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8 basic phrases to learn in Japanese language

8 basic phrases to learn in Japanese language

Picture this: You are offered your dream job in Japan. But you have to join immediately and move to Japan. As you have very limited time to prepare, you couldn’t join a Japanese language course.

What do you do?

Well, for starters, why not learn some basic Japanese phrases that you would need to make your transit just a bit easier?

Yes, that would definitely help you. From saying “Hi” or “My name is so and so” in Japanese, you would at least be able to have basic conversations in Japanese.

In this article. We share some of the basic Japanese words and phrases that will help your moving to Japan smoother.

But before we start, it’s important to know why speaking and understanding the Japanese language is so important for those who want to migrate to Japan.

Why speaking and understanding the Japanese language is  important for those who want to migrate to Japan?

Japan is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. With innovation, comes many job opportunities. However, with its labour shortage brought on by the ageing population and mismatched skills, the country is on the lookout for foreign talent and many foreigners have found their desired jobs in Japan.

However, one problem these foreign workers face is the language barrier. You see, the majority of the Japanese people do not speak or understand English. So, to get by, it is imperative for foreign talent in Japan to learn Japanese language and clear the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5 exam.

But, not everyone has time to prepare and learn Japanese. The only solution to make the transit easier is to at least learn some basic Japanese phrases.

So, we have compiled 8 common Japanese phrases here for you.

  1. Konnichiwa (こんにちは)
    Konnichiwa is a greeting that is usually used during the day time (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). It means “Hi” or “Hello” and is used for both formal and informal greetings. So, if you happen to meet your new colleagues or your friends or just anyone, just greet them with a small bow, a smile and a “Konnichiwa”.
  2. Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございました)
    Thank you
    Japanese are known for being polite. So common courtesy terms such as saying “Thank you!” is something you would have to take with you when you live in Japan. Arigatou gozaimasu is a polite way of showing your appreciation. If you find difficulty in pronouncing the two words, you could also simply go with “Arigatou”.
  3. Kudasai (ください)
    Having good manners play an important role in making friends in Japan. You simply cannot go to a foreign land and ask for something that sounds like a demand. The word “Please” can change the whole meaning of a sentence. When you want something or want someone to do something for you, always use “kudasai” which means, please.
  4. Kore wa ikura desu ka? (これはいくらですか?)
    How much is this?
    Of course, you are going to want to buy something and you would need to know how much the item’s cost, right? Well, if you want to know the price of something, just hold or point at the object and say, “Kore wa ikura desu ka?”
  5. O-namae wa nan desu ka? (おなまえはなんですか。?)
    What is your name?
    You will eventually want to make new friends or start dating once you’ve settled in Japan. Asking their names is always a good conversation starter. After greeting them, ask their names by saying, “O-namae wa nan desu ka?”
  6. Watashi no namae wa ___ (私の名前は)
    My name is ___
    Every now and then, you would have to introduce yourself. Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if you introduce yourself in Japanese rather than English? Well, you can say, “Watashi no namae wa (followed by your name)”.
  7. Gomennasai (ごめんなさい,)
    I am sorry
    Again, the Japanese are big on good manners and common courtesy. You bumped into someone on the road by accident, apologize. You used the wrong mug in the office, apologize. You did something wrong, apologize. But apologise in Japanese because not everyone will understand the word “Sorry”. Just say, “Gomennasai”.
  8. Motto yukkuri wa nashite kudasai? (もっと ゆっくりはなしてください。)
    Can you speak more slowly?
    This is a phrase that is going to be helpful once you begin to learn the Japanese language. To be proficient, you will have to gradually converse with the Japanese people in their language. So, it will take some time for you to understand what they say. The slower they speak, the more you will be able to put two and two together. So, if you feel like they are speaking too fast for you to catch on, just say. “Motto yukkuri wa nashite kudasai?”

There you go. The above basic Japanese phrases can definitely help you get by for a few days in Japan.

If you are wondering about where and how to learn Japanese language, do visit our website.

Happy learning Japanese!

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