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Basic English to Japanese Words and Phrases

If you are looking to learn some basic Japanese, this page should come in handy.

Below is 50 common Japanese phrases in English. All translations from English to Japanese, which makes it easy to find the simple words or phrases you wish to convey.

Notes: Words in bold added during the last update. You can also view these common words and phrases from Japanese to English.

Yes and no

Yes ➔ Hai / はい

Yes (informal) ➔ Ee / ええ

That's right ➔ Sou desu / そうです

No ➔ Iie / いいえ

How are you?

How are you? ➔ O-genki desu ka? / おげんきですか / お元気ですか

I'm fine ➔ Genki desu / げんきです / 元気です


Let us have a nice relationship ➔ Yoroshiku onegai shimasu / よろしくおねがいします / よろしくお願いします ➔ This phrase has many meanings. When it is said during a first meeting, it means "Let us have a nice relationship", "Please treat me well". It can also be said when asking for a favor, meaning "Please", "Make it so", "I'm leaving it up to you", "Thank you for your consideration".

For a more detailed explanation including a video, please see our Vocabulary: Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu page.

I and my

I (male or female) ➔ Watashi / わたし /

I (female) ➔ Atashi / あたし

I (male) ➔ Boku / ぼく /

I (male) ➔ Ore / おれ /

My ➔ Watashi no (わたしの, 私の) / Atashi no (あたしの) / Boku no (ぼくの, 僕の) / Ore no (おれの, 俺の)

Click here for a more detailed explanation of How to Say I and My in Japanese.

What is your name?

What is your name? ➔ O-namae wa nan desu ka? / お名前は何ですか

My name is (name) ➔ Watashi no namae wa (name) desu / 私の名前は(name)です

I am (name) ➔ Watashi wa (name) desu / 私は(name)です

I'm sorry

I'm sorry ➔ Gomen (nasai)* / ごめんなさい

Excuse me / I am sorry / Thank you ➔ Sumimasen / すみません (It's an all purpose word for many occasions.)

Who, what, when, where, why?

Who ➔ Dare / 誰

Who are you? ➔ Anata wa dare? / あなたは誰

Who is it? ➔ Donata desu ka? / どなたですか

What ➔ Nani / 何

What's this? ➔ Kore wa, nan desu ka?

What's this called (in Japanese)? ➔ Kore wa, (Nihongo de) nan to iimasu ka?

When ➔ Itsu / いつ

When is it? ➔ Sore wa itsu desu ka? / それはいつですか

Where ➔ Doko

Where are you? ➔ Doko ni imasu ka? / どこにいますか

Why ➔ Naze / なぜ

Thank you

Thanks ➔ Domo / どうも

Thank you ➔ Arigatou (gozaimasu)** / ありがとうございます

Thank you very much ➔ Domo arigatou (gozaimasu)** / どうもありがとうございます

You're welcome ➔ Doitashimashite / どういたしまして / どう致しまして

Good luck

Good luck / Give it your best (words of encouragement) ➔ Ganbatte kudasai

Good luck ➔ Ganbarou / がんばろう

Do you speak English?

I don't understand ➔ Wakarimasen / わかりません

Do you speak English? ➔ Eigo o hanasemasuka? / 英語を話せますか

Do you understand English? ➔ Eigo o rikai shite imasu ka? / 英語を理解していますか

Do you know English? ➔ Eigo wa wakarimasu ka? / 英語はわかりますか

I can't speak Japanese (well) ➔ Nihongo (yoku) hanasemasen

I don't speak (much) Japanese ➔ Nihongo wa (amari) hanase masen

What is your phone number?

What is your phone number? ➔ Denwa bango wa nan ban desu ka?

What is your cell phone number? ➔ Keitai denwa bangou wo oshiete moraemasenka? / 携帯電話番号を教えてもらえませんか

My number is (number) ➔ Denwa bango wa (number) desu

Be careful!

Look out / Dangerous ➔ Abunai / あぶない

Be careful ➔ Ki o tsukete / きをつけて

Help me!

Help! ➔ Tasukete! / 助けて

Help me! ➔ Watashi o tasukete! / 私を助けて!

Please help ➔ Tasukete kudasai / たすけてください / 助けてください

Excuse me, can you help me please? ➔ Sumimasen ga, tasukete itadakemasen ka?

Where is the bathroom?

Where is the bathroom? ➔ Toire wa doko desu ka / トイレはどこですか

* - nasai added for politeness.
** - gozaimasu added for politeness.

*List of common words and phrases last updated: March 7, 2018.


Can you answer these questions about basic Japanese words and phrases?

1. What is the meaning of tasukete in English?
2. Translate wakarimasen in English.
3. What is the meaning of o genki desu ka in English?
4. What is ganbatte kudasai in English?
5. What is the meaning of kore wa nan desu ka in English?
6. What is tasukete kudasai in English?
7. What is the translation of gomen nasai in English?


As many of the translations in the list above are user submitted, it's quite possible for there to be mistakes on the page. If you speak Japanese and have a correction you'd like to share, feel free to leave a message below. Thanks again for any help you can provide.

The Fine Print

I don't speak Japanese myself, so there could be mistakes in the translations. Most of what is here is user-submitted, but I do try to check for accuracy and make corrections as I can. Thanks for your understanding.

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