What Japanese words and phrases would you like to learn?

Latest Additions appear in GREEN.

WORDS (Japanese - English) (English - Japanese words are at the end):

Aki - Autumn

Anata - You

Ashi - Leg and Feet

Asobu - To Play

Atama - Head

Atsui - Hot

Baka – Idiot or stupid. Often used to insult another person.

Boku - I or me.  Used by boys or men only.

Chikyuu – Earth

Chocho - Butterfly. Chocho is written in Japanese as tefutefu, but is pronounced chocho. This is as strange as the word knife starting with a k.

Denwa - Telephone

Doubutsu - Animal

Eiga - Movie

Fuyu - Winter

Gojira - Godzilla

Hai – Yes

Hana - Nose

Haru - Spring

Hebi - Snake

Hiji - Elbow

Hikouki – Airplane

Hiza - Knee

Hoho - Cheek

Hon - Book

Hoshi – Star

Hyou - Leopard

Ikkakujuu - Unicorn

Imouto – Younger Sister

Inu – Dog. The movie, Hachi: A Dog's Tale, starring Richard Gere, was based on a true story of a faithful Akita dog in Japan.

Iruka – Dolphin

Jidensha – Bicycle

Jidousha - Car

Kame - Turtle

Kami - Hair

Kao - Face

Karada - Body

Kata - Shoulder

Katana – Long (and very sharp!) swords used by samurai.

Kawaii – Cute. Cuteness is a huge part of the Japanese culture. Did you know that Hello Kitty is a Japanese product? 

Ki - Tree

Kin - Gold as in color and precious metal

Kirin - Giraffe

Kitsune - Fox

Kuchi - Mouth

Kuma - Bear

Kyou Ryuu - Dinosaur

Manga – Comic. In Japan, adults, as well as children, read manga. There, manga is not limited to action heros, sci-fi and fantasy like Pokemon, Fairy Tail, Naruto, and Bleach, but includes romance, sports, drama, and more.

Me - Eye

Mimi - Ear

Mori - Forest

Mune - Chest

Mushi – Insect

Namae - Name

Natsu - Summer

Neko – Cat. Hello Kitty first appeared on a vinyl coin purse in Japan in 1974. Today, she is in animated TV series, songs and video games throughout the world.

Ningyo - Doll

Ninja – Mostly a legend of specially trained samurais with extraordinary skills.

Okaasan – Mother

Omocha - Toy

Onaka - Stomach

Ookami - Wolf

Otousan - Father

Oneesan – Older Sister

Oniisan – Older Brother

Otouto – Younger Brother

Outobai - Motorcycle

Panda – Panda

Pasucon – Computer

Raion - Lion

Rakuda - Camel

Ryuu – Dragon

Sakana - Fish  

Samui - Cold

Samurai – Japanese Warriors who were fiercely loyal to their lord.

Saru – Monkey

Senaka - Back (as in body part)

Subarashii - Amazing, fabulous

Sugoi - Awesome

Sumo – A wrestling sport. Although it is mocked in the U.S., the wrestlers train rigourously. Sumo is revered as a national sport and preserves many ancient traditions, such as sprinkling salt in the wrestling ring for puriification.

Taiyou Sun

Taka - Hawk

Tama – Ball

Te - Hand

Terebi - TV

Tora - Tiger

Tori - Bird

Tsuki - Moon

Tsumetai - Cold to the touch

Ude - Arm

Uma - Horse

Usagi - Rabbit

Ushi - Cow

Washi - Eagle

Watashi - I or me.  Used by girls, women and men in a formal way.

Yakuza – Japanese Mafia. They are as ruthless at any other mafia around the world.

Yakyu – Baseball

Yasumi - Vacation or Holiday

Yubi - Finger

Yuki – Snow

Yuuki – Courage or brazen

Zou - Elephant


0 - Rei

1- Ichi

2- Ni

3 - San

4 - Shi

5 - Go

6 - Roku

7 - Shichi

8 - Hachi

9 - Ku

10 - Juu




Hello - Kon nichiwa

Goodbye - Sayounara

Good morning (informal) - Ohayou

Good evening - Konbanwa

Good night (informal) - Oyasumi

Thank you - Arigatou

You’re welcome - Dou itashimashite

How are you? -  Ogenki desu ka?

Hang in there (informal) - Ganbatte

What shall we do? - Nani o shimashou ka?

My name is _____. - Watashi (or Boku) no namae wa ______.

Accidental Samurai Spy is an awesome book. -  Accidental Samurai Spy wa sugoi hon desu.

Let's read comics. - Manga o yomimashou.

I am a ninja. - Watashi (or Boku) wa ninja desu.

My dog (cat) is cute. - Watashi (or Boku) no inu (neko) wa kawaii desu.

I like butterflies. - Chocho ga suki desu.

Let's play. - Asobi ma shou.

What's your name? - Anata no namae wa nandesu ka?

What're you doing during summer vacation? - Natsu yasumi ni nani o shimasu ka?

