいかがですか？)
- I would like to have orange juice. (Orenji juusu o onegaishimasu. オレンジジュースをお願いします。)
- No thank you. (Iie kekkou desu. いいえ、結構ですか。)
- Water is fine. O mizu de daijoubu desu. お水で大丈夫です。）
- Is that all? (Ijou de yoroshii desuka? 以上でよろしいですか？)
This year's Halloween is Saturday the 31st. Misawa Base has been so popular for welcoming children from the local communities for Trick or Treating. These children are looking forward to visiting the base housing and experiencing such a cultural difference relating to Halloween. I bet you will expect more and more children this year due to Halloween falling on the weekend. I would like to introduce some useful phrases you can associate with these adorable visitors.
Go ahead. (Douzo: どうぞ。)
Please take only one. (Hitotsu dake.: ひとつだけ。)
Please take many. (Takusan, douzo.: たくさん、どうぞ。)
Please line up. （Narande kudasai.: 並んでください。）
Cute! (Kawaii: かわいい。)
Scary! (Kowai: 怖い。)
Funny! (Omoshiroi: おもしろい。)
Cool! (Kakko ii: 格好いい。)
You're Welcome. (Dou itashimashite: どういたしまして。)
Take care. /Be careful. (Ki o tsukete: 気をつけて。)
Watch out. (Abunai: 危ない。)
I'm sorry all the candy is gone. (Gomen nasai. Candy wa mou nai desu: ごめんなさい。キャンディはもうないです。)
It's done/ over. (Mou Oshimai.: もう、おしまい。)
- "It's fifty-fifty." (Gobu-Gobu na kanji. 五分五分なかんじ。)
When you talk about percentages in English, all is 100%. Interestingly, old Japanese people count 100% as 10. "分（bu)" means dividing -- originally "分ける（wakeru); in addition to, the meaning of the word ? minutes (分 fun.) For instance, you see the sale sign showing "２割引/２割 (niwaribiki/niwari.)" It means two out of 10 in Japanese, and it is equal to 20% off in English.
- "What's this for?”
これは何のため？ (Korewa Nanno tame?)
- "Why not?”
- "Hold on a sec.”
ちょっとまって (Chotto Matte.)
- "That's all?”
- "Are you joking?”
How is your life in Japan? The longer you live in the country, the more gradually you learn about its language and culture. Nevertheless, without a little bit more effort, you could miss many chances that you can communicate with the Japanese people. If you are struggling with some daily phrases you would like to know in Japanese, feel free to email us at editor.insider(at)gmail.com. We are going to introduce some useful phrases here. Let's learn more Japanese. Your life would be more interesting!
- “Where would you recommend?”
おすすめは、どこですか？（Osusume wa Doko desuka?）
- “What would you recommend?”
おすすめは、何ですか？ (Osusume wa Nan desuka?)
- “Let’s see…”
- “How about XXX?”
XXX は どうですか？ (XXX wa Dou desuka?)
Many spices used in Japan today were previously imported from China through the Silk Road, which Japan and China essentially used as their trading route during the 7th and 8th centuries. One of the spices, (salt, for instance,) was considered as valuable as gold at the time and was very difficult to obtain. One of the greatest things about spices is a small amount used in a dish plays a great role in bringing out the fullness of flavor. Second to those enhancing the flavor of the dishes, spices like Myoga, gingers, and garlic are so believed to have detoxifying effects, that they are often used for preserving the foods, especially during the summer in Japan.
Seven Spices Shichimi (七味唐辛子・しちみとうがらし）
Chile powder Ichimi (一味唐辛子・いちみとうがらし）
Chinese Pepper Sansho (山椒・さんしょ）
Mirin Mirin (味醂・みりん）
Rice wine Sake （酒・さけ）
Rice vinegar Komezu （米酢・こめず）
Soybean paste Miso (味噌・みそ）
Soy sauce Shoyu （醤油・しょうゆ）
Bonito flakes Katsuo Bushi （鰹節・かつおぶし）
Seaweed flakes Aonori (青のり・あおのり）
Japanese green basil Shiso (紫蘇・しそ）
Myoga Myoga (茗荷・みょうが）
Green onion Negi of Wakegi （浅葱・あさつき）
Ginger Shouga (生姜・しょうが）
Yuzu orange Yuzu (柚子・ゆず）
Citrus vinegar Ponzu （ポン酢・ぽんず）
Garlic Nin niku (ニンニク・にんにく)
Chili radish Momiji oroshi (紅葉おろし・もみじおろし）
Horse Radish Wasabi (山葵・わさび）
Mustard Karashi （辛し・からし）
Pickled Ginger Beni Shouga (紅生姜・べにしょうが）
Sesami Goma (胡麻・ごま）
Salt Shio (塩・しお）
Pepper Kosho (胡椒・こしょう）
Especially during the summer vacation, I see children playing at the park copying the sounds of animals and their behaviors when I go for a walk. I just thought it would be nice to know what types of animals they are imitating while they play. I am sure most of children like animals, and they would even love to own one as their own pet. When I was a child, I slept on my bed buried my face in a pile of stuffed animals, such as teddy bears, dogs, and cats. My children, for instances, were also so crazy about animals that they were so enlightened when we visited Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Today, more children in Japan began learning English than before and the names of animals are one of the first English words they learn. Here in this section, I would like to introduce some of them in Japanese. If you ever thought of learning Japanese, by taking advantage of this great opportunity of living in Japan, you may begin exploring and listening to what Japanese children are saying while you are out walking.
