Easy Japanese, Lesson 3, Useful Expressions

I have finished giving you all the hiragana, and eventually, I will also give you katakana, but for now, let me teach you to say some basic things in Japanese. Hiragana is the basic alphabet, and katakana is the alphabet used to write foreign words, and the letters are pronounced the same as the hiragana, so when you see an English words written in katakana, it won’t sound the same because the letters are so different, but you could recognize some after you study katakana. You may not have had the chance to learn all the hiragana yet, so I will go ahead and write the Romaji next to it. The Romaji are Roman letters, English letters. The vowels are pronounced the same as in a Latin language. Here are some examples: The “a” is like the “a” in father. The “i” is pronounced “ee” like the “ee” in “feed.” The “u” is pronounced like the “oo” in “food.” The “e” is pronounced like the “ea” in “head.” The “o” is pronounced like the “oe” in “foe.” Each letter is pronounced separately unless you have one of those blends like みや (mya) or きゆ (kyu), etc. The only silent letter they have is the small つ which when regular size is “tsu,” but when small, it make the consonant after it a double consonant, so pronounced stronger. Even the groups of letters like this: おう (ou) or おお (oo), in away, you pronounce those vowels separately because they say you just hold the vowel longer. I already gave you some basic greetings in the last lesson, but I will repeat them here to help you remember.

Useful Expressions:

おはようございます (ohayogazaimasu) = good morning

こんにちは (konnichiwa) = hello or good afternoon (The は at the end is “ha,” but here and as a post position particle which I will explain later, it is always pronounced “wa.”)

こんばんは (konbanwa) = good evening

おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) = good night

さよなら (sayonara) = good bye

また = see you later. (An informal greeting)

おさきにしつれいします (osakini shtsureishimasu) = It is a way of excusing yourself for leaving a meeting early.

いつてきます (ittekimasu) = This is said when you leave the house to let everyone in the house know that you are leaving, but will be back later.

いつてらつしゃしやい (itterasshyai) = When someone says, “ittekimasu,” someone in the house says this. It like like saying “good by, see you later.”

ただいま (tadaima) = Literally, this is “arrive now.” You say it when you have gone from home, but then you have returned. When you open the door and walk in, say this.

おかいりなさい (okairinasai) = This is said by the person in the house in response to “tadaima.” It is like “welcome home.”

いただきます ((itadakimasu) = Say this before you eat. It is like a way of being humble and thanking for the food.

ごちそうさまでした (gochisousamadeshita) = Say this after you are done eating. It is a way to signal that you are done and you appreciated it.

おいしです (oishidesu) = It is delicious

おいしかた (oishikata) = It was delicious

おめでとう ございます (omedetou gozaimasu) = congratulations. You can put this on the end of Christmas: クリスマスおめでとございます (kurisumasu omedetou gozaimasu), and it means “merry Christmas.” You can put this on the end of birthday (たんじおび)(tanjiobi): たんじおび おめでとう ごさいます (tanjiobi omedetou gozaimasu), and it means “happy birthday.”

It is normal in Japan to bow your head and be humble. The lower you bow it, the more humble you are. Students have been know to completely get down on their hands and knees before their teachers. Photo by istlife on Pexels.com

どうも ありがと ございます (domo arigato gozaimasu) = thank you very much. This is the most polite way to say thankyou. You can alos just say ども (domo) or just ありがと (arigato) or どもあ りがと (domo arigato), and they all also mean “thank you” or “thanks.”

どういたしまして (doitashimashite) = you are welcome. There is an easy way to remember this. It is kind of a joke. Just think “Don’t touch my mustache.”

すみましぇん (sumimasen) = excuse me.

ごめんなざい (gemennazai) = I am sorry

ちよと まてください (chyoti mate kudasai) = just a minute. (Literally, this is “a little, wait, please.”) Whenever you hear someone say ください (kudasai) to you, they are requesting that you do something. It is a kind of “please” that requests. It signals the request form of the verb. まて (mate) is the “te” form of the verb: まちます (machimasu) which means “wait or waits.” Informally, you may hear just ちよと まて (chyoto mate) which just means “wait a little.”

Mrs. Saito, my Japanese teacher always asked me to repeat things, and she said, “もう いち ど” (mou ichi do) when she wanted me to repeat.

もう いち ど おねがいします (mou ichi do onegaishimasu) = One more time, please. Literally: もう (mou) = more, いち(ichi) = one, ど (do) = time, おねがいします (onegaishimasu) = this is an expression at obligates someone to do something. It is considered polite. You could just say: もう いち ど (mo ichi do), and it would mean “one more time,” and just not be quite as polite.

The girl giving the gift says: どぞ (dozo) = please, The girl who gets the gift says: ども ありがと ございます (domo arigato gozaimasu)= thank you very much. The reply to that is: どいたしまして (doitashimashite) = you are welcome. おくりもの (okurimono) = gift. クリスマスおめでとございます (kurisumasu omedetogozaimasu) = Merry Christmas.

どうぞ (dozo) = This is an expression means “please,” but we hardly use “please” like this in English. If they want you to sit down, they may point at the chair and say: どぞ (dozo) which is like “please sit down.” If they want to give you something, they may hand it to you and say どぞ(dozo) which is like “please take it.” If you have their permission to go first, they will motion in that direction and say: どぞ (dozo), and that means you can go first.

きよつけて (kiyotsukete) = please be careful, take care, or watch out.

おだいじに (odaijini) = When someone is sick, say this for “please take care of yourself.”

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