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Basic Japanese phrases
OK, so you've decided, that you'd like to learn some of the most common and wellknown phrases in Japanese. Or you already know some words, but are not quite sure
about their meaning. This is the right section for you.

Greetings
English

Romaji

Kana

ice to meet you

hajime mash'te

good morning

ohayoo (gozaimas')

good afternoon

konnichiwa

good evening

konbanwa

oyasumi (nasai)

see you

jaa

goodbye

sayonara

good night

In the phrase "hajime mashite" the second "i" is not pronounced. In "ohayoo
gozaimasu" the "u" is not pronounced. In general, when "su" is at the end of a word,
"u" is never pronounced. The double "o" in "ohayoo" stands for prolongation of the
sound, like in "door" in english. The words in brackets can be omitted.

Polite phrases
English

Romaji

Kana

How are you?

Ogenki desuka?

I'm fine, thanks.

Watashiwa genki desu.


Arigato.

Thank you

Arigato

Thank you very


much

Domo arigato
gozaimasu

Please (requesting
s'thing)

Kudasai

Please (offering
s'thing)

Dozo

Excuse me (to get


attention)

Sumimasen

Sorry (mistake)

Gomen nasai

Do you speak
english/japanese?

Anatawa eigo/nihongo
o hanashimasuka?

Yes/no/a little

Hai/iie/chotto

//

Do you understand?

Wakarimasuka?

I understand/I don't
understand

Wakarimasu/
wakarimasen

I don't know

Shirimasen

Basic grammar
The Japanese grammar has lots of specific features, mostly because it is so scarcely
related to other languages. On the other hand it is very sensible, logically very well
connected. Some of its features are:
1. in Japanese the predicate always stands at the end of the sentence
2. the verbs don't change depending on the person, gender or number
3. the nouns don't have plural or gender
4. the dependence between words in a sentence is expressed thru particles which
follow the words affected.

Personal pronouns
First, the personal pronouns will be covered:
singular

plural

watashi

we

watashitachi

you

anata

you

anatatachi

he
she

kare
kanojo

they

karera

The columns are as follows: english, romaji, hiraganaand kanji.


There is no neuter gender ("it") in Japanese. There are other forms of personal
pronouns too. For example, the most polite form of "I" is "watakushi". Then there is
the form that can only be used by men, "boku", and so on...
For "you" males can say "kimi", informally. But "kimi" is not dependent on the
gender of the person to whom it relates, but on the gender of the one who talks. Only
men can say that! It's a very specific feature of the Japanese language too.
For "they" there are different feminine and masculine forms too: "karetachi" and
"kanojochi".

Particles

Particles are suffixes which follow promptly after the word that they relate to. They
determine the function of that word in the sentence. Some of the most common
particles are:

WA

- determines the subject in a sentence.

Example:

Watashiwa Nihonjin desu.

I Japanese am.

Notice, that "wa" is written as "ha" in hiragana. This is one of the few exceptions in
Japanese.

- pinpoints the direct object

Example:

Watashiwa kohio nomimasu.

Icoffee drink.
This is also an exception, because "wo" is written , but just "o" is read.

NI

- indirect object
- place marker
- time marker

Example:

jini okimasu .

(I) get up at 7 o'clock.

- marks the direction

Example:

Daigakue ikimasu.

(I am) going to the university.

Also an exception.

NO

- indicates possession

Example:

Korewa anatano hon desu .

This book is yours .


The main function of "no" is to mark possession, but it also has some other minor
usages too.

MO

- inclusion, addition marker

Example:

Karemo gakusei desu .

He too is a student .
"mo" replaces "wa" and indicates that the word before it also has some property.

Writing
One of the most interesting thing about Japanese is surely the script. There are three
different ones: kanji, hiragana and katakana. Also, there is a transliteration of
Japanese to the Roman alphabet called romaji.
The first three scripts are in a mixed everyday use. I.e., in one sentence there can be
glyphs of all three writings.
Kanji is the set of ideographic characters that are borrowed from Chinese. Hiragana
and katakana are syllabic writings (the symbols represent syllables, which build up
world). For more information, please click the links.

Very short history of the Japanese script


Until the 3. century AD, the Japanese didn't have any mode of writing. Then they
adapted the Chinese, and named it "kan-ji", the writing from the Kan dynasty of
China.

Because, the kanji has a lot of different glyphs for every syllable, the hiragana and
katakana came to be, where every syllable has one representation (with the exception
of "ji" and "zu"). Hiragana was the women's way of writing. It was indeed used by
females, because it was considered that kanji is too complex for them. Katakana was
introduced because of the need to take notes fast, so it's was a way of shorthand
writing (stenography).
In time, the use of these writings changed, so hiragana is no longer used only by
women but it is the entry level Japanese alphabet, and katakana is mostly used to
write foreign words and loan words.

