Daily talk back

Although there are many Japanese who can understand English in Japan, it is better for you to understand basic words used in daily conversation. Following are some of the basic conversations in various occasions.

Daily conversation in Japanese
Counting the numbers
Joining a Dojo
In a dojo newly uploaded

Daily conversation in Japanese to Top to numbering system
When you, suppose your name is Mike, meet someone for the first time, you may say "Hajime masite,Mike desu. Douzo yorosiku," meaning "How do you do? My name is Mike". "Douzo yorosiku" is a very useful words and can be used as an almighty magic spell when you ask someone's favor. To be more polite you may say, "Douzo yorosiku onegai simasu". The meaning of "onegai simasu" is "I would like to ask your favor" when attached at the end of the sentence.
Although "Nice to see you" may be used when you meet someone again and again, "Hajime masite" can not be used when you meet someone whom you have met before. In case you are not sure if you have met him before or not, use "good morning" type words. Or use the phrase "Dokoka de oai site imasenka" meaning "Haven't we met somewhere before?" He will answer "Iie", meaning "No" or "Tokyo dojo de", meaning "At Tokyo dojo".

When you forget a person's name you are talking with and want to know his name, you may say "Onamae wo osiete kudasai", meaning "May I have your name?"
Onamae is a polite form of namae. O is a prefix that makes the word polite. For example, sigoto means job and you sound very polite if you say "Osigoto" instead of "sigoto" when talking about his job. When talking about your job, you are recommended to use "sigoto" instead of "osigoto". Guess why. It is still a Japanese culture that you shall not put yourself over the person you are talking with.
When you tell him your name, you may say "Watasi wa Mike desu" or "Watasi no namae wa Mike desu". "Watasi no" correspond to "My", "namae" to "name" and "wa xxx desu" to "is", thus , it means "My name is Mike".

To ask his job, you may say "Osigoto wa nan desuka". When telling your job, you may say "Watasi no sigoto wa sensei desu" meaning "I am a teacher".
Here, "Watasi no" correspond to "My", "sigoto" to "job", "wa xxx desu" to "is", and "sensei" to "a teacher".
If you are working for a company, you may say "Watasi wa electric company de hataraite imasu". Such English words as "electric" or "company" is so popular in Japan that you do not have to say those words in Japanese. Those words have become Japanese words and are written in Kana representing their pronunciation. Examples are, "chemical", kemikaru,"car", kah, "gun", gan , "crazy", kureiji, and "fight" as faito etc.

Use "Ohayou gozaimasu" for "good morning", "Konnichi wa" and "Konban wa" for "good afternoon" and "good evening" respectively. You can use the same words in return to those greetings.
You may say "Ohayou gozaimasu" to a person you have never met before or to a person you meet every day.
The literal meaning of "Ohayou gozaimasu" is that "(It is nice of you to be diligent in) the early morning"

When asking someone to do something, use "Onegai simasu". By these words, you can have him pay attention to you and ready to listen to you.
This may be useful at the reception of Shorinji Kempo dojo. When you say "Onegai simasu." at the reception window of the dojo, he or she at the window may answer "Nanika goyou desuka", or "Goyouken wa nan deshouka", meaning "What can I do for you."

When you want to express your thanks, you say "Doumo arigatou gozaimasita" or simply "Arigatou". Use "Arigatou" in case your are talking with your close friend. Try to use "Doumo arigatou gozaimasita" in a dojo.
Use "Doumo arigatou gozaimasu" for expressing your thanks for his future actions. For example, you:"May I have an entry form?", he:"I will make it for you by tomorrow." then you say "Doumo arigatou gozaimasu". One day later, he:"Here you are", then you say "Doumo arigatou gozaimasita".

