いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

You may not have known this, but Japanese children, like any other children, like to play games together. Here are a few phrases to get your inner child a-playing in Japanese.

いっしょにあそぼ! Let’s Play – Japanese Phrases for Children

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issho ni asobo!
Let’s play together.

あそぼ should have a う at the end, but it is often dropped in speech, making it a shorter sound.


nani shite asobu?
What do you want to play?

Literally, “what-do-play,” this is a common way for kids to start play.


nanika shiyou yo
Let’s do something.

When nothing seems to be happening, this is the question to ask the gang. The final よ is for emphasis.


asobi ni ikou
Let’s go play.

When suggesting to go to the park or pool, this is the phrase to use. The に is used to show the reason (to play) for going (ikou)


​Pay attention to me!

From 構う kamau meaning “to mind” “to care about” or “to be concerned for”


  • かくれんぼ kakure​nbo -- hide and go seek
  • 鬼ごっこ oni gokko -- tag
  • フルーツバスケット furu-tsu basuketto -- Fruit basket turnover (game) Learn more here.
  • なわとび nawatobi -- jump rope
  • かけっこ kakkeko -- race; sprint
  • じゃんけん janken -- Rock, paper, scissors
  • けん玉 kendama -- kendama; ball and cup. See here.
Playing in Japanese
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Japanese Conversational Interjections 相槌 aizuchi

Japanese Conversational Interjections 相槌 aizuchi

Carrying on a conversation (in any language) isn’t just about getting your ideas across. It is also about showing the other person, the speaker, you are listening. This is especially important in Japanese since it is used all the time.

In English, we might say, “Oh, really?” or “Is that so?” or “Uh huh” to show the speaker we are interested and understanding what he or she is saying. This video lists several important 相槌 aizuchi for showing you are interested or agree with the speaker.

Aizuchi to show Attention

Let’s first look at 相槌  aizuchi that could be considered positive. None of these fully imply the listener even agrees with the speaker. But the listener is interested, engaged, and understanding what the speaker has to say.

Here are the main words (there are many more):

はい yes

While this means “yes,” はい is often used in conversation to show attention and interest.

ええ yeah

This is sometimes written as えー. This is a common substitute for はい with generally the same meaning. I’m listening and I’m interested. When said with a rising tone, it can show surpise or disbelief.

うん yep

This is a less formal but common way to say “yes.” As mentioned above, saying this doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with the speaker, but just that you are showing interest.

なるほど I see

When the listener explains something you didn’t previously understand, you can say, “I see” or “I get it” or “indeed.”

さすが As expected…

This means “as one would expect” and is often used as a compliment. If the speaker says an accomplishment, compliment him or her with “I knew you could do it.”.

すごい! Amazing!

すごい means “amazing” and can be compared to the slang word “cool” or “awesome.” When the speaker says something amazing, use this.

そうですね。 That’s right.
sou desu ne.

Also shortened as そうだ, this literally means “That is so.” It shows mild agreement, but it could also just be used to show interest.

うそ  (surprise) No way!

This literally means “lie.” When said with surprise, it means “Really?” but when said with disbelief, it can mean “I don’t believe that.”

うそ (disbelief) I don’t believe that.

Depending on how you say this, it can show agreement (with shock) or disbelief (also with shock).

ほんと (I) swear; really; (I’m) telling the truth

This can be used to agree with the listener. I swear. That’s for sure. I’m telling the truth. This literally means “true” or “fact.” In less colloquial circumstances, it really has a う at the end: ほんとう.

ほんとに really; truly
honto ni

The adverbial form can be used to confirm what someone said is really true.

まさか It can’t be…; no way; you don’t say

This is usually said when the listener suddenly realizes what the speaker is saying may actually be true despite it sounding absurd. It can’t be…

信じられない I don’t believe it

Literally, this means “I cannot believe.” but this can also be said when believing but not wanting to believe. I can’t believe (he did that).

