Essential Survival Japanese

There are sometimes difficult or even emergency situations one may encounter whilst abroad, and this can be compounded when one is not able to communicate what is necessary. Even in built up cities in Japan, there are many places where only Japanese is understood fully.

With the help of a few useful phrases, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be able to communicate essential information in emergency situations.


- English
- Japanese (Pronunciation)  

- Hi.
- こんにちは。(Kon ni chiwa)

- Just one Second. / Wait a minute.
-ちょっと待ってください。(Chotto Matte kudasai)  

- Excuse me.
- すみません。(Su mi ma sen)  

- Thank you.
- ありがとう。(Arigato)  

- Please.
- お願いします。(One gai shi masu)  

- More slowly, please.
- もうちょっとゆっくり。(Mou chotto yukkuri)

Asking for directions

- How do I get to ?
- 〜にはどうやって行く?(niwa douyatte iku ? )  

- How long does it take from here?
- ここから、どのくらい時間がかかる?(Kokokara, donokurai jikan ga kakaru? )  

- Could you tell me the way to Koban?
- 交番はどこにある?(Koban wa doko ni aru? )  

- Where is the ticket office ?
- みどりの窓口はどこ?(Midori no madoguchi wa doko? )

In case of emergency

- Help me !
- 助けて!(Tasukete !)  

- Where is toilet ?
-トイレはどこにある?(Toire wa doko ni aru ?)  

- Could you call an ambulance?
- 救急車を呼んでもらえる?(Kyu-kyu sha wo yonde moraeru? )  

- Do you know any hospitals nearby?
- この近くに病院はある?(Kono chikaku ni byouin ha aru ? )

ili - Translation machine

There is a new translation machine called “ili”which can be used to translate in real time. While it is mainly aimed at companies, individuals can also purchase it, in order to facilitate smoother communication between Japanese and non-Japanese speakers. With Japan’s first class customer service and many people willing to help you, it can be used to proactively approach anyone who can help when needed.

If you are interested in Keigo : Japanese respectful language, feel free to check out this article!

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