When you visit your friend, you can say "Ohayou gozaimasu" at the entrance. When visiting in the evening, use "Konban wa".
Although "Ohayou gozaimasu" type words can be used when visiting a dojo of Shorinji Kempo, it is better to use "Onegai simasu" to make it clear that you have come to ask something.
In Samurai era, "Tanomou" is the standard word for visiting a dojo which means "I have come to ask something (such as having a private competition with a dojo master)." Do not use it today.
When nobody answers you or you see nobody around, you should say "Donata ka irasshai masenka", meaning "Is anybody there?"
When somebody shows up, tell him your name and your purpose of the visit.
When you are asked "Douzo ohairi kudasai" or "Douzo oagari kudasai",meaning "Please come in", you are expected to be his guest and you must take off your shoes to enter the room. You will see where to put off your shoes. In some western style building, you do not have to take off your shoes for just entering the building.
Answer "Sitsurei simasu" to his offer. It's literal meaning is "Please forgive any rudeness or inconvenience I may cause". It can be used at any occasion such as walking away from someone your are talking, interrupting others conversation, draw attention of others and leaving the room, etc.
When you have a chance to have a Japanese guest at your house, use "Douzo ohairi kudasai" or "Douzo oagari kudasai" to those showed up at the front door. "Douzo" means "please".

You may say "See you again"@or "Goodbye" in English, because these words are so popular in Japan, however try to use "Sayounara" if you would like to say it in Japanese.

Counting the numbers back to Top to Join a dojo
Basis number examples
1-9 ichi, ni, san, si (or yon), go, roku, sichi (or nana), hachi and kyuu for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine respectively.
juu 10-90 juu, ni juu, san juu, yon juu, go juu, roku juu, sichi juu ( or nana juu), hachi juu and kyuu juu for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, sixth, seventy, eighty and ninety respectively.
hyaku 100-900 hyaku, ni hyaku, san byaku, yon hyaku, go hyaku, roppyaku, nana hyaku, happyaku and kyuu hyaku for one hundred, two hundreds, three hundreds, four hundreds, five hundreds, six hundreds, seven hundreds, eight hundreds and nine hundreds respectively.
sen 1000-9000 sen, ni sen, san zen, yon sen, go sen, roku sen, nana sen, hassen and kyuu sen for one thousand, two thousands, three thousands, four thousands, five thousands, six thousands, seven thousands, eight thousands and nine thousands respectively.
man 10000-90000 ichi man, ni man, san man, yon man, nana man, hachi man and kyuu man for ten thousands, twenty thousands, thirty thousands, forty thousands, fifty thousands, sixty thousands, seventy thousands, eighty thousands and ninety thousands respectively.
oku 100000000- ichi oku, ni oku, san oku, yon oku, go oku, roku oku, nana oku, hachi oku and kyuu oku for one hundred millions, two hundred millions , three hundred millions, four hundred millions, five hundred millions, six hundred millions, seven hundred millions, eight hundred millions and nine hundred millions respectively.
chou 1000000000000- may have little chance to use.
Some examples are, "go sen nana hyaku ni en" for \5702, "roku man go hyaku roku juu en" for \60560

Joining a Dojo back to Top to In a dojo
When you would like to see if the dojo is suitable for you, you should ask for watching the course or trial joining. You should say "Renshuu wo kengaku sasete kudasai" meaning "May I see the learning course of the dojo?" "renshuu" means "training or exercise", "kengaku" means "seeing or watching for study", "sasete kudasai" means "let me". So the literal meaning is "Let me see the training for my study".
Many dojo have the trial joining system, although the actual way may be different from dojo to dojo, in which you can watch or practice Shoriji Kempo as a pre-joining-member.

To ask the numbers in the class, use "Nan nin no kenshi ga imasuka" or "Kenshi wa nan nin imasuka" meaning "How many members are there in this dojo".

To ask the class schedule, use "Renshuu bi wa itsu desuka", meaning "What is the class schedule?" where "Renshuu" is "class or training", "bi" is "day", "itsu" is "when".
"getsuyoubi", "kayoubi", "suiyoubi", "mokuyoubi", "kinyoubi", "doyoubi" and "nichiyoubi" stand for "Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday" and "Sunday" respectively.
"Renshuu wa nanji ni hajimari masuka" means "When does the class start?" Where, "Nanji" means "What time", "ni" means "at", "hajimaru" means "start".
Add "ji" to numbers to refer the time. For example, "san ji" means "three o'clock". "han" means "half" and is used in such a way as "go ji han" for "half past five".