The kana
Hiragana and katakana are the syllabic Japanese scripts, the so called kana.Each
syllable is represented uniquely with one character or a combination of two characters
(e.g. kyu, see the extended chart). In Kanji many glyphs can have the same
pronunciation, while in the kana every character has different pronunciation. Unlike
Kanji, the characters don't have any meaning. Each basic set contains 46 characters.
With each of the scripts, all sounds in the Japanese language can be expressed.
Both of the kana are descendants of ancient Chinese writing.

Hiragana
Historically it was considered to be the writing of women. One of the classic works of
Japanese literature, The Tale of Genji, was written in this script by the female author
Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century.
Today it is used to write:

particles, like wa, de, o, mo

verb conjugations, like "speak", "spoke"

simple words like "to be","frog"


instead of any Kanji that is not known to the person writing

Every Japanese word can be written with hiragana, but using it instead of kanji is
considered to be lack of education. It is the first script that Japanese children learn in
school.
The basic hiragana chart:

Beside the basic signs, there are the derived and the composed. From the syllables
starting with k the ones starting with g are derived in the following way:

likewise h transforms to b and p; t transforms to d:

Finally there are the hiragana that are composed of two others like:

Here you can find the full list of hiragana.

Katakana
This form of writing consists of straight strokes with sharp corners unlike the smooth
hiragana.
Katakana is used when writing:

foreign names like "Paris"

company names, like "toyota", "yamaha"

foreign words in Japanese "tv-set", "bus"

newly created words, like "karaoke"

The basic katakana chart:

Here you can find the full list of katakana.

Numbers
In Japanese it is very easy to construct numers from single digits. The procedure is
very straight forward. Unfortunately, it gets more complicated when counting objects,
because certain qualifiers must be used. Let's start with digits, the easy part.

To build larger numbers, the following building blocks may also be needed:

It can be noticed that the Japanese counting is not based on the power of thousands
(million, billion, trillion), but on the power of hundreds.

Building numbers
The above tables contain the essential building blocks. They are the elements which
build all other combinations. Here are some self explanatory examples:

The above examples show that the Japanese number building makes perfect
mathematical sense.

Numbers
In Japanese it is very easy to construct numers from single digits. The procedure is
very straight forward. Unfortunately, it gets more complicated when counting objects,
because certain qualifiers must be used. Let's start with digits, the easy part.

To build larger numbers, the following building blocks may also be needed:

It can be noticed that the Japanese counting is not based on the power of thousands
(million, billion, trillion), but on the power of hundreds.

Building numbers
The above tables contain the essential building blocks. They are the elements which
build all other combinations. Here are some self explanatory examples:

The above examples show that the Japanese number building makes perfect
mathematical sense.

Jalan ke dalam pemahaman Jepang littered dengan kebohongan. Ini terletak tidak
dimaksudkan untuk menyakiti. Kenyataannya, pada awal yang terletak tampaknya
alam dan bermanfaat. Mereka membantu bahasa 'merasa' lebih dekat dengan kami asli
bahasa (Inggris, kemungkinan besar). Sayangnya, semakin banyak yang Anda
mencoba untuk timbunan di atas ini terletak, semakin banyak rumah Anda belajar
menyerupai sebuah rumah yang dibangun di atas dasar sponges. Alih-alih membantu,
mitos ini hanya membuat hidup lebih keras.
Pada poin, mereka dapat membuat Anda bertanya-tanya:
"Mengapa saya tidak dapat memahami Jepang?"
"What's wrong with me?"
"Saya hanya harus menjadi bodoh."
Ketika saya mulai mengambil kelas formal Jepang beberapa bulan lalu, saya
menyadari bagaimana orang-orang yang merugikan 'ramah terletak' dapat. Saya
perhatikan bahwa satu kelas penuh dengan orang-orang yang telah menyelesaikan
hampir tiga perempat dari buku masih tidak dapat bergabung dalam verbs negatif
plain form. Saya menyadari bahwa ia sulit bagi saya untuk sekelas alami yang
mentasrifkan adjective. Ia lebih sederhana memori slips - sekelas saya benar-benar
tidak memahami cara bekerja verbs. Walaupun mereka manfaat dari guru yang asli
Jepang, dan waktu kelas percakapan, masih, kata kerja dasar tampaknya menjauhi
mereka.
Saya menyadari, sebagai kelas progressed, bahwa sekelas adalah korban sejumlah
mitos yang juga dihadapi. Mitos ini tampaknya melekat di sebagian besar bahan
pembelajaran bagi siswa. Kecuali Anda adalah jenis orang yang tampak pada sifat tdk
tetap, dan benar-benar mencari untuk mengetahui mengapa inconsistancy yang ada,
mudah untuk minum di ini terletak, sampai mereka tumbuh besar sehingga mereka
kuku mereka jalan keluar dari otak Anda, dan pergi skittering larut malam. .
Jadi selama bulan berikutnya, saya akan dikirim ke atas semua mitos yang telah saya
pelajari tentang Jepang verbs, dan bagaimana anda dapat mengalahkan mereka.
Mudah-mudahan Anda akan menemukan mereka membantu.
Verb Anda tahu! (Beberapa mitos tentang Jepang verbs seperti terlihat dari jumlah
siswa dari Jepang)
Desu = is
Jika Anda merasa 'desu' = adalah, selamat, Anda akan kekalahan besar pertama Anda
mitos tentang Jepang.
Let me ini jelas membuat:
Desu TIDAK ADANYA MEAN!
Tidak hari ini, tidak besok, tidak pernah. Desu adalah kata yang tidak setara dalam
bahasa Inggris. Singkat kata, membuat apa yang anda katakan lebih sopan. Hal ini
sama persis, untuk kata kata, apa yang dikatakan Jepang teman saya.
Okay, tapi bagaimana dengan:

