Essential Everyday Japanese Phrases that are not much in text book.

Essential Everyday Japanese Phrases for Foreign Residents:

  1. 「お疲れ様です」 (Otsukaresama desu)
  • Situation: Used to express appreciation or acknowledge someone’s hard work or effort. Commonly heard in workplaces, after completing tasks, or at the end of the day.
  • Example Conversation:
    • Co-worker 1: お疲れ様です! (Otsukaresama desu!)
    • Co-worker 2: お疲れ様です!ありがとう。(Otsukaresama desu! Arigatou.)
  1. 「失礼しました」 (Shitsurei shimashita)
  • Situation: Apology for a minor intrusion or disturbance, often used when entering or leaving a room or someone else’s workspace.
  • Example Conversation:
    • Upon entering a colleague’s office: 失礼しました。お邪魔いたします。(Shitsurei shimashita. Ojama itashimasu.)
  1. 「いただきます」 (Itadakimasu)
  • Situation: Said before meals to express gratitude for the food and the effort put into preparing it. It’s a way of showing appreciation and acknowledging everyone’s contributions.
  • Example Conversation:
    • Before starting a meal: いただきます!(Itadakimasu!)
  1. 「ありがとうございます」 (Arigatou gozaimasu)
  • Situation: A polite way of saying “Thank you.” Used in various settings, such as receiving a favor, gift, or assistance.
  • Example Conversation:
    • Receiving a gift: ありがとうございます!(Arigatou gozaimasu!)
  1. 「どういたしまして」 (Douitashimashite)
  • Situation: Responding to expressions of gratitude. It is the equivalent of “You’re welcome” or “Not at all” in English.
  • Example Conversation:
    • After being thanked: どういたしまして。(Douitashimashite.)

Usage Tips:

  • Greeting with Respect: When in doubt, it’s always good to greet colleagues and acquaintances with a friendly “おはようございます” (Ohayou gozaimasu) in the morning and “こんにちは” (Konnichiwa) during the day.
  • Asking for Help: If you need assistance or directions, a simple “すみません” (Sumimasen) can be used to get someone’s attention politely.
  • Shopping Interactions: When shopping, “これをください” (Kore o kudasai) means “I’ll take this, please” and “いくらですか” (Ikura desu ka) is handy for asking “How much is it?”
  • Expressing Apology: In case of mistakes or when you need to apologize, “ごめんなさい” (Gomen nasai) is a straightforward way to say “I’m sorry.”

These phrases, when used appropriately, can help make everyday interactions smoother and contribute to building positive relationships with Japanese colleagues, neighbors, and friends.