Lesson 4: Basic Expressions
Welcome back to our lessons ^_^
Lets get right to it then shall we?
In this lesson I will show you some basic expressions that you are sure to need,
and go over the basic honorifics. Next lesson will deal with particles and
The following phrases
will come in handy when you practice your speech, and you will be able to
recognize them, when they are in use:
（ございます）[ohayo(gozaimasu)] – Good
Morning (gozaimasu added to make it more polite)
[konnichiwa] – Hello, used till about 6 pm.
[konbanwa] – Good Evening.
[sayonara] – Good-bye. On more formal occasions, use shitsurei shimasu.
[oyasuminasai] – Good night. Generally said before going to bed.
[dewa mata/ja ne] – So long, bye. Informal and generally used amongst friends
[tadaimasu] I'm back (said upon returning home)
[okaeri nasai] – Welcome back (response to tadaimasu)
[mou ichido kudasai] – Can you please repeat that (once more please). This can
come in handy when practicing speaking with someone.
[(o)genki desuka] – How are you? (lit: Are you well?) The “o” prefix makes
it more polite. Also note that the “ka” at the end makes it a question.
(Reply: genki desu/genki ja nai for fine/not so fine)
ございます [omedetou gozaimasu] – Congratulations
[sumimasen] – Excuse me, I’m sorry
[chotto matte kudasai] – One moment please.
（ございます）[(domo) arigatou (gozaimasu)] –
Thank you (add the “domo” and/or “gozaimasu” to make it more polite or
to show greater gratitude)
[dou itashimashite] – You are welcome
[dame desu] – Can’t be done, Impossible, Out of the question.
[hai] – Yes (less formal – ee)
[iie] - No
[tabun] – maybe/perhaps
There are a lot of other phrases
that you need of course, and you can find a few others in the FUT that is linked
to on the main page of the Japanese lessons here.
You may have noticed that in
Japanese people use suffixes like -san, -kun, -chan and so on at the end of
someone’s name when addressing them.
This is one of the most often seen questions, and so let us go over them.
At first, we need to know which of these honorifics exist. There are a few, some
you are more likely to use then others. The more common ones are –san,
-kun, -chan. Some of the rarer ones are –sama and –dono. You are much less
likely to use either of them, but if you’ve been watching anime, doubtless
you’ve heard some of them in use already.
-san: Standard honorific.
Replaces Mr/Ms/Mrs. Mainly used with the last name of the person. When meeting
someone you should use this with their last name when addressing them (when
talking to someone you should say ex. "Tanaka-san", and not "you" in
-kun: Also one of the standard
ones. Generaly used by boys, with the last name also, although you will find it
used towards some women, in the workplace. When in dobut, go with –san, and
always be in dobut.
-chan: Generally used amongst
girls, for kids, with close friends, and with family members (siblings). Try to
be careful with any honorific other then –san, for improper usage will be
embarrassing at best.
-sama: easiest translated as lord
or master. Often used when referring to deities and people of very high
standing. Though a show of respect, can be seen as patronizing.
-dono: was mainly used in the
military, and is a similar title of high respect. Has fallen partially out of
use of late though.
Lets meet a few people who will
help us demonstrate the proper usage (names are in the Japanese standard,
surname first, given name second.):
Shidou Hikaru: a 14 year old girl
in the 8th grade. Easiest to refer to her as "Hikaru-chan"
Souichirou Arima: a boy, 15 years old, in 9th grade. Best way to
address him is "Arima-kun" (Souichirou-kun is acceptable also, depending on
Tanaka Ichirou: A sarariman, your average businessman. He’d be referred
to as Tanaka-san
Here is the end of lesson 4. I
hope the information here helped you with your studies ^_^
Next lesson is Particles and
See you then!!!