Kore wa penu desu


Ini adalah pena.
(Ini mungkin adalah kalimat yang paling bodoh pernah)
Desu tidak berarti bahwa dalam kalimat?
Sekarang kita mengetahui rahasia nyata dari desu. Desu akan berarti kadang-kadang
berpura-pura untuk itu, jika yang terakhir adalah kata dalam kalimat, dan jika tidak
ada yang lebih aktif verb pada akhir kalimat Anda. Ada hal yang sama persis seperti
menggunakan masu bentuk kata kerja untuk membuat kata kerja lebih sopan (The
Myth Masu kami akan kekalahan berikutnya).
Jadi mengapa tidak percaya bahwa desu = saya adalah memberikan masalah?
Karena, sejumlah besar waktu, desu tidak berarti sama sekali. Selanjutnya, jika Anda
mencoba untuk berpikir 'desu' berarti 'adalah' hanya akan merancukan Anda untuk
benar-benar apa yang terjadi di sebuah sentance.
EG:
Kore wa penu ja nai.
Ini, pena, bukan.
(kasual)
Kore wa penu ja nai desu.
Ini, pena, tidak
(lebih sopan - biasanya tidak mendengar, tetapi gramatically benar dan setara dengan
penu ja arimasen)
Kore wa penu ja nai 'n desu.
Ini, pena, bukan.
(I'm saying ini untuk menjelaskan sesuatu - lihat posting sebelumnya: no da / no desu.
Polite. Seen sering.)
Jika Anda yakin (seperti yang saya lakukan) yang berarti ja nai 'tidak' dan desu berarti
'adalah', yang terakhir adalah dua sentances lengkap pikiran-twist.
Lit ini, pena tidak, adalah ... WTF!
Anda dapat meyakinkan diri sendiri: well, seperti yang hanya sebuah pengecualian
peraturan, dan ia hafal. Namun jika anda terpaksa harus menghafal segala sesuatu
yang merupakan pengecualian ke desu = adalah mitos, akhirnya, Anda akan cepat
experiece desu pemadaman. Anda juga benar-benar menjadi masalah berjalan ketika
Anda memenuhi kata memiliki arti yang lebih banyak adalah: (buku apa yang Genki
panggilan yang 'plain bentuk' dari desu, meskipun panggilan yang jelas untuk lebih
dari desu dari 'desu' = 'adalah' crap)
Da
Di (dalam arti 'ini adalah pena')

I say alot dekat ini, karena kata 'adalah' dalam bahasa Inggris jauh berbeda dari
'adalah' dalam bahasa Jepang. Jepang memiliki bunch dari berbagai jenis kata untuk
mengekspresikan keberadaan. Yang paling umum yang akan Anda memenuhi adalah:
da, Aru (ada benda mati), iru (menggerakkan benda ada)
Selain itu, karena Anda cenderung turun berlebihan bagian kalimat dalam bahasa
Jepang, kadang-kadang kata 'adalah' akan dibiarkan mati secara keseluruhan. Terakhir,
kata 'adalah' di bungkus dalam setiap kata kerja, tergantung pada bagaimana Anda
mentasrifkan itu (yang mengapa Anda tidak perlu menggunakan 'menjadi' verb untuk
mengatakan, saya pergi ke toko - Mise ni itte iru) Kami akan naik lagi yang lebih
sebagai mitos yang bangkrut.
I hope this helps membersihkan tempat kebingungan dengan desu / da.
Depan mitos falit:
Formulir yang Masu (it's not the real deal)
Adjectives dan verbs: Satu dan Sama
Bagaimana mentasrifkan verbs Adjectives dan tanpa berkeringat darah.