Speakin’ Japanese: School sayings

Speakin’ Japanese: School sayings

Stripes Okinawa

Once again our military children are back in school. And Japanese kids are headed back after summer break (their school year begins in April). So if you’re out in town, here’s some phrases to help you chat with Japanese students.

“Itsu kara gakko ga hajimari masuka?” = When does school start?
(“gakko” = school, “hajimari” = start)

“Nan nensei ni nari masuka?” = What grade are you in?
(“nan nensei” = what grade)

“Anatano gakko no namae wa nan desuka?” = What is the name of your school?
(“namae” = name, “nan desuka” = what is)

“Sensei no namae wa nan desuka?” = What is your teacher’s name?
(“sensei” = teacher)

“Nani wo benkyo shite imasuka?” = What are you studying (or majoring in)?
(“benkyo” = study)

“Shorai nani ni naritai desuka?” = What do you want to be in the future?
(“shorai” = future, “naritai” = want to be)

“Isshoni gakko ni iki masho.” = Let’s go to the school together.
(“isshoni” = together, “iki masho” = let’s go)

“Chikoku shinai de kudasai.” = Please do not be late.

“Itte rasshai.” = See you later. (Said to someone leaving home.)

“Itte kimasu.” = See you later. (Said by someone leaving home.)

“Ganbatte kudasai.” = Please do your best. (Like: “Good luck.”)

“Isshokenmei benkyo shite kudasi.” = Please study hard.
(“isshokenmei” = hard or industriously)

WHEN ON OKINAWA – You can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:

“Majuun gakkoo kai ikaya.” = Let’s go to the school together.

“Nji men soore.” = See you later. (Said to someone leaving home.)

“Chibattei kimi soore.” = Please do your best. (Like: “Good luck.”)

Pronunciation key: “A” is short (like “ah”); “E” is short (like “get”); “I” is short (like “it”); “O” is long (like “old”); “U” is long (like “tube”); and “AI” is a long “I” (like “hike”). Most words are pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable, but “OU” is a long “O” with emphasis on that syllable.

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