Dog Inu （いぬ）
Cat Neko （ねこ；猫）
Pig Buta （ぶた；豚）
Cow Ushi （うし；牛）
Chicken Niwatori （にわとり：鶏）
Panda bear Pannda （パンダ）
Elephant Zou （ぞう；象）
Tiger Tora (とら；虎）
Lion Raionn （らいおん；ライオン）
Penguin Pennginn （ペンギン）
Giraffe Kirinn （きりん；麒麟）
Whale Kujira （くじら；鯨）
Snake Hebi （へび；蛇）
Bear Kuma （くま；熊）
Duck Kamo or Ahiru （あひる；アヒル）
Frog Kaeru （かえる；カエル）
Monkey Saru （さる；猿）
Bear Kuma （くま；熊）
Camel Rakuda （らくだ；駱駝）
Foreigners like us visiting Japan are excited to explore and to visit places. At fi rst, we thought that most of the Japanese holidays are celebrated on the same day as those of in the U.S; yet, such stereo typical notion had resulted in us coming home with disappointment, when my friend and I decided to go shopping one day. It happened to be a Japanese holiday and the stores we intended to visit were closed. Many of those holidays celebrated in the U.S are also celebrated in Japan like Father's day, Mother's day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day are the holidays celebrated in both of the countries; however, some holidays, such as; Earth day, Children's day, and Cultural Day are uniquely celebrated only in Japan. In this section, I am going to introduce those Japanese holidays and their meanings.January
When I went to the local grocery store with my friend, she mentioned to me that the packages used on the products in Japan do not represent anything about their contents. The wrappers used on the packages are a variety of colors, and letters that they are indistinguishable. Some are identical in colors, but the letters written on their packages do not necessarily express the same meanings. If you were to purchase a plain, conventional style of prepared green tea in a bottle, all you have to know is two Chinese kanji letters defi ning green tea; however, the beverage companies today have come up with names that are not so constant in their definitions but rather striking to consumers' eyes. They created the names emphasizing the effects of dieting and of body cleansing in order to stimulate the healthy conscience of people. The problem is, however, that many cannot identify what the basic ingredients of these products are at a glance. Although the title letters written on the front side of the bottle seem unfamiliar to many, the ingredients label on the back of the bottle will give you a clear indication of what kind of tea you are purchasing. There are so many kinds of teas obtainable in Japan that I cannot introduce every tea that exist. Today in this section, I am going to introduce some of the most popular kinds of tea consumed in Japan as well as their meanings.茶（お茶）: Tea
We have started having more warm sunny days, and Misawa is having more bright colors. People like purchasing plant seeds at local home centers or supermarkets in order to partake in gardening. It is enjoyable and anticipatory to see how the seeds will grow brilliantly, as summer gets closer. If you like gardening, you may have a better sense of it and know what you are supposed to do just by looking at sample flower pots or pictures on tags. Even so, I would like to list up some key words so that you may have a better idea for what you are purchasing.
To learn the basic mechanisms and other editions, please review the previous archives (No. 134)
タネ蒔き時: Tane (seeds) maki doki / time of planting seeds
植え付時: Uetsuke doki / time of bedding young plants
暖かい地域: Atatakai chiiki/ a warm region
寒い地域: Samui chiiki/ a cold region
寒冷地: Kanreichi / a severe cold region
開花時期: Kaika jiki / blooming season
収穫時期: Shuukaku jiki/ crop season
春 (Haru: spring）
夏 (Natsu: summer)
秋 (Aki: fall)
冬 (Fuyu: winter)
＊1 (Ichi/ 一 : one) January
＊2 (Ni/ 二: two) February
＊3 (San/ 三: three) March
＊4 (Shi, Yon/ 四: four) April
＊5 (Go/ 五: five) May
＊6 (Six/ 六: six) June
＊7 (Shichi, Nana/ 七: seven) July
＊8 (Hachi/ 八: eight) August
＊9 (Ku/Kyuu/ 九: nine) September
＊10 (Jiu/ 十: ten) October
＊11 (Jiuichi/ 十一: eleven) November
＊12 (Jiuni/ 十二: twelve) December
草丈 (Kusatake: the height of plants)
一年草 (Ichinensou: Annuals)
多年草 (Tanensou: Perennials)
宿根草 (Shukunesou: Groundcovers)
耐寒性 (Taikansei: cold-resistant)
耐暑性 (Taishose: heat-resistant)
強 (Kyou: strong) 弱 (Jyaku: weak)
つり鉢・ハンギング（Tsuribachi/Hanging: good for hanging baskets）
花壇 （Kadan: flowerbeds）
寄せ植え(Yoseue: group planting)
コンテナ （Kontena: planter）
屋外 （Okugai: Outdoor）
屋内 (Okunai: Indoor)
In this edition, let's study some useful Japanese words and numbers for prices and fees, so you do not have to hesitate to try any local places or make use of the information for trips outside Misawa city.
To learn the basic mechanisms and other editions, please review the previous archives on the left.
＊1 (Ichi/ 一 = one)
＊2 (Ni/ 二 = two)
＊3 (San/ 三 = three)
＊4 (Shi, Yon/ 四 = four)
＊5 (Go/ 五 = five)
＊6 (Six/ 六 = six)
＊7 (Shichi, Nana/ 七 = seven)
＊8 (Hachi 八 = eight)
＊9 (Ku/Kyuu 九= nine)
＊10 (Jiu 十 = ten)
＊100 (Hyaku 百 = hundred)
＊1,000 (Sen 千 = thousand)
＊10,000 (Man 万 = ten thousand)
＊Yen = 円 (En)
＊入場料 (Nyuujou ryou: admission)
＊入園料 (Nyuuen ryou: park fees/admission)
＊入館料 (Nyuukan ryou: museum admission)
＊参拝料 (Sanpai ryou: visitor fees for shrines/temples)
＊使用料, 利用料 (Shiyou ryou, Riyou ryou: charges)
＊レンタル料 (Rental ryou: rental fees)
＊消費税込み（Shyouhizei komi: tax included）
＊消費税抜き (Shouhizei nuki: tax excluded)
＊幼児 (Youji: Small children younger than 1st grade students)
＊小学生（Shougakusei: Elementary School Students）
＊中学生（Chuugakusei: Junior Highschool Students）
＊高校生 (Koukousei: High School Students)
＊大学生 (Daigakusei: College students)
＊学生割引（Gakusei Waribiki: student discount）
＊シニア (Senior: Elders over 60 years old)
＊無料 (Muryou: Free)
＊平日 (Heijitsu: weekday)
＊土・日・祝日(Do/Nichi/Shukujitsu: Saturday, Sunday, holidays)
＊個人・団体 (Kojin/Dantai: Single/ Group)
Japanese that is studied at a school is standard Japanese. However, one might have had to struggle to communicate with locals, especially elderly, because they tend to speak a dialect which sounds very different from what one has learned.
In northern Japan, Tohoku dialect is spoken. Literature with Southern accent from the U.S. is often translated into Tohoku dialect, maybe because they give similar impression to non-native speakers of both dialects -- unpolished (sorry!), and warm.
Tohoku dialect can be categorized into ten or more sub-dialects. In Aomori Prefecture, two main sub-dialects which are spoken: Nanbu dialect in the east including Misawa and Hachinohe; Tsugaru dialect in the west covering Hirosaki and Aomori City.
