Some words which you will encounter in Japan aren’t able to translate in English…


Do you plan to travel to Japan? Are you ready to be in mysterious Japanese language?

I found out some Japanese words which are very hard to translate in English because we have different culture and background.

I’ll give you some ideas to make you understand our culture.

1. Irrashaimase (いらっしゃいませ)

Irrashaimase いらっしゃいませ

Whenever you go to stores and restaurants, you probably hear ‘Irrashaimase’ from staff. It means.

‘Welcome to our store/ restaurant’, and it is very general greeting in hospitality industry.

You don’t have to response to this greeting (it’s not like ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ to start small talk in English countries), but you could make eye contact with them as a response.

They try to provide all customers nice and welcoming vibe.

2. Ojamashimasu(お邪魔します)

Ojamashimasu お邪魔します

Some friendly Japanese might invite you to their places for tea or dinner.

If you meet those nice people, you can be well-mannered guest with using this word.

When you go into their house, take off your shoes at the entrance and then let’s say ‘Ojamashimasu’.

Direct translation is ‘I interrupt to your house’, but you don’t interrupt at all.

You are invited and welcome, don’t worry! It is just Japanese traditional greeting.

They are similar to ‘Thank you for inviting’ or ‘Thank you for having me’… but slightly different.

3.Itadakimasu/Gochisosamadeshita(いただきます/ ごちそうさまでした)

itadakimasu いただきます

If you have a chance to eat meal with a Japanese, these are very important words.

Itadakimasu is kind of greeting before meal. Showing appreciation to someone who cook for you and all ingredients on your plates.(Another tip: we normally wait for others to be ready for eating. Or we could wait ‘till someone tell you to start eating.)

After you enjoy delicious meal, let’s say Gochisosamadeshita.

It’s like ‘Thank you for cooking’ in English. Politeness and good behavior are expected in Japan.

When people hear you say Itadakimasu and Gochisosamadeshita, you will definitely impress them.

4. Otsukaresamadesu(お疲れ様です)

otukaresama お疲れ様

You might not hear this word while you stay in Japan as a visitor.

This is a magical word at work place. I struggle to find English word for this.

First, you can say it as greeting in the morning and seeing someone in an office as ‘Good morning’ and ‘Hello’.

Also it is great beginning of business Email.

Second, your co-workers achieve something. Just like ‘Great job’. Third, we say it instead of ‘See you tomorrow’ and ‘Have a nice weekend’ at the end of the day.

That’s all for now. I hope you have some chances to use them in Japan!

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