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Be Prepared for Times of Trouble! Japanese Phrases You Should Remember

Although communicating in English has become more common in Japan, it is still far from perfect. Here some survival Japanese phrases that you can use in unexpected situations, such as when you are not feeling well, or when you are lost.

When You Are Not Feeling Well

Commonly Used Phrases

(1) When you are not feeling well, use this phrase to let your Japanese companion(s) know.

[en]I don't feel well.
[jp]具合が悪いです。 (guai ga warui desu.)

(2) When you think you are unable to go to the hospital by yourself, use the phrase below to have someone call an ambulance for you.

[en]Please call an ambulance.
[jp]救急車を呼んでください。 (kyukyusha o yonde kudasai.)

A Convenient Phrase You Can Use by Switching Out The Subject

(1) You can use the phrase below in order to express where you are feeling pain during your visit to the doctor, or when you are at the pharmacy buying medication.

[en]○○ hurts.
[jp]○○が痛いです。 (○○ ga itai desu.)

[en] head [jp] 頭 (atama)
[en] eyes [jp] 目 (me)
[en] nose [jp] 鼻 (hana)
[en] throat [jp] 喉 (nodo)
[en] teeth [jp] 歯 (ha)
[en] neck [jp] 首 (kubi)
[en] shoulder [jp] 肩 (kata)
[en] back [jp] 背中 (senaka)
[en] stomach [jp] お腹 (onaka)
[en] hip [jp] 腰 (koshi)
[en] foot [jp] 足 (ashi)
[en] knee [jp] 膝 (hiza)

When You Encounter A Thief

Commonly Used Phrase

(1) When you have been a victim of theft, you should approach the police immediately for assistance. If there is no police station nearby, use the following phrase to get help from the people around you in calling the police.

[en]Please call the police.
[jp]警察を呼んでください。 (keisatsu o yonde kudasai.)

A Convenient Phrase You Can Use by Switching Out The Subject

(1) Use the following phrase when telling the police what you got stolen from you.

[en]○○ was stolen.
[jp]○○を盗られました。 (○○ o torare mashita.)

[en] money [jp] お金 (okane)
[en] wallet [jp] 財布 (saifu)
[en] passport [jp] パスポート (pasupooto)
[en] bag [jp] 鞄 (kaban)
[en] luggage [jp] 荷物 (nimotsu)

When You Are Lost

Commonly Used Phrases

(1) When you are lost, use the following phrase to let the people around you know.

[en]I'm lost.
[jp]道に迷いました。 (michi ni mayoi mashita.)

(2)If you are not sure where you currently are, take out your map and use this phrase to get someone to point out on the map where you currently are.

[en]Please tell me where we are.
[jp]現在地を教えてください。 (genzaichi o oshiete kudasai.)

A Convenient Phrase You Can Use by Switching Out The Subject

(1) It is okay to the following phrase when trying to convey your destination. If you are showing your map while using the following phrase, it might be a little easier for your listener to understand.

[en]I want to go to ○○.
[jp]○○へ行きたいです。 (○○ e ikitai desu.)

[en] hotel [jp] ホテル (hoteru)
[en] train station [jp] 駅 (eki)
[en] airport [jp] 空港 (kuukou)
[en] police [jp] 警察 (keisatsu)

Don't you think the above phrases are useful? If you encounter any troubles during your travel, you'll definitely want to settle the problem as soon as possible. If you remember the phrases above, they will definitely come in handy when you are in a pinch!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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