To me as a non-native Aomorian, Nanbu dialect sounds somewhat closer to the standard Japanese, easier to understand. I especially like to hear people in Hachinohe speak in unique intonation that sounds like singing. Nanbu dialect is characterized by adding "suke" at the end of a sentence. On the other hand, the stronger accent and distinct vocabulary of Tsugaru dialect make it more difficult for me to comprehend. A sentence often ends with "hande," or "byon." Both the dialects can have words or sentences ending with "be," "kya," and "zu."
It's hard to master a dialect perfectly, but if you speak some of it, even a word, locals would be deeply impressed. Imagine a Japanese person speaks in American southern accent! Wouldn't it be cool?
Here are some words and phrases in the dialects.
*(SJ) - standard Japanese (N) - Nanbu dialect (T) - Tsugaru dialect
- I : (SJ) watashi; (N&T) wa
- you : (SJ) anata; (N&T) na
- friend : (SJ) tomodachi; (T) keyagu
- yes : (SJ) hai/ un; (N&T) nda
- Wow! Gosh! : (SJ) Wa!/ Ara!; (N) Waiha!/ Onroo!; (T) Ja(jaja)!
- embarrassed : (SJ) hazukashii; (N) shoshi; (T) meguse
- comfortable : (SJ) kimochiii; (N&T) azumashii
- no good : (SJ) dame; (N) wagane; (T) maine
- delicious : (SJ) oishii; (N&T) nme
- Eat it : (SJ) Tabete.; (N&T) ke
- full/ stuffed : (SJ) onaka ippai; (N) hara acche; (T) hara atssue
- Keep up with your good work : (N&T) keppare
- a lot : (SJ) takusan; (N&T) zuppari
Example 1: We are friends, aren't we? -- Yes!
(SJ) Watashi to anata, tomodachi dane? -- Un!
(T) Wa do na, keyagu dabe? -- Nda!
Example 2: Wow! (You fell over on street.) I'm embarrassed.
(SJ) Wa! Hazukashii na.
(N) Ja! Shoshi na.
(T) Waiha! Meguse na.
Example 3: Can I join you? -- Sure. Join us.
(SJ) Watashi mo irete. -- Haitte, haitte.
(N) Wa mo kade kero ja. -- Kadare, kadare.
Example 4: Eat it. -- Delicious! (after a while) Now I'm stuffed.
(SJ) Tabete. -- Oishii! (after a while) Onaka ippai.
(N) Ke. -- Nme! (after a while) Hara attse.
Example 5: I'm leaving now.
(SJ) Ja, watashi kaeru ne.
(N) Seba, wa kaeru suke.
(T) Heba, wa kaeru hande.
Sushi now has become a world-known authentic Japanese dish. As a healthy meal, you will find a lot of sushi restaurants on the west coast or in major large cities in the U.S. In fact, Misawa and Hachinohe are the place for sushi. After Kappa Zushi (a quick conveyor sushi bar) opened in Misawa, people tended to visit there for the convenience and the reasonable prices. However, ordering fresh-made sushi through sushi chefs is the most unique and one-of-a-kind experience you can get while you are in Japan. Let’s learn how to order sushi in Japanese so you can visit local hidden exquisite sushi restaurants.
＊ What is this? (Kore wa nan desuka? これは何ですか？)
＊ What is your special today? （Kyou no osusume wa nan desuka? 今日のお勧めは何ですか？）
＊Would you make XXX? （XXX o onegaishimasu. ＸＸＸ をお願いします。）
＊Without wasabi (Wasabi nuki de. わさび抜きで)
** XXX sushi items reference is below.
Sushi Items: Sushi Neta （寿司ネタ）
Rolled Sushi: Maki Zushi （巻き寿し）
Hand-shaped Sushi: Nigiri Zushi （握り寿司）
Ginger: Gari （がり）
Market Price: Jika （時価）
Mackerel: Saba （さば）
Horse Mackerel: Aji （あじ）
Sardine: Iwashi （いわし）
Tuna: Maguro （まぐろ）
Fatty Tuna: Toro （とろ）
Medium Fatty Tuna: Chu-Toro （中とろ）
Premium Fatty Tuna: Oo-Toro （大とろ）
Bonito: Katsuo （かつお）
Yellowtail: Hamachi/Buri （はまち・ぶり）
Sea Bream: Tai （鯛）
Turbot: Hirame （平目）
Blowfish: Fugu （河豚)
Sea Bass: Suzuki （すずき）
Salmon: Salmon （サーモン）
Saury: Samma （さんま）
Whale: Kujira （鯨）
Conger eel: Anago （穴子）
Eel: Unagi （うなぎ）
Oyster: Kaki （牡蠣）
Abalone: Awabi （あわび）
Scallop: Hotate （ホタテ）
Ark shell: Akagai （赤貝）
Sweet shrimp: Amaebi （甘エビ）
Shrimp: Ebi （えび）
Mantis prawn: Shako （しゃこ）
Snow crab: Taraba Gani （たらばガニ）
King crab: Zuwai Gani （ずわいガニ）
Squid: Ika （いか）
Octopus: Tako （たこ）
Salmon roe: Ikura （いくら）
Herring roe: Kazunoko （数の子）
Sea urchin: Uni （うに）
Egg omelet: Tamagoyaki （玉子焼き）
Cucumber: Kappa Maki （かっぱ巻き）
Pickled radish: Oshinko Maki （おしんこ巻き）
In this edition, let's study some useful Japanese that you often see at stores or restaurants.
To learn the basic mechanisms, please review the previous archives in issues Easy Nihongo Vol.1 and Easy Nihongo Vol.2 at our Website.
