Here are the most common words you'll hear in Japan.
So so so so so (そうそうそうそうそう)
The original phrase this came from is sodesu (そうです) which is used to agree or confirm with someone. In actual words it means "that's right." As you can imagine, repeating it several times in a casual way of saying "right, right, right, right." In English it may sound like you're trying to shut someone up fast but in Japanese it is more of a strong agreement. This phrase is used mostly by young adults, but it can also be used by older adults in a more casual setting with a friend. This phrase is never to be used in a formal situation.
This is a simple one. "Seriously?" Used with young adults, you'll hear this word a lot in a conversation. Someone will say something and the other person will reply with majide, seriously? This is how you casually express surprise or shock at something someone has said. I've only heard this getting popular in the last two years, so I'm not sure how long this has actually been used.
The word sumimasen has many meanings and usages. You will hear it everywhere such as the station, a restaurant, and even at a store. Sumimasen initially means "excuse me" but can be used as a quick "I'm sorry." For the restaurant you'll hear it used to get a waiter's attention as in Japan they don't come check on you unless called upon. You'll hear it used at the store for the same reason. For the station there could be two scenarios. The first being if you need to pass through a crowd you can use it as an excuse me. The second being if you accidentally bump into a person while trying to catch a train, in that case it would be used as a sorry. It's a common word used in everyday life situations. It's an extremely useful word to know if you plan to travel to Japan.
If you're ready to learn Japanese, here's where to start on how.
Not looking to learn the language but would like to know important words for travel, here's material for that.
This was just a small post to get myself back into writing after being gone for three weeks after going to Japan. It's like playing an instrument. It takes a lot of practice and once you know how to do it you need to keep at it or the ability to do so will slowly disappear.
These are three words my husband noticed while in Japan. I used him as my source since he doesn't know Japanese. He knows no Japanese but picked out these three words from overhearing strangers' on the street. Once he kept on hearing these over and over again he began to actually learn these terms and how to use them.
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