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Copyright Kazue Kaneko and LearnJapanese123.


Instant Japanese
Lets learn Japanese instantly
Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

Instant Japanese

Welcome to Instant Japanese!

If youre going to Japan soon, or want to learn Japanese the quickest way, youre in the
right place! All grammar and phrases youll find in this course are concise and essential.
The best feature of this course is that this comes with audio (mp3) so that you can
practice speaking phrases. The secret to language learning is to mimic the way native
speakers use it. Japanese is not a tone language, though intonation plays an important
role when you speak Japanese. Therefore, please repeat the words and sentences out
loud, always out loud.

OK, Are you ready? Lets take a short journey learning Japanese before you actually
visit there!


1. Japanese at a Glance ..p3

2. On the Street....p10
3. Shopping...p11
4. In a Restaurant....p12
5. At the Station...p13
6. In a Taxi....p13
7. Counting Days, Weeks, Month and Year..p14
8. Making Reservations....p16
9. At a Hotel....p17
10. Medical Emergencies....p18
11. Going Out..p19
12. Visiting Someone's House....p20

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

1. Japanese at a Glance

Japanese has 5 vowels
Please note the following consonant pronunciations.
A : America
ch: child
I : India
f : soft
U : cute
g : goose
E : end
j : jam
O : oh!
tt : (double consonants: when you come across any
double consonants, pause a little while before you say
Long vowel
them) e.g. chotto matte,
Express as double of the same vowel
ss: zasshi, pp: kippu, kk: hakkiri, cc: yocchan
or with a bar on the top.
e.g. kyoo or ky (Today)
ya, yu, yo : Each makes just one beat of sound.
E.g. kya, kyu, kyo,
Japanese words are basically either
kyandii, kyooto, kyatto, etc.
vowel or vowel + consonants
(candy) (Kyoto) (cat)
e.g. escalator e su ka ree taa
camera ka me ra
cash card kya sshu kaa do

Numbers 1-1,000,000
1. ichi 21. Ni juu ichi
11. Juu ichi 31 San juu ichi
2. ni 22. Ni juu ni
12. Juu ni 42 Yon juu ni
3. san 23. Ni juu san
13. Juu san 53 Go juu san
4. yon (shi) 24. Ni juu yon
14. Juu yon 64 Roku juu yon
5. go 25. Ni juu go
15. Juu go 75 Nana juu go
6. roku 26. Ni juu roku
16. Juu roku 86 Hachi juu roku
7. nana (shichi) 27. Ni juu nana
17. Juu nana 97 Kyuu juu nana
8. hachi 28. Ni juu hachi
18. Juu hachi 99 Kyuu juu kyuu
9. kyuu (ku) 29. Ni juu kyuu
19. Juu kyuu 100 Hyaku
10. juu 30. San juu
20. Ni juu 0 zero / ree

Telling Time 5:00 go ji 10:00 juu ji

1:00 ichi ji 6:00 roku ji 11:00 juu ichi ji AM: gozen
2:00 ni ji 7:00 shichi ji (not nana ji) 12:00 juu ni ji PM: gogo
3:00 san ji 8:00 hachi ji 3:30 san ji han 7am:gozen shichiji
4:00 yo ji (not yon ji) 9:00 ku ji (not kyuu ji) 9:30 ku ji han 9pm: gogo kuji

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100 hyaku 1,000 sen 10,000 ichi man

200 ni hyaku 2000 ni sen 20,000 ni man
300 san byaku 3000 san zen 30,000 san man
400 yon hyaku 4000 yon sen 40,000 yon man
500 go hyaku 5000 go sen 50,000 go man
600 roppyaku 6000 roku sen 60,000 roku man
700 nana hyaku 7000 nana sen 70,000 nana man
800 happyaku 8000 hassen 80,000 hachi man
900 kyuuhyaku 9000 kyuu sen 90,000 kyuu man

