Japanese/Vocabulary/Everyday Phrases

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Greetings[edit]

  • 今晩は (こんばんは) - Good evening (generally used after 6pm).
  • 今日は (こんにちは) - Hello; good day; good afternoon.
  • おはよう - Casual "Good morning" (generally used until 10am).
    • おはようございます - Formal "Good morning."
  • お休み (おやすみ) - Casual "Good night."
    • おやすみなさい - Formal "Good night."

Yes and No[edit]

  • はい - yes (formal)
  • ええ - yes (slightly less formal)
  • いいえ - no (formal)
  • うん - yeah/uh-huh (casual)
  • ううん - no/uh-uh (casual)
  • いや - no (casual, indicates displeasure)

Eating[edit]

  • いただきます - Polite phrase to say before eating.
  • ごちそうさまでした - Polite phrase to say after eating.

Praise[edit]

  • おめでとう - Congratulations
    • おめでとうございます - Stronger congratulations.
  • よく出来ました。 - Good job. (You did well.)

Please and Thank You[edit]

  • ~ ください - ~ please. (Usually used with the -te form of the verb)
  • おねがいします - please (Slightly more polite)
  • どうぞ - please (Casual)
  • どうも - Thanks.
  • ありがとう - Thank you. (Casual)
    • どうもありがとう - Thank you very much. (Casual)
    • ありがとうございます - Thank you. (Polite)
    • どうもありがとうございます - Thank you very much. (Polite)
  • すみません - excuse me.
    • どうもすみません - Thanks a lot. (Usually when someone goes out of their way to help)
  • どういたしまして - You are welcome.
  • いいえ - Not at all/No problem.

Getting Attention[edit]

  • すみません - Excuse me.
    • あのうすみません - Ah, excuse me ...
    • すみませんが - Excuse me, but ...
  • おい - Hey (Somewhat rude)

Apology[edit]

  • ごめん - Sorry.
    • ごめんなさい - I am really sorry. (more formal)
    • ごめんね - Sorry (soft/fem.).
    • ごめんな - Sorry (masc.).
    • ごめんよ - Sorry (masc. or Kansai dialect).
  • すみません - I'm sorry.

Farewells[edit]

  • しつれいします。- goodbye for use with social superiors
  • さようなら - Goodbye. (Primarily before a long absence.)
  • じゃまた - See you later.
  • じゃ - Bye! See you soon. (Mostly used by men )
  • じゃね - Bye! See you soon.(Mostly used by women)
  • また明日 (またあした) - See you tomorrow.
  • またね - Later.
  • また会いましょう (またあいましょう) See you again.
  • またどうぞ - Please come again.
  • バイバイ - Borrowed from English, Bye Bye.
  • いってきます - I'm leaving (said when leaving the house)
  • いってらっしゃい - Have a safe trip (response to いってきます)
  • ただいま - I'm home (said when returning home)
  • おかえりなさい - Welcome back
    • おかえり - Less formal than the above

Finding the bathroom[edit]

  • トイレ (といれ) - Toilet
  • お手洗い (おてあらい) - Restroom (variants are 御手洗い and 手洗い)
  • 便所 (べんじょ) - Lavatory
  • 化粧室 (けしょうしつ) - Powder room
  • すみません。トイレはどこですか。 - Excuse me. Where is the bathroom?
  • すみません。お手洗(てあら)いはどちらですか。 - Excuse me. Which way is the restroom?

Hesitation noises[edit]

Hesitation noises, or vocal pauses, are the "uh" and "um" of a language, filler sounds we produce when we pause to think while speaking. Using the correct hesitation noises can make the difference between natural sounding Japanese, and awkward foreign sounding speech.

They are:

  • あのう - Usually when you are about to say something.
  • ええと - When you are just thinking.
  • まぁ  - "Well..." used for considering, reconsidering, etc...
  • さぁ  - Another thinking sound) Used for when you're not sure of the information.
  • 何だっけ (なんだっけ) - "What's it called..." used when trying to remember something specific.
  • そうですね - Acknowledges what was previously said. More of a staller than a hesitation noise. Somewhat more formal. Also used to show you care what the speaker is saying.