A Word a Day
"Honki" means "serious" or "sure". If you say "Honki ?" with a rising intonation at the ending, it means "Are you
A: Shigoto yameru yo.
B: Honki ?
A: I'm quitting my job.
B: Are you serious ?
A: Yes, I'm serious.
［Words］ shigoto [she-got] job / yameru [ya-male] quit / -yo [yo] a suffx used
in a colloquial conversation with a nuance of one's determination
It means "I see", "indeed", "really", it
is true", "admittedly" and so on. It is often used as a
back-channel in daily conversations.
A: Kare, shijin nano.
A: He is a poet.
B: I see.
［Words］ kare [car-ray] he / shijin [she-jinn] a poet / nano [nah-no] is
"Okagesamade"literally means "thanks to an honorable shadow" or "in
your honorable shadow". "kage" means "shadow". "o" and "sama" before and after "kage" are both honorifics. So "okagesama" is an honorific title to refer to a shadow. It may sound strange to honor a shadow, but in Japan there is a tradition to honor a shadow as a thing that protects you secretly behind your back.
A: Kaze, do ?
B: Hai, okagesamade.
A: How's your cold ?
B: Thank you. I'm getting better.
［Words］ kaze [cars-eh] a cold / 〜do? [dough] How is 〜? / hai [hi] yes
"Urayamashii"means "I'm jealous" or "I envy you."
A: Konya, kare to deto nano.
A: I have a date with my boyfriend tonight.
B: I'm jealous.
［Words］ konya [con-ya] tonight / kare [car-ray] literally means "he"or
"him", but it often refers to a boyriend / 〜to [toe] with〜 /
deto [day-toe] a date / nano [na-no] a colloquial style meaning "is,
are" used only by women.
"Kirai"means "hate" If you put "dai" before "kirai",
it means "hate very much".
A: Boku no koto, kirai ?
B: Ee, daikirai.
A: Uso to itte.
A: Do you hate me ?
B: Yeah, I hate you very much.
A: Tell me it's a lie.
［Words］ Boku [bo-koo] I ※ "boku" means "I", but used by men. If women use "boku"to
refer to themselves, it sounds strange. / Ee [eh] yeah / uso /oo-so] a
lie / 〜 to-itte [toe-it-teh] tell me that 〜
"Suki"means "like". It expresses a favorable feeling. If you
put "dai" before "suki", it means "like very much".
A: Watashi no koto, suki ?
B: Aa, daisuki-dayo.
A: Ureshii !
A: Do you like me ?
B: Yeah, I like you very much.
A: Oh, I 'm so happy.
［Words］ watashi [wat-ash] I / 〜no-koto [ no-cot-toe] something about 〜/ aa [ah]
yeah / dayo [dah-yo] a suffix used in a colloquial conversation. ※ You don't have to say "dayo"after "suki", but if you put it, it adds a sympathetic, friendly atmosphere. / ureshii [oo-ray-she] happy
"Sugoi"means "great !"or "amazing !". You use it when
you want to praise someone or something.
A: Ichiro, sugoi ne.
B: Un, yatta-ne.
A: Ichiro is great, isn't he ?
B: Yeah, he really is. He did it !
［Words］ ne [ne] a tag question ※ You put "ne" after a word to emphasize your feeling or ask for
a listener's consent. / un [oo-n] yep, yeah / yatta [yacht-ah] He did
"Mazui"means "Yucky !" or "It tastes terrible". It is the opposite of "oishii".
A: Do, oishii ?
B: Mmm, mazui !
A: How do you like it ? Is it good ?
B: Mmm, yucky !
［Words］ Do [dough] How do you like it ?
It tastes good.
"Oishii"means "It tastes good."or "Yum !"or "Yummy
!". If you put "desu" after "oishii", it becomes more polite.
A: Aji ha do ?
A: How do you like it ?
B: It tastes good.
［Words］ aji [ah-gee] taste / Do [dough] How do you like it ?
It's a lie.
"Uso"is a noun meaning "a lie [lies] ".
A: Uso !
B: Usoja nai. Honto.
A: It's a lie !
B: No, it's not a lie. It's true.
［Words］ 〜 ja-nai [jar-nigh] It isn't 〜
"Honto"literally means "true". It is often used as a back channel. You can repeat it to emphasize what you said.
A: Usodesho !
B: Honto, honto. Shinjite yo.
A: No kidding !
B: Yes, it's true. Believe me.
［Words］ uso [oo-so] lie / desho [day-show] isn't it ! / shinjite [ shin-gee-teh]
believe me / yo [yo] a kind of tag question like "Eh"or "I
No, it cannot be true !
"Masaka"shows your strong doubt about something, a feeling like "It
cannot be true" or "No kidding". It sounds like "massacre."
A: Masaka !
B: Iya, honto.
A: No, it cannot be true.
B: Yes, it's true.
［Words］ iya [ee-yah] no ※ In Japanese, you say "iya" meaning "no",
if you disagree with someone, while in English you say "yes"after
a positive sentence whether you agree or disagree. / houto [hon-toe] true
"Tsukareta"means "tired". If a speaker says, "Tsukareta",
it means "I am tired. " If a speaker says, "Tsukareta ?"in
a question form, it means "Are you tired ?"
A: Tsukareta ?
B: Un, tsukareta.
A: Are you tired ?
B: Yes, I'm tired.
［Words］ un [um] yep
How are you ?
"Genki" literally means "vigor" and "energy". It can
be used as a greeting when people meet. If you want to be polite, you can
say "O-genki-desuka ? "
A: Genki ?
B: Genki yo.
A: How are you ?
B: Fine, thank you.
[Words] -yo [yo] a kind of tag question. It is often put after a word.