1 ichi
10 juu
100 hyaku
1,000 sen
10,000 man (ichi man) or en
100,000 juu man $ doru
1,000,000 hyaku man million
10,000,000 sen man (issen man) sento
100,000,000 ichi oku hundred million

Basic words (person)

I watashi : (can be used by anyone & formal)
boku (by male & polite)
ore (by male & sounds a bit rough)
You anata: (**Do not address a person with Anata.
For example, your friends or acquaintance.
Especially never use it to address your seniors or
teacher as it sounds very rude. When you address
others, use her/his name plus san instead. Anata is
used when you address a stranger.)
We watashi tachi: (~ tachi refers plural subject)
Mr/Ms/Mrs/Miss. Yamada-san
Yamada Yamada-san (adding san to someones name shows
respect towards the person)
My watashi no: ~ no indicates s
Mr.Satos : Satoo-san no

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Mine watashi no
He Kare *watashi no kare = my boyfriend
She Kanojo * watashi no kanjo = my girlfriend
They kare ra / kanjo ra
That person ano hito
Those people ano hito tachi

Useful words
Yes hai
No iie
Please (offer help) doozo
Please (request) onegai shimasu (when you request stg. to someone)
Thank you arigatoo (gozaimasu) / sumimasen
Youre welcome doo itashi-mashite
Excuse me sumimasen
Im sorry sumimasen

Basic greetings
Ohayoo gozaimasu Good morning (no sound for u when it comes at the end)
Konnichiwa Good Afternoon
Konbanwa Good evening
Jaa mata / dewa mata Good bye, See you (dewa mata is slightly more formal)
Ogenki desu ka? How are you?
Hai, genki desu. Yes, Im fine.

Japanese speech style

There are honorific, formal and informal Japanese.
What you learn in this book is formal form. This style is the best for foreigners,
especially for the first time in Japan as this speech style will not offend anyone. Also,
this formal speech style is easier to conjugate. Formal Japanese always ends in ~ desu.
(noun & adjective phrase) or ~ masu. (verb phrase).

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

Particle itself doesnt have particular meaning in it, but more it shows the relationship
between subject, object and verb. It is something like a preposition or a conjunctive.
There are quite a number of particles and some of them have several functions.
e.g. wa: Topic marker. Use it like as for or regarding
Watashi wa gakusee desu. (As for I, student. Im a student.)
Raamen wa oishii desu. (As for ramen, it is delicious Ramen is delicious)
e : direction marker to.
Gakkoo e ikimasu. ((I) go to school.)

Word order
SOV (Subject, Object, Verb)
(Watashi wa) gakusee desu. (Noun phrase)
I / student / am
S O V (something
like be-verb)
(Watashi wa) Nihongo o benjyoo shimasu. (Verb phrase)
I / Japanese / study
* note that I (as a subject) and you (as an object) are often omitted in conversations if
the situation is obvious.

Question sentences
Just add ka at the end of the sentence with rising intonation:
~desu ka. or
~masu ka. (for formal Japanese)
e.g. Satoo-san wa gakusee desu. (Mr. Satoo is a student.)
Satoo san wa gakusee desu ka? (Is Mr. Satoo a student?)
Itoo san wa kyoo hataraki masu. (Mr. Ito will work today)
Itoo-san wa kyoo hatarakimasu ka? (Will Mr. Itoo work today?)

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Basic verbs (masu-form)

suupaa e ikimasu : go to the supermarket

1. iki-masu go
kaisha e kimasu : come to the office
2. ki-masu come need particle e
uchi e kaerimasu : go home
3. kaeri-masu go (home)
4. tabe-masu eat
5. nomi-masu drink pan o tabemasu : eat bread
6. kai-masu buy need particle o koohii o nomimasu : drink coffee
7. mi-masu watch shattsu o kaimasu : buy a shirt
8. shi-masu do terebi o mimasu : watch a movie
e.g. tenisu (o) shimasu play tennis
shopping (o) shimasu do shopping
benkyoo (o) shimasu study

e is a direction marker and o is a direct object marker (particles)

Verb Conjugation (masu-form ~formal~)

There are only two types of verb tenses: Non-Past or Past tense.
For future tense, use Non-past tense.

e.g. tabe-masu (eat) / ashita tabe-masu (Ill eat tomorrow)

tabe-mashita. (ate)
tabe-masen. (I dont eat)
tabe-masen deshita. (I didnt eat)

tabe-mashita ka? (Did you eat?)

