Typical questions from Japanese people

August 25, 2015 in Beginners, Travel Japanese, useful phrases


typical question

「どこから来たの?」

= Dokokara kitano?

= Where are you from?

「納豆好き?」

= Nattou sukI?

= Do you like Natto?

「お箸使える?」

= Ohashi tsukaeru?

= Can you use chopsticks?

Tofu: え~と…

= Ehhhhto

= Well……

Hi everyone!

Our cute guest teacher, Tofu-Sensei is back again!  !JYANE! 

***

Hello again! I am Tofu. Today I will teach you some typical questions that you may hear when you visit Japan.

You may get the following questions a lot while you are in Japan.

The purpose of this lesson is to get yourself ready for these type of questions and how to answer them.

Q: どこから来たんですか?

= Dokokara kitan desu ka?

= Where are you from?

:rrrr: (polite) どちらからいらっしゃったのですか?

= Dochirakara irasshatta no desu ka?

= Where are you from?

(casual) どこから来たの?

= Doko kara kita no?

= Where are you from?

 

Q: どこの国から来たんですか?

= Dokono kuni kara kitan desu ka?

= What country are you from?

(polite) どちらの(お)国からいらっしゃったのですか?

= Dochira no (o) kuni kara irasshatta no desu ka?

= What country are you from?

(polite) お国はどちらですか?

= Okuni wa dochira desuka?

= What country are you from?

(polite) どちらの国の方ですか?

= Dochira no kuni no kata desu ka?

= What country are you from?

(casual) どこの国から来たの?

= Doko no kuni kara kitano?

= What country are you from?

Note: Somtimes we just ask

(polite)  お国は?

= Okuni wa?

= Your country is..?

(casual) 国はどこ?

= Kuni wa doko?

= Your country is..?

 :rrrr: A: インドネシアから来ました。

= Indonesia kara kimashita.

= I am from Indonesia.

Q: 外国の方ですか?

= Gaikoku no kata desu ka?

= Are you from abroad?

Q: アメリカ人ですか?

= Amerikajin desu ka?

= Are you American?

(polite)アメリカの方ですか?

= Amerika no kata desu ka?

= Are you American?

(casual / a bit blunt) アメリカ人?

= Amerika jin?

= Are you American?

(casual/ a bit blunt) 何人・なにじん?

= Nanijin

= What nationality?

 :rrrr: A: はい、そうです。

= Hai, soudesu.

= Yes, I am.

 :rrrr: A: いいえ、カナダから来ました。

= Iie, kanada kara kimashita.

= No, I am from Canada.

 :rrrr: A:いいえ、カナダ人です。

= Iie, kanada jin desu.

=No, I am Canadian.

Q: マレーシアのどこから来たのですか?

= Mareeshia no doko kara kitano desu ka?

= Where in Malaysia did you come from?

(casual) マレーシアのどこから来たの?

= Mareeishia no doko kara kitano?

= Where in Malaysia did you come from?

 :rrrr: A: クアラルンプールです。

= Kuararun puuru desu.

= I’m from Kuala Lumpur.

Q: 日本に何をしに来たのですか?

= Nihon ni nani wo shini kitano desu ka?

= What brings you to Japan?

(polite) 日本には何をしにいらっしゃったのですか?

= Nihon ni wa nani wo shini irasshatta no desu ka?

= What brings you to Japan?

(casual) 日本に何しに来たの?

= Nihon ni nani shini kita no?

= What brings you to Japan?

 

Q: どうして日本に来たんですか?

= Doushite nihon ni kitan desu ka?

= What brings you to Japan?

(polite) どうして日本にいらっしゃったのですか?

= Doushite nihon ni irasshatta no desu ka?

= What brings you to Japan?

(casual) どうして日本に来たの?

= Doushite nihon ni kitano?

= What brings you to Japan?

:rrrr:A: 観光です。

= Kankou desu.

= For sightseeing.

:rrrr:A: 仕事です。

= Shigoto desu.

= For business.

 

Q: 日本は初めてですか?

= Nihon wa hajimete desu ka?

= Is it your first time to visit Japan?

(casual) 日本は初めて?

= Nihon wa hajimete?

= Is it your first time to visit Japan?

:rrrr: A: はい、初めてです。

= Hai, hajimete desu.

= Yes, it’s my first time.

