Culture Japanese language

dmz

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Here are some Japanese language tips I have gathered from other posts:

How do you say goodbye?

It depends on the relationship. I mean, Sayonara sounds formal and polite, but it sounds like you'll never meet him / her again too if you say it to friends. If a girlfriend says "Sayonara" to her boyfriend, it sounds like "break up". Mata = again, and we often say "Matane" = "See you again / See ya" between friends. You are not a native Japanese speaker, so I think Sayonara is ok in all cases.
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Greeting?

Use "Ohaiyo" for good morning
Konichiwa is a good all day one
Konbanwa. Good evening.
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Asking for something as in ordering?

Hitotsu (one) Kirin (beer brand) o Kudasai (please).
Futatsu (two) tansan mizu (sparkling waters) onegaishimasu.
Or point to a picture to select.
Kore o Kudasai (This please).
The simple version is both kudasai and onegaishimasu (don’t say the u) mean please in this context. It’s more complex than that, but they’ll both work. Onegaishimasu is more formal so I tend to fall back on that almost all the time. Except for in situations like asking someone to wait “chotto mate kudasai” when onegaishimasu wouldn’t work.

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Do you speak english?

You don't need to remember "Eigo Hanasemasu ka?". You just need to say "English?".

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Compliments

If I were you, I would try to memorize Japanese compliment words such as

"Oishii desune" = (It's) yummy / delicious!.
"Kawaii desune" = (You are / It's) cute!.

Adding "Totemo" = very, so "Totemo oishii desune!" =It's very yummy / delicious". You can omit desune / desu.

Using Japanese compliment words will make local Japanese people smile, and you smile too.

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Numbers:
English has just numbers.
Japan has numbers. And number of things. And number of things, depending on shape.... or size. Or if it's people, animals, cars, minutes.....

For food or drinks, it's:
1 beer = Hitotsu
2 beers = Futasu
3 beers = Mitsu

Small animals, you actually us the counting number, using "biki" for small animals:
two dogs = ni-biki no inu (2 counts of dog)
three cats =san-biki no neko (3 counts of cat)

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Thank you?

Arigato
Arigatou gozaimasu - thank you very much
 

Ramenman

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I think "Doko" = "Where" is very useful too. "A wa Doko (desuka)? = Where is A?. Adding desuka is polite and better. Even if the Japanese person can't speak English at all, he / she can take you to the place or at least can point in the direction.
 

willsnow

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I think "Doko" = "Where" is very useful too. "A wa Doko (desuka)? = Where is A?. Adding desuka is polite and better. Even if the Japanese person can't speak English at all, he / she can take you to the place or at least can point in the direction.

"Toire (toilet) wa doko desuka" is a handy phrase. Also, "Ikura desuka" - how much is it
 

dmz

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I think "Doko" = "Where" is very useful too. "A wa Doko (desuka)? = Where is A?. Adding desuka is polite and better. Even if the Japanese person can't speak English at all, he / she can take you to the place or at least can point in the direction.
Thanks - whats the difference between desuka and onegaishimasu or kudesai?
 

Ramenman

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Thanks - whats the difference between desuka and onegaishimasu or kudesai?

"Desuka" is a question maker. "Natto wa oishii desu" = Natto is yummy. If you use "desuka" instead of "desu", "Is Natto yummy?".

More examples,
Ashita wa yuki desu = Tomorrow is snow = It is / will be snow tomorrow(Ashita =Tomorrow, wa = be / will be, yuki = snow, desu = no meaning, we put it at the end of each sentence. You can omit desu, but it sounds more polite if you add it).

Ashita wa yuki desuka? = Tomorrow is snow? = Will it be snow tomorrow? / It is snowing tomorrow?
 
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ojisan

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"No thanks"

Kekkodesu (more formal)
Daijoubudesu/Daijoubu

Useful in a lot of situations, but most commonly for me when i'm offered a receipt at a Konbini.
Another useful term which also means no thanks is 'iranai'....
It's less formal and I've used it in situations where I asked if I wanted to eat something offered.
 

dmz

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"Desuka" is a question maker. "Natto wa oishii desu" = Natto is yummy. If you use "desuka" instead of "desu", "Is Natto yummy?".

More examples,
Ashita wa yuki desu = Tomorrow is snow = It is / will be snow tomorrow(Ashita =Tomorrow, wa = be / will be, yuki = snow, desu = no meaning, we put it at the end of each sentence. You can omit desu, but it sounds more polite if you add it).

Ashita wa yuki desuka? = Tomorrow is snow? = Will it be snow tomorrow? / It is snowing tomorrow?

so you dont say "A wa Doko desuka onegaishimasu? = Where is A please?"
 

Ramenman

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Another useful term which also means no thanks is 'iranai'....
It's less formal and I've used it in situations where I asked if I wanted to eat something offered.