*Japanese verbs do not change their form depending on the subject

(singular/plural or person). Easy!
e.g. watashi wa Tokyo e ikimasu. (I go to Tokyo.)
kanojo wa Tokyo e ikimasu. (She goes to Tokyo.)

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To make an invitation phrase, just replace masu to masen ka?
e.g. tabe-masu tabe masen ka? (Would you like to eat?)
iki-masu iki masen ka? (Would you like to go?)

You may want to add issho ni, which means together, before the phrase.
e.g. mi-masu issho ni mimasen ka? (Would you like to watch together?)
issho ni eega o mimasen ka? (Would you like to watch a movie together?)

Accepting invitation
When youre invited to do something, you may want to reply :
iidesu ne, mashoo. (masu form change to mashoo)
e.g. issho ni eega o mimasen ka?
iidesu ne, mi mashoo. (Sure, lets watch it.)

If you need to decline, you say :

sumimasen, chotto
(literal meaning of sumimasen, chotto.. is Im sorry, a little bit.. This shows
your hesitation, and polite way to decline someones invitation.)

Expressing desire
When you express desire, erase masu, then add tai desu.
e.g kai masu kai tai desu. ((I) want to buy (it))words in brackets are not included in
the Japanese phrase.
koohii o nomi masu koohii o nomi tai desu. ((I) want to drink coffee.)

Expression desire (Negative)

When you express negative desire, erase masu, then add taku nai desu.
e.g. iki masu iki taku nai desu. ((I) dont want to go)
benkyoo shi masu benkyoo shi taku nai desu. (I dont want to study)

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5W: Question words

What nani / nan (nan comes before a sound of t, d or k and
number counting words)
When itsu
Where doko
Who dare / donata (donata sounds more polite)
Why dooshite / naze (formal) / nande (casual)
There question word can attach to both a verb phrase and a noun phrase.

Noun phrase
Nan desu ka?
Itsu desu ka?
Doko desu ka?
Dare desu ka? / Donata desu ka?
Dooshite desu ka?

Verb phrase (e.g. tabe-masu)

Nani o tabe-masu ka? What do you eat?
Itsu tabe-masu ka? When do you eat?
Doko de tabe masu ka? Where do you eat at?
Dare to tabe masu ka? Who do you eat with?
Dooshite tabe-masu ka? Why do you eat?

*Particles de- shows location, to for with

uchi de nomimasu. (drink at home),
tomodachi to nomimasu. (drink with (a) friend(s). )

Politeness o
Some Japanese words begin with o, which sounds slightly nicer.
However, not all Japanese words can attach o.
kane okane money
heya oheya room
sushi osushi sushi
miyage omiyage souvenir
denwa odenwa telephone

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2. On the Street

Common Phrases Suupaa super market

Part 1 : asking direction Eki station
1. -- wa doko desu ka? (Where is -- ?) Ginkoo bank
2. Sumimasen, -- wa doko desu ka?
Kooban police station
3. Sumimsen, ginkoo wa doko desu ka?
Yuubin-kyoku post office
Kooen park
Gakkoo school
Hoteru hotel

Part 2 : Showing direction Michi road

1. Massugu itte kudasai. Kono michi this road
Please go straight. Massugu straight
2. Kono michi o massugu itte kudasai. Shingoo traffic lights
Please go straight along this road. Koosaten intersection
3. Massugu itte, migi desu. right
Go straight and its on the right.
Hidari left
4. Massugu itte, hidari desu.
Tsugi no next
Go straight and its on the left.
Kado corner
5. Tsugi no shingoo no kado desu.
Mae in front
Its at the corner of the next traffic lights.
Ushiro behind
6. Tsugi no koosaten no kado desu.
iki-masu to go
7. Eki no mae desu.
itte, -- to go, then --
Its in front of the station.
o () Object marker
8. Suupaa no ushiro desu.
Its behind the supermarket.

