Basic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary

I have been studying Japanese on and off far too long to not be good at it and while I have sought to blame my delinquency on the lack of opportunities to practice, my inability to remain motivated, a ‘busy’ lifestyle and procrastination there are a few simple words and phrases that have made their way into my vocabulary. My coworkers, family members and close friends have now learned a few of these words as I use them almost naturally, now if only I would study Japanese more consistently. A Few of these words I have listed below along with an example situation or situations I would use a few of my favourite ones and where I picked them up or heard them.

If my grandmother was a ninja I'd want her to be Chiyo

masaka – unbelievable!

Crazy and surprising things happen in life, my life is so different and on an almost daily basis there are a few unexpected occurrences that cause say “masaka” in different tones depending on the situation. A recent “masaka moment” was when I witnessed a speeding car get out of control and barely miss a head-on collision with a bus going in the opposite direction. I was taught this word by a lovely Sand Village ninja named Chiyo.

urameshiya – it is your fault

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This one actually made me do some research and I learned that it is from the noun urami (うらみ) which means “grudge” or “ill will”. Occasionally I when my insomnia chips in I feel the need to shuffle around my house late at night in the dark and scare my unsuspecting sister and mom. Luckily I found a tutorial by thatjapanesegirl on Youtube entitled “How to be a Japanese Ghost” and that’s where I picked up the the curse word, well, not curse word as in an expletive but a word used for cursing, get it?

nan desu ka – what is it?

Here we have my favourite super basic Japanese word (well technically it’s a phrase). I love using it mainly because of it’s versitility, depending on my mood when somecone calls my name I might spit out and of it’s variants as a response ranging from impersonating a Japanese schoolgirl to a yakuza, it’s fun, you should try it – na ni, nan da, nani ka, nan da to.

unfortunately, he is the only Yakuza I know... -_-

Learning Japanese can be challenging or as easy as pie depending on your situation and reason for studying but I am sure I am not the only one that Japanese has worked it’s infiltrating ninja magic on. I have listed a few more words off the top of my head that I usually use without thinking daily.

  • daijoubuka? – are you ok
  • arigatou – thank you
  • urusai – shut up!
  • moshi moshi – hello
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Do any Japanese language learners find this happening to them and if so which words usually hijack your tongue? Also for those who are reading this that are a 100 times better at Japanese than me feel free to leave a sentence or two below in Japanese (kana and basic kanji please) so that I’ll be forced to translate it and actually learn something while  am doing so.


17 thoughts on “Basic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary

  1. Oh, yeah, for sure this happens to me. I mainly end up tacking “ね” onto the end of sentences all the time :)

  2. I usually find myself saying “ねー” Also I’ve started saying “でしょう” a lot which means like “right?”. EG ジャマイパニーズはほんとおもしろいでしょう! Translation: Isn’t Jamaipanese interesting!

  3. I mostly use arigato, baka, ganbatte, nani!?! (instead of nan desu ka), sumimasen, onegaishimasu and hai. ppl get confused as hell when i say iie so i dont use it too much lol :P

  4. 毎日ちょっとだけ勉強して、だんだん上手になると思う。がんばって!

  5. A cool slang version of “moshimoshi” I heard in a drama the other day was “shimoshimo.” But a phrase I use pretty much on daily basis is “nanja, kore?” It just feels so right to say it in a random WTF situation.

  6. I knew all these words, too, but I’d never mix them with English, let alone in Slovenian, my native language. Maybe only as a joke :) But I do use a lot of “lo” and “lah” when I chat with my Taiwanese girlfriend. Those Chinese endings express emotions very well, they are useful :)

  7. I definitely have that problem! :D I often find myself using ~ね, すんまへん, and 本当 a lot. My favorite expression is 何をするの? (What are you doing?) Because I often feel the need to ask that around my crazy family. XD It can be a problem though, because sometimes I’ll say something in Japanese and when I try to explain what I said its a struggle to find a good English equivalent. T^T

  8. Hahaha..
    I know “baka”, “neko”, “aishiteru”, “gome” LOL :p
    euhmm wat elseee let me thinkk…

    “BANKAI”? :P LOL!

  9. Interesting. I suppose it’s good that Japanese has become a daily use thing for you. As a cautionary, though, just be careful about mixing the two languages too often. I’m guilty of this a lot with my girlfriend, but I find it can often muddle things. I think it may be best for learning purposes to have “Japanese mode” and “English mode.” I could be completely wrong, though – everyone learns differently. I’ve noticed that my English has gotten worse living here, partially because my experiences with using Japanese every day and hearing so much broken English/ Japanes-English gobbledy-gook have affected how I speak sometimes.

    I don’t really use Japanese when I’m speaking in English, except every now and then I will tack a ね or よ to the end of a sentence, and うん and ううん have become second nature. I’m trying to break that habit because whenever I go back home and kind of grunt うん’s at people I think it comes across as a bit odd.

  10. haha yes know exactly what you mean for a while now especially when I was studying much more I often used Japanese words in everday use. Most often using hai, baka, sumimasen, ohaiyou, nan des ka and one of my favourite sentences “mou ichido itte kudasai” = please say it once again ^^ to name but a few.

    Damn listening to your storys and other fellow j learners I’m really frustrated with myself that I stopped learning for so long as Japanese has always been a love of mine and always will be. Really need to get my ass into gear and get back to studying as hardcore as I used to :D

    p.s. keep up the good work ganbatte

    P.P.S. I would have wrote all the japanese in kanji/kana but I’m using a work machine without such language support ^^

  11. The most common Japanese words that I often use are わかりました, ただいま, おかえり and other greetings. I guess the most challenging part of learning Nihongo for me is memorizing and writing the Kanji ^^;

  12. In other words, ‘masaka’ is the Japanese term for the Jamaican ‘rhaatid’, ‘blern dawg’ and ‘b****c****’. XD

    Good to know! [jamaica]

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