Mike teacher's English class@International Language House

It’s been a while and you have mastered the simple phrases in order to get around in Japan! Now it’s time for an upgrade to expand your vocabulary and grow in your relationships with the locals.
(Looking for part 1? Find it here.)

One thing that can be a little hard when trying to establish a good relationship with others is that Japanese people tend to not open up right away. So don’t be discouraged if it feels like it’s taking a while to make friends or get closer to the people around you. Be patient and open to others so they feel comfortable opening up to you in return!

As mentioned in the last blog, greetings are very important. Once you have gotten past the initial greetings with someone, here are some other conversation starters that are acceptable for friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

gen-kee dess kah?gen-kee dess.How are you?
I’m fine.
____ですね。___dess ne.(*talking about the weather*)
It’s ___, isn’t it?

For different types of temperatures and weather, here’s a list for that, too:

かぜがふいているkah-zeh ga foo-ee-teh-ee-rooWindy
あめがふっているah-meh ga foot-teh-ee-rooRainy

If the weather isn’t enough for opening up the conversation, a compliment also goes a long way!

koh-ray wah kah-wah-ee dess.koh -ray
wah kak-koh-ee dess.
This is cute!This is cool!

It will also be helpful to know these phrases when you hear them so you can reply with an ありがとうございます(thank you)!

これがすきです。koh-ray gah soo-kee dessI like this!
___がすきですか?___gah soo-kee dess kahDo you like___?

These initial sparks of conversation will soon open up passage into good relationships later on, especially if you approach each conversation with care.

Oftentimes, our English-speaking ILH teachers long for a smaller language gap between themselves and their Japanese coworkers. Here are some simple phrases that can be used in the workplace to help with streamlining communication.

もらっていいですか?moh-rat-teh ee-dess-kahCould I have___?
これでいいですか?koh-ray deh ee-dess-kahIs this okay?
つかっていいですか?tsu-kaht-teh ee-dess-kah?Can I use this?
どこにしますか?doh-koh nee shee-mass-kahWhere should we do that?
どこにおきますか?doh-koh nee oh-kee-mass-kahWhere should I put it?
てつだいますか?tet-tsu dai shee-mass-kahDo you need help?
joon-bee wah ee-dess-kah?
joon-bee wah ee dess.
Are you ready? / I’m ready.

Especially in a work setting, it’s important to communicate what is needed and what is not. Often times in our ILH schools, we are in a high-energy room with lots of kids and busy teachers, so the more communication you can have with one another, the smoother classes and school life will be! 

Living and working while surrounded by the Japanese language helps your brain naturally pick up other phrases outside the ones you’ve learned, so always keep your ears open! Good luck speaking!