Essentials

This lesson isn’t 100% complete yet. But it’s done enough you can learn from it. If you bump into a problem let me know.

I know it’s hard to guess what’s in store by the title of this lesson.

These are the small conversational words you’ll use often in small talk. Things like yes, no, okay, hello, etc.

はい → hai

means yes, but you will also hear it used as if to say understood.

いいえ → iie

means no, but it’s also used as don’t mention it.

オーケー → ookei

means ok.

Note: it’s written in katakana, depicting it’s borrowed from a language outside of Japanese.

こんにちは → konnichiwa

means good afternoon or good day and is used in the daytime (usually after noon until dark).

Notice the is pronounced wa.

さようなら → sayounara

means good bye or farewell.

わたし → watashi

means me or I.

すき → suki

means like, as in I like cake.

おねがいします→ onegaishimasu

means please.

For example, at the convenience store the clerk will ask if you’d like your food to be heated. You’d answer with おねがします.

ありがとうございます → arigatougozaimasu

means thank you. It’s quite polite.

Shortcut: You can get away with only saying ありがとう (arigatou). It’s easier to say and while it’s a bit less polite, you won’t get into trouble saying it.

→ to

means and.

For example, you might use と when ordering at a restaurant: ポテト コーラ おねがいします.