Summer is hot. - Natsu wa atsui desu.



Respect Food:

Don't shove that food in your mouth until you express gratitude for your food. The Japanese use words and phrases that Americans don’t. For instance, before a person takes the first bite of his/her meal, he/she ALWAYS says, “itadakimasu,” which roughly thanks the food preparer even if that person is not present. When the person is done with the meal, he/she ALWAYS says “gochisou sama deshita,” which means the meal was delicious. To do otherwise is unthinkable.

The same is when a person leaves his home or comes home. When leaving, one would ALWAYS say, “ittekimasu.” (I'm going now) Upon his/her return, one would ALWAYS say “tadaima.” (I'm home) If someone is home when a person returns, the person at home ALWAYS says “okaerinasai.” (Welcome home)


How to Take a Bath:

DON'T JUMP IN THAT TUB! until you read this. In Japan, the toilet and bathtub/shower are in separate rooms. The tub in a bath room is against the far wall and there is an open area in front for you to wash and rinse yourself OUTSIDE the tub. If there is a shower, you can shower first. Most often, there will be a spigot low to the floor, a bucket, and a portable bench. Sit on the bench, fill the bucket with hot water from the spigot, and pour the water over yourself. Wash and rinse yourself using the bucket. Once you are clean, you can luxuriate in the tub.

No matter how hot the water is, do not add cold water unless you're the only one taking a bath or the last one bathing that evening. A family will use the same bath water for all the members of the family for that evening. That is the reason you must be clean when get in the tub. The tub is drained after the last person bathes. The guest is always first. This bathing ritual may seem strange at first, but go with the flow and enjoy the soak!  


Don't call me Mariko!

Never call anyone just by their name. Add chan to a girl's name. Add kun to a boy's name. Add san to an adult's name. If we met, you would call me Mariko-san. If Ayumi's Violin was turned into a movie, Ayumi's only friend Diego would call her Ayumi-chan. Kenji's uncle in Kenji's Power would call him Kenji-kun.


Where do I point?

Be careful where you point. Gestures in different cultures are different. In the U.S., we point to our chest when we say, "Do you mean me?" In Japan, a boy or girl would point to his or her nose and say, "Yes, I am awesome."

As another example, if you wanted to express that someone is sleeping without using words, you would press your hands together and tilt your head on them. In Japan, that gesture would mean that someone is cute. For instance, a boy pointing to a girl and making that gesture would mean that he thought she is cute.    

WORDS (English-Japanese):

Airplane – Hikouki

Amazing - Subarashii

Animal - Doubutsu

Arm - Ude

Autumn - Aki

Awesome – Sugoi

Back (as in body part) - Senaka

Ball - Tama

Baseball – Yakyu

Bear – Kuma

Bicycle – Jidensha

Bird - Tori

Body - Karada

Book - Hon

Butterfly - Chocho

Car – Jidousha

Camel – Rakuda

Cat – Neko

Cheek - Hoho

Chest - Mune

Cold - Samui

Cold to the touch - Tsumetai

Comic - Manga

Computer – Pasucon

Courage - Yuuki

Cow - Ushi

Cute - Kawaii 

Dinosaur - Kyou Ryuu
Dog - Inu

Doll – Ningyo

Dolphin – Iruka

Dragon – Ryuu

Eagle – Washi

Ear - Mimi

Earth - Chikyuu

Elbow - Hiji

Elephant – Zou

Eye - Me

Face - Kao

Father - Otoosan

Feet - Ashi

Finger - Yubi

Fish - Sakana

Forest - Mori

Fox - Kitsune

Giraffe – Kirin

Godzilla – Gojira

Gold - Kin

Hair - Kami

Hand - Te

Hawk – Taka

Head - Atama

Holiday - Yasumi

Horse - Uma

Hot - Atsui

I (used by boys or men only) – Boku

I (used by girls, women and men) - Watashi

Idiot - Baka

Insect Mushi

Japanese Mafia - Yakuza

Japanese Warrior – Samurai

Knee - Hiza

Leg - Ashi

Leopard – Hyou

Lion – Raion

Monkey - Saru

Moon – Tsuki

Motorcycle – Outobai

Mother – Okaasan

Mouth - Kuchi

Movie - Eiga

Name - Namae

Ninja - Ninja

Nose - Hana

Older Brother - Oniisan

Older Sister – Oneesan

Panda – Panda

Play - Asobu

Rabbit – Usagi

Shoulder - Kata

Snake – Hebi

Snow – Yuki

Spring - Haru

Star – Hoshi

Stomach - Onaka

Summer - Natsu

Sumo – Sumo

Sun – Taiyou

Sword - Katana

Telephone – Denwa

Tiger – Tora

Toy – Omocha

Tree - Ki

Turtle - Kame

Unicorn – Ikkakujuu

​Vacation - Yasumi

Winter - Fuyu

Wolf - Ookami

Yes - Hai

You – Anata

Younger Brother – Otouto

Younger Sister – Imouto