Simple Japanese Vocabulary for Traveling
Traveling to Japan may be a really good experience but it sure would be a lot better if you knew some Japanese words and phrases that could help you along the way. Visiting other places is quite an experience.
However, you may have found out that there are just times when you need information and you just need to talk to a local. This is well and good if the local you choose to talk to can speak passable English, if not, then it could be very difficult for you.
If it’s your first time traveling to Japan, you may have to constantly ask for directions and other essential information. The Japanese people are a friendly bunch but they would also appreciate it and be happy to help you if they see that you have made an effort to learn some of their words.
There are easy ones that you could learn fast such as:
Hajimemashite. – – How do you do?
O-genki desu ka – How are you? (formal)
Genki? – How are you? informal
Arigatō – Thanks (informal)
Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu. – Thank you very much.
Dō itashimashite – You’re welcome.
Sumimasen – I’m sorry.
Chotto sumimasen – Excuse me.
Those are the basic words and phrases that one could use anywhere and in almost any situation. The Japanese people love it when foreigners try to be polite as they, themselves, are very polite and nice people.
It’s also useful to know full sentences when asking for directions just in case you get lost and need to go back to your hotel. Hoteru wa doko desu ka means “where is the hotel?”
If you want to know where the nearest ATM is, just ask “ATM wa doko desu ka?”
If someone recommended a nice restaurant and you wish to go there but don’t know where it is exactly, just ask “(name of restaurant) to iu resutoran o shirimasen ka?” – Do you know this restaurant called (name of restaurant)?
If your Japanese is not good and you are having a hard time understanding the other person, tell him Mō ichido onegai shimasu – one more time, please or Nihongo ga amari hanasemasen – I don’t speak Japanese well.
You can then just ask him if he understands English – Eigo ga wakarimasu ka. This can make the conversation flow a bit faster.
Japan is such a beautiful place to go to and it is important that you have a pleasant stay so it can be a memorable experience for you and for your companion.