Most Japanese know a little bit of English since they start learning it in middle school, but every once in awhile, you might catch someone that doesn't know any English at all. Here are 10 Japanese phrases that will be helpful while you are visiting Japan. Watch the video to get a better understanding of how and when to use these phrases.
1. Sumimasen / すみません
Translation: Excuse me
Most commonly used when you bump into someone or need someone's attention. Can also be used as "sorry".
2. Konnichiwa / こんにちわ
Common greeting in Japan. Also means "good afternoon". To take it further, "good morning" is "ohayou gozaimasu" and "good evening" is "konbanwa".
3. Arigatou / ありがとう
Translation: Thank you
Most common way to say "thank you". If you want to get formal, you can say "arigatou gozaimasu".
4. Ikura desu ka? / いくらですか?
Translation: How much is it?
You can also go more casual and shorten the phrase by saying "ikura?", meaning "how much?".
5. Eigo wakari masuka? / 英語わかりますか？
Translation: Do you know English?
When you approach a Japanese person, ask if they know English first. Chances are they know a little, but it's polite to ask.
6. Doko desu ka? / どこですか?
Translation: Where is it?
When you are looking at a map and need directions, point at the map and use this phrase. To shorten the phrase, just say "doko?", which means "where?".
7. Oishii / 美味しい
Crystal uses this word nonstop in Japan as everything in Japan is delicious! You'll probably notice some Japanese girls saying this in high pitched voices.
8. Watashi no namae wa XXX / 私の名前はXXX
Translation: My name is XXX
"Watashi" means "my" or "I" and "namae" means "name". If you want to be really lazy, you can just point at yourself and say your name, but you can do that in any country.
9. Toire wa doko desu ka? / トイレはどこですか?
Translation: Where is the toilet?
"Toire" means "toilet" and "doko" means "where", so if you want to be more casual with your new Japanese friends, you can just say "Toire doko?"
10. Wakari masen / わかりません
Translation: I do not understand.
A more casual way of saying this is "wakannai". If you do understand, you can say "wakarimasu".
Did we miss any words or phrases that you thought might be more useful? Let us know in the comments below!