ありえない impossible; no way

This means impossible, but again, it may simply show the listener is shocked by what she hears.

おかしい That’s odd; funny; little strange

This means “odd” or “strange.” Something’s funny about that.

なんかへんな Something’s wrong with that; that’s odd
nanka henna

Literally, something strange.


Aizuchi Japanese Conversational Interjections

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Makoto e-Zine #8 November 2018 Audio Files

Makoto e-Zine #8 November 2018 Audio Files

Issue #8
November 2018


Please note: We are providing the sound files from this issue openly, but to follow along and have full access to grammatical notes and the running gloss, please either purchase this issue at:


Frank introduces Obaasan to his friend, Sushi. He learns Sushi is actually something to eat. Frank is saddened by this unexpected turn of events

Chapter Four: Sushi is Something to Eat – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Japanese Reader: The Fountain of Youth 若返りの水 – SLOW – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Japanese Reader: The Fountain of Youth 若返りの水 – NORMAL SPEED – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO



NEW READER: Frank and the Obaasan & The Fountain of Youth
33 Pages

ž Laughs, Jokes, Riddles, and Puns
ž Prefecture Spotlight: Kumamoto
ž Etymology: Mizu ni Nagasou
ž Phrase of the Day: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
ž Kanji Spotlight: JLPT N5 Kanji Numbers
ž Grammar Time! Plan To: yotei; tsumori
ž Frank and the Obaasan Reader, Grammatical Notes, Kanji Notes, and English Translation
ž The Fountain of Youth

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Japanese Vocabulary Lesson: How to Say I’m Sick in Japanese

Japanese Vocabulary Lesson: How to Say I’m Sick in Japanese

Feeling under the weather? Great! Uh, I mean, sorry you feel bad, but I have the perfect Japanese vocabulary lesson for you today. Here are five phrases you can use right now.

Japanese Vocabulary

Sick Japanese Vocabulary

nodo ga itai desu.
I have a sore throat.
seki ga demasu.
I have a cough.
atama ga itai desu.
I have a headache. (lit. My head hurts.)
karada ga darui desu.
I feel under the weather.(lit. My body is languid.)
netsu ga arimasu.
I have a fever.

BTW, if you like the sumo shirt I’m wearing in the video, you can get it at Amazon here: (Ships US Only–sorry)
Or on TheJapanShop.com by clicking here. Ships world-wide! Yeah!
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5 Fun Anime Fighting Phrases in Japanese

5 Fun Anime Fighting Phrases in Japanese

5 Fun Anime Fighting Phrases in Japanese

Here are five kakkoii fighting phrases you might hear in anime Japanese or read in manga. Listen for them when you get to the fighting scenes.

Please note, all five of these can be rude–they are, after all, fighting words. Be careful how you use them, but saying them to your close Japanese friends could be fun.

Let’s get started with some Anime Fighting Phrases in Japanese


Bring it on!

The かかって comes from a word that means “to start,” “to deal with,” “to handle.” こい is a somewhat rude command that means “come on!”


I accept your challenge!

When you are ready to take up the gauntlet, say, 「うけてたつ!」


I’ll never lose!

Said when things are not going well for the bad guy and he is about to lose. もん is an ender used for emphasis. もんか is used for creating rhetorical questions when the speaker actually believes the opposite is true. “Am I about to lose? No way!”


I’ll get you for this!

The bad guy is lost and he knows it. He is in an embarrassing retreat, but to save face, he says to the victorious hero, 「おぼえてろ!」 Literally, this is “I’ll remember this.” It can mean, “You’ll be sorry!” or “You’ll regret this!” or “I’ll get even someday!”



This is also pronounced ちきしょう. Literally, this means “livestock” or “beast.” When said when upset, however, it is a light curse. Dammit! Hang it all! Darn!

