Japanese Dining Phrases

Traditional Japanese Phrases

Japanese Culture

Japanese Dining Phrases

In this quick Japanese lesson, I would like to introduce you to five essential dining phrases that you need to know when dining in Japan or with Japanese companions. With these phrases, you'll not only be able to navigate your way around the dinner table, but you'll impress your Japanese counterparts with your learned and cultured politeness as well!

Ikura desu ka? (i-ku-ra de-su ka?)

This is a handly and straightforward espression that is used to ask how much something costs. The "ka" here denotes a question in Japanese, so be sure to pronounce this phrase with a question inflection.

Kudasai (ku-da-sa-i)

This word is an imperative very meaning "give me (something)". Used alone, it is a somewhat of an abrupt phrase, but when combined with other words, it becomes a polite request. For example, "kore (ko-re) kudasai" means "please give me this".

You can use this phrase to point at an item on the menu and place an order. You can also combine "kudasai" with food items (or any item, for that matter), such as "biiru (bi-i-ru) kudasai," which means "please give me a beer," or "sushi kudasai" to mean "please give me sushi." You'll find this an indispensible phrase not only in restaurants, but in any situation where you need to request an item.

Itadakimasu (i-ta-da-ki-ma-su)

This is an important word that must be used for proper Japanese dining etiquette. It is a ritualized expression used right before you are about to eat anything meaning "I humbly and appreciatively receive this food". When dining with Japanese friends or hosts, be sure to use this expression before digging into your meal!

Oishi desu (o-i-shi de-su)

If a Japanese person cooks for you or introduces you to a particular type of food, you're going to want to compliment him or her on the taste of the food. "Oishi desu" means "this is delicious!" You'll make your Japanese companions very happy when you use this phrase to express your delight at the foods they provided for you.

Gochisosama deshita (go-chi-so-sa-ma de-shi-ta)

Although this word is quite a mouthful, it is another ritualized dining expression used in Japan. Whereas "itadakimasu" is an expression of appreciation for food that is about to be received, "gochisosama deshita" is an expression of thanks for a meal just consumed. This expression is also used is as a way of saying thank you to a person who has just picked up the tab.

Use these five essential dining phrases and you will amaze and impress your hosts with your grasp of Japanese culture and table etiquette!  

About the Author

Hopefully this quick Japanese lesson will help you get your Japanese learning off to to the right start. For a free guide to learning the Japanese language, visit http://www.essential-japan-guide.com/japanese-learning-guide.html

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