Japanese Phrasebook/Conversation essentials

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Once you've gotten past greetings and other common phrases, it's useful to learn how to survive on your own. Conversation with new acquaintances in Japan can be frustratingly predictable at times, but this is a good thing when you're still learning the language.

Another survival tip:

Downloading Rikaichan for Firefox is highly recommended, all you need is a basic understanding of the backwards sentence structure that Japanese has compared to English and you'll be able to read web pages like the Japanese Wikipedia. Slowly, word-by-word, but at least it's possible through the interactive dictionary.

Self introduction - 自己(じこ)紹介(しょうかい)[edit | edit source]

初めまして。<名前>と申します。<国>から来ました。<会社>で働いています。よろしくお願いします。 Nice to meet you. My name is <name>, I'm from <country>. I work at <company>. Please treat me favourably.
初めまして。私は<国>の<名前>です。<会社>の研修生です。専門は<専門>者。<何月>に同僚と日本へ来ました。どうぞよろしく。 How do you do? I'm <name> from <country>. I'm a <company>-trainee in the field of <speciality>. I came to Japan with a work colleague in <month>. Pleased to meet you.

Common questions you will be asked[edit | edit source]

Japanese English
佐藤さん:ご出身はどこですか。Mr. Satō:Where are you from?
ジョン:<国>から参りました。John:I'm from <country>.
Japanese English
佐藤さん:どこに勤めていますか。Mr. Satō:Where do you work?
ジョン:<会社>に勤めています。John:I work at <company>.
Japanese English
佐藤さん:背の高いMr. Satō:How tall are you?
ジョン:John:I'm 180cm tall.

Useful things to say[edit | edit source]

すみませんが、もう一度お願いします。 Sorry, please repeat that.
もう一度、お名前を…… I didn't quite catch your name ...
どこで働いていますか。 Where do you work?

Talking about the weather[edit | edit source]

いい天気ですね。 Great weather isn't it.
涼しくなってきましたね。 It’s cooling down.
降ってきましたね。 It’s raining.
よく降りますね。 It’s raining a lot.
はっきりしない天気ですね。 It's cloudy/overcast isn't it.
暖かくなってきましたね。 It’s getting warmer.

Daily schedule[edit | edit source]

私は毎朝6時半ごろ起きて、シャワーを浴びて、朝ごはんを食べて、会社へ行きます。私の会社は工場の会社で、<どこ>にあります。家から会社まで20分くらいかかります。毎朝うちから会社まで自転車に乗ります。仕事は8時から4時半までです。土日は休みです。 I get up at 6:30am every morning, have a shower, eat breakfast and go to work. My workplace is a factory and it's located in <where>. It takes me about 20 minutes to get from home to work. Every morning I ride my bicycle to work. I work from 8am to 4:30pm with weekends off.