When asking a price, use "Oikura desuka", which is a polite form of "Ikura desuka". meaning "How much does it cost me?" It can be used in many situation such as asking the price of goods you want to buy, asking an entrance fee for a theater, asking for a tuition of a dojo.
When you would like to ask the fee for the learning course of Shorinji Kempo, the following may be useful for you.
"Tukiduki oikura desuka", meaning "How much is the monthly fee?" Here, "Tuki" does not mean "punch", but means "month". "Tukiduki" comes from "Tuki tuki",or "month by month".
"Nyumon hiyou wa oikura desuka" meaning "How much is an admission fee for joining?" Here, "Nyumon" means "joining the dojo", "hiyou" means "cost or fee".
"Zenbu de oikura desuka" means "How much does it cost me to cover all?" Here "zenbu de" means "for all".

If you want to join the course, you ask for the admission by saying "Nyuumon sasete itadakemasenka", meaning "May I join the course". Before you ask for admission, the dojo master may ask you "Nyuumon simasenka", meaning "Would you like to join?" then answer "Hai, nyuumon simasu", meaning "Yes, I will join." Or if you are not decided to join yet, answer "Iie, mousukosi yousu wo misasete kudasai", meaning "No, I need more time to decide, so let me continue to try the course for the time being."
The word "Nyuumon" consists of the two words "Nyuu" meaning "entering" and "mon" meaning "gate". "Nyuumon" is not just "joining", there are some spiritual meaning in the word. Usually, it includes that you agree with the idea, share the spirit with them and obey the rules and the master is supposed to give you a person-to-person lesson. However, many dojo has its assistant instructors, they will teach you in daily lessons.
Sometimes it is helpful for the beginner to teach others to understand what he has understood and what he has not. It is like, you will find out some errors in your computer software you created when you explain it to someone else.
In a dojo back to Top not used

There are several basic words used in a dojo.

Situations Japanese Meaning Notes
Start/end Shuugou Everyone, come here! Shuu means mass or things gathering together and gou means "come together". Some time "Atsumare" is used instead of Shuugou.
Kaisan Dismissed Kai means open, and san means divergence.
Rei Salute "Otagai ni rei" means "salute to each other". Rei means Gasshou rei in Shorinji Kempo. Gasshou rei does not mean obeying, it means you respect a person you are facing with Gasshou rei.
Chuumoku Attention The literal meaning of chuumoku is "Look at me with attention". You can use this when you want to draw others' attention.
Naore at ease
Hajime start or begin Hajime and Yame are used in pair usually. But they can be used alone.
Yame stop
Sit/Satand up Chakuza Sit down Chaku means take a position or arrive, and za means place to sit down.
Seiza (see right) Anza is the most popular way of sitting in Shorinji Kempo. An means "ease". Seiza is the most polite way of sitting. Sei means "right" .
Anza (see right)
Meimoku Close your eyes This is used when you are supposed to start meditation.
Tatte Stand up Tatte is a polite form of "stand up". It is a short form of "Tatte kudasai" which means "please stand up". Sometime it sounds rude if you say "tate".
in practice Soutai Pair "Soutai ni natte" means "make pairs ( to practice )". Soutai enbu is a Enbu performed by a pair of persons.
Tandoku Alone or separated Tandoku enbu is a Enbu performed by one person, without a partner.
Wakare split Wakare te is used when you are practicing in Soutai, and an instructor wants to split a pair. Wakare may be used to mean "dismissed" in some circumstance.


(C)Copy right, K.Hayashi. This site was written and developed by Keijiro Hayashi in 1998. The same Keijiro Hayashi maintained and improved this site during the years: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 continues to do so, and reserves all rights associated with the structure of this site and the information available on this site.