- 味噌 （みそ/ Miso: Soybean Flavor ** 味（あじ/Aji: Flavor）
- 醤油 （しょうゆ/ Shouyu: Soy sauce）
- 塩 （しお/ Shio: Salt）
- 豚骨 （とんこつ/ Tonkotsu: Pork base soup）
- 辛 （しん/Shin: Hot ** 辛い/Karai: hot/spicy）
- 甘 （かん/Kan: Sweet/mild, 甘い/Amai: Sweet, まろやか/Maroyaka: Mild）
- 海鮮 （かいせん/Kaisen: Seafood）
- 硬麺 （かためん/Katamen: chewy noodle）
- 温 （おん/On: warm）冷（ひや・れい/Hiya, Rei: cold）
- 替え玉 （かえだま/Kaedama: Refill for more noodles）
- セルフサービス・セルフ （self-service/ self）
- 返却口 （へんきゃくぐち/ Henkyakuguchi: Please return here.）
- 前菜 （ぜんさい/ Zensai: Appetizer）
- 副菜 （ふくさい/ Fukusai: Side dish）
- 肉料理 （にくりょうり/ Niku Ryouri: meat）
- 魚料理 （さかなりょうり/ Sakana Ryouri: fish）
- 焼き物 （やきもの/ Yakimono: grilled/ torched dish）
- 揚げ物 （あげもの/ Agemono: deep fried dish）
- 飯物 （はんもの/ Hanmono: Rice）
- パスタ （Pasta/ noodles）
- 汁物・スープ （しるもの・スープ/ Shirumono・soup: Soup）
- サラダ （Salad）
- デザート （dessert）
- お飲み物 （おのみもの/ Onomimono: drinks）
- アルコール （alcohol）
- 現金 （げんきん/Genkin: Cash）
- ポイントカード （point card）
- クレジットカード （Credit Card）
- メンバーカード （Member Card: Membership card）
- 会計 （かいけい/ Kaikei: Casher）
- お手洗い・トイレ （おてあらい/ Otearai: bathroom/ toilette）
- 食べ放題 （たべほうだい/ Tabehoudai: all-you-can-eat）
- 飲み放題 （のみほうだい/ Nomihoudai: all-you-can-drink）
- バイキング （Baiking: buffet）
When you first find out you are expecting a child, you will certainly wonder what your child’s gender will be, and eventually come up with a list of names you would preferably use when your baby is born.
In Japan, naming a child is a tricky duty among parents who are expecting. Since one's given name is superstitiously believed as influential in order for their child to sustain a good quality of life throughout the child’s future living; expecting parents tend to spend a great amount of time in selecting an ideal name for their precious little one. There are, however, certain rules parents must adapt into the process of choosing their child's name. For instance: the total amount of strokes each Chinese characters (kanji) entail in a name must be adjusted accordingly to the rules of "luck of fortune"; the sound of each Kanji character used in a name are carefully inspected as a whole, before they come to a decision of naming their new born child with the name they choose.
Parents in Japan today, especially those of female babies, are seemingly adapting a new style into naming their children by excluding "KO" at the end. Although, those names ending with "KO" were recognized as the most popular ending used for Japanese female names a few years ago, they became an unusual ending for the upcoming style.
Many Japanese names chosen today are, however, keeping traditional ways to a certain extent by associating Kanji characters with Japanese seasonal terminologies. As Girl's top ten of most popular names for 2008; Yuuna, Sakura Misaki, Kaede, Aoi, Rin, each Kanji characters applied on these names embody the implication of flowers from four seasons. Moreover, Shota, Ren, Riku, Tsubasa, Hayato, Sho, are voted as most popular names for boys, embody the meaning of the world of nature. I'd like to introduce some of those popular Japanese names and their gist of meanings to you today.
For female babies:
1. Yuuna (優奈) Gentle
2. Aoi （葵）Hollyhock, Althea, Blue
3. Rin （凛）Pride, Haughty
4. Misaki （美咲）Beautiful or Elegant, combined with, Blossom.
5. Yui （結衣）Tie, combined with, Garment, Gentle, Superior
6. Sakura （さくら）Cherry, Spring
7. Kaede （楓）Japanese maple
8. Haruka （遥）Distance, Far off
9. Ai （愛）Love
10. Hina （陽菜）Sun, Sunlight, combined with, Green, Spring vegetables
For male babies:
1. Shota (翔太) Fly, Soar, combined with, Thick
2. Ren (蓮) Lotus
3. Riku （陸）Land, Earth
4. Tsubasa （翼）Wing
5. Hayato （隼人）Fast, combined with, Person
6. Yamato （大和） This name is rooted in the Japanese ancient era, Yamato, or, the name of legendary warrior Yamato Takeru.
7. Takumi （巧）Artisan, Skilled
8. Kenta （健太）Health, combined with, Thick.
9. Taisuke （大輔）Large, Strong.
10. Sho（翔）Fly, Soar
Let's take a look at some meaningful sayings and compare them in English and Japanese. It is surprising that two different languages can be similar barring linguistic and cultural differences.
1. Between two stools one falls to the ground.
(二兎を追うものは、一兎をも得ず。Nito o Oumono wa, Itto omo Ezu. -- If you chase after two bunnies, you will catch none.)
2. Birds of a feather fl ock together.
(類は友を呼ぶ。Rui wa Tomo o Yobu. -- People who have something in common naturally become friends.)
3. Let bygones be bygones.
(済んだことは水に流せ。 Sundakoto wa Mizu ni Nagase. -- Flush bygones into water.)
4. Easy come, easy go.
(悪銭身につかず。Akusen Mi ni Tsukazu. -- Underserved money will not be kept.)
5. Do not throw pearls before swine.
(豚に真珠。Buta ni Shinju. -- Pearls on Pigs.)
6. When in Rome, do as the Roman do.
(郷に入りては、郷に従え。 Gou ni Iritewa, Gou ni Shitagae. -- Once you are in a different country, you should think it is like a home and follow their rules.)
7. Let sleeping dogs lie.
(触らぬ神にたたりなし。Sawaranu Kami ni Tatari Nashi. -- Do not upset God, and there is no curse.
寝た子を起こすな。Netako o Okosuna. -- Do not wake up a sleeping child.)
8. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
(よく遊び、よく学べ。Yoku Asobi, Yoku Manabe. -- Play well, and learn well.)
Simple phrases and useful words are introduced in this column. Today, I would like to start a new series of common Japanese letters and words you often see around us. First of all, you usually start learning Hiragana (ひらがな), Japanese phonetic syllables, which is either composed of vowels such as “a,” “i,” “u,” “e,” “o,” or is combined with consonants such as “k,” “s,” “t,” “n,” “h,” “m,” “y,” “r,” and “w.” The “n” is a nasal sonorant which sounds like “m”, “n,” or “ng” in English.
