Not everyone speaks fluent English in Japan, so learning some essential travel Japanese phrases can make your experience much smoother – this includes polite greetings, restaurant etiquette and transportation questions.
Hiragana is a system of letters representing whole syllables rather than individual sounds; foreign travelers typically begin learning this alphabet first before moving onto Katakana characters.
How to say “where”
Instead of English where multiple varieties of the word “whom” must fulfill different grammatical roles, in Japanese Shui serves as one universal question-word that can be used for any inquiry or statement. Its grammatical role depends on which particle it’s attached to; additionally it can even serve as a noun: for instance if you want to know the name of something seen on someone’s wrist you can say Kore/Sore/Are wa tokei desu; this same sentence can also be said with no particles added that express ownership or claim on multiple entities that owns multiple items in plural form if required e.
Japanese has several words that can be used to ask about locations: doko (where), soko/tsuchi/dochira (which one), and dore/dotuchi/dochira desu ka? (which one is yours?) These can all be used when asking questions about an individual’s mother country, hometown or school as well as to indicate they may be visiting from another nation. The first, “doko,” can also be used to ask where someone from outside their own nation might be located as well as suggesting they might be visiting from another nation.
Dotsuchi is spoken with a rising intonation and sounds similar to an affirmative sentence such as, ii desu ka?, but with more formal tones. Dotsuchi can also help when choosing between two options or trying to make decisions; it works well when trying to decide between them based on personal preference or convenience; however, only two alternatives should be discussed at once using dotsuchi; more may not work as effectively.
How to say “to”
If you are planning a trip to Japan, learning its language could make your trip much simpler. Even if fluency isn’t on the table just yet, knowing some basic phrases will make your experience far less daunting and embarrassing situations can be avoided by communicating effectively with locals.
Japanese has made their language easier for foreigners to comprehend by simplifying its pronunciation. Each Hiragana character represents one mora, or mora being short for mora-syllabic; vowels are very distinct; you only need to learn five of these vowels which resemble English vowels (please refer to chart of Hiragana characters for further reference).
Consonants are easy to grasp; they sound exactly like those we use daily in everyday speech; only that their pronunciation differs a little in reading twice as long and with equal emphasis. One possible exception would be “k,” which should be read like the letter K in “king.”
Now that you know where and when, it’s time to practice asking some basic questions. One simple way of asking a query is adding (desuka) at the end of your sentence – especially helpful if you become lost or need assistance. Some common queries include:
How to say “in”
Japanese vowel sounds combine consonant sounds with one of five vowels (a, i, u, or e). Each row of hiragana (the Japanese alphabet) represents a set of syllables; unlike English they always begin and end with any of these five vowels.
K-line characters, for instance, are usually pronounced sa and su. There may be exceptions such as the letter y being pronounced as “shi”, but generally speaking hiragana follows suit with English alphabet pronunciations.
Learning hiragana can be one of the more difficult aspects of Japanese. But there are some tips that may make this easier: firstly, keep in mind that Japanese emphasize each syllable equally when speaking 3-Hiragana-name whereas English speakers will often accent it too heavily when pronouncing it whereas in Japanese it sounds more like: ma-ah-ri-ko.
Be mindful that hiragana is used for more than word-initial syllables; it also serves as a writing medium for grammar-related words, particles, and native Japanese terms that don’t have their respective kanji forms written out correctly for writing purposes. Furthermore, furigana (katakana pronunciation aids on kanji characters) often utilize this alphabetic writing system; there are 46 characters (in alphabetical order as with hiragana); this includes top row characters like A, I U O while the bottom row includes Ki Ku Ke Ko etc.
How to say “too”
Learning Japanese pronunciation correctly is key to being understood by native speakers, no matter how perfect your grammar may be. Even if everything else about what you say is perfect, if they mispronounce something they won’t comprehend what you are trying to communicate – which is why learning hiragana pronunciation is such an integral skill!
Japanese offers many ways of saying, “too” or “too much.” One is by using intensifier (small tsu) at the end of a phrase as a reply to someone or to express an overeagerness or excess feeling; another way would be combining an adverb (tsui) with noun or adjectives to convey urgency, overeagerness or excess.
Tsui can also be combined with verb (shuu) to form questions: “? (?)”
Sugiru is an invaluable verb. It can be added to nouns and adjectives to form complex sentences; conjugate like any regular verb. Sugiru also adds extra detail to sentences: instead of simply saying, “I’m hungry”, why not add “I want to try many foods!”? For more examples of using sugiru check out Tofugu’s article.