:rrrr: A: いいえ、2回目です。

= Iie, nikaime desu.

= No, it’s my second time.

:rrrr: A: いいえ、毎年来ています。

= Iie, maitoshi kite imasu.

= No, I come to Japan every year.

:rrrr: A: 何回も来ています。

= Nankai mo kite imasu.

= I have been here many times.

 

Q: どうして日本語を勉強しているのですか?

= Doushite nihongo wo benkyou shiteiru no desu ka?

= Why do you study Japanese?

(casual) どうして日本語を勉強してるの?

= Doushite nihongo wo benkyou shiteruno?

= Why do you study Japanese?

:rrrr:A: 日本の文化に興味があるからです。

= Nihon no bunka ni kyoumi ga aru kara desu.

= Because I am interested in Japanese culture.

:rrrr:A: 日本のアニメが好きだからです。

= Nihon no anime ga sukidakara desu.

= Because I like Japanese “anime”.

:rrrr:A: 将来、仕事に日本語を使いたいからです。

= Shourai, shigoto ni nihongo wo tsukaitai kara desu.

= Because I’d love to use Japanese for work.

:rrrr: A: 通訳になりたいからです。

= Tsuuyaku ni naritai kara desu.

= Because I’d like to be an interpreter.

:rrrr: A:ただ、なんとなく。

= Tada nantonaku.

= No specific reason. I just felt like studying. That’s all.

 

Q: 日本には観光で来たんですか?

= Nihon niwa kankou de kitan desuka?

= Did you come to Japan for sightseeing?/ Are you a tourist?

(polite) 日本には観光でいらっしゃったのですか?

= Nihon ni wa kankou de irasshatta no desu ka?

= Did you come to Japan for sightseeing?/ Are you a tourist?

(casual) 日本には観光で来たの?

= Nihon niwa kankou de kita no?

= Did you come to Japan for sightseeing?/ Are you a tourist?

:rrrr: A: はい、そうです。

= Hai, soudesu.

= Yes, I did.

:rrrr:A: いいえ、仕事です。/仕事で来ました。

= Iie, shigoto desu. / Shigoto de kimashita.

= No, I am here on business.

 

Q: 日本には仕事で来たんですか?

= Nihon niwa shigoto de ktian desu ka?

= Did you come to Japan for business?

(polite)日本にはお仕事でいらっしゃったのですか?

= Nihon niwa oshigoto de irasshatta no desu ka?

= Did you come to Japan for business?

(casual)日本には仕事で来たの?

= Nihon niwa shigoto de kitano?

= You came to Japan for business?

 :rrrr: A: はい、そうです。

= Hai, sou desu.

= Yes, I did.

 :rrrr: A: いいえ、観光です。/観光で来ました。

= Iie, kankou desu. / Kankou de kimashita.

= No, I am a tourist. I am here for sightseeing.

 

Q: いつ、日本に来ましたか?

= Itsu, nihon ni kimashita ka?

= When did you come to Japan?

(polite) いつ、日本にいらっしゃいましたか?

= Itsu, nihon ni irasshaimashita ka?

= When did you come to Japan?

(casual) いつ、日本に来たの?

= Itsu, nihon ni kitano?

= When did you come to Japan?

 

Q: どのぐらい日本にいるんですか?

= Donogurai nihon ni irun desu ka?

= How long are you staying in Japan?

(polite)どのぐらい日本にいらっしゃるんですか?

= Donogurai nihon ni irassharun desu ka?

= How long are you staying in Japan?

(casual)どのぐらい日本にいるの?

= Donogurai nihon ni iru no?

= How long are you staying in Japan?

 :rrrr: A: 1週間程、滞在します。

= Isshukan hodo, taizai shimasu.

= I will stay (in Japan) about for a week.

 :rrrr: A: 1ヶ月間ぐらいです。

= Ikkagetsukan gurai desu.

= About a month.

:rrrr:A: 大体、2週間です。

= Daitai, nishuukan desu.

= About two weeks.

 

Q: どのぐらいここにいるんですか?

= Donogurai koko ni irun desu ka?

= How long will you be here?

(polite) どのぐらいこちらにいらっしゃるのですか?

= Donogurai kochirani irassharuno desu ka?

= How long will you be here?

(casual) どのぐらいこっちにいるの?

= Donogurai kocchi ni iru no?