Iranai can sound a bit rude. Iranai desu sounds polite. Only adding "desu" can make the sentence sound polite;). Desu / Masu at the end makes the sentence polite. Picking Desu or Masu, there is a rule, but it's a ski / snowboard forum, not lanuage forum, so I don't explain the rule here;)
 
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ojisan

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Iranai can sound a bit rude. Iranai desu sounds polite. Only adding "desu" can make the sentence sounds polite;). Desu / Masu at the end makes the sentence polite. Picking Desu or Masu, there is a rule, but it's a ski / snowboard forum, not lanuage forum, so I don't explain the rule here;)
true... but I've often use it within the wife's immediate family, and they've used it as well, so for me, its been a less formal situation
 
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ojisan

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so you dont say "A wa Doko desuka onegaishimasu? = Where is A please?"
No don't use onagaiishimasu...
but when you get an answer, you can say 'domo arigato gozaimase' which is thank you very much.
 
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LMB

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Thanks - whats the difference between desuka and onegaishimasu or kudesai?
Totally different meanings

Desu means “this”
Ka is a question

Toire desu (toy-ray wa dess)
Means it is a toilet or this toilet.

Toire wa doko desu-ka
Where is the toilet.

Anata wa Nihon-Jin desu
You are Japanese

Anata wa nihon-Jin desu-ka
Are you Japanese?
 

Froff Life

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'tasukete' - help!
'Gomenasai' - I'm sorry
'Oh genki deska' - How are you? ('genki des' is the easy answer!)
'Ski des' - I like
 

Ramenman

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Kareshi imasuka? = Do you have a boyfriend?.
Kanojo imasuka? = Do you have a girlfriend?

Then the Japanese will think you are interested in her / him;)
 

ojisan

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than you can ask them for their phone number:

"Denwa bango wa nanban desuka?"
 
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Ramenman

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true... but I've often use it within the wife's immediate family, and they've used it as well, so for me, its been a less formal situation

Yep, between family and friends, iranai is never rude at all:). Actually, if you are not a native Japanese speaker, Japanese people will never be offended if you omit desu / masu, etc at the end. I think non-native Japanese speakers don't need to try to use polite Japanese expressions:thumbs:.
 

dmz

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No don't use onagaiishimasu...
but when you get an answer, you can say 'domo arigato gozaimase' which is thank you very much.
SOmetimes in English when you ask a question you do put 'please' at the end - so you never do that in Japanese. But do you always put 'desuka' at the end of every question? e.g. Eigo hanasemasuka desuka?
 

ojisan

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another useful phrase I use is:

"sake tou biru, dochira no hoga nomu" - would you like to drink sake or beer

You can use this to ask someone a choice between two things (doesn't have to be drink)... but remember nomu means drinking, so if its food, use taberu instead
 

Ramenman

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There are two sentence "enders" in Japanese. They are "desu" and "masu". Desuka? is used for "desu" sentences, and Masuka? is used for "masu" sentences.



Hanasu = speak, and as @ojisan explained above, it becomes hanashimasu or hanasemasu due to a verb conjugation. As you can see, hanashimasu / hanasemasu ends with "masu", so the sentence ender is masu, so hanase-masuka? = "can speak?", not hanase-masuka desuka?
 
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LMB

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Wakarimasu = understand/I understand/“got it”

Wakarimasuka = do you understand?

Wakarimasen = don’t understand/I don’t understand/I don’t know.



Sumimasen, Eigo ga wakarimasuka.
Excuse me do you understand English.

Hai, wakarimasu
Yes, I understand
Yes, I do

Ie, Eigo ga wakarimasen
No I don’t understand English



Seicomarto doko desuka
Where is seicomart?

Wakarimasen.
I don’t know.
 
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d15812

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"No thanks"

Kekkodesu (more formal)
Daijoubudesu/Daijoubu

Useful in a lot of situations, but most commonly for me when i'm offered a receipt at a Konbini.
Can anyone explain Daijoubudesu/Daijoubu more?
I always thought it meant "it's ok or I'm ok" but a quick web search seems to indicate it can mean yes/no/it's ok/I'm ok.
Confused...

Gochisosama "Thanks for the meal"
Ganbarimasu "I will try my best" as in to carry through one's task, putting up with difficulties and striving to overcome all hardships as opposed to the Australian version which would probably be "look, I'll try my best but I can't promise anything" ;)
Gannbatte kudasai "Please try your best" - I like to use this with friends when they tell me that they are going to do something that is actually really simple (make a coffee, use an ATM, have a shower etc). This possibly demonstrates my level of maturity.
 
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ojisan

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Can anyone explain Daijoubudesu/Daijoubu more?
I always thought it meant "it's ok or I'm ok" but a quick web search seems to indicate it can mean yes/no/it's ok/I'm ok.
Confused...

I've never used that word as yes... hai means yes and daijoubu means I am ok/fine/going well etc.

If you are not going ok, you can say daijoubu janai ...