"Yokoso" is a greeting to say when you welcome somebody. It implies "I'm
glad to see you."
A: Yokoso, Nihon-e.
A: Welcome to Japan.
B: Thank you for welcoming me.
[Words] Nihon [knee-hong] Japan / 〜 e [ye] to 〜 / kangei [kwan-gay] welcome
Please be nice to me.
"Yoroshiku" literally means "be good" or "be nice". It can
be applied to a variety of situations. If you put "onegai-shimasu" after that, you become more polite.
You can put "dozo" before "yoshoshiku". It also become
more polite."Dozo-yoroshiku-onegai-shimasu" is very polite.
B: Kochira-koso, dozo-yorosiku-onegai-shimasu.
A: I'd like to ask for your kind cooperation.
B: With my pleasure.
[Words] kochira [co-chill-la] this side ※ In this case, it refers to "I "/ 〜 koso [co-so] this is the very thing 〜
"Moshi-moshi" is a greeting when you make a telephone call. You can also say "Moshi-moshi" when you receive a call.
A: Moshi moshi. Ken-san, imasuka?
B: Hai, moshi moshi. Boku desu.
A: Hello. Is Ken there ?
B: Hello. This is he.
[Words] imasu [ee-mass] be / ka [car] A suffix to make a question / boku [bok-oo]
I / desu [death] am
That looks delicious.
"Itadakimasu" literally means "I'll start eating." People say this to
show appreciation for the meal.
A: Saa, dozo.
A: Now let's eat.
B: That looks delicious.
[Words] saa [sah] now let's 〜 / dozo [dough-zo] please
That's good. / No, thank you.
"Kekko" is a tricky word. It literally means "good"or "nice".
But it often means "No, thank you." You have to judge which meaning
the speaker intends to say. "desu" is a polite form meaning "be".
A: Ocha demo do?
B: Kekko desu ne.
A: Would you like some tea ?
B: That's good, isn't it?
A: Ocha demo do ?
B: Kekko desu.
A: Would you like some tea ?
B: No, thank you.
[Words] cha [cha] tea ※ "o" before "cha" has no meaning. But if you put "o"
before "cha", it sounds polite. / -demo [demo] or something else
/ do [dough] How do you like 〜? / -ne [neh] -, isn't it ?
Hello / Thank you / Sorry /
"Domo" is a very usuful expression with a variety of meanings. The word
itself is vague, but you can apply it to various occasions. I put the three
main examples of using "Domo".
B: Yaa, domo.
B: Oh, hi !
A: Thank you.
B: You're welcome.
[Words] "Arigato" means "Thank you"(See No.3). You can just
say, "Domo", to imply your gratitude, but if you put "arigato"after
"domo", your feeling of gratitude is made clear.
A: Osoi !
A: You are late !
［Words］osoi [o-soy] be late
Stick to it !
"Gambatte" is an imperative form of the verb "gambaru" which literally means "stick to it". You say "Gambatte !" to cheer up somebody. It also can be translated into "Hang in there !", "Go for it !", "Good luck !" and so on.
A: Gambatte !
B: Arigato. Gambaru yo.
A: Stick to it !
B: Thank you. I will.
［Words］ -yo [yo] A suffix attached to a word. In this case, it means an intention
of the speaker in a casual way.
It is a casual expression when you apologize. If you put "nasai"
after this, it becomes polite.
B: Kochira koso, gomennasai.
B: It is I that must apologize. I'm sorry.
［Words］ kochira [co-chill-la] this side ※ In this case, it refers to "I "/ 〜 koso [co-so] this is the very thing 〜
It is a casual greeting people exchange before going to bed. If you put
"nasai" after this, it becomes polite.
Haha： Good night. Sweet dreams.
Kodomo： Good night.
［Words］ haha [ha-ha] mother / kodomo [co-dough-mo] child
It is an expression to use when people part.
A: Jaa ne, sayonara.
B: Sayonara. Mata ne.
Ａ： Well, good bye.
Ｂ： Good bye, See you again.
［Words］ jaa [jar] well / ne [neigh] A kind of tag question. If you put it after
a word, it emphasizes your word in a friendly tone. / mata [matter] again
You say "Iie." when you disagree.
A: Tomu-kun ?
Ａ： Are you Tom ?
［Words］ -kun [kun] One of the honorific titles available for men ※ You shouldn't use it to call someone in a higher position or older than
[hi / high]
You say "Hai." when you agree. It sounds like "Hi !" or "high".
A: Meari-san ?
Ａ： Are you Mary ?
［Words］ -san [sun] One of the honorific titles available for both men and women.
Put it after the name. Similar to "Mr." or "Ms."
A response to one's gratitude. It sounds like "Don't touch my moustache."
B: Iie. Doitashimashite.
Ａ： Thank you.
Ｂ： You're welcome.
［Words］ iie [ea-eh] no
It is a casual expression when people express their gratitude. It sounds
like "alligator". Don't say "crocodile". If you want
to be formal, add "gozaimasu" after that.
A: Yaa, arigato.
Ａ： Thank you.
Ｂ： You're welcome.
It is a casual expression when people greet in the morning. It sounds like the American state of "Ohio". If you want to be formal, add "gozaimasu" after that.
A: Yaa, ohayo !
Ａ： Morning !
Ｂ： Good morning.
It is a formal expression in greeting. Sometimes, "Konnichiwa" is shortened to the more informal "Konchiwa"
or just "Chiwa".
B: Yaa, Konchiwa.
Ａ： Hello !
Ｂ： Hi, hello !
C： Hi !
［Words］ Yaa [yaa] Hi ! ※ Sounds like "Yeah !" ※ "Yaa" is another informal form of greeting.