To start with…はじめに…


Japanese Pronunciation

There are only about 100 syllables in the Japanese language, while there are about 30000 syllables in English. Let’s have a look at all the syllables.

Japanese syllables

Japanese Writing System

The Japanese language is written in 3 different groups of scripts, Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji (Chinese characters). In general, Hiragana is used to write Japanese words, Katakana is used to write words originated non-Japanese language. Hiragana and Katakana convey the sounds/syllables while Kanji conveys the meaning.

A sentence in Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji can be written vertically from the top to bottom or horizontally from left to right.

Let’s read Hiragana Books!!

あいうえお の ほん

かきくけこ の ほん

さしすせそ の ほん

ひらがなーよむれんしゅう (ワークシート)


Greeting Expressions あいさつ

There is no Japanese equivalent expression to “Hello” in English or “Kia ora” in Te Reo Maori.  You need to choose the right greeting in Japanese, depending on the time in a day or occasions.

Hello in the morning :   おはようございます

Hello in the afternoon:   こんにちは

Hello in the evening: こんばんは

Hello on the phone: もしもし

Hello when you meet someone for the first time:



Hello when you come home (I’m home.) :  ただいま

Hello when someone comes home (Welcome home.): おかえりなさい


Farewell Expressions おわかれ

Good-bye: さようなら

Japanese people don’t say   さようなら   to their family and instead use the following:

      When you leave home: いってきます


      When you see someone off: いってらっしゃい

See you: じゃ、また

See you tomorrow: また、あした

Good night: おやすみなさい


Other Daily Expressions 

Thank you: ありがとうございます 

I’m sorry/Excuse me:  すみません 

Before meal: いただきます 

After meal: ごちそうさまでした 


Numbers すうじ

〇 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十


Self-Introduction じこしょうかい







© Kazue Takeda 2016

Copying the material for student use for educational purposes only is allowed.  All other rights for the texts on the page and the linked documents reserved.  Except as stated above no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means.

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