= How long will you be here?

:rrrr:A:2週間ほどいます。

= Nishuukan hodo imasu.

= About two weeks.

 :rrrr: A:(casual) 6日間だけ。

= Muikakan dake.

= Just six days.

 

Q: あとどれぐらい日本にいるんですか?

= Ato doregurai nihon ni irun desu ka?

= How much longer are you going to be in Japan?

(casual) あとどれぐらい日本にいるの?

= Ato doregurai nihon ni iru no?

= How much longer are you going to be in Japan?

:rrrr:A: あと、4日間います。

= Ato, yokkakan imasu.

= Four more days.

 

Q: 日本に住んでどのぐらいですか?

= Nihon ni sunde donogurai desu ka?

= How long have you been living in Japan?

(casual)日本に住んでどのぐらいなの?

= Nihon ni sunde donogurai nano?

= You have been living in Japan for how long?

= How long have you lived in Japan?

:rrrr:A: 2年になります。

= Ninen ni narimasu.

= It has been two years.

:rrrr:A: まだ来たばかりです。

= Mada kita bakari desu.

= I just got here.

 

Q: 日本ではどこに行きましたか?

= Nihon dewa dokoni ikimashitaka?

= Where did you go in Japan?

(polite) 日本ではどちらに行かれましたか?

= Nihon de wa dochira ni ikaremashitaka?

= Where did you go in Japan?

(casual) 日本ではどこに行ったの?

= Nihon dewa doko ni ittano?

= Where did you go in Japan?

:rrrr:A: 箱根と京都に行きました。

=Hakone to Kyoto ni ikimashita.

= I went to Hakone and Kyoto.

:rrrr: A: まだ着いたばかりです。

= Mada tsuita bakari desu.

=I just got here.

:rrrr:A: 東京だけです。

= Toukyou dake desu.

= Just the Tokyo (area).

Q: どこがよかったですか?

= Doko ga yokatta desu ka?

= What places did you enjoy?

(casual) どこがよかった?

= Doko ga yokatta?

= What places did you enjoy?

:rrrr:A: 北海道がよかったです。

= Hokkaidou ga yokatta desu.

= I liked Hokkaido.

:rrrr:A: 京都と奈良と広島に行きましたが、どこもよかったです。

= Kyoto to Nara to HIrosihma ni ikimashita ga, doko mo yokatta desu.

= I went to Kyoto, Nara and HIroshima but I liked every place I visited.

 

Q: 日本のどういうところが気に入りましたか?

= Nihon no douiu tokoro ga kiniirimashita ka?

= What do you like about Japan?

(casual) 日本のどういうとこが好き?

= Nihon no douiu toko ga suki?

= What do you like about Japan?

 

:rrrr:A: 人が優しいところです。

= Hito ga yasashii tokoro desu.

= The people are nice.

:rrrr:A: 食べ物が美味しいです。

= Tabemono gaoishii desu.

= The food is good.

:rrrr:A: 街がきれいです。

= Machi ga kirei desu.

= The streets are clean / beautiful.

:rrrr:A: 街がきれいです。

= Machi ga kirei desu.

= The streets are clean / beautiful.

 

Q: 日本の食べ物は食べられますか?

= Nihon no tabemono wa taberaremasu ka?

= (Literal meaning) Can you eat Japanese food?

= Do you have any problems with Japanese food?

(casual) 日本の食べ物は食べられる?

= Nihon no tabemono wa taberareru?

= Can you eat Japanese food?

 

Q: (polite) 日本の食べ物はお口に合いますか?

= Nihon no tabemono wa okuchi ni aimasu ka?

= Do you like Japanese food?

(polite) 日本の食べ物はお好きですか?

= Nihon no tabemono wa osuki desuka?

= Do you like Japanese food?

(casual) 日本の食べ物は好き?

= Nihon notabemono wa suki?

= Do you like Japanese food?

 :rrrr: A: はい、好きです。

= Hai, suki desu.

= Yes, I like it.

 :rrrr: A: 刺身以外ならなんでも好きです。

= Sashimi igai nara nandemo suki desu.

= I like everything except sashimi (raw fish)

 

Q: 何か食べられないものはありますか?

= Nanika taberarenai mono wa arimsu ka?

= Is there anything that you can’t eat? / you don’t like?