Anime fighting phrases
Download Audio files here:


Check out fun Japanese-themed shirts from
Amazon.com (if you are in the US)
TheJapanShop.com (if you are anywhere)

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Quick Japanese Lesson: Making Reservations at a Japanese Restaurant

Quick Japanese Lesson: Making Reservations at a Japanese Restaurant

Learn Japanese through Dialogues: At the Restaurant
DIALOGUE ONE: Making Reservations

In this article, we will look at a typical restaurant reservations scenario. 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 “At the Restaurant” as seen to the left. See the bottom of a way 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
Making Reservations

ano, sumimasen ga, konya hachi ji ni yoyaku wo shitai no desu ga.
Hello. I would like to make a reservation for tonight at eight.

Grammatical Notes

ano—um; “sumimasen ga” would mean “Sorry for the trouble but ~”—it is something you would say to be polite before making a request.

あの ano umm [said as a polite way to get someone’s attention] すみません sumimasen sorry; excuse me
が ga but; however
今夜 konya tonight
8時に hachi ji ni at 8 o’clock
予約 yoyaku reservation
を wo [direct object marker] したい shitai want to
のですが no desu ga The “no” + “desu” is a sentence ender which indicates the speaker is explaining something. The “ga,” meaning “but” is added to soften the request.

hai, kashikomarimashita. nanmei sama desu ka?
Sure, how many people will be in your party?

Grammatical Notes

hai, kashikomarimashita” would mean “Yes, I will respectfully obey your request”; this is a standard reply used by servers when they take orders or requests from the customers.


はい hai yes
かしこまりました kashikomarimashita I understand; yes [to obey respectively] 何名様 nanmei sama how many people [Normally, you can say, “nan nin” for “how many people,” but in the context of a restaurant, you will hear the very polite, “nan mei sama.”] です desu copula [a word used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate; often like the English “to be”] か ka [question marker]

yonin desu.

Grammatical Notes

Notice the pronunciation is “yonin” not “yonnin.”

四人 yonin four people

shitsunai no te-buru seki ni nasaimasu ka? soretomo, okugai ni nasaimasu ka?
Would you like a table inside or would you prefer a seat outside?

Grammatical Notes

seki” is usually “seat” but in this case it is “table”

室内 shitsunai inside (the restaurant)
の no [shows possession or relationship between two things] テーブル te-buru table
席 seki seat
になさいますか? ni nasaimasu ka? will be?
それとも soretomo or
屋外 okugai outside (the restaurant)
になさいますか ni nasaimasu ka? will be?

tenki ga ii node, soto ga ii to omoimasu.
The weather is nice so outside would be great.

Grammatical Notes

“~ node” is “because ~” but notice its position in the sentence. It connects and shows a relationship between two phrases.

ii—good; tenki ga ii—fine weather; soto ga ii—the outside is good.


天気 tenki weather
が ga [grammar: usually marks the subject of the sentence.] いい ii good; nice
ので node because; therefore
外 soto outside
と思います to omoimasu I think

hai, kashikomarimashita. nanika hokani gokibou nado wa gozaimasen ka?
Sure. Is there anything else I can get for you?

Grammatical Notes

gokibou” (“go” +  “kibou – hope”) – something you would want; adding the polite “go” shows respect to the customer.


はい hai yes
かしこまりました kashikomarimashita I understand; yes
なにか nanika something
ほかに hokani in addition
ご希望 go kibou your wish; your order [the “go” makes it polite when referring to someone else’s wish.] など nado etc.
は wa [particle topic marker—hiragana “ha” but pronounced “wa“] ございません gozaimasen there isn’t
か ka question marker [grammatical]


hai, arimasu. watashi no tsuma no tanjoubi desu node, ke-ki wo te-buru ni motte kite hoshii no desu ga.
Yes, it is my wife’s birthday and I would like a cake brought to the table.

Grammatical Notes

A sentence which ends with “~ desu ga” is a soft way of requesting something instead of making it sound like a direct order.