These are used for cases when there is no Kanji (漢字 - Chinese characters) to express. The next learning step after Hiragana will be Katakana (カタカナ); which are another set of syllables primarily used for foreign words. These symbols are made up of sharp, straight lines. The basic commonly used Hiragana or Katakana has 46 symbols each. If you master Katakana, it will help your understanding of Japanese language and enhance your vocabularies, since a variety of English words are also familiar in Katakana with the same meanings and sounds. (e.g. Door/Gate is “ドア/ゲート.) Kanji is Chinese characters which have more than one meaning in their graphical symbols. It was often said that thousands of kanji are hard to learn and memorize. So nowadays, many people believe the graphical symbols provide a great influence on early children’s education since children capture the symbols as pictures. This helps their learning especially when they come across more complicated Kanji as they get older. This applies to many foreigners who tend to quickly learn Kanji rather than Hiragana or Katakana since they do not follow the general learning system as Japanese students receiving lessons at school.
Here are some examples below you might often see in town:
＊病院 (びょういん/ Byoui: hospital)
** 小児科(しょうにか/ Shounika: Pediatrics)
内科 (ないか/ Naika: Internal Medicine)
外科(げか/ Geka: Surgical Unit)
歯科(しか/Shika: Dental Office)
耳鼻科（じびか/Jibika: Otolaryngology Department）
救急（きゅうきゅう/Kyuu Kyuu: emergency）
** 休院（きゅういん/Kyuuin: clinic is closed.）
＊定休日(ていきゅうび/Teikyuubi: regular holiday)
＊売り出し（うりだし/Uridashi: on sale）
** 日(Sun)曜日（にちようび/Nichiyoubi: Sunday,）
Simple phrases and useful words are introduced in this column. Today, I would like to start a new series of common Japanese letters and words you often see around us. First of all, you mostly start learning Hiragana (ひらがな), Japanese phonetic syllables, which is either composed of vowels such as “a,” “i,” “u,” “e, “ or “o” or is combined them with consonants such as “k,” “s,” “t,” “n,” “h,” “m,” “y,” “r,” “w.” Then “n” is a nasal sonorant which sounds like “m”, “n,” or “ng” in English.
These are used for the case when there are no Kanji (漢字 - Chinese characters) to express. In the meantime, the next learning step after Hiragana will be Katakana (カタカナ); which are another syllables primarily used for foreign words. These symbols are made up of sharp straight lines. The basic commonly used Hiragana or Katakana has 46 symbols each. If you master Katakana, it would help your understanding of a Japanese language and enhance your vocabularies since a variety of English words is also familiar in Katakana with the same meanings and sounds. (e.g. Door/Gate is “ドア/ゲート.) Kanji is Chinese characters, which have more than one meaning in their graphical symbols. It was often said that thousands of kanji are hard to learn and memorize. So nowadays, many people believe the graphical symbols provide a great influence on early children’s education since children capture the symbols as pictures. This helps their learning especially when they come across more complicated Kanji as they get older. This applies to many foreigners who tend to quickly learn kanji rather than Hiragana or Katakana since they do not follow the learning system as general Japanese students receive lessons at school.
Here are some examples below as you might often see in town.
＊入口 (いりぐち/ Iriguchi: Enter)
＊出口 (でぐち/ Deguchi: Exit) **口 (くち/ Kuchi: Mouth)
＊開 (かい/Kai: Open) ** 開くverb. (ひらく/ Hiraku)
＊閉 (へい/Hei: Close) ** 閉める verb. (しめる/ Shimeru) **開閉 (KAIHEI)
＊上 (うえ./じょう Ue/ Jou: Up) 下 (した/げ: Shita/ Ge: Down)
**上下左右 (Jou Ge Sa Yuu)
＊右 (みぎ/う Migi/ U: Right) 左 (ひだり/さ: Hidari/ Sa: Left)
＊駐車場 (ちゅうしゃじょう/ Chuushajou: Parking)
＊入（いり/ Iri: On） ＊切 (きり/Kiri: Off)
＊ 国産 (こくさん/ Kokusan: Made in Japan) ** Japan is called 日本国（nipponkoku.）
＊アメリカ(America-san)産 (Made in the US) ** オーストラリア（Australia）, カナダ(Canada), ブラジル(Brazil), チリ（Chili）, タイ（Thai）, 中国（ちゅうごく/Chuugoku: China）, 韓国 (かんこく/Kankoku: South Korea), インド（India）, メキシコ（Meixico）
Continued from the last edition of the insider, I would like to add some more vocabularies introducing a variety of basic useful Japanese; for example, greetings, daily handy Japanese phrases etc. Let’s step up and learn about occupation(SHOKUGYOU 職業), or you can also say job(SHIGOTO 仕事).
What's your occupation/job? あなたの職業/ 仕事はなんですか？（Anata no SYOKUGYOU/ SHIGOTO wa Nanndesuka?）
I am XXX. (Watashi wa XXX desu.) ＊Please insert the following key words.
Pharmacist (YAKUZAISHI 薬剤師)
Photographer (SHASHINKA 写真家)
Pilot (Pilot パイロット)
Plumber (HAIKANKOU 配管工)
Police officer (KEIKAN 警官)
Real estate agent (FUDOUSANGYOUSHA 不動産業者)
Receptionist (UKETSUKE GAKARI 受付係)
Repairperson (SHUURIYA 修理屋)
Salesperson (HANBAIIN 販売員)
Secretary (HISHO 秘書)
Security guard (KEIBIIN 警備員)
Tailor (SHITATEYA 仕立屋)
Taxi driver (TAXI UNTENSHU タクシー運転手)
Teacher (SENSEI/KYOUSHI 先生/ 教師)
Translator/interpreter (HONYAKUSHA/ TSUUYAKUSHA 翻訳者/ 通訳者)
Travel agent (RYOKOUDAIRIGYOUSHA/ 旅行代理業者)
Truck driver (TRUCK UNTENSHU トラック運転手)
Waiter/Waitress (WAITER/WAITRESS ウェイター/ウェイトレス)
Veterinarian (JYUUI 獣医)
Air Force (KUGUN 空軍)
Navy (KAIGUN 海軍)
The Insider has been introducing a variety of basic useful Japanese; for example, greetings, day-to-day handy Japanese phrases. Let's step up and learn about occupation (SHOKUGYOU 職業), or job (SHIGOTO 仕事).