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3. Shopping
Youll hear
Takai expensive
1. Irasshai Welcome
Yasui cheap
2. Irasshaimase welcome (politer)
Totemo very
Youll say Kore this
3. Ikura desu ka? How much?
Kudasai give me
4. Takai desu ne. Thats expensive!
5. Chotto takai desu ne. chotto a little bit

Its a bit expensive, (isnt it?)

-- desu ne. sharing the same
6. Yasui desu ne.
feeling to someone
Thats cheap!
whom you talk to
7. Totemo yasui desu ne. Tsukae-masu be able to use
Thats very cheap
8. Kore o kudasai.
Please give me this.
= Kore o onegai shimasu.
9. Disukaunto dekimasu ka?
Discount please. (*literal meaning: Can you give me a discount?)
= Makete kudasai
10. (Kurejitto) kaado ga tsukae-masu ka?
Can I use (credit) cards?

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4. In a Restaurant
Youll hear
1. Irasshai mase
2. Gochuumon wa?
(go) chuumon order
May I take your order?
kore This
Youll say are That
3. --- o kudasai. o Object marker
Give me ---, please. (particle)
4. --- o onegai shimasu.
kudasai Give me
-----, please.
5. Kore o kudasai. Onegai Please
Please give me this (by pointing shimasu
at the menu) menuu Menu
6. Kore to kore o kudasai.
Please give me this and this. okanjoo bill
7. Menuu o kudasai. oaiso bill
Give me a menu, please.
betsu betsu Dutch treat, separate
8. Okanjoo onegai shimasu.
Bill please.
= Oaiso onegai shimasu. warikan Dutch treat, separate
9. Warikan ni shimashoo. checks
Lets split the bill. * gyuudon : beef rice bowl
10. Betsu betsu de onegai shimasu. karee raisu : curry rice
Separate checks, please.

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5. At the Station
Youll ask
1. -- made ikura desu ka? made until, up to
How much does it cost to go to -- ?
dooyatte How to
2. Sumimasen, -- made, ikura desu ka?
3. e wa dooyatte ikimasu ka? densha train
How do I go to -- ? kono densha This train
4. kono densha wa e ikimasu ka?
tsugi next
Does this train go to (stop at) --?
5. tsugi no densha wa e ikimasu ka? iki masu go
Does the next train go to --? iki masen (it) doesnt go

Youll hear
6. Hai, ikimasu. For your reference
Yes, it goes. (there) chikatetsu subway
7. Iie, ikimasen.
basu bus
No, it doesnt go (there).
kuruma car

takushii taxi

6. In a Taxi
Youll hear
1. Dochira made desu ka? Doko Where
Where do you want to go? Dochira Where (politer)
2. Okyaku-san, dochira e?
Okyaku-san Customer
3. Okyaku-san, dochira made?
Customer, where to? e to (direction marker)
Youll ask made until, up to
4. -- made onegai shimasu.
Onegai shimasu. Please
Please go to -- .
iki-masu To go
5. --- e itte kudasai.
Please go to ---
itte kudasai Please go
6. Sumimasen, isoide kudasai.
Excuse me, please hurry up.

