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3 Easy and Useful Phrases in Japanese for Travelers – For absolute beginners

Do you want to know the easiest short phrase to start learning Japanese?
I am here for you to teach the 3 most useful and easy Japanese phrases.
This website is for you who are studying Japanese, planning to travel Japan, or interested in Japanese language and culture!

Alright, let’s start with this phrase!

  • Phrase 1: ありがとうございます。(Arigatoo gozaimasu.)

Let’s start with this phrase
ありがとうございます。(Arigatoo gozaimaisu.)
means “Thank you”.

When you wanna thank people, please use this phrase.
Showing your thanks to people after receiving some services is very important while your traveling right?
So please memorize this one first.

You can also say “ありがとう。(Arigatoo.)”
This is kind of casual way.
When you say “thank you” to your family or close friends, you can say just
“ありがとう。(Arigatoo.)”

If you put ございます (gozaimasu)after ありがとう,
the phrase will be more polite form.
So it’ better to put ございます (gozaimasu) to show your respect to people.


  • Phrase 2 : すみません。(Sumimasen.)

すみません。(Sumimasen.)
You can use this phrase in 2 ways.

One is as “Excuse me”, and another is “I’m sorry”.

Let’s talk about “Excuse me” first.
For example, when you wanna call the waiter at restaurant, you can say this phrase in a little louder like “すみませーん!”

Also, when you want to ask the passerby about the way to somewhere, you should say
“すみません、 where is 〜 ?”

Another meaning of すみません is
“I’m sorry”
There are many different phrases for “I’m sorry” in Japanese,
But for the beginners, I recommend to memorize this one.

When you accidentally bump into someone in crowded place, for example, you can say “すみません!”

It’s not casual way, so we Japanese usually don’t say it to close people like family or friends.
But it’s recommended for you to use while traveling because it could sound polite.


  • Phrase 3 : おねがいします。(Onegai shimasu.)

The final phrase is this.
おねがいします。(Onegai shimasu.)
means “Please”
Let me tell you 3 examples here.

[First example]
You might want to use this phrase when you take a taxi, for example
let’s say you wanna go to Tokyo station by taxi and need to say
「please go to Tokyo station」 to the taxi driver.
You can say “東京駅、お願いします。(Tokyo-eki Onegai shimasu.)”after getting into the taxi.
Just say the name of the place you wanna go first, and then put お願いします(Onegai shimasu) after that.

 Tokyo eki, Onegai shimasu.
 (Tokyo station, please.)

[Second example]
This phrase is used when you order something at restaurant and shops.
Let’s say you wanna order beer at restaurant.
You can say, “ビール、お願いします。(Bi-ru, Onegai shimasu.)”
Just say the name of something you order first, and then put お願いします(Onegai shimasu) after that.
Or if you have menu, you can point to the dish you want to order, then
Say お願いします(Onegai shimasu)Its fine too.

 Bi-ru, Onegai shimasu.
(Beer, please.)

[The third example]
At Japanese convenience store, the staff might ask you if you need plastic bag or not at the checkout.
If you want plastic bag, you can say
“はい、お願いします。” means “Yes, please.”
“はい”means “Yes”

Hai, Onegai shimasu.
(Yes, please.)

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