はい hai yes
あります arimasu have; exist
私 watashi I; me (used by males and females] の no [shows possession or relationship between two things] 妻 tsuma wife
誕生日 tanjoubi birthday
ので node because; therefore
ケーキ ke-ki cake
を wo [direct object marker] テーブル te-buru table
に ni to (the table)
持ってきて motte kite brought [literally, “hold and come”] ほしい hoshii want
のですが no desu ga The “no” + “desu” is a sentence ender which indicates the speaker is explaining something. The “ga,” meaning “but” is added to soften the request.

sore wa suteki na okangae desu ne. o shokuji no ato, ke-ki wo omochi itashimasu.
How nice! Yes, we can have it brought out at the end of your meal.

Grammatical Notes

suteki” means “nice,” “lovely,” or “cool” and is very commonly used.

それは sore wa as for that
素敵な suteki na nice; good
お考え o kangae thought
ね ne isn’t it? [a very common and versatile sentence ender] お食事 o shokuji food
の no [shows possession or relationship between two things] あと ato after
ケーキ ke-ki cake
を wo [direct object marker] お持ちいたします o mochi itashimasu will carry out

ii desu ne, soreto, shokugo ni wain mo onegai shitai no desu ga.
Great! I would also like a bottle of wine after the meal.

Grammatical Notes

soreto” – also;  “shokugo 食後 ” – shoku (to eat) + go (after)


いい ii good; nice
ね ne isn’t it? [a very common and versatile sentence ender] それと sore to that and
食後に shokugo ni after eating
ワイン wain wine
も mo also
お願いしたい onegai shitai want to ask a favor [The “shitai” adds the meaning of “to want to…”] のですが no desu ga The “no” + “desu” is a sentence ender which indicates the speaker is explaining something. The “ga,” meaning “but” is added to soften the request.

hai, okugai no oseki, hachi ji ni goyoyaku uketamawarimashita.
Okay, your table for four outside will be ready for you at eight o’clock.

Grammatical Notes

uketamawarimashita” is usually used by a restaurant receptionist when confirming an appointment. It means “I have respectfully received (your appointment).”


はい hai yes
屋外 okugai outside (the restaurant)
の no [shows possession or relationship between two things] お席oseki seat [polite] 8時に hachi ji ni at 8 o’clock
ご予約 goyoyaku reservation [polite] 承りました uketamawarimashita received

arigatou gozaimasu. wain to ke-ki wa, ueitoresu ga motte kite kuremasu ne?
Thank you, and our server will bring out the wine and cake?

Grammatical Notes

Adding “ne?” at the end can make the sentence a question by asking for a confirmation.


ありがとうございます arigatou gozaimasu thank you
ワイン wain wine
と to and
ケーキ ke-ki cake
ウエイトレス ueitoresu waitress
が ga [grammar: usually marks the subject of the sentence.] 持ってきてくれます motte kite kuremasu will bring
ね ne [sentence ender asking for confirmation]

hai, o shokuji no ato, omochi itashimasu. sono hokani nanika gozaimasu ka?
Yes, at the end of your meal. May I help you with anything else?

Grammatical Notes

omochi itashimasu” means “(The server) will bring (them)”


はい hai yes
お食事oshokuji food; meal [polite] の no possession [grammatical] あと ato after
お持ちいたします omochi itashimasu will bring (to you)
そのほかに sono hoka ni something else
なにか nanika something
ございます gozaimasu is; exists [polite form of desu] か ka question marker [grammatical]

ie, arimasen. ijou desu.
No, thank you. That will be all.

Grammatical Notes

ijou desu“—that will be all; that is all; that’s it


いえ ie no
ありません arimasen isn’t; doesn’t exist
以上 ijou that is all

arigatou gozaimashita.
Thank you.

Grammatical Notes

arigatou gozaimashita” is more polite than “arigatou” which would not be appropriate here.


ありがとう arigatou thank you
ございました gozaimashita past of “gozaimasu” [use the past form to thank for what was done already.]


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