Speakin Japanese: Speak easy on down the road

by Tetsuo Nakahara
Stripes Okinawa

It is always exciting to take a road trip. Here are some phrases and words you may need when you stop at gas station, toll gate or service area. In Japan, there are both full-service and self-service stations. Currently, gas is about 136.9 yen per litter (the equivalent of about $4.32 per gallon).

“Sen yen bun onegaishimasu.”
=1,000 yen [$8.41] worth [of gas], please.

“Sanzen yen” = 3,000 yen
“Gosen yen” = 5,000 yen
Mantan de onegaishimasu.” = Please fill it up.

“Taiya wo shirabete moraemasuka?” = Would you check the tires?

Kono taiya wo koukan shite-kudasai?” = Would you please change this tire?
Kono taiya.” = “This tire”
Kono heedo raito” = This headlight
Kono bureeki raito” = This brake light
Waipaa” = (The) windshield wipers
Enjin oiru”= (The) engine oil

Taiya ga panku shimashita.”= I have a flat tire.
Kuruma ga tomarimashita. = My car has stopped.
Kono kuruma no shuri wo onegaishimasu.” = Please repair this car.

“Michi ni mayoi mashita.”= I am lost.

Kono michi wa Naha ni ikimasuka?” = Does this road go to Naha?
Kono michi wa … ni ikimasuka?” = Does this road go to …?

“Kuruma” = Car
“Ryokinjyo” = Toll gate
“Kosoku” = Highway
“Shingou” = Traffic light

When on Okinawa, you can also say it in “Uchinaanguchi” (island dialect) like this:
“Tabiacchun” = a trip
“Toumayun” = stop
“Ichun”= go

nakahara.tetsuo@stripes.com

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