What's your occupation/job? あなたの職業/仕事はなんですか？（Anata no SYOKUGYOU/SHIGOTO wa Nanndesuka?）
I am XXX. (Watashi wa XXX desu.) ＊Please insert the following key words.
accountant (KAIKEISHI 会計士)
actor (HAIYUU 俳優)
architect (KENCHIKUKA 建築家)
artist (ARTIST 芸術家)
baker (PANYA パンや)
barber (TOKOYA 床屋)
bookkeeper (BOKI GAKARI 簿記係)
bus driver (BUS UNTENSHU バス運転手)
carpenter （DAIKU 大工)
casher （REJI GAKARI レジ係）
chef/cook (CHEFU/KOKKU シェフ/コック)
computer programmer (computer programmer コンピュータープログラマー)
electrician (DENKI KOU 電気工)
farmer (NOUKA 農家)
fisherman (RYOUSHI 漁師)
gardener (NIWASHI 庭師)
hairdresser (BIYOUSHI 美容師)
journalist/reporter (KISHA 記者)
lawyer (BENGOSHI 弁護士)
mechanic (KIKAI SEIBIKOU/MECHANIC 機械整備工/メカニック)
Describing a person’s personality in Japanese would be interesting to learn and would be very helpful to introduce one another. How would you describe yourself?
Funny - おもしろい Omoshiroi
Cheerful - 陽気な Youki na
Kind - 優しい Yasashii
Creative - 独創的な Dokusouteki na
Generous - 寛大な Kandai na
Passionate - 情熱的な Jounetsuteki na
Practical - しっかりした Shikkarishita
Short-tempered - 短気な Tanki na
Forgetful - 忘れっぽい Wasureppoi
Stubborn - 頑固な Ganko na
Conservative - 保守的な Hoshuteki na
Critical - 批判的な Hihanteki na
Selfish - わがままな Wagamama na
Curious - 好奇心旺盛な Koukishin Ousei na
Cold-hearted - クールな、冷たい Cool na、Tsumetai
Cool - かっこいい Kakkoii
Easygoing - のんびりした Nonbirishita
Active - 積極的な Sekkyokuteki na
Lazy - 怠惰な Taida na
Dependable - 頼りになる Tayorininaru
Reliable - 信頼できる Shinrai dekiru
Laid-back - おおらかな Ooraka na
I am _____________. (Watashi wa _________ desu. /
__________ hito(person) desu.)
You are __________. (Anata wa ________ desu. / _____________ hito desu.)
Se/ she is _____________. Anata wa ________ desu. / _____________ hito desu.)
Every end of year in Japan, Buzzwords of the Year
are selected and announced by Jiyu Kokuminsha,
a publisher that releases an encyclopedia featuring
buzzwords. New words, phrases, and those that spread
widely during the year, as well as those that well
represent social conditions, are nominated by readers
of the encyclopedia, and the top ten are chosen by
The following is the list of Buzzwords of the Year 2008:
アラフォー (arafou); "Around Forty"
“Ara fou”is a shortened expression for “around forty.” It indicates that people, especially women, are around forty years old. A drama titled “Around Forty” earned good ratings this year. CDs and other products aiming specifically at this generation are selling well.
グ〜 (guu); "Good!"
A recently popular comedienne, Edo Harumi, uses this expression meaning "good” with both thumbs up and eyes wide open. She combines this with other English words such as “excitin-guu” and “dancing-guu”.
上野の413球 (Ueno no 413 kyuu); "Ueno's 413 Pitches"
Yukiko Ueno, an Olympic softball pitcher, threw 413 pitches in a row in the last three games to obtain a gold medal. She is a Japanese hero now.
Top 4 trhough 10 (in random order)
居酒屋タクシー (izakaya takusii);“Bar Taxi”
Around 1,400 government offi cials in Tokyo who used taxis at night to go home were served with beer, hors d'oeuvres, and even cash on their ride. This news annoyed the public.
名ばかり管理職 (nabakari kanrishoku); "So-Called
Some managers at chain restaurants and sores were required to work long hours without enough pay or authority.
埋蔵金 (maizou kin); “Buried Treasures”
According to a government report in 2007, a few hundred billion dollars could be dig up from special governmental accounts. Now its use is under discussion.
蟹工船 (kanikousen); “Crab-Canning Boat”
A classic proletarian literature using the title above was published 80 years ago. It’s being read again, because it vividly refl ects recent Japanese society with rising numbers of working poor.
ゲリラ豪雨 (gerira gouu) "Guerrilla Downpour”
This year, many areas in Japan sufferedfrom unpredicted downpour, reportedly due to global warming.
後期高齢者 (kouki koureisha);“Later-Stage Senior Citizens”
As a new health insurance law was enforced, the Japanese government labeled people over 75 as above. Those who fall into the bounds reject the term, not only because how it sounds, but because the law obliges them to pay premium by checking it off from pension.
あなたとは違うんです。(anata towa chigaun desu);
“I’m different than you.”
At the ex-prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda,’s resignation interview, he said the above to a reporter with annoyance. He rejected receipt of this award.
Can you speak out loud some daily routines in Japanese? The following expressions are useful when you are talking about routines. Here are some examples:
- I (will) get up. Okiru.
- I (will) wash one’s face. Kao o arau.
- I (will) brush my teeth. Ha o migaku.
- I (will) have a meal. Gohan wo taberu.
*asa gohan (breakfast), hiru gohan (lunch), ban gohan(dinner)
- I (will) go to work. Shigoto ni iku.
- I (will) go to school. Gakko ni iku.
- I (will) go home. Unichi kaeru.
- I (will) watch TV. Terebi o miru.
- I (will) take a bath. Ofuro ni hairu.
- I (will) go to bed. Neru
The expressions above can mean either present or
future actions, depending on the context. To ask a
questions such as “Do you…?” or “Are you going to
…?”, all you have to do is to say the last syllable in a
To add time, say “(time) ji ni” in the beginning. For example, “Roku-ji ni okiru,” means “I get up at six o’clock.”
To ask the time for each action, add “Nanji ni” in the beginning. For example, “Nan ji ni kaeru?” means “What time do you (will you) go home?”
Drive extra carefully on snow and ice. In the winter, it's frequent to witness traffic accidents in Misawa. Many of them occur off-base, between American drivers and Japanese drivers. The first thing to do is to see if everybody involved is all right. If not, call an ambulance immediately. The next thing to do is to call both the Japanese and the Base Police.
Here are some expressions that might come in handy in case of a traffic accident.
- Are you all right?: Daijoubu desu ka?
