25+ Japanese words and phrases Anime taught me

A few months ago I made a post called “Is learning Japanese with Anime, Manga and Video Games possible?” That post has proved quite popular so I decided to do a followup. I’ve watched a lot of anime over the years and although in recent times my consumption of anime has gone down significantly I recently thought about how many words and phrases I learned from anime. Many of my favourite anime are based on shonen manga like Naruto, Dragon Ball and Attack on Titan. So unsurprisingly the Japanese I learnt makes me sound like a manga action hero or villain. That doesn’t mean these words and phrases aren’t useful for enunciation, understanding conjugation and starting off your basic Japanese vocabulary.

่จฑใ•ใชใ„ – simple enough means unforgivable or I won’t forgive you – many protagonists have screamed that at villains in anime. ใŠๅ‰ใฏใ ใ‚Œใงใ™ใ‹๏ผŸis a masculine tough guy way of asking who someone is. ๆญปใชใชใ„ means to not die – pay attention to when you see or hear nai attached to a verb in Japanese it usually means to not do what the verb translates to. ๅŠฉใ‘ใฆใใ ใ•ใ„ again a popular phrase in anime screamed by anyone that needs saving. ๅผทใ„ means strong. I usually say ็งใฏๅผทใ„ใงใ™ใ‚ˆ๏ผ when teasing my elementary kids after defeating them in rock paper scissors or my JHS kids in Table Tennis. ใพใ•ใ‹ is another popular one to show astonishment.

Family members are also important to know – ใŠๅ…„ใ•ใ‚“ means older brother but ใ‚ใซใ is a casual way of referring to an older male. The rest are easy enough but beware that some words for family members change if you are referring to your own family or another person’s family. ๅ…ˆใฑใ„ and ใ“ใ†ใฏใ„ are also simple ones means senior and junior respectively. Many a princess has needed rescuing in anime ๅงซๆง˜- a trick I use to remember the kanji is its a combination of the woman and a character that looks like a crown. For prince, the kanji are child and king or the child of a king ็Ž‹ๅญ.

ๆฐ—ๆŒใกๆ‚ชใ„ means everything from I have a bad feeling about this to that’s disgusting. Jitsu should be something all Naruto lovers are used to hearing, same with ๆˆฆใ„ which means battle and ไธ–็•Œ which means world – also if you didnt notice ppl in Gundam and dragonball seem to say sekai a lot. ๅŒ–ใ‘็‰ฉ literally means transformed thing. Pay attention to that second kanji which is used when referring to many kinds of things like drinks being ใฎใฟ็‰ฉ and food being ใŸใน็‰ฉ.

Every anime hero worth anything has screamed ใœใŸใ„ใซใพใ‚‚ใ‚‹ at least once and feel free to scream ใ‚ใฎใ•ใ‚ to casually try to get someones attention. ใ™ใฟใพใ›ใ‚“ is to also used to get someone’s attention more formally as well as to say excuse me. ๅคงไธˆๅคซ’s 3 characters look so semetrical to my OCD brain and when put together means Are you okay. ็ฅžๆง˜ is yet another anime staple and means god and is as common as and old dude stroking his beard and saying ใชใ‚‹ใปใฉ. ใ‚„ใ‚ใ‚ is the last thing anime bullies here before they get beaten up.

ใฐใ‹ใ‚„ใ‚ใ† is offensive but is okay to be used with friends – if you have a friend that has never called you studpid you are not friends. ใชใ‚“ใ ใ“ใ“ใซ is what you say with a Yakuza-like voice when you want to impress the ladies. ใปใ‚“ใจใซ was my favourite phrase when I just arrived in Japan and the teachers and students still tease me with it – with different inflections it can be a question or similar to Masaka.

Finally, we have the days of the week – ๆ—ฅ ๆœˆ ็ซ ๆฐด ๆœจ ้‡‘ ๅœŸ – if you remember nothing else from this post please remember these 7 – you can thank me later. Was this post helpful? Please vote in the poll below and leave any comments and questions as well.