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Meeting and Greeting: Basic Japanese Conversation Dialogue for Beginners

Learn Japanese through Dialogues: Meetings and Greetings


DIALOGUE ONE: Meeting for the First Time

In this article, we will examine a dialogue between two people who are meeting for the first time. Listen to the dialogue while going through the text, spend some time going through the grammar notes, and then listen to it once more–this time, hopefully, with greater comprehension.

If you like this lesson, check out our Learn Japanese through Dialogues series of eBooks (or paperback) + MP3s. This particular dialogue is from the book “Meetings and Greetings” as seen to the left. See the bottom for a special discount to get four of these eBooks, each with eight or more dialogues, for the price of one eBook.

 

Let’s begin today’s lesson…

 

Dialogue One: in Japanese
Meeting for the First Time

 

はじめまして。マイクと申します。
hajimemashite. Maiku to moushimasu.
How do you do? I am Mike.

Grammatical Notes

Hajimemashite is the most common greeting when meeting people for the first time.; “to moushimasu” is a polite (humble) way to introduce one’s name.

はじめまして。由美です。
hajimemashite. Yumi desu.
Nice to meet you. I’m Yumi.

Grammatical Notes

Another way to say your name is simply “(name) desu.” You may notice your name doesn’t fit well into Japanese. For example, “Smith” becomes “sumisu” because the sounds in Japanese don’t allow for the “sm” combination and the “th” sound isn’t found in Japanese. Ask a Japanese friend or a Japanese forum online how your name would be written in the Japanese sound system.

どうぞよろしくお願いします。
douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Pleased to meet you.

Grammatical Notes

“Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu” is commonly used after “hajimemashite.” It means something like, “please treat me well.”

どこから来ましたか?
doko kara kimashita ka?
Where are you from?

Grammatical Notes

doko = where; kara = from; doko kara = from where — kimashita is one of the few irregular verbs in Japanese. kuru (plain form) = kimasu (masu form) both mean “to come,” but the masu form is more polite.

アメリカです。
amerika desu.
America. (U.S.)

Grammatical Notes

In Japanese, you can often drop information that was previously introduced or is expected. So instead of saying, “I am from America” or “it is America,” you can simply say, “is America.”

アメリカのどこですか?
amerika no doko desu ka?
Where in America?

Grammatical Notes

In a simple way, you can think of “no” as an apostrophe S: amerika no doko = America’s where = Where in America?

ロリダ州です。
furorida shuu desu.
Florida.

Grammatical Notes

shuu means “state” and is used with the fifty US states. Japan has prefectures known as ken.

フロリダは暑いでしょう?
furorida wa atsui deshou?
Florida is hot, isn’t it?

Grammatical Notes

deshou implies the speaker is expecting an affirmative answer. It is a very useful sentence tag for when you aren’t sure of your statement or don’t want to hurt the sensibilities of the listener.

はい、暑いです。由美さんの出身はどこですか?
hai, atsui desu. yumi-san no shusshin wa doko desu ka?
Yes, it is hot. Where are you from?

Grammatical Notes

shusshin = place of one’s origin (usually hometown as in this example). The ” ha” here is the topic particle and is pronounced “wa.” This is one of the very, very few irregularities in  Japanese pronunciation.

東京です。
toukyou desu.
Tokyo.

Grammatical Notes

Literally, “Tokyo is” (It is Tokyo). As mentioned earlier, if information is obvious or has been previously introduced, it is very often dropped.

僕は東京が好きです。
boku wa toukyou ga suki desu.
I like Tokyo.

Grammatical Notes

~ga suki = (I) like ~

そうですか、あ、私はそろそろ仕事に行かなくちゃ。それじゃまた。
sou desu ka, a, watashi wa sorosoro shigoto ni ikanakucha. sore ja mata.
Really? Oh! I have to go to work soon. See you later.

Grammatical Notes

sou desu ka” here means “Is that so?” but it is a very versatile phrase with many meanings depending on context and how it is said.

はい。さようなら。
hai, sayounara.
Yes, goodbye.

Grammatical Notes

sayounara isn’t used as much as you may think. It is often used when saying goodbye to someone for a long period of time.

 

Learn the vocabulary:

Listen to the dialogue again. This time with repetition.

 


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