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

7. Counting Days, Weeks, Months and Years

Month---gatsu Year --- nen
January Ichi-gatsu 1984 sen kyuuhyaku hachijuu yo nen
February Ni-gatsu 1995 sen kyuuhyaku kyuujuu go nen
2003 nisen san nen
March San-gatsu
2010 nisen juu nen
April Shi-gatsu

May Go-gatsu
Day of the Week --- yoobi
June Roku-gatsu
Mon Getsu yoobi
July Shichi-gatsu Tue Ka yoobi
August Hachi-gatsu Wed Sui yoobi
September Ku-gatsu Thu Moku yoobi
Fri Kin yoobi
October Juu-gatsu
Sat Do yoobi
November Juu ichi-gatsu
Sun Nichi yoobi
December Juu ni-gatsu

Calendar 1 tsuitachi
2 futsuka
3 mikka
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
4 yokka 14 juu yokka 24 nijuu yokka
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 5 itsuka
6 muika
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
7 nanoka
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 8 yooka
9 kokonoka
29 30 31
10 tooka 20 hatsuka

11 juu ichi nichi 18 juu hachi nichi 26 ni juu roku nichi

12 juu ni nichi 19 juu ku nichi 27 ni juu shichi nichi
13 juu san nichi 21 nijuu ichi nichi 28 ni juu hachi nichi
15 juu go nichi 22 nijuu ni nichi 29 ni juu ku nichi
16 juu roku nichi 23 nijuu san nichi 30 san juu nichi
17 juu shichi nichi 25 nijuu go nichi 31 san juu ichi nichi

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Past Future

ototoi kinoo kyoo ashita asatte

sen-sen shuu senshuu konshuu raishuu saraishuu


sen-sen sengetsu kongetsu raigetsu saraigetsu


ototoshi kyonen kotoshi rainen sarainen


Question Words
What year: nan-nen
What month: nan-gatsu
What day: nan-nichi
What day of the week: nan-yoobi

Q: Kyoo wa nan-nen, nan-gatsu, nan-nichi, nan-yoobi desu ka?

(Is what year/month/day/day of the week/ today?)

A: Kyoo wa 2010-nen, ni-gatsu 23-nichi ka-yoobi desu.

(Today is, Tuesday, 23 Feb, 2010.)

For abbreviation written form,

12/23 Feb 23rd.
12/10 Dec 10th .

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8. Making Reservation (for accommodation)

1. Ippaku ikura desu ka?

ippaku one night
How much for one night?
ni-haku two nights
2. Shinguru ruumu wa arimasu ka?
san-paku three nights
Do you have a single room?
Singuru ruumu wa ikura desuka? yon-haku four nights

How much for a single room? konban tonight

3. Konban heya wa arimasu ka? (o)heya room
Are there any available rooms tonight? shinguru single
4. Chekku-auto wa nanji desu ka? daburu double
What time is check-out? tsuin twin
5. Chekku-in wa nanji kara desu ka? chekku auto check-out
From what time can we check-in?
chooshoku Breakfast
6. Chooshoku komi desu ka?
yoyaku reservation
Is it inclusive of breakfast? basu bath
7. 2haku onegai shimasu.
toire toilet
For two nights, please.
-- tsuki attached ---
8. Yoyaku dekimasu ka?
Can I make a reservation? chooshoku tsuki
9. Konban ippaku onegai shimasu. or with breakfast
chooshoku komi
Id like to book a room for tonight.
10. Basu, toire tsuki desu ka?
Are the bath and toilet ensuite? *single room shinguru ruumu
singuru heya