Sometimes if you say daijoubu janai, you may get a reply like "kawaisou doshitan desuka?" which means something along the lines of "you poor thing, whats wrong?"
 
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Ramenman

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There are two sentence "enders" in Japanese. They are "desu" and "masu". Desuka? is used for "desu" sentences, and Masuka? is used for "masu" sentences.



Hanasu = speak, and as @ojisan explained above, it becomes hanashimasu or hanasemasu due to a verb conjugation. As you can see, hanashimasu / hanasemasu ends with "masu", so the sentence ender is masu, so hanase-masuka? = "can speak?", not hanase-masuka desuka?

More about desu and masu.

Desu is used for the sentences ending with Noun and Adjective. So if you memorize useful nouns & adjectives, you can make simple sentences easily.

Masu is used for the sentences ending with Verb. In Japanese, verb conjugates often and you need a month or even more to master the verb conjugation rules, so just memorizing the sentences you need is better than memorizing verbs if you just come to Japan for sightseeing.

For examples,
Tsukau is the dictionary form of "use". Tsukau (= use) becomes Tsukaeru (= can use). Masu is the sentence ender for verb-ending-sentences, and Masu becomes Masuka? when you make a question sentence. So, Tsukae-masuka? = Can use?. It's a useful phrase when you ask if you can use credit cards. Show your credit card to the shop assistant, and say "Tsukae-masuka?". Then the shop assistant will understand you are asking him / her if you can use the credit card.

I wrote "Masu" is for sentences ending with Verb and "Desu" is for sentences ending with Noun and Adjective. But "Suki" = like / love is an exception. Suki is like / love and it's verb but "Desu" is used. "Suki desu" = I love you / I like it.

By the way, all Japanese verbs end with U.
Taberu = eat
Tsukau = use
Neru = sleep
Okiru = wake up
Hanasu = speak / talk
Kaku = write
Hashiru = run
Aruku = walk

Suki = like / love is an exception. It doesn't end with U, but I, so it's "Desu" sentence, not "Masu" sentence.

Sorry, 99.9% people on this forum are not interested in what I wrote here:p
 

LMB

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More about desu and masu.

Desu is used for the sentences ending with Noun and Adjective. So if you memorize useful nouns & adjectives, you can make simple sentences easily.

Masu is used for the sentences ending with Verb. In Japanese, verb conjugates often and you need a month or even more to master the verb conjugation rules, so just memorizing the sentences you need is better than memorizing verbs if you just come to Japan for sightseeing.

For examples,
Tsukau is the dictionary form of "use". Tsukau (= use) becomes Tsukaeru (= can use). Masu is the sentence ender for verb-ending-sentences, and Masu becomes Masuka? when you make a question sentence. So, Tsukae-masuka? = Can use?. It's a useful phrase when you ask if you can use credit cards. Show your credit card to the shop assistant, and say "Tsukae-masuka?". Then the shop assistant will understand you are asking him / her if you can use the credit card.

I wrote "Masu" is for sentences ending with Verb and "Desu" is for sentences ending with Noun and Adjective. But "Suki" = like / love is an exception. Suki is like / love and it's verb but "Desu" is used. "Suki desu" = I love you / I like it.

By the way, all Japanese verbs end with U.
Taberu = eat
Tsukau = use
Neru = sleep
Okiru = wake up
Hanasu = speak / talk
Kaku = write
Hashiru = run
Aruku = walk

Suki = like / love is an exception. It doesn't end with U, but I, so it's "Desu" sentence, not "Masu" sentence.

Sorry, 99.9% people on this forum are not interested in what I wrote here:p
Thank you though (I am in the 00.1) :thumbs:

Given I am travelling in 4 weeks I have just started doing a linguistic refresh (have done absolutely zero Japanese practice since returning home in April (why did I say March...) ). So timing is good for me :)
 
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d15812

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I've never used that word as yes... hai means yes and daijoubu means I am ok/fine/going well etc.

If you are not going ok, you can say daijoubu janai ...

Sometimes if you say daijoubu janai, you may get a reply like "kawaisou doshitan desuka?" which means something along the lines of "you poor thing, whats wrong?"
I've been thinking abut this some more and I guess "I'm ok" can be both positive and negative depending on the situation.

Are you well?
Yes, I'm ok

Would you like a plastic bag or receipt?
No thanks, I'm ok

Hence why translation is part science, part mystic art.
 

ojisan

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I've been thinking abut this some more and I guess "I'm ok" can be both positive and negative depending on the situation.

Are you well?
Yes, I'm ok

Would you like a plastic bag or receipt?
No thanks, I'm ok

Hence why translation is part science, part mystic art.

When you say it that way, you can use the words for yes & no before daijoubu
eg
Are you well?
Yes, I'm ok - hai watashiwa daijoubu

Would you like a plastic bag or receipt?
No thanks, I'm ok - iie watashiwa daijoubu
 
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