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Japanese Like a Native - [Lesson 1 : Greetings and Introductions]

Welcome to the first lesson in my Introductory Japanese course, "Japanese Like a Native" (Click Here for the Full Directory). I'm Lily, the author of this series, and a Japanese high schooler with a passion for learning and teaching languages.

Today we will be discussing the first thing you need to know to survive in Japan - the greetings and introductions. Whether exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, the capital, or the more rural Shizuoka, these basic phrases are extremely important. You may have heard the Japanese stereotype that they are very polite, always apologizing and thanking everyone. In a way, that's actually quite true. Our culture is one that demands respect from the young to the elders, between strangers, and of course those in higher positions.

In order to avoid natives thinking of you as the "disrespectful gaijin(foreigner)", learn these phrases by heart. If you watch anime, you will probably know most of these words and phrases. Remember, when speaking Japanese, or any language, really, picture yourself as a native, and speak as such, to the best of your ability. ^-^

  • Konnichiwa : Hello/Good Afternoon
  • Ohayou Gozaimasu : Good Morning
  • Konbanwa : Good Evening
  • Sayounara : Bye/Goodbye
  • Domo arigatou gozaimasu. : Thank you very much.
  • Dou itashimashite. : You are welcome.
  • Watashi wa _____ desu. : My name is _____./I am _____.
  • _____ wa doko desu ka? : Where is the _____?
  • _____ wa asoko desu : It is _____.
  • Doko kara kimashita? : Where are you from?.
  • _____ kara kimashita. : I am from _____.
  • Ninhongo wa chotto hanasemasu. : I can speak a little Japanese.
  • Hai. : Yes.
  • Iie. : No.

Those are the basic phrases you will need to get around the interactions of everyday life. Of course, this alone is not sufficient to get you around, as this is just the first lesson. Feel free to expand your vocabulary outside this series, in case I missed anything.

Now, let's move on to the "Conversations" section. Here, I will write out a skit, using the words we have learnt in the lesson. You may picture it as an anime situation, if you please. Enjoy!!!

  • Kiyomi : Ohayou gozaimasu. Watashi wa Kiyomi desu.
  • Erica : Ohayou! Watashi wa Erica desu.
  • Kiyomi : Anou...doko kara kimashita?
  • Erica : Ah, America kara kimashita. Nihongo wa chotto hanasemasu...
  • Kiyomi : Souka! Erica-san no Nihongo wa tottemo jouzu!
  • Erica : Domo arigatou gozaimasu, Kiyomi-san!
  • Kiyomi : Iie, iie! Hontouni jouzu.
  • Erica : Hoteru wa doko desuka?
  • Kiyomi : Hoteru wa asoko desu. Sayounara, Erica-san!
  • Erica : Arigatou! Sayounara!

I've added some extra vocabulary to give you an opportunity to see how they are used in a conversation. Some additional words you have learnt from this skit are:

  • Tottemo jouzu : Very good
  • Hoteru : Hotel
  • Souka! : Is that so?/I see!
  • Anou... : Um...

That's it for today's lesson! Thank you all so much for reading through, and I hope you enjoyed it. Keep practicing your Japanese with any chance you get. Sayounara, minasan!!!!

Signing out, HFM2402

October 23, 2016



I can't stop loving this language! Thank you! I'd be awesome if you added Japanese characters, too. Or you can instead leave us with some homework: Turn these to Hiragana! (I've tried it, it's fun!)


Oh, thank you!!! >.<

I plan to do so along the way, but I want to start with survival Japanese, so you guys at least know the basics. ^-^


Konnichiwa! :) Thank you for the lesson, Lily chan! :)
Oh, 'um' is 'anou' in Japanese? I don't know why, but I always thought it was 'umuh'.. I hope I can reach to the stage where I can tell 'Nihongo wa chotto hanasaemasu'. :)

Watashi wa Anneysha desu. India kara kimashita.

Here is my conversation, I am picturing a scene from the anime Inuyasha. :)

Kagome: Konnichiwa, Watashi wa Kagome desu.
Inuyasha: ... Doko kara kimashita?
Kagome: Ninhon, What is your name, by the way?
Inuyasha: Inuyasha...
Kagome: Doko kara kimashita?
Inuyasha: Chuugoku. Anou, Ninhongo wa chotto hanasemasu...
Kagome: Hoteru wa doko desu ka?
Inuyasha: To the left
Kagome: Souka, domo arigatou!
Inuyasha: Iie, sayounara!
Kagome: Sayounara! :)

I made the whole Inuyasha scene so modern and Inuyasha so kind.. oh well, anything to learn a language. :)

Domo arigatou for the lesson! :)


Wonderful idea, Anneysha!!! I couldn't have done it better myself. ^-^

It is pretty funny, since I doubt Inuyasha would be so civil.... XD

No worries, Anneysha, I'm pretty sure you're good enough to say, "Nihongo wa chotto hanasemasu". ; )


I have a question. What's the difference between じょうず and いい?


Good question, TheEeVeeLord!! It's questions like these that show that you're on the right track to becoming a fluent Japanese speaker. : )

To answer your question, "jouzu" is used when complimenting something done well. For example, "Kimi no kakikata wa jouzu desu ne", meaning, "Your writing is good".

However, "ii" is used for describing an object or person. As you see in this case, "Kimi wa ii hito desu",, meaning, "You are a good person".

Hope this helped, and good luck on your learning!!! ^-^




Dou itashimashite!!!! ^-^


You are welcome Lily! But sorry, I have not so much time to learn Japanese. : (


Oh, no problem! You can just read through this, and it's enough. ^-^


Actually, I do not have time.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.