Key phrases to learn in Japanese

Travelling to a country that doesn’t speak English as their first language may seem a little daunting however you will find that a lot of people know a small amount of English, especially in places that tourists frequent.  This is definitely the case in Japan as it is taught in schools and adults often study English in evening classes. Even though you can get by without speaking the language, learning a few words or phrases in Japanese will make things a little bit easier, help you to have a more immersive travel experience and will definitely earn you brownie points with the locals.

Asian languages may seem difficult to learn but unlike some others, Japanese is not a tonal language which means that saying a word differently won’t change the meaning of the word.  English isn’t a tonal language either so this should make learning some phrases in Japanese a little easier. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be speaking Japanese like a local!


English Japanese Pronunciation
Hello Konnichiwa kon-nee-chee-WAH
Goodbye Sayounara Sai-YO-nah-rah
Please (request) Onegai shimasu oh-neh-gigh shee-moss
Thank you Arigatou ah-ree-GAH-toh
Yes Hai High
No Iie EE-eh
Excuse me Sumimasen suh-MEE-mah-sen
Where is? ….Doko desu ka? doh-koh dess KAH?
Nice to meet you Hajimemashite hah-jee-meh-MOSH-teh
Delicious Oishii desu Oi-SHEE dess
Beautiful Utsukushī OO-tsu-kush-EE
Can I have a beer? Bi-ru o kudasai Bee-RU oh koo-dah-sai


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