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9. At a Hotel
Making complaints
1. Mizu ga demasen Mizu water
Water doesnt come out.
Oyu hot water
2. Oyu ga demasen
De-masu come out
Hot water doesnt come out.
3. Toire ga nagaremasen De-masen doesnt come out
The toilet doesnt flush. Nagashi sink
4. Nagashi no mizu ga nagaremasen
nagare-masu flush
The water in the sink doesnt drain.
nagare-masen doesnt flush
(a sink is clogged)
5. Terebi ga kowarete imasu. Terebi TV
The TV is broken. Kowarete-imasu is broken
Reezooko fridge
Making requests
Taoru towel
6. Taoru o kaete kudasai.
Kaete kudasai please change
Please change the towels.
7. Motto ookii heya wa arimasu ka? Heya bangoo room number
Do you have a larger room? Kagi key
8. Eakon o yowaku shite kudasai.
Heya no kagi room key
Please turn down the air-con.
eakon air conditioning
9. Reeboo o kitte kudasai.
Please switch off the air-con (cooler). reeboo , cooler
10. Moofu o moo ichimai onegai shimasu. moofu blanket
Please give me another blanket.
sooji cleaning
11. Heya o sooji shite kudasai.
Please clean up my room.
12. Takushii o yonde kudasai.
Please call me a taxi.
13. Mooning kooru o onegai shimasu.
Please give me a wake-up call.
14. 7ji ni onegai shimasu.
At 7 oclock, please.
15. Moo ippaku onegai shimasu.
One more night, please. (to extend the stay)

16. Sumisu desu. Yoyaku shite arimasu.

My name is Smith. I have a reservation.

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

10. Medical Emergencies

1. ga itai desu.
itai painful
I have pain in --- .
2. Atama ga itai desu. atama head

I have a headache. onaka lower belly, stomach

3. Onaka ga itai desu.
senaka back
I have a stomach pain.
4. Nodo ga itai desu. koshi lower back, loin

I have a sore throat. nodo throat

5. Kibun ga warui desu.
kubi neck
Im not feeling well.
6. Kaze desu. kata shoulders

Its a common cold kibun feeling

7. Netsu ga arimasu.
warui bad, not well
I have a fever..
kaze common cold
8. kusuri o kudasai.
Please give me medicine. netsu fever
9. byooin e iki-tai desu.
kusuri medicine
I want to go to the hospital/clinic.
byooin hospital, clinic
10. kyuu-kyuu-sha o yonde kudasai.
Please call an ambulance. kyuu-kyuu-sha ambulance

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

11. Going Out

1. ~ e ikimasen ka?
Would you like to go ~
2. Onaka ga sukimashita ne. tabe masu to eat
Im hungry. Arent you hungry too? nomi masu to drink
3. Nodo ga kawakimashita ne. ~ masen ka? Would you like to do~
Im thirsty. Arent you thirsty too? (invitation)
4. Nani ka tabetai desu ne. iki masen ka? Would you like to go?
I want to eat something. onaka ga Im hungry.
Dont you want to eat something too?
5. Nani ka tabemasen ka?
nodo ga Im thirsty.
Would you like to eat something?
6. Resutoran e ikimasen ka?
~ tai desu I want to do ~
Would you like to go to a restaurant?
nani ka something /anything
7. Pabu e ikimasen ka?
~ mashoo. Lets do~
Would you like to go to a pub?
8. --ji ni (location) de aimasen ka? pabu pub
e.g. 6ji ni eki de aimasen ka? kissaten Coffee shop
Would you like to meet at the station at 6?
9. 7ji ni aimashoo.
Lets meet at 7 oclock.
10. eki de aimashoo.
Lets meet at the station.

Copyright Kazue Kaneko and

12. Visiting Someones House

Youll hear
1. Irasshai / Yookoso okoshi kudasai mashita (formal)
2. Doozo oagari kudasai
Please come in.
3. Mata kite kudasai.
Please come again.
= Mata irasshatte kudasai (politer)
Youll say
4. Ojamashimasu
(greeting before you enter someones house)
5. Doozo okamainaku
Please dont bother. (Im fine)
6. A, soo desu ka.. jaa.
Really? Ok, well, then
7. Arigatoo gozaimasu.
Thank you.
8. Onegai shimasu.
9. Itadakimasu.
(greeting before meals)
10. Oishii desu ne.
Its delicious.
11. Suteki na kappu desu ne.
Its a nice cup.
12. Gochisoo sama deshita.
Thank you for the food. (greeting after meals)
13. Soro soro shitsuree shimasu.
Its about time to go (leave).