- Are you hurt?: Kega wa arimasen ka?
- Let's call an ambulance: Kyuukyuu sha o yobimashou.
- Let’s call a police officer: Keisatsu o yobimashou.
- traffi c accident: kootsuu jiko
- driver’s license: (Unten) menkyoshou
- slipped: subetta
- collided: butsukatta
- collided from behind: tsuitotsu shita
- scratched: kosutta
- got a fl at tire: panku shita
- entered the opposite lane: taikou shasen ni haitta
- ignored the red light: shingou mushi shita
- didn’t see it: wakarana katta
It feels great when you are helping others! It could be someone in your family, your friend, coworker, acquaintance, or even a total stranger. When you’re offering help in Japanese, say “(masu-form of a verb) + mashou ka?” to elders, bosses, or in a formal setting. To close friends, children, family members, or in a casual setting, say “(volitional-form of a verb) +you ka?” or “(te-form of a verb) + te ageyou ka?”
Shall I help you?
- Otetsudai shi-mashou ka? (polite)
- Tetsudaou ka?/ Tetsudatte ageyou ka? (casual)
Shall I carry the luggage?
- Nimotsu (o) mochi-mashou ka? (polite)
- Nimotsu motou ka?/ Nimotsu motte ageyou ka? (casual)
Shall I give you a shoulder massage?
- Kata (o) momi-mashou ka? (polite)
- Kata momou ka?/ Kata monde ageyou ka?(casual)
Shall I open the door?
- Doa (o) ake-mashou ka? (polite)
- Doa akeyou ka?/ Doa akete ageyou ka? (casual)
Shall I close the door?
- Mado (o) shime-mashou ka? (polite)
- Mado shimeyou ka?/ Mado shimete ageyou ka? (casual)
Shall I go with you?
- Isshoni iki-mashou ka? (polite)
- Isshoni ikou ka?/ Isshoni itte ageyou ka? (casual)
Shall I serve you coffee?
- Kohi (o) ire-mashou ka? (polite)
- Kohi ireyou ka?/ Kohi irete ageyou ka? (casual)
*”ire-“ literally means “to pour”. Use only for a drink.
Shall I bring a map?
- Chizu (o) motteki-mashou ka? (polite)
- Chizu mottekoyou ka?/ Chizu mottekite ageyou ka? (casual)
An Awesome past time that many of us enjoy is going to a concert of a favorite singer or band. In Japan there is a constant stream of concerts of both American and Japanese bands. Yet it may be a bit diffi cult to purchase tickets at a booth where no English is spoken. So in order to do this successfully, let’s look at some words and phrases.
The word “concert” pronounced “con-sa-a-to” can be used but the words “live” or “la-I-bu” and “tour” or “tsu-a-a” are also used in place of the word concert. So don’t let this confuse you. It helps to have a fl yer or some type of visual to show the vendor. If you don’t, then the fi rst thing you can start with is stating the name of the artist and then saying the words, “no chi-ket-to wo kaitaidesu or kudasai,” meaning, “I want to buy ~ tickets.” Example: “Weezer no chi-ket-to wo kaitaidesu” (“I want to buy Weezer tickets.”).
They will then ask you the date, which you will reply with the month “gatsu” fi rst, and then the day “nichi.” Example: “San gatsu mikka,” or, March 3. After this part of the conversation, the next step will usually be purchasing the ticket. Here they will ask “Nan-seki / Nan-mai (how many seats /tickets) irimasuka?” meaning, “how many?” Holding up fi ngers is fi ne, but replying with the number word will be better (listed below). Concerts usually run from 7500 yen and up. If a show is sold out the word you will hear is “Urikire."
Days of Month
11th: Juuichi nichi
12th: Juuni nichi
13rd: Juusan nichi
15th: Juugo nichi
16th: Juuroku nichi
17th: Juunana nichi
18th: Juuhachi nichi
19th: Juuku nichi
21st: Nijuuichi nichi
22nd: Nijuuni nichi
23rd: Nijuusan nichi
25th: Nijuugo nichi
26th: Nijuuroku nichi
27th: Nijuunana nichi
28th: Nijuuhachi nichi
29th: Nijuuku nichi
30th: Sanjuu nichi
31st: Sanjuuichi nichi
Example: Jiu ichi nichi or the 11th.
# of Tickets
1- Ichi-mai (mai = piece)
How is your Misawa life? Many of you may get sick easily by Misawa’s unpredictable weather or working outside in the bad weather; especially temperature suddenly drops when shifting from summer to fall. Also, you may not expect what might happen to you outside Misawa community while you are traveling Japan. It is useful to know some expressions for those various situations.
＊ Sickness: Byouki ＊
痛 (tsuu) − aches (noun)
痛い (Itai) − painful/hurt (adjective)
Headache − Zutsuu
I have a fever. ? Netsu ga aru.
I have a headache. ? Atama ga itai.
Stomachache ? Itsuu
I have a stomache. ? Onaka ga itai.
I feel sick. ? Kibun ga warui.
I feel nauseous. ? Hakike ga suru.
I have a sore throat. ? Nodo ga itai.
I feel cold. ? Samuke ga suru.
My back is sore. ? Senaka ga itai.
I have a cold. ? Kaze wo hiiteiru.
I feel dizzy. ? Memai ga suru.
I have a tooth pain. ? Ha ga itai.
I have pains in my ears. ? Mimi ga itai.
＊ Injury: Kega ＊
Insert XXX into the sample sentences.
Broken bones: Kossetsu
I broke XXX: XXX no Hone ga Oreta
a Scar: Kizu
I made a scar in XXX: XXX ni Kizu ga dekita.
Feet, Legs: Ashi
Ankles: Ashi Kubi
Wrists: Te Kubi
I twisted XXX: XXX wo Hinetta.
I cut XXX: XXX wo Kitta.
I burnt XXX: XXX wo Yakedo shita.
Japanese people use Celsius to check their body temperatures. It is commonly said that the temperature over 37.0 Celsius is a high fever. If you have a continuous high fever over 40.0, you should be immediately seen by Doctor. I hope you have a safe life in Misawa.
Five Ws and one H are used many times a day in any situation. Knowing them in Japanese will boost your ability of communicating in the language. Here are the interrogative pronouns in Japanese.
- What: Nani (Nan-desuka)?
- Who: Dare (Dare-desuka)/ (Donata-desuka)?
