Words and phrases you should know:
Sumimasen – This means excuse me and is used in restaurant settings when you want to call to the waitor or waitress to have them come to your table. . Unlike western countries, in Asia, you call the waiter or waitress over to your table. If it’s a loud and noisy restaurant, yelling it to your waitor/waitress is perfectly fine! Isn’t Asia fun! Can you believe you get such great on-demand service and there is no expectation of a tip.
Kudasai- Please. Used when making requests like when ordering food. Beer Juseyo for example. Similar to the Japanese word Onegaishimasu
Mizu- Water. You can say Mizu Kudasai to ask for a glass of water in a restaurant
Doko desu ke- Where is…? So mix and match what you have learned thus far…otearai doko desu ka? Where is the toilet. Isn’t language fun. You’re gonna have a blast in Japan!
Oishii- Delicious! Staff and chefs love to hear compliments. If you are eating some amazing food in Japan, which you will be, tell them, Oishii!!!
Dekinai- Can’t do it.
Ikura desu ka? – How much is it?
Makete Kudasai – Discount please – great for bartering. Remember, people wont expect you to be fluent, actually they will be surprised you know this much. Don’t worry if you can’t hold a conversation. Just the fact that you are utterly a few words here and there, means you are trying. And people respect and enjoy that!
Tabemono – Food
Kaikei (or Okanjo) – Check / The Bill – in a restaurant
Nanto iu (e-ou) – How do you say…X? The first phrase we ALWAYS learn when we visit a country. It’s the rosetta stone to any language. With a bit of charades and point and this phrase you can pretty much learn anything and then expand on your sentence. Let’s say you want to know the word for water. You can point to your glass of water and say Nanto iu? Or if they know a word in English you can say, hamburger nanto iu?
Hai – Yes (affirmative)
Nande – Why?
Tsumaranai – Boring
Visiting a new country and learning about the local people is an amazing experience. Multiply that experience by 100x if you throw in a little local lingo. You will be amazed by how much more fun you will have. Enjoy!