How to start a conversation in Japanese – univers-japon-shop

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If you are studying Japanese now and have gained knowledge of Japanese, you may want to use it in real conversation and in daily life. But how do you talk to the Japanese when you meet them? How should we talk to others in informal or business situations? This article will introduce some phrases and methods to help you start communicating in Japanese.

1. Japanese phrases to start a conversation

In the morning you can say “Ohayo!”

If you want to start a conversation with someone, start the conversation with a greeting. “こんにちは (Konnichiwa)” is the most basic Japanese expression and is very useful as it can be used with strangers as well as close friends and family members. Although this phrase is just a greeting, it can easily spark a conversation because it can grab the other person’s attention.

It also plays a very important role in making a good impression on the other person when greeting them. If you speak directly about what you want to talk about, the other person may get confused or, in the worst case, think that you are being rude, so it is highly recommended that you say hello first.


A: Hello.



B: Hello. did you have something


(Hello. Is something wrong?)


Hai, kono tatemono no nakano toire wo sagashite imasuga, doko ni aruka shitte imasuka ka?

(Yes, I’m looking for the restrooms in this building, but do you know where they are?)

2. Use “すみません” (Sumimasen) if you want to sound polite

Although the aforementioned “Konnichiwa” expression can be used by anyone, it is often used in informal situations. When talking to a superior or in a professional situation, say “すみません(Sumimasen)”.

“すみません” (Sumimasen, Excuse me) is often used in more formal situations, so it is not often used among friends and family. When you are traveling in Japan and want to ask a local person a question in a polite manner, this phrase is sure to get the person to answer in a pleasant manner.

Of course, if they answer your question or request, don’t forget to say “ありがとうございます” (Arigatou gozaimasu, thank you) afterward. Showing gratitude on your part shows respect for the person you are talking to.


A: Excuse me.



B: Yes, what is it?

Hai, nan deshou ka?

(Yes how can I help you?)


Kono shouhin wo sagashite iru no desu ga, doko ni arimasu ka?

(I’m looking for this product, but where do you get it?)


Aa, kore wa migi no tana ni oite arimasu yo.

(Oh, it’s sitting on the right shelf.)

A: I see. thank you


(I see. Thank you very much!)

B: You’re welcome!

Mashite Douitashi!

(No problem!)

3. What to use with friends and acquaintances

After a basic greeting like “こんにちは(Konnichiwa, Hello),” it’s easy to continue the conversation by including a sentence that asks about the other person’s health or mood. The phrase that can be used in this situation is “How are you?” The person’s response will vary from person to person, but most will respond with “元気です。(Genki desu, I’m fine)”.


A: Hello, Mr. Yamada! How are you?

Yamada-san, konnichiwa!

(Hello, Mr. Yamada! How are you?)


Sato-san, konnichiwa!

(Hello, Mr. Sato! I’m fine, and you?)

4. Talk about the weather

In Japan, the weather is very extreme, so it’s easy to talk about it!

If you want to start a sweet conversation without talking about anything personal, you can casually mention the weather. There are a variety of weather conditions and temperatures, such as sunshine or rain, and a brief mention of them can help move the conversation forward.



Yamada-san, konnichiwa..

(Hello, Mr. Yamada. It’s sunny today, isn’t it?)


Sato-san, konnichiwa..

(Hello Mr. Sato. Yes, have a nice day.)

Here is a list of various other weather conditions in Japanese, so let’s learn briefly here!

how to say in japanese how to pronounce meaning in English
sunny Hare Sunny
rain love Rainy
cloudy kumori Cloudy
snow Yuki snowy
hot Lived Hot
Cold samui Cold
warm atatakai Warm
Cold suzuki Cool

Of course, don’t forget to say “さよなら (Sayonara, bye)” after the conversation ends. It is considered rude to immediately leave without saying anything after the conversation ends. If something urgent comes up and you need to end the conversation, be sure to give the other person a brief reason and say goodbye before you part ways.

5. Learn from a Japanese movie or TV show

Movies and TV shows are essentially visual manuals filled with natural Japanese interactions used in everyday life. While Japanese books also contain a lot of Japanese conversation, you can learn not only the basic dialogue, but also the slang and speed at which they communicate from movies and shows.

Also, it’s easier to imagine what the context of each conversation might be like by paying attention to the situation and the facial expressions of the actors, so videos are often easier to understand than books. Anime is a great way to pick up everyday conversation. The anime is full of useful phrases and conversations, making it a fun way to learn how to start a conversation in Japanese. Watch your favorite anime and listen carefully how they talk.

6. Body language

If a conversation is a bit difficult at first, you can always try using body language to get someone’s attention. Waving your hands to get the other person’s attention can easily lead to a conversation. Especially when meeting someone for the first time, eye contact alone may not be enough to get the person’s attention, so using gestures may be more effective.

Once you have the other person’s attention, say one of the aforementioned conversation starter phrases such as “すみません (Sumimasen)” to convey what you want to say. Of course, remember to smile when you use body language, since an angry or sad face could make the other person uncomfortable.

We have introduced several different phrases and methods to help you start a conversation in Japanese. When conversing with Japanese, remember to try to speak to them in a calm and cheerful manner first. This will help warm them up and most people will be happy to answer your questions in a polite manner. We hope this article contributes to your Japanese studies and helps you start a conversation in Japanese!

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