- Why: Doshite (Doshite-desuka)?
- Where: Doko (Doko-desuka)?
- When: Itsu (Itsu-desuka)?
- How: Dou (Dou-desuka)/ (Ikaga-desuka)?
*The expressions in ( ) are polite. Use them for customers, bosses, or elders.
When you are making an appointment with a friend, you
can ask the following questions:
- Itsu au? When shall we meet?
- Nan ji ga ii? What time do you prefer?
- Nani suru? What shall we do?
- Doko de au? Where shall we meet?
- Doko iku? Where shall we go?
If you didn’t catch what s/he said, just say: “E? Nani?” (“Huh? What?”)
We had two big earthquakes in Tohoku area (northern Japan) in the past one month and a half. Also the huge one in China that occurred in May still might be fresh in our memories. Some of you from certain part of USA may not be familiar to earthquake. However, it is no longer an isolated event in our lives because it could happen again anywhere, anytime.
Today let's learn some phrase in the case of earthquake emergency and protect ourselves.
- Please evacuate. :Hinan shite kudasai.
- Please hide under the (desk). :(Tsukue) no shita ni kakurete kudasai.
- Please open the door. (or window) :Doa(mado) wo akete kudasai.
- earthquake flash report :Jishin sokuho
Usually "magnitude" is used to indicate the strength of earthquake from the epicenter. But also, in Japan, "Shindo" is used to indicate size of quake of the ground at a certain point. For example, we say "The earthquake happened at 40Km deep, Magnitude 4.9, Shindo 3 in ..... city." The flash report on Japanese TV uses Shindo more often.
Now it maybe wise to prepare emergency supplies (Bousai youhin) in case of need.
For many people, a trip to the beauty salon or barber shop is part of a regular routine. Yet when trying to expand this practice to a Japanese grooming facility, it can be a bit difficult to explain what you want your hair to look like. Here are some tips and phrases that may help you accomplish this goal.
In Japan, the styles preferred by people through the ages of 15 to 40 consist of a cutting technique know as “shaggy.” Basically, the ends of the hair are cut in a way to have a feathery layered effect. This is usually done around the whole head and emphasized around the frame of the face and can be styled in a number of funky ‘dos. However, this type of cut does not work well with fine or curly hair and can be a slight hassle on the upkeep. If you are interested in this style, you can simply say, “shaggy ni shitekudasai” meaning, “please make it shaggy.” This opposite of this would be, “shaggy ni shinaidekudasai” or, “please do not make it shaggy.”
When specifically going in for a hair cut, there are a number of words that can be useful to know, such as:
- Hair cut Katto (You could just say cut)
- Trim: Soroeru
- Long: Nagai
- Short: Mijikai
- Front: Mae
- Back: Ushiro
- Side: Yoko
- Hair: Kami
- Dark: Kurai
- Light: Akarui
- Permanent: Paama
- All of it, or all the way around :
Depending on where you go, the barber or stylist will understand these simple words in English. But just in case, here are some sentences that will answer the question, “Dono gurai kiri masu ka?” meaning, “How much do you want cut?” or, “How short do you want it?”
“Kesaki wo kittekudasai” – “Please give me a trim” “Ushiro wo mijikaku kitte kudasai” – “Please cut the back short”
“Mae wo nagakushitekudasai” – “Please keep the front long” “Zentaitekini mijikaku kitte kudasai” – “Please make it all shorter”
So the next time you decide to go to a Japanese salon, try some these phrases, and hopefully they will make your experience a more enjoyable one.
When getting to know someone a subject that is sure to come up in conversation is one's hobbies. In Japanese, the word for hobby is “ shumi.” When describing your own hobby, the sentence will start with “ Watashi no shumi wa … desu ” meaning “ My hobby is …. ” When asking someone else their hobby, the sentence would be, “Anata no shumi wa nan desuka? ” translating to “ What is/are your hobby/ies? ” There is a wide range of hobbies that anyone can have, but here are some common hobbies that you can use when speaking in Japanese. To begin, start with “ Watashi no shumi wa ” and then add any of the following, and end with “desu” to make your sentence a statement.
- Bowling: Booringu
- Fishing: Sakana tsuri
- Cooking: Ryoori
- Soccer: Sakkaa
- Baseball: Yakyuu
- Sewing: Yoosai
- Drawing: E wo kaku koto
- Cars: Kuruma
- Taking pictures: Shashin wo toru koto
- Learning Japanese: Nihongo wo narau koto
Here is an example of a complete sentence:“Watashi no shumi wa e wo kaku koto desu” means “My hobby is drawing.”
The rainy season is almost over and summer has finally come. Even though summer here in Aomori is not too hot or too long, you still may want an electric fan or air conditioner in your house.
It is not only you who has difficulties with the remote controller written in Japanese for the electric fan or AC. So today I would like to introduce some kanji which is used for this equipment.- 弱 (jaku): low (wind)
Now that northern Japan is in the middle of rainy season when the weather is bad, what do you usually do for fun? How about some movies at a nice theater? The great thing about the base theater is that it’s cheap, but the TOHO Cinetown at EAON Shimoda shopping mall will be renovated and reopened very soon. They will have nicer seats and “Mama’s club theater” will be accommodated where you can go with baby and kids.
Today, let’s learn some words and phrases for the theater:
“Two adults, please.” -----Otona nimai kudasai.
“Two adults and one child, please.”----- Otona nimai, kodomo ichimai kudasai.
And you’ll be asked if you want subtitled or dubbing. So let’s say “Jimaku onegaishimasu.”for subtitled one. Adult----Otona
No smoking----Kin en
Additionally, if you want certain part of seats, for example,"Ushiro no seki o onegaishimasu." (“Upper part of sets,please.”) or "Mannaka no seki o onegaishimasu." ("Middle part of seats,please.")
Have a great time at the movies!
Living in Misawa, having an automobile is a must to go anywhere. Most of the traffic signs may be understandable pictures or they are written in English. However, some of them may not be familiar to you. In this issue, let's take a look at those Japanese specifics traffic signs.
- 止まれ: Stop
- 徐行: Drive at a SLOW speed
- 追い越し禁止: No-passing zone
- 通行止め: No thorough fare
- 停: Waiting allowed
- 中央線: Centerline position
Although many people may already know those signs, I believe you don't want to get a ticket in any case and ruin a nice day. Let's observe traffic rules and have a nice drive!
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