Speakin' Japanese: Sound of music

by Tetsuo Nakahara
Stripes Okinawa

Music, or ongaku in Japanese, is a universal language. When you go to a concert or music festival in Japan, use some of the lingo below to strike up a conversation with a fellow music lover.

“Donna ongaku ga suki desuka?”  = What kind of music do you like?
“Watashi wa Rock ga suki desu.” = I like Rock.
(_______ ga suki desu means I like _______.)
“Kurassiku” = Classic, “Hip Hop”= Hip Hop, “Jazz”=Jazz
“Enka” = Traditional Japanese pop music 
(Enka music is popular among older Japanese. Enka singers usually dress in a kimono as they perform.)

“Kono kyoku wo shitte imasuka?” = Do you know this song?
e.g.) “Bob Marley wo shitte imasuka?” = Do you know Bob Marley?

“Kono kyoku wo shitteimasu.” = I know this song.
“Kono kyoku wo kiite kudasai.” = Please listen to this song.
“Nanika gakki wo ensou shimasuka?” = Do you play any instrumenst?  “ensou” means play.
“Watashi wa gitaah wo hiki masu.” = I play guitar.
“Watashi wa piano wo hiki masu.” = I play piano.

“Watashi no sukina band wa Arcade Fire desu.” = My favorite band is Arcade Fire. 
“Watashi wa Fuji Rock ni ikimasu.” = I am going to Fuji Rock.
“Main stage wa doko desuka?”= Where is the main stage?
“Saiko!’ = The best

nakahara.tetsuo@stripes.com

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