何か食べられないものはありませんか?

= Nanika taberarenai mono wa arimasen ka?

= Is there anything that you can’t eat? / you don’t like?

(casual) 何か食べられないものない?

= Nanika taberarenai mono nai?

= Is there anything that you can’t eat? / you don’t like?

 

Q: 苦手な食べ物はありますか?

= Nigatre na tabemono wa arimasu ka?

= Is there anything that you can’t eat? / you don’t like?

(casual) 苦手な食べ物ある?

=Nigate na tabemono aru?

= Is there anything that you can’t eat? / you don’t like?

 

Q: 納豆食べられますか?

= Nattou taberaremasu ka?

= Can you eat Natto (fermented soybeans)?

(casual) 納豆食べられる?

= Nattou taberareru?

= Can you eat Natto (fermented soybeans)?

 

Q: 梅干しは大丈夫ですか?

= Umeboshi wa daijyoubu deus ka?

= Are you OK with “umeboshi” (Pickled plum)

(casual) 梅干し大丈夫?

= Umeboshi daijoubu?

= Are you OK with “umeboshi” (Pickled plum)

:rrrr:A: はい、全く問題ありません。

= Hai, mattaku mondai arimasen.

= No problem.

:rrrr:A: はい、みんな好きです。

= Hai, minna suki desu.

= Yes, I like everything.

:rrrr:A: 納豆はちょっと….

= Nattou wa chotto..

= Natto is…(It is an unfinished sentence but it is a subtle way to say I am not very fond of Natto. )

:rrrr:A: 梅干しは苦手です。

= Umeboshi wa nigate desu.

= Umebosh (Pickled plum) doesn’t agree with me.

:rrrr:A: 食べたことがないのでわかりません。

= Tabeta koto ga nai node wakarimasen.

= I’ve never had one so I don’t know.

 

Q: お箸は使えますか?

= Ohashi wa tsukaemasu ka?

= (Literal meaning) Can you use chopsticks?

= Do you use chopsticks?

(casual) お箸使える?

= Ohashi tsukaeru?

= (Literal meaning) Can you use chopsticks?

= Do you use chopsticks?

:rrrr:A: はい、全く問題ありません。

= Hai,mattaku mondai arimasen.

= No problem.

:rrrr:A: 自分の国でもいつも使っているから大丈夫です。

= Jibun no kuni demo itsumo tsukatte iru kara daijoubu desu.

= I have been using chopsticks in my country so I have no problem.

 !sushimaguro! Cultural note:

This type of questions along with “Can you eat 刺身 (=sashimi-raw fish) may offend you. But please be patient. They just trying to be considerate about you and your tastes.

 

Q: 日本語はわかりますか?

= Nihongo wa wakarimasu ka?

= Do you understand Japanese?

(casual) 日本語わかる?

= Nihongo wakaru?

= Do you understand Japanese?

日本語は話せますか?

= Nihongo wa hanasemasu ka?

= Do you speak Japanese?

(casual) 日本語、話せる?

= Nihongo, hanaseru?

= Do you speak Japanese?

(casual) 日本語、しゃべれる?

= Nihongo, shabereru?

= Do you speak Japanese?

日本語で大丈夫ですか?

= Nihogo de daijoubu desu ka?

= Are you able to communicate in Japanese? (Literally: Are you OK in Japanese?)

(casual) 日本語で大丈夫?

= Nihongo de daijoubu.

= Is Japanese OK (to speak to you)?

:rrrr:A: はい、話せます。

= Hai, hanasemasu.

= Yes, I do speak Japanese.

:rrrr:A: はい、少しなら話せます。

= Hai, sukoshi nara hanasemasu.

= Yes, I speak Japanese a little.

:rrrr:A: ゆっくり話してくれたら大丈夫です。

= Yukkuri hanashite kuretara daijoubu desu.

= Yes, if you speak to me slowly.

★Cultural note:

This is not a question but if you speak a little bit of Japanese, you will get

日本語、(お)上手ですね。

= Nihongo, (o) jouzu desune.

= Your Japanese is good.

日本語、よく知っていますね。

= Nihongo, yoku shitte imasune.

= You know your Japanese.

How would you answer these compliments?

:rrrr:A: ありがとうございます。

= Arigatou gozaimasu.

= Thank you very much.

