Lesson 10

Meeting Someone New And Other Common Japanese Phrases

Meeting Someone New

We are often asked by our students learning Japanese how to introduce yourself to a Japanese person. This interaction is normally very formal and filled with a few bows.

Below is a typical Japanese conversation/introduction between two people meeting for the first time:

Japanese (In Kanji, Hiragana, and Romaji)English Meaning
Person 1:



Konnichi wa. Hajimemashite.

Hello. Nice to meet you.
Person 2:



Hajimemashite. O-genki desu ka?

Nice to meet you. How are you?
Person 1:



Hai, genki desu.

I am fine.
Person 1:



Watashi wa __ to moushimasu. Anata no o-namae wa?

My name is ______. What is your name?
Person 2:



Watashi wa __ to iimasu. Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu.

My name is ______. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Person 1:



Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu.

Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Explanation: "Hajimemashite" literally means "it is a beginning" but would be the equivalent of "Nice to meet you" in English. It would only be used the first time meeting someone.

As learned in lesson 9 on Japanese adjectives and adverbs, "genki" means "in good spirits". "O-genki desu ka" is literally asking "Are you in good spirits?". This is the most common way of asking "How are you?" in Japanese. The other person responds "Yes, I am in good spirits".

"Mousu" is the ultra polite form of the verb "iu" (to say). Both people are literally saying "I am said/called _". "Namae" is the word for "name". An "o" is added in front of it (and other words throughout this exchange) to show respect. This is not done when talking about yourself.

"Yoroshii" means "good/fine" and "negai" is a wish or request. "Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu" literally means "I request/wish kindly of you". It is basically like saying "Please treat me well". It can be used in other situations as well - such as when asking for a favor.

Other Common Japanese Phrases

We are often asked how to say "I love you" in Japanese.

This would be "Anata o ai shite imasu" BUT be advised that the Japanese typically don't use the word for love (ๆ„› - ใ‚ใ„ - ai) when talking about their feelings for someone else (not even a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, child, parent, etc.). They would typically say "Anata no koto ga suki desu" or "Anata ga daisuki desu". "Suki" is Japanese for "like" and "daisuki" means "favorite".

This may seem strange but this is just what they say for "I love you".

ๆผขๅญ— - Kanjiใฒใ‚‰ใŒใช - HiraganaRomaji (English Letters)English Meaning
่ช•็”Ÿๆ—ฅใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ใŸใ‚“ใ˜ใ‚‡ใ†ใณใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasuHappy Birthday!
ๆ˜Žใ‘ใพใ—ใฆใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ใ‚ใ‘ใพใ—ใฆใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™akemashite omedetou gozaimasuHappy New Year!
ใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™ใŠใ‚ใงใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ™omedetou gozaimasuCongratulations!
ใŠไผ‘ใฟใชใ•ใ„ใŠใ‚„ใ™ใฟใชใ•ใ„oyasuminasaiGood night. (used when someone is going to bed)
ๅพกๅ…ใชใ•ใ„ใ”ใ‚ใ‚“ใชใ•ใ„gomennasaiI'm sorry.
ใ™ใฟใพใ›ใ‚“ใ™ใฟใพใ›ใ‚“sumimasenExcuse me.
ใƒˆใ‚คใƒฌใฏไฝ•ๅ‡ฆใงใ™ใ‹ใƒˆใ‚คใƒฌใฏใฉใ“ใงใ™ใ‹toire wa doko desu kaWhere is the bathroom?
ใŠ่…นใŒ็ฉบใ„ใฆใ„ใพใ™ใŠใชใ‹ใŒใ™ใ„ใฆใ„ใพใ™onaka ga suite imasuI am hungry. ("My stomach is empty.")

See Lesson 3 for other common Japanese phrases.