Speakin' Japanese: Conveniently conversing

Speakin' Japanese: Conveniently conversing

by Shoji Kudaka and Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

7-Eleven, Family Mart, Mini Stop, Lawson – there are so many convenience stores, or “konbini,” in Japan. And there are so many things you can buy and do at them. You can pay utility bills, book a concert ticket, send packages or use an ATM, photo copier or just the restroom. Here are a few phrases to help you get the most out of your next stop at a konbini.

“Sumimasen, konbini wo sagashite imasu.” = Excuse me, I am looking for a convenience store. (“Sumumasen” = excuse me, “konbini” = convenience store, “wo sagashite imasu” = am looking for)

“Toile wo karitemo iidesuka?” = May I use the toilet?
(It’s polite to make a small purchase afterward if that’s all you came in for.)

Ordering hot food at the counter
“Nikuman wo hitotsu kudasai.” = Please give me one steamed bun.
“… wo hitotsu kudasai.” = Please give me one ….
“Nikuman” = Steamed bun (meat filled)
“Karaage” = Fried chicken nuggets
“Korokke” = Croquette (potato and meat filled)
“Amerikan doggu” = Corn dog
“Hitotsu” = One (of)
“Futatsu” = Two (of)
“Mittsu” = Three (of)
“Spoon wo kudasai.” = Please give me a spoon?
“ohashi” = chopstick

Buying cold precooked food (pasta, bento, etc.)
“Atatame masuka?” = Do you want it warmed up?
“Onegai shimasu.” = Please do so.
“Daijyoobu desu.” = That’s OK (no).

Buying cigarettes or alcohol
“Jyu ban no tabako wo hitotsu onegaishimasu.” = Please give me one pack of No. 10 cigarettes? (Cigarettes are stocked behind the counter and numbered by brand.)
“Jyu” = 10 / “ban” = Number (“Ichi ban” = Number one, “Ni ban” = Number two, etc.)
“Nenreikakunin wo onegaishimasu.” = Please confirm your (legal) age (by pushing the panel on the touchscreen at the register).

Buying fresh konbini coffee
“Koohii no hotto wo kudasai.” = Please give me a cup of coffee?
“Saizu wa doo shimasu ka?” = What size do you want?
“M (emu) wo onegai shimasu.” = Give me the middle size.
“L (eru) wo onegai shimasu.” = Give me the large size.)

Using your credit card or IC card
“Kaado wo tsukaitai no desu ga.” = I would like to use my credit card.
(“..wo tsukaitai” = I want use..)
“SUICA wa tsukae masu ka?” = Can I use my SUICA card?
(“..wa tsukae masu ka?” = can I use..)

Asking for help
“Kopeeki no tsukaikata ga wakarimasen.” = I don’t know how to use the copier.
(“tsukaikata” = how to use, “wakarimasen” = I don’t know)
“Kono gomi wa doko ni sutetara iidesu ka?” = where can I dispose this trash?
(“kono” = this, “ano” = that, “sono” = its, “gomi” = trash, “doko” = where, “sutetara” = dispose)
“Kappumen ni oyu wo iretai no desu ga?” = Can I pour hot water in my cup noodles?
(“oyu” = hot water, “mizu” = water, “iretai” = want to pour)

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