:rrrr:A:いいえ、でももう日本に何回も来ていますから。

= Iie, demo mou nihon ni nankai mo kite imasukara.

= No, but I have been to Japan many times so…

If you want to sound more humble

:rrrr:A: いいえ、まだまだです。

= Iie, madamada desu.

= No, my Japanese is not good enough.

:rrrr:A: いいえ、まだ勉強中です。

= Iie, mada benkyou chuu desu.

= No, I am still working on it.

Q: 漢字は読めますか?

= Kanji wa yomemasu ka?

= Can you read kanji?

(casual) 漢字読める?

= Kanji yomeru?

= Can you read kanji?

:rrrr:A: 少し読めます。

= Sukoshi yomemasu.

= I can read kanji just a little.

:rrrr:A: ひらがなと片仮名は読めますが、漢字は読めません。

= Hiragana to katakana wa yomemasu ga, kanji wa yomemasen.

= I can read hiragana and katakana, but I can’t read kanji.

:rrrr:A: 全然、読めません。

= Zenzen, yomemasen.

= I can’t read kanji at all.

Do you want to blag 

:rrrr:A: はい、日本人より知っています。(jokingly)

= Hai, nihonjin yori shitte imasu.

= Yes, I know more kanji than Japanese people.

If they know you speak Japanese, they might ask:

Q: 日本語はどこで勉強しましたか?

= Nihongo wa doko de benkyou shimashita ka?

= Where did you study Japanese?

(casual) 日本語はどこで勉強したの?

= Nihongo wa doko de benkyou shitano?

= Where did you study Japanese?

:rrrr:A: 専攻が日本語でした。

= Senkou ga nihongo deshita.

= My major was Japanese.

:rrrr:A: 大学で勉強しました。

= Daigaku de benkyou shimashita.

= I studied (Japanese) at University.

:rrrr:A: 独学です。

= Dokugaku desu.

= I studied (Japanese) on my own.

 

Q: どのぐらい、日本語を勉強しましたか?

= Donogurai, nihongo wo benkyou shimashita ka?

= How long have you been studying Japanese?

(casual) どのぐらい、日本語を勉強したの?

= Donogurai, nihongo wo benkyou shitano?

= How long have you been studying Japanese?

:rrrr:A: 3年ぐらい勉強しました。

= Sannen gurai benkyou shimashita.

= I have studied (Japanese) about three years.

 

Q: どこに泊まっているんですか?

= Doko ni tomatte irun desuka?

= Where are you staying?

(casual) どこに泊まっているの?

= Doko ni tomatte iru no?

= Where are you staying?

:rrrr:A: 品川駅の近くのホテルです。

= Shinagawaeki no chikaku no hoteru desu.

= (at) A hotel near Shinagawa station.

 

Q: これからどこに行くんですか?

= Korekara doko ni ikun desu ka?

= Where are you going/heading next?

(polite) これからどちらに行かれるのですか?

= Korekara dochira ni ikareru no desu ka?

= Where are you going/heading next?

(casual) これからどこに行くの?

= Kore kara doko ni iku no?

 :rrrr: A:お台場に行きます。

= Odaiba ni ikimasu.

= I am going to Odaiba.

 :rrrr: A: ホテルに帰ります。

= Hoteru ni kaerimasu.

= I am going back to the hotel.

When you say good-bye, if you enjoy the conversation, say:

お話できて楽しかったです。

= Ohanashi dekite tanoshikatta desu.

= It was fun talking to you.

They might say

こちらこそ。それではいい旅を。

= Kochirakoso. Sore de wa ii tabi wo.

= Likewise, Have a nice trip.

気をつけて楽しんでください。

= Kiwotsukete tanoshin de kudasai.

= Take care and have fun.

Then you say

:u:

ありがとうございます。

= Arigatou gozaimasu.

= Thank you so much.

OK, I hope Maggie Sensei or other guest teacher will make a lesson on how to make friends in Japanese in future.

******

maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei.

Tofu先生、ありがとう!

= Tofu Sensei, Arigatou!

= Thank you Tofu-Sensei.

私は納豆大好きですよ。でもお箸を使うのは難しいよね。

= Watashi wa nattou daisuki desuyo. Demo ohashi wo tsukau nowa muzukashii yone.

= I love Natto. But it IS difficult to use chopsticks, isn’t it?