Speakin' Japanese: COVID-19 useful phrases

Speakin' Japanese: COVID-19 useful phrases

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

As measures to combat COVID-19 ramp up, you may find yourself needing extra assistance, especially if you’re off-base. Use these helpful common phrases below to get the help you need from our neighbors here in Japan.


“Kono mise wa nanji ni akimasuka?” = What time does this shop open?

(“kono” = this, “mise” = shop, “nanji ni” = at what time, “akimasuka” = does open?)

Pronounced: Cone-oh me-say wah nan-gee knee awe-key-mass-kaw.


“Masuku wa arimasuka?” – Is there a face mask available?

(“Masuku” = face mask, “wa arimasuka?” = is there.. available?)

Pronounced: mass-coup wah awe-ree-mass-kaw


“Taionkei wo kashite kudasai?” = Could you lend me a thermometer?

(“taionkei” = thermometer, “kashite” = lend me, “kudasai” = please)

Pronounced: tie-on-kay woe cash-teh coup-duh-sigh


“Chikakuni byooin wa arimasuka?” Is there a hospital around here?

(“chikakuni” nearby, “byooin” = hospital)

Pronounced: Cheek-hack-oo-knee be-yo-oh-een wah awe-ree-mass-kaw


“Sukoshi netsu ga arimasu” = I have a slight fever.

(“sukoshi” – a little bit, “netsu” = fever)

Pronounced: sue-coe-she net-sue gah awe-ree-mass


“Atama ga itai desu.” = I have a headache.

(“atama” = head, “ga itai desu” = I have a pain in)

Pronounced: ah-tah-ma gah eat-thai deh-sue


“Samuke ga shimasu.” = I feel a chill.

(“samuke” – feel chilly)

Pronounced: sam-oo-keh gah she-mass-sue


“Ikigurushii desu.” = I have a breathing difficulty.

(“ikigurushii” = difficulty in breathing)

Pronounced: icky-goo-rouge-y deh-sue.


“Mikaku ga arimasen.” = I cannot taste.

(“mikaku” = sense of taste, “ga arimasen” have a disorder in)

Pronounced: me-kaw-coup gah awe-ree-mass-zen


“Nioi ga shimasen.” = I cannot smell.

(“nioi” = sense of sell)

Pronounced: Knee-oy gah she-mass-zen


Koronavirusu= Coronavirus

Pronounced: coe-roh-nah-vee-roux-sue


Shushi shōdoku-zai = Hand sanitizer


Pronounced: Shoe-she show-doe-coup-sigh

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