How to say Need in Japanese

Everyday Japanese - Useful phrases to use when living in Japan

Japanese is not an easy language with its many peculiarities. However, some Japanese expressions come up again and again in everyday life and, for example, if you are living with a host family, it is an advantage to know them. Here are some useful expressions from everyday Japanese.

Expressions at mealtime

As one says “Guten Appetit” in German before eating, there are also expressions in Japan that are used before and after eating. The first term is Itadakimasu (い た だ き ま す). This is said before starting to eat. You put both hands together in front of your chest as if in prayer. You can roughly Itadakimasu as Good Appetite translate, but it literally means that you eat food, coming from the Japanese word for receiving Itadaku (頂 く). With this phrase you express your thanks for the reception of the food and the work of the cook. Hence, itadakimasu is said to oneself and not to other people when they start eating.

After the meal, the Japanese say Gochisōsama deshita (ご ち そ う さ ま で し た), which means something like "Thank you very much for the good food". Gochisō (御 馳 走) Translated means feast or delicacy and reflects the hard work of the cook or host who prepared the delicious meal. If you are in one of the many small restaurants in Japan, you will always reap a happy smile from all employees with this phrase when you say goodbye.

Come home and go out

Many phrases are used in Japanese, especially at home within the family. There are traditional expressions that are used by both sides when leaving the house and when returning home.

When you leave the house, you say goodbye with the expression Ittekimasu (い っ て き ま す). This is formed from the words for walk (行 く) and come (来 る). You can translate this phrase as “I'll go and I'll be back”. Your interlocutor replies Itterashai (い っ て ら っ し ゃ い), which translated means roughly the same thing, only in a more polite form. It is generally used to say “Take care!” And “Have fun!” With the hope that the other person will come back soon. Incidentally, the order in which these two phrases are said does not matter.

Back home you can call Tadaima (た だ い ま) from the entrance area to let them know that you are back. Actually, this is only a short form, but it has meanwhile become the standard in linguistic usage. Originally it was said Tadaima Modorimashita (た だ い ま 戻 り ま し た)which means nothing more than "I just got back".

Of course there is also a corresponding answer for this, which is Okaeri nasai (お か え り な さ い). Here the meaning of “Welcome back!” Is simple, but difficult to derive the actual translation. Because the verb Come back (帰 る) in combination with nasai (な さ い) is more of an order to return than a friendly greeting. Only with the prefix お does the statement become respectful and polite and comes close to the meaning in which it is used. In short form is often only Okaeri (お か え り) used. Even with this pair of words, the order in which the phrases are said first is not important.

So you have learned six important expressions from everyday Japanese and can impress the Japanese with your knowledge of Japanese.

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